(Jeremy Meyer Raw Personal training founder and manager is 47 years old)
Getting older is inevitable… But, just because your age is going up, doesn’t mean your weight and waist size has to as well.
After men hit 40 years of age, they start to lose muscle mass, strength and mobility. The loss of muscle mass leads to a decreased metabolism, which also leads to an increase in unwanted weight and fat mass. Age-related muscle loss is called “sarcopenia”. The main cause of sarcopenia is a decrease in the production of the male hormone testosterone.
The good news is that age-related decreased testosterone can be reversed!
A qualified and experienced personal trainer can plan specific strength training and nutrition programs for men over 40.
RAW Personal Training is located in Central, Hong Kong. We have helped older men lose fat, gain muscle mass and successfully achieve their body transformation goals for the last 13 years.
The following factors contribute to muscle/strength loss and fat gain for middle aged men:
- The natural decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone fuels muscle building. An “anabolic” response is when the body uses protein consumed in the diet to build muscle mass. A “catabolic” response is when the body breaks down muscle mass. Old age, stress and not including resistance training leads to the body going into a catabolic state.
- Stress: Being constantly under stress, or not managing stress well, will increase the amount of cortisol that the body produces. Some cortisol production is needed for energy production. However, consistently elevated cortisol levels will induce a catabolic state. A structured and progressive resistance training program will improve the anabolic vs catabolic ratio.
- Over-training or under-training: Too much exercise volume, too much aerobic training, too little or too much strength training will cause catabolism or the breakdown of muscle mass. There are more and more personal trainers in Hong Kong. However, few have the knowledge, experience and education to customize strength training programs in order to provide results and especially deal with men of a certain age. Performing aerobic work can be a great way to improve cardiovascular health, reduce weight and improve your blood profile. However, too much aerobic activity and not enough strength training will cause muscle loss. This is particularly true for adults who are over 40 years of age. There is a thin line between over-training and under-training. At RAW, we constantly re-assess and make minor adjustment to your workout routine and nutrition program to maximize results and eliminate the guess work.
- Not consuming enough quality protein: Protein, otherwise known as amino acids, provides the building blocks to maintain and increase muscle mass. Amino acids are found in bone, hair, skin, muscles and virtually all parts of the body. Proteins make up the enzymes that fuel many chemical reactions in the body. Protein is also needed to produce haemoglobin, which makes up the red blood cells that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way. There is a constant “turnover” of protein in the body. This turnover effect will soar due to increased exercise volume and age. As protein demand increases, the body will prioritize certain actions before others. Maintaining or increasing muscle mass is not high on the list. If the amino acid pool is low due to an under-consumption of protein, the body will breakdown muscle to meet its needs.
These are some things that can be helped to reverse the aging process and maintain natural testosterone levels:
- Strength train at least 3 times per week. Training only 1 or 2 times per week does not expose the body with enough frequency to make any drastic improvements in muscle mass. There is simply too much time between sessions and it will not lead to positive adaptations.
If you are a beginner, perform full body workouts at least 3 times per week. Ideally, full body workouts should be done every 2 to 3 days – e.g. Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays or Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays. This will provide enough recovery time (approx. 48 hours), training frequency and training volume to produce optimal results. This also provides 3 training exposures per week for each muscle group.
If you are an intermediate trainee, strength train at least 4 times per week and use a split routine (e.g upper body vs lower body). Perform more training volume per body part by adding more sets per session and decrease the rest periods.
- Consume 1.6 grams of quality protein per kg of body weight per day.
According to the latest research, this is the minimum amount needed to maintain and build muscle mass. Strength training creates the demand for extra protein. Protein are the building blocks for muscle building. Without enough protein, the body could go into a catabolic state and breakdown muscle for energy. It will also accelerate muscle loss caused by aging.
- Make adequate changes to your weekly workout plan according to how you are progressing: Too many trainees either keep repeating the same workouts every week or change their workouts too often.
A beginner trainee needs to follow the same workout plan for at least 3 to 4 weeks. This is because they are still learning new movement patterns and need more time to adapt and increase strength. Meanwhile, a more experienced trainee will adapt faster and needs much more variety to continue making progress in terms of strength, body composition and muscle mass.
There is a thin line between too much variety and too little. Only an experienced and qualified personal trainer knows how to design a successful training program and make the necessary adjustments on a weekly basis.
At RAW Personal Training, we have helped middle aged men achieve successful body transformation in Central Hong Kong for the past 13 years. Check out our transformation page here for some examples:
We build personalized strength training, mobility and nutrition programs according to each individual client’s training experience, mobility, current fitness levels, needs and specific objectives.