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Is Strength the Fountain of Youth?

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Is Strength the Fountain of Youth?

Time to face the facts: we aren't getting any younger. Right now is the youngest you'll ever be from here on out.

If that sounds depressing -- it doesn't have to. While we can't actually get younger, we can feel younger.

Recently, I read an interview by David Marchese of The New York Times with Dr. Peter Attia, who is the co-author of the book Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity. As I read this interview, I practically jumped up cheering for Attia's responses because he so concisely explained why weight training should be a top priority for anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.

Why Weight Training Matters

In the interview, Dr. Attia said it so well: "Many people...are underemphasizing strength training. There's the sense that Yep, I'm hiking, I'm walking. Those things are great, but the sine qua non of aging is the... atrophy of Type 2 muscle fiber. That's the thing we probably have to guard most against, and you can't do that without resistance training." [The emphasis is my own.]

As we age, we naturally begin to lose muscle mass. Part of the dying process is being in a state of catabolism -- that's the part of metabolism that breaks things down. Anabolism is the part of metabolism that builds things up. If catabolism > anabolism, then we are lowering our metabolic rate and slowly wasting away.

Maintaining lean muscle means that you have to be able to repair what is there. Replace and renew old, dying cells with new cells. Building and replacing is the process of anabolism.

Aging gracefully, to me, means that one is able to stay active and live fully at any age. I don't really want to live to be 95 years old, if that means I'm lying in a bed all day because I'm too weak and frail to move my body.

Being able to stay active means maintaining the strength to move.

Maintaining strength to move means maintaining (or improving) muscle mass.

Maintaining muscle mass means giving the body a reason to sustain the muscle it has. [NOTE: the body doesn't think skeletal muscle is all that important in the grand scheme of survival after a certain age, so it will stop repairing muscle in favor of sustaining other systems, like the circulatory or digestive systems -- especially when the skeletal muscle isn't being used for anything.]

For most of us, the only way to convince our bodies that we NEED that muscle mass is by USING IT in a way that creates the stimulus for repair. And, of course, eating a calorically & nutritionally balanced diet that supports the repair of our muscles.

I don't have any scientific validation for this next statement, but it makes logical sense: if our bodies feel secure enough (nutritionally and physically) to continue to support our muscle mass, then it also is taking good care of supporting the rest of our systems in the best way it can. In other words, our skeletal muscle won't be prioritized over the other systems, leaving them neglected. But the vice-versa is possible.


How to Get Started with Weight Training

Weight training doesn't necessarily mean you'll build big, bulky muscles (unless you want to). Weight training, at its simplest, leads to maintaining your current strength.

Have you noticed your balance slipping over the years? What about your ability to get up from the floor, or maybe even off the sofa? If this is getting harder for you, 1) you aren't alone, and 2) you can stop the decline and even improve your balance and strength again!

We're well aware that getting started with weight training can be intimidating. That's why it's important to have a plan and access the right resources to help you get started. With so much overwhelming and sometimes contradictory information out there, one of the best ways to get started with weight training is to find a personal trainer.

A personal trainer will help you to create a plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. They also provide guidance and support as you progress through your weight training journey. Even better, they help you to stay accountable and build the daily habits that keep you motivated.

If you want to know what some of our clients think about us, read some reviews, or read how age didn't hold back these clients: click here.


How We Do It at Serious Results Personal Training

The coaches at Serious Results Personal Training have weight training as a cornerstone of their personal and professional lives. Every one of us has been active for 30-ish years and coaching is truly our profession.

We help adults who've lost their way from strength training, maybe because of nurturing a family, building a career, or even due to chronic illness or poor habits.

We start with a S.A.N.E. Assessment where we talk about your current habits around Sleep, Activities, Nutrition, and your Ethos. We'll talk about where you want to be with those habits too. From there you get a chance to have a brief physical assessment so you can see what you think of us as coaches, while we start to get an idea of your starting point in terms of your movement.

We use that S.A.N.E. Assessment to start building your program and we give you a couple days to think about if you want to work with us or not.

We won't pressure you into working with us or give a "Limited Time Offer discount for signing today," because it doesn't do either of us any good if you aren't ready to make some changes in your life.

How To Get Started With Us

If this interests you, just complete the form at the top of this page and we'll send you a link to schedule your S.A.N.E Assessment with one of our top coaches. Or, feel free to click the envelope icon and send us an email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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