Resistance training, muscle and longevity

 In Flex Blog

One thing that I’ve seen significantly affect the quality of life of my patients over their lifetime has been their physical mobility. It’s easy to take our mobility for granted. There is truth to the old adage ‘use it or lose it’, as one thing is for sure, that as we age, our strength, balance, power and in turn mobility will gradually decline; unless we do something about it.

Did you know that approximately 45% of your body mass is made up of muscle and that skeletal muscle is largest organ in the body (Pederson, 2013 & Rivas & Fielding, 2013)? It plays significant roles in affecting our hormones, inflammation and metabolism. For this reason, it is so important to make sure your muscles are strong and healthy. The best tool to stimulate healthier muscle tissue is resistance training, such as Pilates and strength training, which we offer here at Flex. One of our physiotherapists would love to coach you through how to do this by developing a plan and ensuring you are confident, safe and effective in your training.

When looking to build muscle, a good place to start is with 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, with exercises targeting major muscle groups, such as glutes, quads, back and shoulder muscles (Basalobre-Fernandez et al., 2016 & Blagrove et al., 2017). Aim to perform 6-9 sets per muscle group each week, with higher repetition ranges (10-15 reps) and lighter loads initially (Denadai et al., 2017). Consistency is key and the longer the program is carried out, the greater the results (Blagrove et al., 2017). In order to most effectively improve your strength, prevent injury and feel more healthy and energised, it’s a good idea to work with a health professional who can provide recommendations on how to progress your program and exercises.

Finally, a note on sarcopaenia, the age-related process of skeletal muscle mass and strength. Our muscle mass declines by approximately 3-8% per decade after the age of 30, with this rate of decline accelerating past age 60 (Volpi et al., 2004). Have you noticed how as we age, it takes longer to recover, people appear more frail and they tend to move slowly and more cautiously? Sarcopaenia is associated with declining physical function and mobility, development of metabolic and other chronic diseases and increased body fat deposition (von Haehling et al., 2010). Fighting the battle of preventing muscle loss should start as early as possible.

If you would like some support with this process, or want to find out more about our Clinical Strength or Pilates services, give us a call on (03) 9670 7041 and our friendly team will happily assist you.

Written by Physiotherapist, Irwin Kim



  1. Balsalobre-Fernández, C., Santos-Concejero, J., & Grivas, G. V. (2016). Effects of Strength Training on Running Economy in Highly Trained Runners: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis of Controlled Trials. Journal of strength and conditioning research30(8), 2361–2368. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001316
  2. Blagrove, R. C., Howatson, G., & Hayes, P. R. (2018). Effects of Strength Training on the Physiological Determinants of Middle- and Long-Distance Running Performance: A Systematic Review. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)48(5), 1117–1149. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0835-7
  3. Denadai, B. S., de Aguiar, R. A., de Lima, L. C., Greco, C. C., & Caputo, F. (2017). Explosive Training and Heavy Weight Training are Effective for Improving Running Economy in Endurance Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)47(3), 545–554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0604-z
  4. Pedersen B. K. (2013). Muscle as a secretory organ. Comprehensive Physiology3(3), 1337–1362. https://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c120033
  5. Rivas, D. A., & Fielding, R. A. (2013). Skeletal muscle. Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, 193-199.
  6. Volpi, E., Nazemi, R., & Fujita, S. (2004). Muscle tissue changes with aging. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care7(4), 405–410. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.mco.0000134362.76653.b2
  7. von Haehling, S., Morley, J. E., & Anker, S. D. (2010). An overview of sarcopenia: facts and numbers on prevalence and clinical impact. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle1(2), 129–133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13539-010-0014-2
Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search