My mom continues to defy the commonly held assumption that an experienced trainee can’t continue to add muscle (and lose fat). On August 31st, she completed a Bod Pod assessment. This was her first test since February, and she was admittedly nervous that quarantine life had disrupted her nutrition and strength training and that her results would be less than favorable.
The results are extraordinary (and defy what so many of my strength training colleagues continue to believe):
From February through late August she gained four pounds of lean muscle and lost three pounds of fat. She stuck with one or two Virtual workouts per week during the shutdown and has been consistently training twice per week at our Chanhassen location since June 10th.
Three Take Home Messages:
1. Women can add muscle at any age.
2. Experienced trainees can add muscle after many years of training experience.
3. Virtual workouts featuring body-weight, bands, and bottles of wine can contribute to meaningful increases in muscle.
My mom turned 70 this summer. She has performed an average of 1 workout per week at Discover Strength since she was 57. Occasionally she misses a workout due to vacation or time spent at the cabin, and over the years she has participated in an occasional “Body Comp Challenge” which calls for twice per week training for a one-month duration. Specifically, over the last 6 years she has performed an average of 1.24 workouts per week.
Over the last 2 years, she has Bod Pod tested more consistently. Her results reveal that a woman over 65 can add significant muscle and lose fat even after many years of training.
To be clear, her results defy common wisdom that (1) experienced trainees can’t add muscle after the first few years of training, (2) that older women can’t add muscle, and (3) a low frequency of 1.24 workouts per week can’t add significant muscle.
I’ll share my mom’s results below, but I’m only going to show the change, rather than the actual results (you are welcome, mother).
Her earliest test on record was September 2017 so I’ll compare that with her most recent test earlier this month (December 2019):
- Lost 7.4% of body fat (this is incredible)
- Added 5.5 pounds of muscle (in just 2 years from age 68-70!)
- Lost 12.4 pounds of fat