Metabolism; Use it or Lose it!

Metabolism; Use it or lose it!

Jeff Roux B.S. Exercise Science 5/4/2011

You’ve probably heard it before, “as soon as I turned 30 my metabolism slowed down and I can’t seem to lose weight.”  You may have also heard, “it’s easier for men to lose weight.”  Oh really, why?

Here is my myth-busters enlightenment on these subjects.  Firstly, slower metabolism due to decreased muscle mass and increased body fat in males and females is most likely attributed to inactivity rather than to any aging effect.  Secondly, lean mass the primary determiner of metabolism or resting metabolic rate (RMR) is scientifically not different between males and females, only the amounts of mass differ.  An adult male and female with like lean mass and body fat contents could have the same RMR’s providing that they have similar exercise and nutritional habits.

Fact; we do tend to lose about 1% of our strength per year after the age of 30 and at age 50 about 1.5% and 2% after age 70.  The loss of strength is due to the loss of lean mass and neural muscular facilitation (coordination and synchronization of muscle fibers and contractions) hence the decrease in metabolism.  Again, however; the loss of strength can be attributed to INACTIVITY not aging.  There is considerable evidence that shows an intense (>80% 1RM, repetition max) resistance training program increases both muscle mass and strength in 60-96 year old individuals.  These training programs resulted in increases of up to 30% muscle fiber area and up to and over 100% in 1RM Strength.  Increasing your lean mass through resistance exercise training at any age will directly increase your metabolism.

Male or Female you can no longer use your age or sex as an excuse, only your lack of motivation and resistance to resistant training.  To learn more about safely incorporating weight training into your life contact the professionals at Team Excel Fitness.

E. Howley, B. Franks, 2007 Health and Fitness Instructors Handbook, Human Kinetics, IL. pg 282,283

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