You CAN keep and gain muscle mass over 40, and well into your 70s and look like a million bucks! Straight off the bat, as a shockeroo, from an article in Bicyclelab.com, here are some MRIs of triathletes and a sedentary person’s upper legs, a 40 years old triathlete’s upper legs , and a 70 year old triathlete…whoa, the sedentary person has not very much muscle and quite a bit of fat in its place.
Aging alone does not affect muscle mass or strength. In fact, tests on the subjects’ leg strength also showed that it did not decline with age either. It’s How Much You Use The Muscles! Right?
This was a study of 40 recreational athletes from 40 to 81 years old who practiced their sport, primarily running, biking and/or swimming (basically, triathlon training) four to five times per week.
By measuring lean muscle mass, body fat composition and mid-thigh muscle area, along with taking MRI scans of the athletes’ quadriceps, the researchers observed that these masters (by the way, “masters” is usually considered anyone over 40) competitors preserved muscle mass even as they aged.
The results showed that mid-thigh muscle mass and lean mass did not increase with age. But it didn’t decrease either. And, the older athletes seemed to maintain their muscle mass even though their body fat increased, relative to the younger competitors in the study. Starting triathlon might be a way for you to improve your overall lifestyle.
So, once again, Use It or Lose It, it’s true and you will reduce physical decline, fall less (get better balance) and keep your independence, as well as possibly lower your health costs. Check in with me at Last Chance Fitness to see if we can come up with a starter training program.