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Age related skeletal changes

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  • Age related skeletal changes

    While bone density/muscle loss is predicted from aging, I assume heavy lifting can reverse both of these. What I am curious about is joint and connective tissue changes related to aging.

    I am currently 61 and have been lifting regularly for a little over a year with no prior background in resistance training. If I increase bar loads at the full pace my muscles can adapt to, I anecdotally find a couple of months later that I start experiencing joint pain that limits my training efforts at the lower rep ranges (3-6). As a compromise, I have been able to make consistent progress by shifting to higher average reps (8 @RPE 8) as the load increases are naturally slower at this range. I worry that this limits my progress since I am basically in a fixed program. After getting my nutrition in order, I have seen good hypertrophy results, so at least there is that.

    Are there ways I can condition/manage my joint structures to handle the higher intensities used in a 12 week strength block? Do your older clients report similar issues?

  • #2
    It is likely true that skeletal muscle / tendon / ligament / bone have different rates of adaptation. However, this does not necessarily imply that your pain represents a lack of adaptation, since pain is quite complex. It may just be a matter of how quickly (and how much) the intensities increase in the later phases of a strength-focused block. It sounds like you've found a nice compromise in loading rate that allows you to train more productively with less joint pain, so I'd definitely stick with that as it will result in greater progress being made over the long term anyway.
    IG / YT


    • #3
      Thanks for the response, as always, common sense prevails.