At What Age Does Muscle Mass Decline?

We’re all getting older.

And if you want to stay fit healthy and strong, you might be concerned about when you’re going to see a reduction in your muscle mass.

Hi, it’s Ivana, helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

What The Research Says About Muscle Mass Decline

I’m going to look at what the research says about the age at which your muscle mass declines.

The main reference for this video is this research study.

They included men and women between the ages of 18 and 88 years old.

67% of the subjects were Caucasian. 17% were African-American. 8% were Asian and 7% were Hispanic.

All the subjects were assessed using MRI magnetic resonance imaging.

And they looked at the amount of skeletal muscle that they had.

The Findings With Respect To Muscle Mass Decline

Here’s what they found.

Not surprisingly men had greater muscle mass in both the upper body and the lower body. What they actually said was men have more skeletal muscle mass than women in both absolute terms and relative to body weight. Now, this is important because we’re going to talk about the differences between men and women when it comes to skeletal muscle and aging in a minute.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass through aging.

Now loss of muscle mass was greater in men than in women conceivably because the women had less muscle to start off with.

The main finding of this study was that age was significantly co-related with reduced muscle mass.

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

But as any of you who care a little bit about science, correlation does not equal causation. Just because two things happened at the same time doesn’t mean that one of those things caused the other thing. And we’ll go back to that idea in a second, once I share the results of the study in terms of the age at which muscle mass significantly starts to decline.

Drum roll, please!

A noticeable decrease in skeletal muscle occurs at the age of 45 in men and women.

What Does This Age Of Muscle Mass Decrease Mean For YOU?

And now I’m going to tell you whether or not you need to worry about that.

What they found was a correlation between age and decreased muscle mass, but that doesn’t mean that aging will automatically reduce your muscle mass.

And what we know from other studies and from practical experiences that the aging process does not inevitably result in a decrease in muscle mass.

We know that many even, most people become less physically active as they get older, they do less strength training, and don’t tend to challenge themselves physically as much studies like this are generally done on a sedentary population. And the results are likely due to disuse.

Being active – and particularly doing weight training or strength training – really helps you preserve your muscle as you get older. That’s why I spend so much time talking about strength training, because it keeps you strong and functional and it keeps your muscle mass.

What Can We Conclude?

So if you don’t exercise regularly, you’re going to see a decline in your skeletal muscle mass, which becomes particularly pronounced at the age of 45.

And for those of us who are staying physically active, those changes are not going to be nearly as pronounced as people might expect.

Please share in the comments, what you do to stay physically active.

I hope this video has given you some motivation to do some strength training. Don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell.

Ivana Chapman

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