top of page

Sarcopenia: A Story of the come Back Kid

I have an 87-year-old client who came to see me 10 months ago after being sedentary for several years. He walked in the door stooped over, head forward, rounded shoulders, taking small wobbly steps, struggled with balance issues and suffered from constant lower back pain.

Over the past few months, he’s had some health issues that kept him out of the gym for weeks at a time. Each time he was able to return to the gym he picked up where he left off determined not to lose any of the gains he made. Some of the illnesses caused him to get lightheaded easier and he had lost some of the strength he had gained, but the more he came, the stronger he got. By not simply giving up or giving in, it made his bouts with his health easier to manage.

My client and I have a deal. I told him to always give me what he has no matter what that looks like. If he only has 10% and he gives me 100% of that then he’s given me his best and that’s all I ever ask for. He is determined not to fall victim to sarcopenia and become a statistic.

 

What is Sarcopenia?

It is the gradual loss of muscle mass to the point that function is impaired that can affect people in their 30’s and beyond. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% - 5% per decade. Sarcopenia can develop quickly. In as little as 10 days as a matter of fact. Upwards of 5% strength loss can occur in as little as 10-14 days or 6% power loss, 8 or more percent decrease in strength production and 5.5% or greater loss in muscle mass.

Symptoms of sarcopenia include, but are not limited to falling, muscle weakness, slow walking speed, and difficulty performing normal daily activities.

There is good news, however! Sarcopenia can be rescued if people start to resistance train and start to rehabilitate their bodies. Within a six-month window they can get back to where they were. However, if they go beyond six months, then a lot of their abilities and their natural capabilities can be lost permanently.

 

How do you know if you have Sarcopenia?

 

Here are 2 tests you can take.

 

1. The first is a grip strength test. Do you have trouble opening jars? Manipulating buttons? Your grip strength score may be a good indicator that you may be or are becoming sarcopenic.

 

2.The second is 30 second chair sit to stand test. It’s very simple. Check out the CDC’s website at  www.CDC.gov for instructions.

 

 

How do we overcome or slow down Sarcopenia?

         Resistance (strength) and power training play such a valuable part and is the answer to overcoming sarcopenia! It can be started at any time. People can always improve their abilities, improve their bone density, increase muscle strength and power, which ultimately results in a reduction of falls, an increase in capabilities and an improved overall quality of life just like it’s done for my 87-year-old client.

 

         If you need help with any of these or would like help testing yourself, please contact your local fitness expert.

 

Sarcopenia is the Lynchpin for Poor Quality of Life!



2 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page