Why We Must
There are several reasons why we should gain muscle mass as we age. Since lean body tissue, particularly muscle, requires a greater amount of caloric fuel to maintain itself compared to fat, this means that people with more muscle have a faster metabolism. A faster metabolism means you can burn fat and lose weight faster and keep it off easier. This is so important, especially as we get older and is the best way to prevent the 'middle-age spread'!
Increases aerobic capacity
If you gain muscle mass your body must supply a greater amount of oxygen to these biologically-active tissues. Therefore, your entire cardio-respiratory system must work harder. This means your heart and lungs will adapt to this extra workload by increasing in capacity. Even if you don't perform any aerobic exercise, you will still become aerobically fitter by gaining muscle mass.
Increases insulin sensitivity
Even if you're not physically activie that often, simply carrying extra muscle on your body means that the extra tissue is going to require fuel. This means that in order to get the fuel into the cells insulin is required. Therefore, the insulin receptors on the muscle cell membranes will remain more receptive to the action of insulin, i.e. they will be less insulin resistant.
Increases HDL 'good' cholesterol
Once you learn how to build muscle fast and then employ the strategies, your blood level of HDL, the 'good' cholesterol, will increase! This occurs because muscle actually makes the HDL cholesterol. Therefore, the more you gain muscle mass and the more well-conditioned it is, the higher your 'good' cholesterol will be (in the healthy range of course!).
In order to gain muscle mass as we age, we need to follow the exact same principles that we use to gain muscle mass at any age! The fact is that the
fundamental principles do not change! The basic principles in order to build muscle fast are:
Ensure there is a stimulus
Here are some really simple muscle building tips that will show you how to build muscle fast and therefore obtain the benefits that having extra muscle mass offers!
Firstly, you have to perform some resistance exercise. This means you have to put your muscles under some form of stress in order to force them to adapt to that stress.
I remember when I was working part-time in a supplement store many years ago and I was amazed at the number of young guys that would come into the store and ask me what was the best protein powder to take in order to help them buld muscle. Then, when I would ask them about their training and nutritional habits, they would respond by saying, 'Training? No, I just want to build muscle!' After realising that they weren't joking I would explain to them the importance of training to build muscle.
Therefore, in order to gain muscle mass, you must train! It doesn't really matter what form of resistance exercise you do whether it is done at home, as in the 'Tone at Home' exercises, at a Curves Fitness Center or in a conventional gym, the most important thing is that you do it regularly.
I personally recommend 3-5 times a week for around 30-40 minutes per session. To make it even more effective from a fat-burning perspective you may like to perform some aerobic exercise after it as well. The benefits of performing cardio after the weights is explained in more detail in the article titled, Cardio After weight Training.
There are many differing opinions when it comes to how to structure your workout programs in order to gain muscle mass. However, I strongly recommend beginners follow a full body workout and then as they become stronger they should progress to a split routine. If you want to find out more about how to structure your workout program then read the article titled, How to Structure Bodybuilding Routines For Maximum Weight Loss.
Provide adequate energy and building blocks (through food)
Once the stimulus has been created, the next step is to supply the body with the bulding blocks it needs in order to re-build the muscle tissue. Protein is the primary source of building blocks used by the body so it makes sense to consume an adequate amount of protein every meal.
It is also important that you consume an adequate amount of overall calories in order to keep feeding your existing muscle mass and other bodily tissues. One of the main reasons why people tend to put on weight as they age is because they reduce their food intake too much and this results in a loss of muscle tissue.
Create or ensure a favourable environment
In order to create a favourable environment to gain muscle mass, many factors need to be taken into consideration. For example, an adequate amount of muscle building hormones need to be present and of course, as we age, these tend to decrease significantly. Nevertheless, there are ways that you can boost your level of the essential hormones and therefore gain muscle mass easier.
Certain herbs like tribulus terrestris, minerals like, zinc and magnesium and amino acids like, l-glutamine, may be beneficial in boosting your body's levels of anabolic hormones. Other supplements may be beneficial in helping to prevent the conversion of the anabolic hormones into less potent and potential harmful hormones and other herbs may be beneficial in helping to prevent the conversion of pre-cursor hormones, like pregnenolone, into cortsiol instead of testosterone.
Sleep is another factor in creating a favourable environment for helping you gain muscle mass. If you don't get an adequate amount of quality, restful sleep, your body's ability to build muscle fast will be compromised.
Overall, there are so many health benefits to increasing your muscle mass as you age so follow the recommendations here and you will not only be able to burn fat and lose weight quickly, but you will also dramatically improve your health!
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