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Why Your Birthday Suit Goes Down Hill After 30… Gulp!

This is a subject that causes frustration for nearly everyone at some point in their life as even you “lucky” ones with metabolisms that mean you can eat whatever you like still get a little softer around the middle or behind!

Clint Fatwood

I’m here to say “IT DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN” and its sooooo easy to stop I mean really easy!

Some of the people I’ve trained with the best bodies have been 40 or 50 plus and its all down to weight training. Lets get this straight…….if all you do is run you do not look good……simples. Sorry but its true marathon runners look ridiculous and so do most people who pound the treadmills every night followed by the usual ab workout. These creatures drive me mad I just don’t know who told them that all that running works, I mean just take a look at the average runner on the Thames embankment and all you will see is bad posture, no muscle tone and maybe a knee brace……….lovely but no thanks.

Okay now the science behind why this is true.

As early as the 20’s our body starts a process called Sarcopenia (from the Greek meaning “poverty of flesh”) which is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. By the time we hit 40 Sarcopenia has started to reshape our body in a way that makes most of us uncomfortable with ourselves and by the time we reach 60 the acceleration process of muscle loss and fat cell gain has become very noticeable.

This is however, only in physically inactive people where there is a loss of about [-0.5%] of lean muscle mass every year between age 25 and 60, and a corresponding decline in muscle strength. From age 60 on, the rate of loss doubles, to about 1%. It doubles again at age 70; again at age 80, and then again at age 90.

What does this mean for you 80% odd in London who don’t exercise and for you who only run? It means you are losing muscle mass, and that muscle mass is being replaced by fat cells. NICE! This is why you are developing that little food baby my friends even when “I’m eating the same as always”. Most people can envision this process occurring in their body from the age of 30 on but for many it is earlier.

Inactive people normally have the most servere atrophy (loss of muscle mass), but active people also may experience atrophy of the muscle. The greatest loss is experienced with the fast twitch (FT) versus the slow twitch (ST) muscles. The FT muscles are used for high-intensity, anaerobic movements (weight lifting) while the ST are employed for activities such as running, dancing, biking, etc. These FT muscles are always the first to suffer so we need to do high-intensity work such as weight training or sprints over the token 30 min plus jog!

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Bottom line is that Sarcopenia can be stopped and reversed with proper weight training. Moreover the muscle mass we are creating is also known as lean body mass. For every 10 pounds of lean body mass we carry on our bodies, 500 calories per day is consumed to maintain that body mass. So again it comes down to maths meaning that this amount of lean body mass equates to 1 pound a week of fat loss……..and remember that is fat loss while you sleep, work and even eat!!

Yes, you may burn more calories by running or walking, but these activities will not increase muscle mass as weight training does so as soon as you stop running you stop burning calories.

I hope you take this information in as it is so simple and the reason you don’t look the way you used to even if you are running every day. Save your time, your knees and your sanity!!