Why muscle matters

I have previously posted about your mighty mitochondria. The cellular powerhouses in our muscles and how you can get more mitochondria with endurance exercise. 

I have more good news for you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can gain more muscle and keep your mitochondria.

Research published in Medicine Science in Sports and Exercise shows that even after a long period of inactivity, older people can gain muscle. This is important for a number of reasons, but there is a bit of a catch.

As you get older, you need to work out harder, to get the same benefits. An intense, full-body workout,  8-12 challenging repetitions, 2-3 sets performed 3 times a week for best results. The study was also comparing strength improvement between 60-75 year old men to 20-35 year old men. If you are a woman, I think the benefits will also apply, but it may take longer. If you haven’t been to the gym in a while, start conservatively and work up to this type of workout. You don’t need to hurt yourself on your first day.

Researchers found that older adults weren’t able to make new muscle fibres, but that isn’t what is important. What matters is that the muscles you have, can get stronger and bigger. 

Why does having stronger muscles matter?

The health, and the leanness, of our muscles matters, a lot. Stay away from the gym too long and you start to lose your powerhouses, your mitochondria atrophy and disappear. You become less efficient. You work harder to hike, run, bike, swim, walk, exist.


Now that I have your attention. Your muscles start to look marbled. You store more abdominal fat. You start becoming a very efficient, fat storer and a less efficient, slower, mover. You get tired easily. You age faster. Got it?

To be healthy everyone should do a strength training program. And if this guy can do it, so can you.

Oldest-Known Pearl Harbor Veteran, 104, Bulks Up for 75th Anniversary


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