Not sure where to start bodybuilding? Here is your guide
Old-school resistance training, like lifting heavy weights repeatedly until you can’t, is the best way for men to slow or even reverse age-related muscle loss. .
A medical term for muscle loss, sarcopenia can increase the risk of falls, frailty and independence. Resistance training (also called strength training) can be a big help. It involves doing upper and lower body exercises using free weights, machines, resistance bands, or even body weight.
It can be a challenge; the main thing is to find the right balance between doing too little and too much.
Ultimately, the goal is to challenge your muscles enough to feel a difference, but not overdo it where you risk injury. You also want to train for continuous improvement, not a plateau.
So how do you get into this sweet spot? The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has published some evidence-based guidelines to follow.
Type: One to two multi-joint exercises per major muscle group have been identified as the most beneficial. There are six main muscle groups: chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs and calves.
Multi-joint exercises are movements that engage more than one joint, such as elbow and shoulder, knee and ankle, etc. They differ from single-joint movements, such as a bicep curl. Multi-joint movements allow you to move heavier weights to build muscle faster.
Lester: It is recommended that older adults exercise within 70-85% of their one rep maximum. Because learning your one-rep max can be difficult and very dangerous, choose weights where you can do ten reps with good form. You want to fight for the last rep or two and leave no more than a rep or two in reserve.
Reps (repetitions): The guidelines found six to 12 reps per exercise to be beneficial. Start out doing ten reps as it’s easy to remember, and as you progress aim for heavier weights at 6-8 reps.
Frequency: Aiming for 2-3 workouts per week produces the most muscle size and strength. Start with two workouts a week, spread out over a few days, then add more as you progress.
It may take a while to start noticing the changes. If you’re not seeing more muscle or feeling stronger after eight weeks, you’re not training hard enough and need to modify your routine by adding weight, sets, or number of exercises.