Building Muscle and Beating the Clock!

The idea that as you age your strength has to decrease is out of date. Today many people over 65, and over 75 are training and staying fit and building muscle all throughout their lives.

We’re not just taking about a walk around the block and calling it a day! Using the right technique and being careful to build up to the right routine, you can actually build and maintain muscle and strength at any age. Here are some important things to keep in mind if gaining muscle and feeling great is your goal.

Don’t just stand there – move it, lift it, work it.

Need one more reason to workout? To maintain muscle mass, exercise is job number one. To stave off sarcopenia, the age-related muscular deterioration that’s the muscular equivalent of osteoporosis, the best approach is a two-pronged exercise routine.

Alternate resistance training to build and strengthen muscles, with aerobic work to increase blood flow to the capillaries, bringing more oxygen to the muscles and building endurance. If you’ve been out of the fitness loop for a while, consider hiring a trainer to develop a customized program for you and to help guide you through your workouts – but clear it with your doc before getting started. Make sure the trainer you choose has experience training the 40+ set, to help minimize your risk of injury from doing too much, too soon…

Eat protein, particularly if you’re getting on in years.

Though the perfect amount of high-quality protein you need to eat daily in order to maintain long-term muscle mass hasn’t been definitively established, you can roughly estimate your daily requirements based on the following equation:

Take your body weight, divide it in half, subtract 10.

The resulting number will give you the approximate amount of protein you should be eating every day.

So, for example, if you weigh 160 lbs, then half of that is 80, minus 10 = 70 grams of protein spread over the course a day’s worth of meals.

In short, to slow muscle deterioration, particularly for those heading into their 60’s and beyond, high-quality protein is your best weapon. NOTE: If you have renal issues, you should work with your doctor to determine an appropriate daily protein intake for you specific needs.
– via Dr Frank Lipman

Is Building Muscle Important After 40?

If fitness has never been your hobby, you may not think it matters whether you work to build muscle or not. In the excerpt below you will see that new medical research gives you plenty of reason to make the effort and pick up those weights!

If you think 20 to 30 minutes of cardio a few days a week is all you need to keep your health in check over the next few decades, it’s time to wake up and smell the iron.

Earlier this month, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association updated their physical activity guidelines, encouraging Americans to strength-train at least twice a week and work out all of the major muscle groups on top of regular cardio activity.

They now recommend that adults perform eight to 12 reps of eight to 10 exercises on the chest, back, shoulders, upper legs, lower legs and arms, via either free weights, machines or weight-bearing activities. Adults 65 and older should strength-train two to three times a week, doing more reps with lighter weights, taking into account their fitness levels beforehand.

These organizations are catching on to what many trainers and body builders have known for years–that no matter what your age, regular strength training builds up more than just muscles; it builds a healthier body.

“More people are starting to realize that strength training doesn’t have to be getting out, lifting a ton of weight and being really sore,” says Amanda Carlson, a registered dietitian and director of performance nutrition and research at Athletes’ Performance, an intensive training facility based in Arizona. “People are training to live better.” – via Forbes

How many times a week do you do your strength training?

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