When I think of strength training and aging, I think of the all the ground-breaking research that has been done at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. They have been publishing research on aging and exercise for decades now. I was fortunate enough to spend time there (1994-99) as an exercise physiologist up on the 13th floor in their Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Lab (aka NEPS Lab). Here are just a small sample of some the research published by the NEPS Lab showing the importance of strength training and the positive association that it has on Sarcopenia and overall health as you age.
Effects of high-intensity strength training on multiple risk factors.
Anthropometric assessment of 10-y changes in body composition in the elderly.
The efficacy of home based progressive strength training in older adults with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial.
High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians: effects on skeletal muscle
Strength conditioning in older men: skeletal muscle hypertrophy and improved function.
study has come out showing why baby boomers in particular need to start or continue weekly strength training sessions. This study showed that seniors can continue in to build strength and retard muscle atrophy if the resistance used is 60-85% of 1-repetition maximum and 3-4 times a week. If your looking to be independent and more functional in your golden years, the prescription is simple, start or continue strength training using a resistance that challenges your muscles and do it on a regular basis while your a baby boomer (all those born between 1946 through 1964).