Weightlifters Over 40 Recover from Workouts the Same as 20-year-olds.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Baron, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    If you are older than forty and train with weights, you will probably have noticed that your body is aging. You're making less progress than when you were younger, and your workouts have a more profound impact on your energy levels, your joints and muscles. Does this mean that your body recovers less quickly, and that you therefore have to train more infrequently than when you were 20 or 30 years old? No, a small yet solid American study suggests. According to that study, people in their 40s and 50s recover from strength training just as quickly as in their twenties.


    The researchers experimented with 19 men who had been doing strength training for at least six months. Nine men were 18-30 years old [YA], 10 men were 40-59 years [MA].

    The men had to train one leg intensively with 8 sets of 10 reps on a kind of leg-extension machine. Right before that session and up to 48 hours after, the researchers studied the subjects.

    The days after the session both younger and older subjects developed less strength in their trained leg than before their workout. The figure below shows that the peak torque in both groups recovered in a similar way.



    After the session, the two groups of subject younger reported about the same amount of muscle pain.

    After the single leg workout in the subjects' blood the concentration of substances such as creatine kinase, myoglobin [in the figure below], interleukin-6 and CRP increased. These are markers for muscle damage. Again, the researchers found no significant differences between the younger and older subjects.


    "Results of this study indicated no differences in the recovery response between young adults and middle-aged adults for any of the performance measures, nor in subjective levels of muscle pain or soreness", the researchers write. "Furthermore, no between-group differences were observed in the inflammatory or muscle damage response to the exercise protocol."

    "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine differences in the recovery response from high-volume resistance exercise between recreationally trained young and middle-aged adults."

    "These results should be examined in the context that recovery was investigated after a unilateral, single-joint isokinetic exercise protocol. Although this method has been previously used as an effective mode of exercise to elicit muscle damage, it is not specific to the type of exercises typically used by recreational lifters."

    "Future studies may wish to compare these population groups using multi-joint, dynamic constant resistance exercises common to the training programs of most recreational lifters, regardless of age."
  2. I don't buy it. At least not as it relates to me.

    Although I've worked out with weights pretty much my whole adult life, I used a specific split routine from ~1992 to ~2005 (ABA, BAB, as suggested by Lee Labrada in a Muscle & Fitness article at around that time), from my mid-30s to age 47. I did vary the volume from time to time as I experimented over the years but, for the most part, during that time, my workouts took about 2.5 hours, which included 30 minutes of steady-state cardio. All work sets were to MMF, and I did too many of them. But I liked the results and I was able to continue until 2005, when I found I was running out of gas. What had "worked" for me in the earlier days had slowly become more and more overwhelming. I then had to reduce the total weekly volume/frequency to something more reasonable although, in retrospect, it was still too much. But at least it was doable for the next several years. Bottom line: while I now believe I was overtraining, I was able to tolerate it far better in my earlier years.

    There is no mention of how long this study lasted. Even if the older participants were able to keep up with the intensity and frequency of their younger counterparts for a time, if the regimen were demanding enough, I imagine they would eventually start to wane sooner at similar intensity and frequency.

    Also, and as I'm sure you're aware, training a single limb is not exactly the same as training the whole body.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    DTB2 likes this.
  3. Gambit


    Are any of you guys on TRT? Did that change things for you in terms of recovery?
  4. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Yeah, I'm on TRT @ 150mg per week and it definitely helps.
  5. Gambit


    I've been on for about a year and it is helpful. I'm still in cutting mode so I've never bulked on TRT and that's probably where the real magic happens. Man I can't wait till I bulk! :)
  6. Gambit


    Florida is the TRT mecca isn't it?
  7. luisHK


    Reading about this nowadays as well as about cycles. Trt is a life long endehavour right as it will be a huge issue to get back natural testosterone production ? While guys on TRT seem to be mostly happy with the effects many seem upset with the prospect of injecting TRT their whole life . Not sure how it started for u guys, but it seems many lifters opted for TRT to avoid PCT and losing cycle gains after steroid cycles rather than because they were naturally lacking trt production.
    Planning to start Growth hormone long term here, which btw is availabke otc in Hong Kong, but obviously curious about TRT while hitting mid 40s.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  8. I know nothing about the chemistry set side of bodybuilding, but what little I read suggests that growth hormone alone doesn't do all that much. Apparently it needs to be complemented with steroids to get the full effect. But then doing so also enlarges the internal organs which contributes to the bloated look. I could be way off here, but that's what little info I came across and had no real interest in verifying it one way or another.
  9. luisHK


    Indeed from what I read Gh by itself promote less muscle growth and strength gains than steroids. lifters usually mix both.
    Yet GH still appears to promote muscle gains and fat loss if not dramatically, and seems to help quite a bit with recovery and most of all with one's mood and sleep, whereas steroid cycles have opposite effects (TRT seems different with lower doses of TRT injected than while on cycles, I read about 40+ lifters quite satisfied with their mood while on TRT. I guess it depends on individuals, but I do not need extra agressivity). It doesn't seem to be a huge issue either when one stops GH, the way it is when one stops TRT.
  10. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Pretty much.

    That's correct. But once you start it and like the way you feel, there's really no desire to go back to natural production. Think about it. If you're in your mid 40's and your testosterone level via TRT is where it was when you were 20, would you really want to go backwards to the lower T level you naturally have? Ever?

    My doctor originally had me on GH, along with a little T3 for the thyroid, and some Testosterone. I personally did not find the GH worth the money I was paying for it, so I stopped it. He only had me on 1 IU per day, which isn't really that much to begin with. I will say this though. I did find that I had less joint issues when I was on GH. My left knee can give me a problem on heavier lifts but I never had an issue with it when I was on GH.

    The T3 was definitely a metabolism booster but it made me weaker on all of my lifts, so I stopped that too after a while.
    #10     Dec 18, 2017