What if you knew there was one activity you could do regularly that could keep you so healthy, it could even reverse the aging process? Would you think it was something complicated or new? Nope. It’s actually just pushing and pulling on weights to keep your muscles strong: otherwise known as resistance, or strength training.
Most people think resistance exercise is only good for building big muscles and lifting heavy things. But that is a huge misconception and as we age and it’s a myth that can truly begin to shorten your life—it’s that serious.
THE RISK: Sarcopenia and a diminished quality of life.
To understand why strength training is so important to your health as you age, you’ll first want to look at some of the risks involved in not keeping it up.
According to research funded by the National Institute of Health, beginning at age 25, the average person can begin to lose up to 0.5 pounds of lean muscle every year if they are not exercising and eating sufficiently. This decrease in muscle can become what is known as “sarcopenia,” a condition that can lead to seriously diminished quality of life through an increased risk of dangers like falls and fractures, hospitalizations, and a greater risk of death overall.
THE SOLUTION: The magic of regular resistance training.
This doesn’t have to be, though. A large body of data has already shown that the way to avoid these health risks is through regular resistance training. What’s so magical about this strength training? Well, for starters,
- Resistance exercise helps regulate your hormones
- Demanding muscular work helps you burn fat efficiently
- Resistance exercise improves the way your cells function, how much lean mass you have, how healthy you are, and how long you live.
There is good data to show that strength training helps you regain lost bone and muscle, helps keep your cholesterol levels under control, reduces your blood pressure, and even helps you avoid low back pain.
Take a look at this, one landmark study that shows resistance exercise can actually reverse your physiological age at a cellular level!
As unlikely as this may sound, this study revealed that strength training can actually reverse the aging process. A group of seniors was put on a resistance exercise program and by the end of the study the researchers observed hundreds of genes that had reverted back to a youthful presentation and function!
Resistance exercise can actually reverse your physiological age at a cellular level!
MAXIMIZE BENEFITS: How to properly resistance train for anti-aging.
Now that you know how important resistance training is, there are few things you’ll want to know to maximize the benefits this modality has to offer as we age.
- Be Consistent. Strength train at least once a week to see results
- Move Slowly. You can still get all the health benefits with far less risk of injury just by
- Limit Range of Motion. Most of the health benefits of strength training occur in the middle range of motion, so stay away from the extreme ends of your range, which is where strain can occur.
- Record your progress. Because you’ll want to progressively overload your muscles with heavier weights over time, good record-keeping will keep you from regressing.
Record your progress. Because you’ll want to progressively overload your muscles with heavier weights over time, good record-keeping will keep you from regressing.
ONE MACHINE TO DO IT ALL: The ARX
All of the above is key to track in order to really get the benefits you’ll want out of strength training without risk of injury. But with a traditional gym program, hitting all these points can be easier said than done, and there can be hours lost and injuries sustained when the ball is dropped.
Or, you could simply choose the best way to retain lean mass and bone density as you age: Find and make use of ARX.
ARX automatically addresses each of the tips above. To understand why it is the ultimate tool we have at our disposal for strength training today, read on.
THE 3 TOUCHPOINTS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
There are three areas required to make the changes in the body we want out of strength training: mechanical tension and muscle damage, along with metabolic stress. How well you cover these touchpoints determines how much benefit you will get from your training.
For each of these 3 areas, the ARX machine does a better job for you than a traditional gym program:
Touchpoint 1: Mechanical Tension
What is it?
Mechanical Tension is the tension that we’re creating on the muscle with resistance. This is not about sets and reps, it is about time under tension–and better than that, what you really want is time under true tension: that means when you’re fully loaded, what you are capable of.
This is key. In the gym, true time under tension can take a lot of time to achieve. That’s because when, say lifting weights, you do not fully load yourself for all ten reps in a set or you’d hurt yourself. For example, if you can lift 50 lbs, but only for about 3 reps and then that weight is too heavy and you need to go down to 30 lbs for the next 3 and maybe even 20 lbs to be able to do a full 10 reps, you just would start with 20 from the beginning so you could complete all the reps.
So, if you’re only fully loaded with what you’re capable of for the last few reps, you’d have to do quite a few sets of 10 to get the same benefit of being fully loaded the whole time (remember: being fully loaded is what gets you that true time under tension).
Why is the ARX better?
The ARX actually adjusts the amount of resistance each time to fully load you based on how much you are pushing or pulling back. Thus, it gives you true time under tension for each and every rep. That’s why 20 minutes on the ARX is the same as 2 hours of strength training in a traditional gym program like CrossFit.
Plus, the machine forces you to keep good body-positioning due to the positions that are pre-set, making it very hard to sacrifice form. Nor can you speed up your movements on the ARX. That’s super important because that takes momentum out of the movement. Using momentum when you strength train can make it easier on muscles and provide fewer gains, but the ARX stops you from taking advantage of this “cheat” before you can even try.
The ARX gives you true time under tension for each and every rep. That’s why 20 minutes on the ARX is the same as 2 hours of strength training in a traditional gym setting, like a CrossFit program.
Touchpoint 2: Muscle Damage
What is it?
Muscle damage is what most people think of as the reason we strength train: to grow bigger muscles by using resistance against weight, which creates damage (tiny micro tears) in muscle fibers. As our muscles adapt to this damage, they grow and become bigger and stronger.
To really achieve muscle damage, you’ll have to lift a certain amount of weight (over time). However, you will want to be sure that you’re lifting the right amount of weight for your goal–meaning something you can lift enough times to create muscle damage. For example, someone could lift really heavy weights, but if they only do maybe one set, they might not have done enough to create the needed muscle damage.
Why is the ARX better?
The ARX allows you to achieve this muscle damage in a much safer way because you can go full blown effort with very little risk of injury. The biomechanics are already properly set for you, meaning the positions are set properly and won’t risk going too far one way or the other.
Again, it is at the outside ranges of these movements where injury can occur and all the gains you’ll want can be achieved without ever going there. The ARX won’t let you go outside this optimal range, you simply can’t do it. Plus the AI is set exactly for you each and every time so you don’t even have to remember where to be. The machine already knows!
Touchpoint 3: Metabolic Stress
What is it?
Since it is not always possible to keep increasing the weight on the bar to achieve progressive overload, the technique of “metabolic stress” comes into the picture. Metabolic stress technique relies on the “pump” one achieves after a resistance training session.
This third and final factor in building muscle tissue is a form of stress on the inside of the muscle’s cells that leads to many of the benefits we want such as increased metabolism, hormone release, bone density, and blood flow to muscles leading to growth (the pump).
Metabolic stress is what’s going to signal the body to make an actual adaption, to create the change in the body. It comes solely from intensity of resistance: so maximal effort creates maximal metabolic stress in the body. The way to increase your metabolic stress is lift heavy weights without too much rest.
Why is the ARX better?
The ARX machine is ideal for creating metabolic stress because in addition to loading you as heavily as you are capable of, it tracks your time in between reps–so you can never cheat on your rest! It also pushes you to keep up intensity, as you can see your results in real time.
Consider this quote from the company’s own research: “With ARX the speed is safe and controlled, the range of motion for each movement is established in the computer down to the hundredth of an inch, the “weight” responds to the user and is never too much or too little, and the software automatically records every second of every exercise through a dozen different metrics.”
Because you’re never under loaded, never overloaded, the ARX maximizes benefits, while minimizing risk of injury so you know that every workout is the absolute most you can safely do to get the benefits of resistance training in the least amount of time.
Now that you know a little more about the benefits of strength training as we age, and why the ARX machine is so superior, finding your way to regular ARX workouts should now be a no-brainer. Good luck, and happy reverse-aging!