- Muscle loss is a natural part of aging.
- Weight training can help build muscles and prevent the muscles’ aging process.
- Doing cardio exercises along with your weight training is a good way to lose fat faster.
Sarcopenia refers to muscle loss due to aging. According to the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care journal, muscle tissue changes between three to eight percent per decade after a person turns 30 years old.
Certified strength and conditioning specialist Rachel Straub, co-author of Weight Training Without Injury, says muscle weakness has been found to trigger several problems like low back pain, knee pain, osteoporosis, postural problems, and cardiovascular disease. She says building and maintaining muscle helps prevent or slow down the aging process.
What you need to build muscle
Your muscles need a bit of energy for your muscle fibers to repair themselves, says NASM-certified online personal trainer and USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting Coach Kyra Williams. She recommends bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats for those who are just starting and adding more weight as you go.
How to build muscle fast
The American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendation for healthy adults between 18 to 65 years old is muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, sit-ups, and lifting weights, at least twice a week. Chicago-based weight loss coach and corporate wellness trainer Stephanie Mansour also recommends incorporating cardiovascular exercise alongside strength training.
- Do compound exercises
Williams suggests boosting your muscle-building capability by doing multi-joint compound lifts that include squats, chest press, overhead press, deadlift, and row, as they engage more muscle groups and several muscle fibers.
2. Get enough sleep
Sleep allows muscles to recharge and muscle-building hormones to be released, explains Mansour. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
3. Be consistent in your weight training
Consistency and frequency of weight training are essential, Straub says. She recommends doing resistance training for two days a week. If you want to train more often for faster results, she suggests alternating your focus to allow enough time for muscle recovery. The American Council on Exercise says muscles need at least 48 hours to recover.
4. Maintain proper form
If you’re a beginner to weight training, Straub says you should prioritize learning the proper form to avoid injury.
5. Do the cardio
Straub recommends incorporating cardiovascular training into your weight training to speed up fat loss and improve your endurance.
6. Eat protein
Tara Allen, personal trainer, nutrition coach, registered nurse, and certified health coach, says protein is essential for muscle building and recommends spreading your intake throughout the day. Allen says to ensure getting at least 20 to 30 grams of protein during breakfast.
7. Use your body weight when you don’t have equipment
According to Straub, when weight equipment is not available, you can always use resistance bands and exercise balls or do push-ups and squats.
8. Aim to be in a calorie surplus
People who are new to exercise can lose body fat and build muscle simultaneously, says Allen. But for those who have been training long or aiming to build muscle as fast as possible, loading on calories is essential during the time you’re building muscles.
Rest is crucial when you’re building muscle. According to the Physiological Reports journal, you can actually enhance your progress by reducing your workout volume by half, every eight to 12 weeks.
Source: The Healthy