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3 reasons why you should be building muscle no matter your age

Updated: Apr 17

3 reasons why you should be building muscle no matter your age

When we think of muscle building we can be forgiven for jumping to imagery of hunky men and women in skimpy fitting clothing, lathered in baby oil and fake tan standing on a stage flexing to the point of nearly passing out. These are participants of the extreme sport bodybuilding and it is in part thanks to them that we know so much about muscle building, recovery and nutrition. 

Building muscle is one of the most important things you can do for your health and fitness. There are so many benefits to it, especially as we get older. In this blog I will be discussing 3 of the top benefits associated with building muscle as well as giving you an insight into how you can get started. 

Reason 1 = Metabolism.

As we age our metabolism begins to slow down. This is due to a number of factors but primarily a reduction in the sexual reproductive hormones namely testosterone and oestrogen. As a result of this reduction it becomes more challenging for our bodies to retain muscle mass and we see a gradual decline in the amount of muscle tissue on our bodies over time. Muscle mass (the amount of muscle on our bodies) impacts our metabolism. The more muscle we have the faster your metabolism. This means that as our muscle mass decreases so too does our metabolism. Having a slower metabolism makes weight management more challenging. At one stage you could have eaten your favourite meals with dessert and drinks without worrying about putting on weight, however, with a slower metabolism those same eating habits will result in a gradual weight gain unless you do something about it… Eat less or gain some muscle!? I know which I’d rather!

Reason 2 = Resilience.

There are many words associated with getting old. Old and wise go hand in hand but so too does frail and old. A reduction in muscle mass means that our limbs are no longer as strong, we become less sturdy on our feet and are at an increased risk of having a fall. When we do fall if we do not have the supporting muscles we are more likely to receive major trauma such as breaks, sprains and tears. With a weaker supporting structure we are going to take longer to recover as our other limbs are not strong enough to take on the additional load whilst the one limb recovers. We can still build muscle into our nineties, so rather than allowing time and age to determine how strong and able bodied we are, why not take control and reduce your injury risk by building strength and muscle. It is also worth noting here that as we age we also see a reduction in bone density and an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Strength training increases bone density!!! 

Reason 3 = Shapeliness 

Let's return to the bodybuilders I mentioned at the start of this blog. To us everyday people they seem like greasy, veiny mutants, however, another way of looking at them is that they are in fact artists. To create the most high scoring physique it is vital for a bodybuilder to ensure an even spread of muscle and identify areas on his or her physique which may need additional work. They are in fact sculptors. Building muscle helps create shape in the body, as we age we begin to lose this shape, in part due to a reduction of collagen in the skin, but more significantly due to a loss in muscle mass. By building muscle in key areas we are able to return curves and shapeliness to our bodies and fall in love with it once again. 

How to get started?

The great news is you can get started with just the weight of your body. As with any new activity or sport it is worth starting off gently and begin to progress gradually whilst listening to your body. Despite the famous gym saying “no pain no gain” make sure you are not training through injuries as this will delay your progress and undoubtedly the recovery rate of the injury.  Never get comfortable and repeat the same workout and exercises every session. To grow we need to stimulate our muscles through progressive overload. This means adding weight and more complex exercises every session. 

Strength training is a really rewarding and beneficial activity which will see the quality of your life skyrocket and will ensure a youthful future. To get started safely and with expert guidance don't hesitate to get in touch. If you live in Northampton we are available for personal training or if you'd prefer online training then we can be your coach in your pocket.

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