Signs you are losing muscle

Aka – Use it or lose it.

Before I get into the article I want you to know that I am writing it for myself.

  • Yes, I am a personal trainer with 20+ years experience.
  • Yes, I am human (hence not perfect)
  • Yes, I have let my weight training slide over the last 18 months or so
  • Yes I have lost muscle
  • No, I am not too happy about it
  • Yes, I plan to do something about it
  • Yes, this article is for ME
Muscle loss. Technical term = sarcopenia

It is common for humans to lose muscle as we age.

Common, but definitely not ideal.

Muscle loss happens at a steady pace from (approx.) age 30 onwards. At a rate of 3 – 5% every decade for sedentary people. Then speeds up from (approx.) 65yrs onwards.

Below are some signs you might be losing muscle.

1) You feel weaker.

You find it more difficult to pick things up, open tight jars, carry things around and lift YOURSELF up.
Upper body strength seems to go first, especially for females.

 

2) You look softer and / or flabbier.

This could be due to more body fat, but losing muscle is often another contributor.

On a personal note, I can definitely vouch for this. 🙁

 

3) Your waist is bigger even though you haven’t gained a lot of weight.

If your weight on the scales has not changed, but your waist measurement has, you can be pretty sure that you have gained some excess body fat and lost muscle.

 

4) You gain weight easier and faster than you once did.

Some of the calories you consume each day go into building and or maintaining your muscle mass.
If you have lost muscle, the calories that once went there have to go some where if they are not used up.
You can guess where … yep, that’s right.. Body fat.

 

5) Loss of balance

Both balance and strength are affected with aging and significant muscle loss.

 

6) You simply look and feel older

This one is again straight from personal experience. Yes I know I AM older, but I know that losing muscle is NOT helping with the way I look or feel.
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Want more help and coaching reaching your fitness and fat loss goals?

Check out how I can help you  >> Coaching with Chriss

 


What can you do to preserve muscle?

* Regular, effective, progressive resistance training 2 – 5 x times per week.

The weight you lift should feel quite hard so as to challenge the muscle.

Please ensure that you work all muscle groups evenly. Upper and lower, front and back. See a professional for guidance to get you started if you are unsure. A session or two with a PT to show you the ropes, then an update every 4 – 6 weeks should do the trick.

 

* Get enough protein

We discuss this and so much more in my fitness and fat loss coaching program

 

* Get enough calories

Its much easier to lose muscle whilst in a weight loss phase.
I would recommend to have some breaks from ALWAYS trying to lose weight.

 

* Get adequate recovery.

The muscle actually grows and improves whilst you are resting and recovering from your weights session.

Inadequate rest = inadequate results

 

* Don’t over do cardio based exercise.

Whilst most of the population do not have a problem with this, a small section of exercisers do.  Endurance athletes and anyone who does more than 1 hour of hard cardio per day may be at risk. This overlaps with not getting adequate recovery also.

 


Please don’t be scared of weight training

I know you might have an image in your mind of a muscle bound body builder.

You might think to yourself “I don’t want to look like that”. 

Trust me, it takes A LOT of hard work, time, dedication and effort to get to that stage. Challenging your muscles a couple of times per week will likely only lead to NOT LOSING muscle. Or slowing down the muscle loss process.


I LOVE this video from Mike Vacanti 

It demonstrates why fitness actually matters.

Just trust me and watch this short video. Its SO GOOD.

 

Want more help and coaching reaching your fitness and fat loss goals?

Check out how I can help you HERE >> Coaching with Chriss