Strength training has the most impact on slowing the biological markers of aging. Done right the most important effect is to slow the biological markers of aging. Aging is inevitable, but the rate at which you age can be slowed. Look around and you can see the differences in how people age. William Evans, PhD, and Irwin H. Rosenberg (11) professors of nutrition and medicine, respectively, at Tufts University USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) back in 1992 determined 10 biomarkers of aging. Biomarkers can tell how old you someone is if you didn’t know how old they were in years.
These biomarkers are:
- Muscle Mass
- Basal Metabolic Rate
- Body Fat Percentage
- Aerobic Capacity
- Blood-sugar Tolerance
- Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
- Blood Pressure
- Bone density
- Ability to regulate Internal Temperature
They found that strength training was the intervention that most positively affected all of the biomarkers.
The problem for almost everyone is that not all strength training is the same. Not only that, but you also have to know what you are doing so you can strength train effectively and not get hurt.
In developing our Soma Science℠ program we define strength training in a very special way in order to have the desired affect on these biomarkers. To be effective, strength training has to create a metabolic disturbance in the body by virtue of the intensity generated. Additionally, the strength training has to be applied in a functional manner across all of the major muscle groups of the body. For most people to get to a level of intensity that they can handle takes a rebuilding phase of 4-6 weeks. Much like you would repair the foundation of a house before you tried to build upon it, the body needs to be repaired in most cases before it can handle the additional loads.
Intensity has a very different meaning for people and if left on their own to determine it, probably would not be able to get there on their own. Intensity is very different from “effortful” activities. Intense activities are like a rifle shot and effortful activities are like a shotgun, alike in some ways but very different in others. All physical activities contribute to wellness but only some physical activities contribute to change and intense strength training is the activity that impacts overall health the most.