Resistance Exercise Reverses Muscle Aging

August 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Anti Aging Articles, Featured


6 months of resistance exercise training can reverse aging associated with mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, reports a joint study from researchers at the Buck Institute for Age Research in California, McMaster University’s Department of Pediatrics and Medicine in Canada, and the Center for Genetics, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California.

When we age, our skeletal muscle atrophies, meaning that a decrease in muscle mass is experienced. This is also known as sarcopenia.

Much evidence shows that a main cause of sarcopenia is mitochondrial dysfunction inside cells. (Mitochondria are the cell’s “power plants” as they generate cells’ chemical energy.)

Researchers took skeletal muscle biopsies from 25 healthy older and 26 younger adult men and women and compared them with gene expression profiling.

14 of the older adults had muscle samples taken before and after a 6-month resistance exercise-training program.

Before exercise, older adults were 59% weaker than younger adults, but after 6 months of training, strength improved significantly such that they were only 38% weaker than young adults.

“As a consequence of age, we found 596 genes differentially expressed.” (To learn more about gene expression, watch this TED video from Dr Dean Ornish on how Your Genes are Not Your Fate).

Prior to the exercise training, a large enrichment of genes associated with mitochondrial function with age was seen.

However, following exercise training, aging was markedly reversed back to that of younger levels for most genes that were affected by both age and exercise.

Researchers concluded that mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness in healthy older adults can be partially to substantially reversed with 6 months of resistance exercise training.

The best way to start a resistance training program is to partner with a certified personal trainer. This way, they can observe your movement and correct improper alignment, in order to prevent injury and ensure that you see results.

At the House of Verona, we work with Adam Mogelonsky, who is by far one of the most qualified personal trainers in Toronto. He has a degree in Life Sciences from Queen’s University, and can be reached at 647-448-2326 or


Melov S, Tarnopolsky MA, Beckman K, Felkey K, Hubbard A (2007) Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle. PLoS ONE 2(5): e465. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000465

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