Losing Strength...Age?

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kml
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Losing Strength...Age?

Post by kml » Thu May 09, 2013 12:19 pm

This is my first time posting here, tried to find an answer by searching and couldn't...so if it's been addressed and you know of the link, please post it.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. Up to that point, I had been a slug and was completely out of shape. The wake up call did wonders for me, and after surgery and completing chemo, I hit the gym hard in 2008. I was in the best shape of my life. Eating right, working out every day...it was amazing.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and had part of my colon removed. It took me a couple of years to recover from that one, due to complications and what not.

I started hitting the gym again in January of this year. I cannot even come CLOSE to lifting what I used to. Even after over four months of hitting the gym four days a week, I am still only (for example) able to shoulder press 20 lbs. That's only a five pound progress over the space of four months (started at 15lbs). I used to be able to press 50.

I am a 44 year old female and I just feel like a weakling in the gym, lifting my Barbie weights and struggling to gain any kind of strength again. Granted, my body has been through hell over the past six years, and I am in no way out of shape (5'9 and 130 lbs) but I am just struggling with WHY I can't make gains in my lifting anymore.

My diet is tight (although I admit to a glass of red wine every night with dinner, and beers with friends on the weekend)...I am typically at 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat.

Before I consult a personal trainer, wanted to see if anyone had any insight here. Could be a long shot...but dang...I miss the days of lifting heavy (well, for me) and seeing my progress in my body.

Thanks for any input on how to gain back strength...I could really use it. Thanks.

Oscar_Actuary
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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu May 09, 2013 12:40 pm

I'm a bit more inspired for having read that. Good on you for pressing on and taking care to value each and every day now.

I'm not a resident expert. I wonder if a few extra calories from fat and protein might help you gain some more muscle back.
Then I'd also want to see the form.

cheers

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Dub
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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by Dub » Thu May 09, 2013 1:55 pm

Now, I must say it's awesome that you still have motivation and a spark for exercising. You've been through a lot. Keep it up, don't give up.

There are many reasons your program migth not go as you want. Check your life and habits around it. How's your sleep? Do you have your stress levels in control, how much do you eat (estimated calories), etc. There is no simple answer to your question.

Then, what is your training routine like? How is your weekly exercise schedule?
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stuward
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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by stuward » Thu May 09, 2013 2:08 pm

I don't think age has anything to do with it. I think it's residual from what you've been going through. 44 is still young and too early for sarcopenia to build up steam. That said, you will have better results trying to build sooner than later since it will get harder. Retaining muscle is easier than building it so the more muscle you build now, the better off you will be. I expect the UC has made you weaker and is still slowing down your progress. I don't know the answer to it except for perserverance.
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Thanks TimD

kml
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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by kml » Thu May 09, 2013 3:30 pm

Thanks everyone....actually just got off the phone with my doc...blood work is screwy again, so the answer may lie within those levels and the resulting tests I now have to have done. Good times! Not.

Really appreciate the feedback...this is a great place to come for answers and knowledge.

I'll keep up the good fight...wish me luck.

Cheers!

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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by Jungledoc » Fri May 10, 2013 12:24 am

I agree with Stu. You're not old enough to blame age. I'd blame the UC. If you don't mind telling more about what in your "blood work is screwy", I'd be interested to know. After you have that sorted to some extent, we'd be happy to argue over your training program, and hopefully you'll be able to dig some helpful tips out of it. Whatever happens, don't stop training. You may have to modify what you do, but don't give up.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Ironman
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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by Ironman » Fri May 10, 2013 9:06 am

kml wrote:Thanks everyone....actually just got off the phone with my doc...blood work is screwy again, so the answer may lie within those levels and the resulting tests I now have to have done. Good times! Not.

Really appreciate the feedback...this is a great place to come for answers and knowledge.

I'll keep up the good fight...wish me luck.

Cheers!
As a matter of fact I was suspecting hormones after reading your first post, and was going to recommend getting your blood levels checked. Let us know how it goes.

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Re: Losing Strength...Age?

Post by KPj » Fri May 10, 2013 11:36 am

Nothing to add really, other than, Welcome and thanks for posting.

Keep on keeping on.

I always tell my clients slow progress is the best progress. Sounds contradictory but, people who progress slowly tend to progress permanently where as those who progress rapidly tend to have short term results. Whether it's fat loss, strength, or whatever. Slow and steady wins the race. As long as you keep moving in the right direction. Keep training, keep evaluating things, refining things - keep moving forward.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

KPj
Thanks TimD

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