Evidence-Based or Science-Based Exercise is a term we use at Quick Fit Indiana but what do we mean and more importantly, why is it beneficial to you?
In today's world, we know a lot about the human body. Yes, there are still mysteries but there is an almost unanimous agreement when it comes to the workings of our human musculoskeletal system – previously known as the Activity System. The human musculoskeletal system provides form, support, stability and movement to the human body. If you are interested in the human body, you can check out a great Wiki page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_musculoskeletal_system
We know scientifically, what builds muscle, what makes bones stronger, how to keep from losing muscle and how to move the joints in a way that doesn't cause injury. The science is very clear on these things. Orthopedic Doctors or Bone Doctors have spent their entire lives to the study of our Skeletal System. We know this stuff. It's not a mystery.
Here are some facts that you should know.
1. As humans age, our bodies naturally shed muscle on purpose.
2. As we lose muscle, a signal works its way to the bones that tells them they don't have to be as strong and dense anymore to hold the muscle mass (since our bodies are shedding muscle).
(Have you ever seen muscle atrophy? Remember when you or someone you know broke their arm and had to wear a cast for several weeks? They couldn't use their arm for those weeks. When the cast was removed, their muscle had wasted away and the broken arm was clearly smaller than the other arm. This person also suffered bone atrophy. When the muscle is lost, bone density is decreased. This is happening in our daily lives throughout our body as we age…. unless we do something about it).
3. As we lose muscle and bone, our metabolism also starts to plummet.
4. As our metabolism decreases, our bodies start to store more fat, even if we are eating the same amount of food that we always have.
5. As we pack on more fat, our systems have to work harder and work overtime to keep up.
6. Eventually, the system fails.
(Most people wouldn't take a vehicle made in 1960 and use it as their daily driver today. Especially if it hasn't been maintained at an excellence standard. This is precisely what we are doing with our bodies though).
What can we do to stop and even reverse this aging process? What does the science say?
We must stop muscle loss in a safe manner. Potentially, even add muscle to our skeletal system no matter what our age is. I'm not talking about looking like a bodybuilder. I'm talking about adding every day, lean muscle mass to our bodies. The muscle that helps us keep up with our kids, grandkids, the rest of the travel group, etc. At the very least, we must do enough to stop the muscle wasting for as long as we can. We covered safety in exercise here https://www.quickfitindiana.com/post/the-perfect-workout
Stopping the loss of muscle and even adding new muscle safely is an absolute must.
How do you reverse the muscle loss conundrum?
You have to give your body/brain a reason to keep the muscle. You must work your muscles from time to time to an effort that causes your body to say, "Hey, we're working hard here. We need to keep this muscle we have and maybe even add some new muscle to keep up with this demand."
You see, most people do not work their muscles to their limits on a normal basis. To do this, you've got to push the limits of what your body can do. The science say you've got to push your body to momentary muscle failure. We'll explain this more in just a minute but for now, think about that. You have to push your muscles until they fail. This signals to your brain that your muscles aren't strong enough to keep up with the demand. This failure point is what starts the process. This is what you're after. This is what the science says. This is what benefits you.
How do you reach momentary muscle failure?
You can lift, press, or pull on an object until your muscles can't do it anymore. You can do it one of two ways. You can do this with a heavy object in a shorter amount of time or you can do it with a light object for a longer time. Either way, you have to do it until your muscles reach that magical fatigue level. Think about it like this. We've got a 40-year-old man. He's a normal man without any limitations in joint movement. We want to reach momentary muscle failure by lifting an object overhead. We can safely put this man on a machine and have him raise and lower 40 pounds slowly until he can't raise the weight anymore. I can tell you that this will take somewhere between 45 seconds to a minute and a half. We can also put soup cans in his hands and have him do the same thing. He may not reach muscle failure for 15 minutes or so!
At Quick Fit Indiana, we help people reach this level of muscle failure in a time-efficient and safe manner. Each one of our sessions takes about 20 minutes. You only need to do a session with us once or twice per week. When we say, evidence-based or science-based workout, this is a piece of what we're describing. We know what we have to do to add muscle or at the very least, retain the muscle we currently have. In later blog posts, we'll dive into more science. Which exercises are more beneficial for reaching muscle failure? Why resistance exercise is more efficient? Why do people that are being supervised during exercise benefit more than people who are doing it on their own?
Thanks for reading this week's blog post. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.
Until next time, Happy in Health!
The Quick Fit Indiana Team