Nearing 72 Years Old And Losing Muscle

I have been weight training for over 52 years, of which I competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting competitively over 3 decades. I did experience an autoimmune disease when I was 48 that dropped me out of all competition. Over the following 12 years I steadily made progress in strength and muscle size.

It seemed that on my 60th year I began losing strength at a slow steady pace. Soon after I noticed a slight reduction of muscle. I would guess that I have lost about 15 lbs of muscle to this point (72 years old) from my 60th birthday. I have tried numerous supplements and on TR therapy (100mg/5days). A week ago I started Micro-PA, but it is too soon to notice a difference, as yet.

About three years ago I found it difficult (impossible) to keep fat off my belly. Trying GoLo the past 8 weeks: I don’t notice much change, if any.
I am 5’11" and 199 lbs.

Do you have any recommendations to slow the loss of muscle (sarcopenia)? I am taking about everything I can think of. Is there a training style that worsens my situation? I have always liked to lift heavy weights. The good news about getting weaker is that I seldom get injured.

Areas where there is gross noticeable sarcopenia:

  • medial gastrocnemius
  • pectorals
  • both heads of the vastus musccle

There is also a general noticeable sarcopenia throughout.

Thanks for any input,
Terry Brooks

Really the biggest thing is to keep the protein intake cranked pretty high, same as always. Unless there’s a specific diagnosed wasting disease (which would indicate a much bigger problem), it’s just about basic muscle preservation and repair.

Mag-10 is a fast-absorbing protein that’s optimally and efficiently absorbed. 1-2 servings per day, either after training or between meals, would reinforce your daily protein with a high-quality source.

Not particularly, other than following a well-designed program that allows for plenty of recovery time. If you’re still lifting heavy or heavy-ish, I’d scale back on the volume in each workout to help recovery even further, cutting down the sets and/or reps.

Micro-PA is definitely a great supplement and it kinda compounds the effects from a good training plan. Stick with it, get your training and diet dialed in, and you should be on track.

Are you doing any kind of cardio on a regular basis? Even a few sessions a week, either after lifting or on non-lifting days, can make a big difference in staying lean.

This article talks about some more points and you’re already covering some of them:

You might also want to post some general training/diet questions in T Nation’s Over-35 Lifter forum. Guys over there are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s ('ya know, youngsters :wink: ) and they talk about the strategies they use. Plus, the experience you bring would definitely be an asset and I’m sure guys would love to pick your brain.

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