What do muscle mass and your pension pot have in common?

Quick answer = the bigger the better (*no you don’t need to be a body builder)

Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade. 

Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures. But also, low levels of strength and mobility will reduce the freedom and quality of life as you age. 

Think of muscle mass like you do your pension pot. The more you have by the time you retire the more active your later life will be. 

Just because muscle mass declines past the age of 30 doesn’t mean that it is gone forever.  Both older men & women can indeed increase muscle mass lost as a consequence of aging. It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.

Below are 3 factors to consider when trying to increase muscle mass

1.Structured progressive weight training

The key word here is structured. Too often we speak to incoming members that have a random unstructured workout schedule; A Barry’s class on Monday, weights class on Tuesday, HIIT class Thursday,  reformer pilates on a Saturday. The following week a completely different combination. Don’t get me wrong, its great that someone is exercising 4x per week, training consistency is the biggest hurdle to overcome. However, this type of training regimen will have you progressing at a snails pace.

We recommend that you commit to weight training 3x per week and repeat the same sessions for a number of weeks, always looking to progress. Below we have listed 5 simple ways to progress your training

  • Progressively lift heavier weights
  • Progressively perform more reps at the same weight
  • Progressively perform more sets per session.
  • Reduce your rest time between sets
  • Slow the tempo at which you perform each rep. I.e each set will take longer to perform.

If you’re a bit lost on how to programme these types of sessions then seek out a qualified, reputable coach or training facility like PROATHLON.

2. Protein 

Your diet also plays a role in building muscle mass. Protein is the king of muscle food. The body breaks it down into amino acids, which it uses to build muscle. However, older men often experience a phenomenon called anabolic resistance, which lowers their bodies’ ability to break down and synthesize protein. To overcome this, you need to consume a higher protein diet as you age. We recommend 1.5 x bodyweight in grams of protein. For example if you weigh 80kg then your target in 120g of protein per day. 

3. Mindset – increase muscle verses lose weight/fat

2 mindsets, 2 different outcomes:

I exercise to lose weight and drop fat 

This individual will likely skip meals, drastically reduce calories and think more exercise is better. 

The result – body weight/fat fluctuations throughout the year and either maintain or lose muscle mass annually. 

I exercise to get stronger and increase muscle mass 

This individual will push the boundaries with his/her training with a mindset of quality over quantity. They will prioritise food to fuel recovery and build muscle. 

The result – annual increases in muscle mass, completely change their physique/figure and improve body composition.

Which mindset are you in? 

We are all getting older, but older doesn’t mean less active. Do you want to be young old or old old? If young old then the time to act is now. Change your mindset, change your outcome. Go and build muscle

If you have any questions and or want help with training or nutrition pease reach out by completing the form below:

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