The effects of aging on skeletal muscles is dramatic. Sarcopenia will deplete your muscles steadily each decade after 40 until by 70, nearly half your muscle mass will have vanished — If you fail to do something about it.
With all due respect to the old Sailor, there is only one proven method to stop this wasting, and even reverse it. Resistance Training.
Only 1 Thing Works
The prestigious Oxford University Journals, with the British Geriatrics Society, studied 3 methods to stop skeletal muscle loss due to aging: Testosterone replacement (in men), Human Growth Hormone replacement and Resistance Training.
It found that only 1 method worked: “Resistance training remains the most effective intervention for increasing muscle mass and strength in older people. Elderly people have reduced food intake and increased protein requirements. As a result, adequate nutrition is sometimes a barrier to obtaining full benefits from resistance training in this population.”
3 Types of Muscle in our Bodies
Cardiac muscles pump our heart and bloodstream. Organ muscles work our internal organs, other than the heart. These are involuntary muscles, meaning we don’t consciously activate them.
Skeletal muscles are those attached to our skeleton. They are voluntary. They work when we tell them to move. If we don’t move much, they don’t get much work.
They respond to vigorous resistance exercise by growing and we become stronger.
The growth process works like this.
- You perform resistance exercises targeting a muscle a group, with a goal to take it to exhaustion in the course of your workout. This process causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibers.
- You eat a good diet with proper nutrients, especially protein, which is the building block of muscle tissue.
- As you rest and sleep, your body uses those nutrients to repair the micro damage, and you are slightly stronger as result. Rest and repeat.
Takes Time & Commitment
This is a gradual process. It takes commitment to a solid workout plan and time. Rest and proper nutrition are key.
You can use traditional weights, machines, resistance bands or bodyweight. Your muscles don’t think, they simply respond to the resistance in whatever way it comes.
You may feel a soreness as a result of this process. It’s called a “pump” or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). This is the effect of hypertrophy. A little DOMS is a good thing. Pain is not. Forget the old saying “no pain, no gain.” Think DOMS. Actual pain is always a signal something is wrong.
1 of the Big Problems — Too Much Noise in the “Fitness Industry”
When it comes to choosing a workout plan, the internet and the media are full of it. There are a zillion different workout plans out there. Most of them are designed for 20 or 30 somethings. There’s a ton of marketing noise aimed at us.
We need a muscle-building plan that works for Baby Boomers. You know, people who’ve lived for a while and collected a variety of physical issues over time. My list includes: a right knee hanging by a thread, heart attack, triple bypass, colon surgery and some arthritis in my shoulders. Yet, I’ve found a method that works great. I have more muscle today than I did in my 20’s.
You’re not going to get me to jump up and down off wooden crates or flip tractor tires — no matter how loud you yell encouragement at me
The truth is, what works is pretty simple. It doesn’t require insanity or pain.
Here you can see an article outlining an overall workout plan. And here’s a post looking specifically at the Glutes. There are more workouts on the site, as well, and more good stuff coming all the time. Hang around a bit and check things out. I would love to help you get going.
You can get started on a Resistance Training program quickly and easily. This article reviews a few sets of Resistance Bands. They are inexpensive and highly effective. You can workout at home, or anywhere. The entire set fits in a small travel bag.
If you struggle getting quality protein in your daily diet, here’s a story on the only 2 supplements that actually work to help you build muscle (in my humble opinion). Protein and Creatine.
Please have a look around. There are lots of helpful articles, more workout plans and more stuff coming all the time.
Please share any questions or comments you might have below. I will gladly answer all. And please feel free to drop me a line: Bri@BoomerMuscle.com