Question: As a guys in his early 50’s, I keep losing muscle mass or feel like I am. What should I do to regain it? Should I consider testosterone boosters in addition to my workouts?
Answer: Maintaining muscle mass as we age can be a significant problem for both men and women. Continuing to train is one way to maintain your muscle mass. There is a huge intensity difference between training and working out.
As we age, our hormone levels begin to decrease in our 30’s. This hormone production degradation continues at a standard rate of loss through our 60’s. Usually at age 70 it accelerates. Lack of exercise, poor nutrition, smoking or regular drinking all contribute to a more rapid loss of hormones and muscle, while a healthy lifestyle helps maintain your hormone production.
For men, you may have your doctor do a blood test to analyze your testosterone levels. You may need to consider testosterone replacement therapy. If your levels aren’t low enough for replacement therapy but you would like them to be better, consider your stress levels and how you’re coping with that. How intense is your training and how healthy do you eat and live? There has been little independent study evidence of significant change in testosterone levels from most of the “testosterone boosting” supplements on the market. While you may not be able to handle the amount of weight you once used in the gym to train it doesn’t mean that you can’t return to intense training.
There are several methods that can be used to boost your training intensity. One is to slow down your rep speed. If you explode through the positive rep, pause for a half to a one count at the point of contraction and decrease the speed on the negative portion of the rep, you increase the duration under stress of the muscle. On the final rep of your sets use an isometric contraction for ten to twenty seconds. Another intensifier is to add partial reps between full reps. For instance on a bench press lower the bar to your chest and push it up a quarter of the way. Return the bar to your chest, then do a full rep.
Those are just two simple changes you can make to increase training intensity without adding weight which can be tough on your joints. Make sure you’re eating enough lean protein and drinking water along with intensifying your workouts.
God bless and keep training,