Aging is a very important theme in our society. First of all because our life expectancy increases and then because it will concern us all one day. The current issue of scientific research in the field of exercise and physical activity is to determine optimal protocols to help us age better.
Aging is accompanied by a loss of muscle mass called sarcopenia. If it is related to aging, it is also caused by a lack of exercise, a diet low in protein, a decrease in the production of sex hormones and growth, and genetic factors. This loss of muscle mass for upper body exercises causes a certain fragility of the human body that is more prone to falls, sprains, fractures, etc. But it also limits the usual activities of everyday life: walking, climbing stairs, squatting, and grabbing an object.
More than 20% of people over 70 and more than 40% of people over 80 are affected by sarcopenia. Added to this is the menopause in women, which is accompanied by a more marked osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a loss of mineral density of the bones, which weakens them. The more people are affected by these deleterious effects, the less they will be autonomous.
How to limit the muscle loss associated with aging
To combat the effects of aging, physical activity is a simple, inexpensive and effective way. Numerous studies on how to do a handstand have shown that bodybuilding effectively counteracts sarcopenia in elderly subjects. Regular training of muscle strength helps strengthen bone, muscle and tendon structures, and maintain mobility.
In 2005, a one-year study showed that power training (ie, rapid execution) in postmenopausal women, at 2 sessions per week, maintained the density bone in the femur and lumbar vertebrae. In the same study, another group of women training at a slower rate (4s in eccentric phase – 4s in concentric phase), at the same percentage of charge, had significantly lost in bone density. It would seem, therefore, that the load is not the only factor to be taken into account, but that the speed of execution is also important.
In the same year, a study compared a training based on strength (80-85% of 1RM) and a training based on power (50-55% of 1RM) in septuagenarians, and a control group (which did nothing Special). The protocol lasted 24 weeks with 3 training sessions per week. Participants of glute work were tested before and after on the maximum strength of the upper and lower limbs, a 30s sprint test on bicycles, mobility tests (getting up and walking, climbing a few steps) and body fat.