Tag Archives: muscle building

Women need strength training to ward off aging effects – Study

The more I work on this blog the more I get the idea that whatever the problem exercise is the answer. Eat less; move more; live longer.

Regular physical activity may help older women increase their mobility, but muscle strength and endurance are likely to succumb to the effects of frailty if they haven’t also been doing resistance training.

That is according to the findings of a cross-sectional study led by the University at Buffalo and published in the journal Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics.

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The study underscores the need for older women to build up muscle strength early in the aging process to help ward off the effects of aging, say the study’s lead authors Machiko Tomita, clinical professor, and Nadine Fisher, clinical associate professor, both in the Department of Rehabilitation Science in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.

“Frailty progresses with aging, but older women who engage in a high level of daily physical activity can reverse certain characteristics related to aging, such as slow walking and decreased function,” says Tomita. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, muscle building, senior women, successful aging, weight training, women's fitness

Brain response to stories universal, regardless of language – USC study

There is something universal about what occurs in the brain when it processes stories, regardless of a person’s origin or language, according to a study at the University of Southern California.

New brain research by USC scientists shows that reading stories is a universal experience that may result in people feeling greater empathy for each other, regardless of cultural origins and differences.

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Human brain cell

And in what appears to be a first for neuroscience, USC researchers have found patterns of brain activation when people find meaning in stories, regardless of their language. Using functional MRI, the scientists mapped brain responses to narratives in three different languages — English, Farsi and Mandarin Chinese.

The USC study opens up the possibility that exposure to narrative storytelling can have a widespread effect on triggering better self-awareness and empathy for others, regardless of the language or origin of the person being exposed to it.

“Even given these fundamental differences in language, which can be read in a different direction or contain a completely different alphabet altogether, there is something universal about what occurs in the brain at the point when we are processing narratives,” said Morteza Dehghani, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC. Continue reading

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Filed under brain, brain exercise, brain function, brain health, brain response to stories, Healthy brain, Uncategorized

4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass

Back in August I wrote Good chance you have sarcopenia, or ‘muscle loss’ and how I realized I was experiencing it. I just ran across this nice write up on Eatright, a website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which I thought would interest you.

Muscle is harder to build and maintain as we age. In fact, most of us start losing muscle around age 30, with a 3- to 8-percent reduction in lean muscle mass every decade thereafter.

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This is due to lower testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen levels in women — both hormones that help build muscle — as well as changes in nerve and blood cells and the body not converting amino acids to muscle tissue as efficiently, among other factors. But muscle loss doesn’t have to be inevitable: For adult men and women, regular resistance training exercises are key to building and keeping muscle.

Strength Training and Health
Strength training is an important piece of the fitness equation. Men and women should participate in muscle strengthening activities that work the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) at least two times each week. Examples of strength training include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. Even everyday activities such as carrying groceries, playing with your kids and gardening can strengthen muscles. Continue reading

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Good chance you have sarcopenia …

I remember a short story in high school about a man who happened upon a medical encyclopedia. Reading it, he decided that he was suffering from every malady except housemaid’s knee.

As the ‘one regular guy’ producing this blog, I read a lot on various aspects of living a healthy life. I confess to a temptation to occasionally wander into hypochondria myself.

I recently ran across the term ‘sarcopenia.’ Ever heard of that?  It was a new one to me.

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Here’s what the Mayo Clinic blog  had to say, “It is a simple fact. As we age we lose muscle and strength. There’s even a medical term for this — sarcopenia. It’s derived from the Greek words “sarcos” (flesh) and “penia” (lack of).

“Estimates of how much muscle is lost with age vary from 8 percent to about 50 percent of our muscles. Men seem to lose muscle faster than women. Strength is lost more rapidly than muscle.”

WebMD  says, “Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss. Continue reading

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Filed under Exercise, sarcopenia, weight-bearing exercise

Preserve your muscle mass – Harvard

The saying goes there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. But men should also add loss of muscle mass to the list.

Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes.

Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.

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But just because you lose muscle mass does not mean it is gone forever. “Older men can indeed increase muscle mass lost as a consequence of aging,” says Dr. Thomas W. Storer, director of the exercise physiology and physical function lab at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.”

The hormone factor

One possible contributor to sarcopenia is the natural decline of testosterone, the hormone that stimulates protein synthesis and muscle growth. Think of testosterone as the fuel for your muscle-building fire. Continue reading

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How Adding Protein Helps in Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle

In the six years of writing this blog, its aim has veered from the narrow weight loss to the much broader healthy living. I think living a long healthy life is a much more valuable goal than just dropping a few pounds. Nonetheless, with more than 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent outright obese I am aware that most people want to lose weight.

In view of that I thought I would share this recent research from McMaster University on losing fat while gaining muscle.

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Researchers at McMaster University have uncovered significant new evidence in the quest for the elusive goal of gaining muscle and losing fat, an oft-debated problem for those trying to manage their weight, control their calories and balance their protein consumption.

Scientists have found that it is possible to achieve both, and quickly, but it isn’t easy. Continue reading

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Filed under muscle building, weight loss

How Much Weight Should You Lift?

Although the question of how much weight you should lift is a simple one, the answer isn’t so simple. A lot depends on why you are lifting. Do you want to build strength, or just build muscle size?

Bill Geiger, MA, of Bodybuilding.com writes, “You can pick up a 20-pound bar, curl it 75 times, and, after a while, you’ll become fatigued and your arms will get pumped. You’ll certainly be sweating a lot. Conversely, you can pick up an 85-pound bar, curl it 8 times, then have to drop it because you can’t do any more reps. In both cases, you trained “hard.” But is one approach better than another?

It may surprise you to learn that the answer changes depending on your goal. If you’re looking to get as strong as possible, you’ll be using a heavier weight than someone who is trying to get as big as possible. And to improve muscular endurance, you’ll use an even lighter weight.

• Strength training means choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 1-6.
• Building muscle mean choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 8-12.
• Focusing on muscular endurance means choosing weights that allow you to train for at least 15 reps.

As a senior citizen, I need to lift weights as much as the next guy, but I do not want to break or tear anything. So, I observe the following rule, the weights should not exceed 30 percent to 40 percent of your normal body weight.

The above is NOT Tony about to lift that barbell

Lifting heavy weights compresses the discs of the spine; twisting and turning while lifting or using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk and a lifetime of back pain. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should not exercise with more than 60 pounds of weights because as you age, the spinal discs are not as flexible and the risk of a back injury increases.

I mentioned in previous posts that as a senior citizen, I now do what I call ‘old man’ reps, i.e., half the weight with twice as many reps. The idea behind this is to work and lubricate the connecting tissues as well as to exercise the actual muscle.

Tony

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Filed under Uncategorized, weight-training

Want to Build Muscle? It’s Not What You Eat, But When

Of course, you don’t build muscle just by eating. The anabolic effects of eating protein are doubled if combined with exercise, which is one of the reasons athletes are encouraged to refuel immediately after working out. But if you follow the advice to spread out your protein intake, then you don’t need to worry about the precise timing, according to Paddon-Jones.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Alex Hutchinson wrote in the Globe and Mail ……

Studying the human body isn’t rocket science – in some cases, it’s much harder.

“I tell my grad students that we can put a man on the moon, but we still can’t come to a consensus on how much protein to give him here on earth,” says Dr. Rajavel Elango, a researcher at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health.

Elango and his colleagues are using a new measurement technique to rewrite assumptions about how much protein you need at different stages of life. But just getting the right amount isn’t enough: There’s a limit to how much protein your body can use at once, so to maximize muscle-building you need to spread your intake throughout the day – and for most Canadians, that means ramping up the protein content at breakfast and lunch.

Your muscles are…

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Filed under muscle building, muscle mass, muscles

A Smart Way of Using Testosterone to Prevent Muscle Wasting

This new approach allows people to benefit from testosterone’s ability to stimulate muscle growth and increase muscle strength. At the same time, it sidesteps the side effects of testosterone when given in the usual way – administered in much larger doses by injection, gel or patch through the skin.

Cooking with Kathy Man

New Australian research suggests that a small dose of testosterone directed solely to the liver stimulates protein synthesis, likely preventing muscle loss and wasting, and potentially promoting muscle growth. The researchers believe they have developed a safe and effective treatment for men and women, that could prevent the muscle wasting associated with many chronic diseases and with ageing.

Dr Vita Birzniece and Professor Ken Ho, from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, showed in healthy postmenopausal women that a small dose of the male hormone testosterone prevented protein wasting. The pure crystalline testosterone, taken orally, went straight to the liver, and the dose (40mg/day) was small enough to ensure it was contained there, with no spillover to the bloodstream and other organs. The findings are now published online in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

This new approach allows people to benefit from testosterone’s ability to stimulate muscle growth and increase…

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How Much Weight Should You Lift?

Although the question of how much weight you should lift is a simple one, the answer isn’t so simple. A lot depends on why you are lifting. Do you want to build strength, or just build muscle size?

Bill Geiger, MA, of Bodybuilding.com writes, “You can pick up a 20-pound bar, curl it 75 times, and, after a while, you’ll become fatigued and your arms will get pumped. You’ll certainly be sweating a lot. Conversely, you can pick up an 85-pound bar, curl it 8 times, then have to drop it because you can’t do any more reps. In both cases, you trained “hard.” But is one approach better than another?

It may surprise you to learn that the answer changes depending on your goal. If you’re looking to get as strong as possible, you’ll be using a heavier weight than someone who is trying to get as big as possible. And to improve muscular endurance, you’ll use an even lighter weight.

•    Strength training means choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 1-6.
•    Building muscle mean choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 8-12.
•    Focusing on muscular endurance means choosing weights that allow you to train for at least 15 reps.

As a senior citizen, I need to lift weights as much as the next guy, but I do not want to break or tear anything. So, I observe the following rule, the weights should not exceed 30 percent to 40 percent of your normal body weight.

The above is NOT Tony about to lift that barbell

Lifting heavy weights compresses the discs of the spine; twisting and turning while lifting or using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk and a lifetime of back pain. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should not exercise with more than 60 pounds of weights because as you age, the spinal discs are not as flexible and the risk of a back injury increases.

I mentioned in previous posts that as a senior citizen, I now do what I call ‘old man’ reps, i.e., half the weight with twice as many reps. The idea behind this is to work and lubricate the connecting tissues as well as to exercise the actual muscle.

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under aging, Exercise, Weight