If you believe the weight room is strictly reserved for bodybuilders and hardcore athletes, we come bearing some bad news: you’re missing out on some life-changing health benefits. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that all adults engage in a moderate to intense muscle-strengthening workout at least twice per week. Yes—that means you, too!

This is especially the case for older adults over the age of 60. We’ve known for some time that adults start losing more and more muscle mass on an annual basis starting around the age of 30 years-old. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the average middle-aged adult loses three to five percent of their lean muscle mass per-decade. Over the course of a long lifespan most men end up losing roughly 30% of their muscle mass. Even worse: Totally inactive adults experience up to 8% muscle mass loss per decade, in addition to a slowed metabolism and greater fat accumulation.

Though muscle loss with old age is unavoidable, accomplishing some meaningful weightlifting just twice per week can go a long way toward holding off father time. Hitting the weights twice a week represents the perfect schedule in terms of getting your body used to the strain of resistance exercise while also providing ample rest and recovery. “Strength training twice per week is perfect, but once is a waste of time,” Michael Boyle, strength and conditioning coach and functional training expert, tells Greatist. “Sure, you can potentially gain strength on one workout a week, but you would continually be sore. Twice a week is less of a shock to the system and allows the body to better adapt.”

Remember: Your rest is a big part of the muscular recipe for success. “The thing about strength training is that you don’t get better during workouts; you get better in between,” Neal Pire, C.S.C.S., an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist, tells Everyday Health. “You should give yourself a day in between strength training to allow your body to recover and rebuild the muscle tissue from the stimulus of lifting or resistance.”

Ready to start pumping iron? Read on to learn more about what weightlifting twice per week can do for your body after 60. And for some great workouts to try, see here to read about the 5-Minute Bodyweight Workout That Can Change Your Life After 60.


Science says the more muscle mass an adult can retain well into old age, the better their chances of increased longevity. Consider one study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Researchers conclude that risk of death by any cause increases dramatically among older adults (65+) with little muscle mass in their arms and legs. The findings were particularly extreme among women. A woman with weak legs and arms was found to be a staggering 63 times more likely to pass away, while men with weak muscles are 11.4 times more likely to die. Over 800 people were assessed for …….


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