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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:06 pm 
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I'm 59. With a few breaks here and there, I've been active all my life. Although I'm petite (5' tall, 107 lbs., small frame), it's always been fairly easy to get decent muscle definition with strength training, but at this age? Not so much.

My brother has the same good genes (and recently competed in his first bodybuilding contest at the age of 65!). I figure my problem is more hormone-related than anything, and I am on HRT, but I'd like to find some advice on the best ways to put on a little muscle at this stage of my life.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:37 am 
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Toast2 wrote:
I'm 59. With a few breaks here and there, I've been active all my life. Although I'm petite (5' tall, 107 lbs., small frame), it's always been fairly easy to get decent muscle definition with strength training, but at this age? Not so much.

My brother has the same good genes (and recently competed in his first bodybuilding contest at the age of 65!). I figure my problem is more hormone-related than anything, and I am on HRT, but I'd like to find some advice on the best ways to put on a little muscle at this stage of my life.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


It's like telling the doctor you don't feel good and want medication.

It is hard to prescribe anything without more information.

Kenny Croxdale

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:52 pm 
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You're right; that was rather sketchy.

What I'm looking for is research on or even anecdotal evidence of how exercise and nutrition "rules" might change for post-menopausal women.

Since my original post, I've found an interesting paper on the topic which notes the obvious factors (such as lower levels of hormones) but also the "conflicting results among studies" on whether low concentrations of estrogen are clearly related to muscle mass and strength declines. It's given me some answers, and for those interested, here's more:

The paper notes that older women have less contractile protein (the force generators of muscle contraction ... I had to look that up!) in fast-twitch muscle fibers; and that because estrogen receptors apparently play a role in the repair process after strength training and are more numerous on fast-twitch fibers, it could be that the loss of fast-twitch fibers after menopause "might amplify muscle protein breakdown and could lead to a reduction of the response to muscle adaptation response after exercise."

As for me, even though I've been on HRT for years, it's the lowest-possible dose, and it does not manage all of my symptoms -- just enough to keep my husband from justifiably leaving me. :)

I don't want to increase that dosage just for the sake of some visible muscle definition since I don't think the risks balance that out, but do wonder what else I might be able to do. Up my intake of protein? (I've only just started to track every bite; yesterday, I took in about 70 grams. I don't know if that's good or bad.) Take more rest days away from the gym? (Typical: I've missed one day out of the last 10; cardio each time and weights every other time.) Tweak my diet? (I have a really varied diet; lots of different vegetables throughout the day, a little fruit, fish or chicken, eggs, nuts ... I really try to pack in the nutrition every day. My one tracked day showed 1600 calories.) I sleep like a baby for 8.5 to 9 hours every night, so that's good.

I don't really expect any definitive answers here, but thought I'd throw this out to the experienced group for your thoughts/opinions. Not sure that there's a lot I can do to combat Father Time's ass-kicking when it comes to muscle definition, but at least I'm doing what I can to stay upright and functional.

The paper I referred to is "Changes in Muscle Mass and Strength After Menopause," published by the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, for anyone interested.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:50 am 
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Toast2 wrote:
You're right; that was rather sketchy.

What I'm looking for is research on or even anecdotal evidence of how exercise and nutrition "rules" might change for post-menopausal women.

Since my original post, I've found an interesting paper on the topic which notes the obvious factors (such as lower levels of hormones) but also the "conflicting results among studies" on whether low concentrations of estrogen are clearly related to muscle mass and strength declines. It's given me some answers, and for those interested, here's more:

The paper notes that older women have less contractile protein (the force generators of muscle contraction ... I had to look that up!) in fast-twitch muscle fibers; and that because estrogen receptors apparently play a role in the repair process after strength training and are more numerous on fast-twitch fibers, it could be that the loss of fast-twitch fibers after menopause "might amplify muscle protein breakdown and could lead to a reduction of the response to muscle adaptation response after exercise."

As for me, even though I've been on HRT for years, it's the lowest-possible dose, and it does not manage all of my symptoms -- just enough to keep my husband from justifiably leaving me. :)


Estrogen

Interesting information on estrogen. I'll look up the paper on it that you posted and read it.

Testosterone

An interesting study on testosterone is Building muscles without testosterone [ http://www.ergo-log.com/building-muscle ... erone.html] is:

"Contrary to the commonly accepted role of testosterone in strength training-induced muscle hypertrophy and within the limitations of this study, we present preliminary evidence that near optimal muscle adaptations can occur in older hypogonadal men"...

Extrapolation of Information

While testosterone helps with increasing strength and muscle mass, it appears are still obtainable.

Extrapolation of Research

Based on the testosterone research, it appears that you should be able to make gains while on estrogen. However, extrapolating information comes down to guessing.

Quote:
I don't want to increase that dosage just for the sake of some visible muscle definition since I don't think the risks balance that out, but do wonder what else I might be able to do. Up my intake of protein? (I've only just started to track every bite; yesterday, I took in about 70 grams. I don't know if that's good or bad.) Take more rest days away from the gym? (Typical: I've missed one day out of the last 10; cardio each time and weights every other time.) Tweak my diet? (I have a really varied diet; lots of different vegetables throughout the day, a little fruit, fish or chicken, eggs, nuts ... I really try to pack in the nutrition every day. My one tracked day showed 1600 calories.) I sleep like a baby for 8.5 to 9 hours every night, so that's good.


Protein Intake Per Meal

Research by Dr. Layne Norton shows that the amino acid Leucine triggers the anabolic "muscle building" effect.

The minimal amount per meal/serving of Leucine is 2.5 grams to elicit this effect.

The minimum of 2.5 grams of Leucine is a definitive number. That meaning that no matter what a person weight is, 2.5 grams is needed to obtain the effect.

Here more information on...

Getting older? Extra leucine boosts anabolic stimulus of proteins
http://www.ergo-log.com/leucine.html

Age

Research shows that older individual need to consume more protein per serving than younger individuals to obtain the same effect.

For a younger individual, 25 gram per serving works. For older individuals, around 35 gram per serving is necessary to obtain the same effect.

Thus, the recommendation is those over 50 years old need to bump their protein intake.

Protein Quality

The amount of Leucine in protein varies.

Meats, dariy, and eggs contain approximately 8% Leucine. (31.25 grams of meat = 2.5 grams of Leucine. 31.25 X 8%)

About 10% of whey protein is composed of Leucine. (25 grams of whey protein = 2.5 grams of Leucine. 25 X 10%)

So, the choice of your protein matters.

Another Solution

For individuals who have a hard time consuming more protein, another solution is to combine Leucine with your present protein meal.

Research show this method works...

Added leucine makes wheat protein as anabolic as whey
http://www.ergo-log.com/added-leucine-m ... -whey.html

Quote:
I don't really expect any definitive answers here, but thought I'd throw this out to the experienced group for your thoughts/opinions. Not sure that there's a lot I can do to combat Father Time's ass-kicking when it comes to muscle definition, but at least I'm doing what I can to stay upright and functional.


"Research is what I am doing, when I don't know what I am doing." Einstein

Doing your research, as you have, is one of the keys to improving things.

The second part of that requires some experimentation on your part via Einstein's method of "Taking an educated guess and seeing if it works.

Your Exercise Program

You may find tweaking your exercise program may help. It hard to say without known exactly what your program is.

Your Brother

Since you have a bodybuilder in the family, he would be a good source.

Quote:
The paper I referred to is "Changes in Muscle Mass and Strength After Menopause," published by the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, for anyone interested.


"Changes in Muscle Mass and Strength After Menopause,"

I found the abstract. One of the interesting comments is...

"Among modifiable factors, low physical activity and protein intakes are the best contributors to sarcopenia and the loss of strength in postmenopausal women."

Consuming 70 grams of protein a day indicates that you increasing it might help.

If that 70 grams is broken down into three meals, that would mean you are obtaining about 1.92 gram of Leucine per meal.

Take Home Message

1) 2.5 gram of Leucine is the definitive minimum needed per meal/serving.

2) Older individual need more to elicit the same effect as younger individuals do.

3) 1.92 grams (my guess) per meal/serving is below the level needed to keep you in an anabolic "muscle building" state.

4) Increase your Leucine intake in some manner.

Kenny Croxdale

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Thanks TimD.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:55 am 
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Kenny, I can't thank you enough for this. I will explore everything you posted. Wow.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:05 am 
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Toast2 wrote:
Kenny, I can't thank you enough for this. I will explore everything you posted. Wow.


Cholesterol adds more muscle gain to old people who lift weights
http://ergo-log.com/cholesterolmuscles.html

This is something else that I just came across.

"The subjects who ate a lot of cholesterol became stronger more quickly than the subjects whose diet contained small amounts of cholesterol. For example, the people who consumed 7.2 to 10.2 mg cholesterol per kg lean body mass were 88 percent stronger in the chest and leg press. The subjects who consumed 2.2 to 3.5 mg cholesterol per kg lean body mass only showed a 41 percent improvement in strength."

"It was noticeable that a high HDL level seemed to inhibit muscle growth progression. HDL keeps cholesterol out of the body, and carries it off to the liver. And the other way round, a high level of LDL – the 'bad' cholesterol that keeps cholesterol in the body – promotes muscle growth."

Research Update: Eating More Cholesterol Makes Muscles Stronger
http://anthonycolpo.com/research-update ... -stronger/

Eat More Cholesterol, Lift More Weight!

"Combined strength gain on the chest press +leg press increased significantly (P<0.05) with increasing dietary cholesterol. The low, medium and high cholesterol groups increased strength by 21, 38 and 52%, respectively. Read that again – the high cholesterol group experienced 250% greater strength gains than those seen in the low-cholesterol group!"

Oh, So Now You Need Me all of a Sudden, Huh?

"Study after study after study shows that in-hospital mortality of cardiac patients is higher among those with low cholesterol levels than with high cholesterol. Right when their hearts need it the most, cholesterol is in short supply."

"Study after study after study shows that elderly folks with moderate and high cholesterol levels live longer than their low cholesterol counterparts. Elderly folks, unfortunately, are further along the spectrum of cellular degeneration than the rest of us, and need the regenerative properties of cholesterol more than ever."

Your Diet

If you have no health issues, make sure you are consuming foods with cholesterol.

Cholesterol is not the villain it has been portrayed to be.

On that note is...

The Cholesterol Myths
http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm

The article indicates older individuals are healthier with higher total cholesterol readings.

Another interesting fact is...

LDL Particle Size

LDL "Cholesterol" has been mislabeled as being all bad, which is not the case.

The determinate factors is the LDL Particle Size.

You can google more information on that.

Kenny Croxdale

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Thanks TimD.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:04 pm 
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I've known for some time that Cholesterol can be preventative against infections, and within a wide range, against overall mortality but I wasn't aware of the sarcopenia protection. Everything I've found on Google seems to point back to this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921432. There doesn't appear to be much follow up on it though. However, it's clear to me that the avoidance of dietary cholesterol and saturated fats is unwarranted. On the other hand, the importance of increased requirements for protein and resistance training is well established.

A nice summary: http://uaspa.net/just-the-facts-cholest ... arcopenia/

Quote:
“the only thing we have to fear is poorly conceived dietary advice.”

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:06 am 
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stuward wrote:
I've known for some time that Cholesterol can be preventative against infections, and within a wide range, against overall mortality but I wasn't aware of the sarcopenia protection.


I wasn't aware of cholesterol effect on sarcopenia, either.

I came across it on Ergo-log.com. This is a great site for information.

I am going back eating a pound of bacon for breakfast! :)

Kenny Croxdale

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Thanks TimD.


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