How To Build Muscle As You Age
It’s never too late to gain muscle. One of my past clients, John is a perfect example of how we can still gain strength and maintain our functional movements well into our later years. John started with me weighing in at about 178 with a goal to lose about 10 lbs. of body fat and gain about 10 lbs. of muscle mass. At 74 years old, although John was somewhat active and still working, he had begun to really show signs of muscle atrophy especially in his lower body.
At our very first session John struggled to do 15 reps on the lowest weight of the leg press machine which was 10 lbs. His upper body strength was better but when he attempted to do some push-ups he realized just how much he had lost over the years when he could only complete 1 set of 5 reps. His diet was on the right track but we worked at getting rid of some of the hidden sugars and fats and being more consistent with meals and snacks.
Building Muscle Safely with Higher Repetitions
I started John on a total body weight lifting program where we hit every muscle group twice a week for 6 weeks. I gave him some exercises to do on his own for cardiovascular endurance on the days he was not with me. We worked with a 12-15 rep range to keep it safe yet effective. He completed 3 sets of all exercises in a circuit of 3 working legs, back, chest, core, shoulders, biceps and triceps both times we met.
After 6 weeks, John weighed in at about 168 lbs. He had not only lost body fat but his muscle mass had increased tremendously. At the beginning John struggled to complete 15 reps of the leg press at 10 lbs but when he finished he did 15 reps at 75 lbs. His upper body strength has also seen the same improvements. John can now do 15 push- ups without hesitation, a goal he had set for himself at the beginning of the program.
Here is what John had to say:
“It has been an enriching experience that has led to a lifestyle change. I do believe that you have helped me to not only improve the quality of my life, and barring the possibility of catastrophic illness, extend my productive years.”
Wow! I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to have someone follow the program and to be able to have that kind of impact on someone’s life. As we get older it’s so important to maintain muscle mass and continue to push ourselves to achieve new goals. John is a new grandfather to a baby boy and can now enjoy him that much more knowing he is better able to carry him and move about to keep up with him!
Congratulations John on meeting your goals and keep up the good work!
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!