Researchers have concluded that progressive strength training can counteract age related muscular atrophy.
Sarcopenia or age related muscular atrophy can start as early as age 20. The rate of sarcopenia accelerates as we age; and from 50 to 70 years of age, we lose 30 percent of our muscle strength. Maintaining muscle strength as we age is extremely important to be able to maintain mobility as well as manage to live an independent life and carry out daily tasks independently.
The study looked at the extent of the effects which can be gained as a result of strength training in older people and which intensities of exercise are beneficial as well as possible in individuals over the age of 60 years. The researchers discovered that regular strength training improved muscle strength, lessened muscular atrophy, and that bones and tendons adapt too. These successes consequently had a preventative effect with regards to preventing injuries and falls.
Higher intensities of training produced better effects compared to low and moderate intensities. To be able to increase muscle mass, a 60 to 85 percent intensity of the one-repetition-maximum is necessary. To be able to increase quickly available muscle force, greater intensities (85 percent or more) are necessary. The ideal amount of exercise for healthy older people is 3 to 4 training sessions each week.