Monday, March 26, 2018

Resistance training: The real fountain of youth

Jack LaLanne died at 96, and according to his family, performed his exercise routine until the day he died.
A lot of people pay a lot of money for a lot of products that promise the elusive "fountain of youth." Creams, pills, supplements, treatments... the list goes on. While these products might cover up some wrinkles or give you a placebo-effect energy boost, they probably aren't helping you to reverse aging at a cellular level.

Only one thing can do that — resistance training.

A study in 2007 found that in a group of healthy older adults who performed resistance exercise for six months,  596 genes associated with aging reverted back to their youthful expression.

Think about that for a second... the resistance training doesn't just slow down aging or stop aging, it reverses it. If you give your body a good reason to stop getting older, it's going to listen.

In our society, we see aging as just part of the process. Every year gets a little bit harder. Every year you're not quite as fast, or not quite as strong. Every year carrying the groceries from the car takes a couple more trips, or even tying your shoes becomes more of a gymnastics event than a thoughtless act.

These very slow progressions are viewed as normal, because we see it every day. You get old, you get tired, you get weak and you die. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Exercise pioneer Dr. Doug McGuff often talks about "physiological headroom," which he defines as the difference between the most you can do and the least you can do. The goal is to keep the difference between these two points as large as possible, because when they meet... you're dead.

The good news is, it's relatively easy to keep this gap wide. A couple brief, but high-effort resistance training sessions each week will give your muscles the proper stimulus to stay strong and stave off muscle and bone loss as you age. There really is no reason we can't live strong, independent lives until we just drop dead of old age as a strong, independent 90 year olds. It just takes the magic pill: lifting weights.

Efficient Exercise is opening its doors in Ellensburg in April 2018. To be one of the first to experience evidence-based exercise in the Kittitas Valley, send an email to or call 425-214-2251 to reserve your free introductory session.