Never Too Old to Start Weight Training
The older I get, the more I realize how important weight training is. It now makes up the majority of my workouts, and if you’re middle-aged or beyond, I encourage you to make this a regular part of your exercise routine.
The fact is, even though you might not care as much about how your muscles look as you did in your 20s (but then again, you might!), you certainly care about how your muscles function.
Without weight training, your muscles will atrophy and lose mass. Age-related loss of muscle mass is known as sarcopenia, and if you don’t do anything to stop it you can expect to lose about 15 percent of your muscle mass between your 30s and your 80s.
Slow Down Muscle Loss and Boost Your Strength Three-Fold Muscle loss happens gradually, so you probably won’t notice it occurring at first. But by the time you’re in your 70s, when sarcopenia tends to accelerate, you might start to feel weaker and find you can’t do things, physically, that you used to do. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
“A gradual loss in muscle cross-sectional area is consistently found with advancing age; by age 50, about ten percent of muscle area is gone. After 50 years of age, the rate of loss accelerates significantly. Muscle strength declines by approximately 15 percent per decade in the sixties and seventies and by about 30 percent thereafter. Although intrinsic muscle function is reduced with advancing age, age-related decrease in muscle mass is responsible for almost all loss of strength in the older adult.’ By helping you maintain your muscle mass and strength, strength training can, quite literally, give you the ability to keep on living. On the contrary, if you stop working your muscles, the consequences of sarcopenia are steep and include..