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It is well understood that strength training is important for maintaining healthy muscle, but how does one keep score?

This post, was written by Skyler Tanner, who holds a Masters in Exercise Science, and has been a fitness and nutrition coach for 15 years.

I’ll try and sum up the main takeaways of his longer post here.

Some believe that strength improvements are solely based on muscle gain. While muscle gain can certainly contribute to strength improvements, there is a plethora of other adaptations that contribute to improving ones strength.

*(Another related post can be found here on our Facebook page. The article is called “Dynapenia: The real problem with not resistance training”)

Skyler states that the most important components of strength gain include:

  1. Basic coordination between muscles for movement (movement efficiency, through developing skill)
  2. Neurological Adaptations (How well your nerves and muscles activate and work together)
  3. Tissue adaptations (Increased stiffness in soft tissues such as tendons)

OK, that’s great, but how do we measure progress?

  1. “Overall strength is a directionally accurate indicator of lean tissue maintenance and/or gain.”

This means that if you are getting stronger or sustaining your gained strength in your program, indicated by your relative ability to lift and lower a weight, you can assume that you’re muscles and soft tissues are being taken care of.

The image below demonstrates the dramatic affect that even a 4 month training regime can have on muscle size and health in an elderly person.

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*Click on image for higher resolution.

 

2.  A DEXA scan (basically an x-ray that can very accurately measure the percentage of your lean tissue mass) is the gold standard for body composition measures. Not everyone has access to this means of measurement, however, we can provide a relatively accurate body composition measure here at OneUp Fitness.

3.  A subjective assessment of your basic mobility and physical function (how well you can move).

There is no question that we are all in a state of “decline” as we age, but the rate of decline is largely within our control. Achievement in our fitness regime is very personal and cannot be comparative in nature; only within ourselves.

See how our client, Milton, keeps his muscles strong and healthy at the age of 77.

Milton on the Compound Row.

If you have questions, comments or criticisms please write them in the comments section of this post on our Facebook page —> OneUp Fitness

Thank you for reading. Stay strong.