Saturday, November 29, 2014

Low Protein Plus Little Strength Training Equals Accelerated Aging

Lots of people seem to think that once they reach the age of 40 they start to become weaker, less toned, and less fit.  They blame these conditions on aging.  In my line of business I hear all about the aches and pains of getting older.  Most people think there is very little they can do to avoid the physical degeneration that is associate with aging. Contrary to this belief there are 2 things that have been proven to combat the aging process, and they are increased protein in your daily diet, and regular strength training.

Most of the physical decline in your body  you associate with aging is caused by muscle loss.  Muscle loss associated with aging is called sacopenia and it can begin as early as your 30s and it accelerates with time if you don't do anything about it.  Fortunately increasing the amount of protein you consume daily combined with a regular strength training program has been proven to be the best approach to curbing and even reversing the effects of sacopenia.

Protein is a necessary part of every living cell in your body. Next to water, protein comprises up the greatest portion of your body weight. Protein substances make up your muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, and many vital body fluids.  It is essential for the growth, repair, and healing of your bones, tissues, and cells.  Additionally, the the enzymes and hormones that catalyze and regulate your body processes are comprised of protein.  So, you see protein is greatly involved in many vital activities in your body. 

All proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. As you age your body becomes less efficient at processing protein and if you don't get the proper amount in your diet your body starts to break-down lean muscle in order get the amino acids it needs to keep your body functioning.  Thus, the protein you consume will be used for purposes other than building and maintain muscle which leads to muscle loss.

As you age the goal of protein consumption should be to optimize lean muscle mass.  Studies now show that consuming 25 to 30 grams of high quality protein at each meal is necessary for maximal muscle growth, repair and maintenance.  Thus, eating this way signals your body that it has enough protein to start a process called protein synthesis (growth and repair).

Strength training or weight lifting has been demonstrated to increase muscle size and strength.  Your muscles grow and increase in strength in order to meet the increased resistance you are lifting.  2 to 3 strength training sessions weekly are recommended to increase muscle size and strength.

Now you see that when you combine proper protein consumption with regular strength training you maximize muscle growth and strength, and thus you minimize the effect of muscle loss associated with aging.  This combination of increased protein intake and strength training is what I do to build and maintain my muscle mass and strength as I age.  I'm in my 50s and I am stronger and more fit than I was in my 20s.  I'm living proof that this strategy works to combat the effects of aging.

Please checkout my strength training publications by clicking on this link: My Publications, and also checkout one of the highest quality protein supplements on the market by clicking on this link: Protein My Whey.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Is Sacopenia Causing You to Get Fatter?

Sacopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass, function, quality, and strength related to the aging process.  When the word aging comes mind most people think of 65 plus, however you can start to lose muscle mass in your 30s.  As a matter of fact, between the ages of 30 to 60, the average adult will gain 1 lb of weight and lose 1/2 lb of muscle yearly.  That's a gain of 30 lbs of fat and a loss of 15 lbs of muscle over a 30 year period.

How does this happen?  Beginning in their mid-30s most people start to lead a more sedentary lifestyle.  They have careers, get married, have children, and lead less physically active lives.  Your body is designed to be physically active, and the old saying "use it or lose it" is the truth when it comes to your body, especially your muscle mass.

Why do you gain body fat and lose muscle? Muscle is the component of your body that is active and burns the most calories.  Muscle mass burns calories while you are at rest just to maintain itself, even when you are asleep.  A pound of muscle burns approximately 6 calories per day even if you are doing nothing but resting and it burns more if you are active.  Your muscles favorite fuel during times of rest and moderate activity is body fat.

On the other hand, body fat is designed to be used by your body in times of famish.  It is encoded in your body to store body fat just in case you had to go without food for several days.  Consequently body fat only burns about 1 calorie per day to maintain itself.  So, you can see over time as you lose your muscle mass you lose your capacity to burn the calories you consume at the highest level.  Other words, your metabolism drops in relation to your muscle loss.

What can be done to prevent sacopenia?  Research shows the two most important things your can do to prevent muscle loss as you age is regular strength training (also known as weight lifting), and consuming the proper amount of protein high quality protein at each meal.

2 to 3 strength training sessions each week elicits an anabolic response in your muscles (repair and growth) causing your body to adapt to the increased demand to the resistance you are lifting.  And getting enough protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner signals the body that it is okay to use the protein to rebuild and repair your muscles thus, maintaining your muscle mass.  Experts now agree that 25 to 30 grams of high quality protein at each meal is enough to maximize muscle growth and repair.

I'm in my 50s and I have more muscle mass than I had in my 20s.  I strength train 3 to 4 times each week and I supplement my protein requirements with a whey based smoothie every morning and I have done so for years.  Whey is a dairy derived protein and is one of the highest quality and most digestible proteins that you can consume.  Recently I teamed with a company called Vitalabs to produce one of the best whey protein supplements on the market.  Check it out by clicking on this link and let me know what you think. Protein My Whey.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Who Says You Get Weaker With Age?

People seem to think that once they reach the age of forty, their bodies start to deteriorate, slipping down the slope into old age. They blame their lack of energy, their pudgy appearance, and their aches and pains on “getting old”. Most of these symptoms are however the result of years of negative thinking, lack of exercise, and poor dietary choices. The key to keeping your body fit and firm as you age is making healthy lifestyle choices on a daily basis.

It’s a proven fact that people who make healthy lifestyle choices live longer and have a better quality of life than those who adopt unhealthy habits. So, deciding to incorporate healthy habits into your life is the first step to getting and staying fit and firm with age. The next step is choosing those activities that are the most beneficial in your quest to stay fit and firm.

Those, including myself, who stay fit and firm as the years pass find that a positive state of mind, and a proper mix of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and balanced nutrition is fundamental to getting and staying healthy as you mature. People, such as Al Beckles, and the late Jack LaLanne are examples of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

Al Beckles is a legend in the bodybuilding world. At the age of 55, Al placed second in the Mr. Olympia competition. The Mr. Olympia Competition is the premier bodybuilding event which thousands of competitors from across the world dream of winning each year. Al Beckles competed into his sixties because his physique was still phenomenal and better than competitors more than half his age

Jack LaLanne was a living icon to the benefits of healthy thinking, eating, and exercise. Over the years he performed amazing feats of strength and conditioning on his birthday. Jack worked out well into his 90s devoting one and a half hours each day to strength training. This is a true testament to the value of strength training as you mature.

While I don’t place myself in the same class with Jack LaLanne and Al Beckles I can tell you the value that healthy lifestyle habits have in my life. I am in my fifties and I keep my body fat at 10 percent or less. My fitness program consists of four strength training sessions each week followed by 20 minutes of cardio. I can chest press 100 pound dumbbells for 10 repetitions and leg press more than 1200 pounds neither of which I could do in my twenties.

Watch the following video if you want to see the results of making healthy lifestyle choices in your life. I've heard it said that you get weaker with age. I don't think so.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New Personal Best on The Leg Press

I just had a fantastic workout today.  I had my all-time personal best on the leg press.  1250 lbs for 5 reps, not bad for age 55.

Pre-workout and post-workout meals are very important if you are going to have a good day at the gym.  You need to properly fuel your body about 30 to 60 minutes before you workout to have the energy to exercise at your highest level of intensity.  Then you need to properly refuel your body within 30 minutes after your workout for maximum recovery of your muscles.

My pre-workout meal consist of a shake made with Protein My Whey, 8 ounces of almond milk, one-half cup of frozen blueberries, and one-half cup of crushed ice.  I combine all these ingredients in a blender for a delicious pre-workout meal that contains: 247 calories, 3 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, and 28 grams of high quality protein.

The moment you finish your workout your body wants to start its recovery process.  So having a post-workout meal as soon as possible is very important.  Properly fueled your muscles will recover quickly and go into an anabolic state (growth).  My post-workout meal for recovery consist of shake made with Protein My Whey, 8 ounces of almond milk, one medium size banana, 2 tablespoons of reduced fat peanut butter, and one-half cup of crushed ice.  Again, I combine all these ingredients in a blender for a great post-workout recovery meal that contains: 463 calories, 15 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbs, and 35 grams of high quality protein.

Protein My Whey is one of the highest quality protein supplements on the market.  Check it out by following this link: Protein My Whey.

And if you don't believe that I leg pressed over 1200 lbs, check out the video here.