Sarcopenia is the medical term to describe the unfortunate phenomenon of losing muscle mass as we age. If that doesn't sound bad enough already, this is an issue because decreased muscle mass (and usually strength, as a result) is associated in the research with increased risk of disease, injury, and even all-cause mortality. The good news is that the research also shows us that we can actively combat this, which is exactly what I detail in this week's post...
To start, let's get a better idea of what exactly this muscle loss entails. Without getting too far in the weeds, the muscles in our body are made up of different portions of both type I and type II fibers. Type I fibers are known as "slow twitch" because their contraction speed is less than that of type II. Type II fibers are known as "fast twitch" because they have a greater contraction velocity. The loss of muscle mass we are discussing as we age (sarcopenia), we know, is primarily impacting type II, or fast twitch, muscle fibers.
What this information allows us to do is to target the issue directly and prevent muscle loss by biasing our training toward type II muscle fibers as we age. In short, this means simply speeding up (safely, of course) the exercises we perform. Check out this video for training ideas to prevent loss of muscle mass and strength as we age.
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