Muscles weaken with age?

My muscles seem to be as dig as they were maybe twenty years ago, but they’ve definately lost strength. I can’t push, pull, or lift what I used to. Also, and what I noticed first, when I squat it takes considerably more effort than it once did to stand up. And I can’t exercise as much either.
I’m 65. Is this just a price of aging? I don’t really mind the other stuff, but I don’t like having to ask the (nice) teenage boy across the street to help me lift my lawnmower into the back of my pickup.
I do have diabetes, semi-controlled with oral meds.

Getting old sucks
IIRC, innervation decreases in skeletal muscle as you get older too, so not only don’t your mitos put out as they once did, you can’t yell at them to get off their dead asses with as much volume as you used to either.

Yeah, but there is a strong tendency to attribute to “getting older” many things that actually are not a normal facet of aging, but, rather are due to illness. IOW, ‘old folks’ get sick too. :slight_smile:

Yep, the magic word for that is sarcopenia. My understanding is that it happens to everybody to some degree (given enough time). And while sarcopenia can result from various diseases, it’ll happen to otherwise healthy people as well. It certainly occurs without fail in many different lab animals, even without any particular disease states.

If you engage in weight lifting on a regular basis, you will not lose muscle strength. In fact, if you haven’t, it is never too late to start, and if you haven’t, you will increase muscle strength.

The link that Squink provided refers to protein modification. As you age your speed in running diminishes, especially in the shorter races. Several years ago I ran an article that stated the reason for this is modification of your fast twitch muscles. In effect, they become more like slow twitch. I think that ties in with Squink’s link and seems most likely the reason. Some have said it is because we lose flexibility as we age. Well, I’ve never been flexible to begin with. But also I’ve never been fast, either. :slight_smile:

I remember some physiology 101 lectures that indicated that this tends to go unnoticed by most people for a long time because they have considerable reserve muscular capacity beyond that which ordinary activity requires. When their strength dips below the level required to do the everyday stuff they suddenly start having problems.

I’m 64 and also have type 2 diabetes. I was also experiencing a loss of strength, along with a few other symptoms like depression and diminished libido. I told my doctor and he had me do a blood test for testosterone. Sure enough, my level was extremely low. So I have to get a shot every 3 weeks. I just got home from my third shot, and they say I should be noticing an improvement any day now.

I’ll have to ask my doctor about that. I want to start a exercise regimen and it would be better if I had some energy to start with.
Good luck, and thanks.

Absent any disease muscles will atrophy with disuse often that accompanies growing old.

I work out a lot and I can lift the same as I did when I was 20. The interesting thing about muscles is they bounce back quick. If I quit working out for say two months, the muscle gets smaller. Then when I start back it bounces back right to where it was in a week. OK if I stopped working out long enough it wouldn’t bounce back as quick but it’s good to remember.

I see a lot older people in the gym and they are able to do quite a bit, so it can be done. You have to be sensible about it though. You have to consider your overall condition and how to progress sensibly.

I always recommend swimming for older people. This is the best exercise and the least to cause issues with bones and back pain and such. Of course you have to actually swim, not just float around in the pool.

What sucks even worse is how big a role genetics play in how strong you are to begin with and how strong you can get. Muscularly gifted people start out strong without ever setting foot in a gym or picking up a barbell. It’s a little discouraging to say the least, when after a year of avid training all your lift poundages plateau.