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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Muscle memory affected by age?

    Just turned 40. Also just finished a 6 month cut that I started back after Thanksgiving. Kept it going through quarantine with limited equipment at home, definitely wasn't able to keep up the intensity of the gym, no bench/rack/45s...mostly just pull ups and dips with 1 dumbbell for accessories.

    Anyway, I'm finally at the body fat level I was more or less shooting for...but at a lower body weight than last time I cut. I'd say I'm about 5lb lighter at same body fat, meaning obviously I've lost some lean mass.

    When I get either gym access or better equipment, and can return to my former intensity for lifting, will whatever I lost come back "quickly" despite age?

    I know we can still build muscle well into our 40s/50s and beyond...I was just curious about muscle memory as honestly this is the first time since I've started lifting I'm finishing a cut LIGHTER than my previous cut.
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  2. #2
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    At 67 I’ll tell you that yes it is a real thing. This is why guys shouldn’t stress so much about some muscle loss when cutting. As long as you can resume the training you had during your last mass adding phase and you actually had the muscle you though you had it comes back fast. I’ve had several periods over almost 50 years of training where I had to stop training and
    The muscle came back every time quickly.

    The last time I was 55 and had no problem putting the muscle back on. You HAVE to be able to train with the intensity and volume that will allow the muscle to come back and the issue is as you get older the recovery can really fall off and compromised recovery means compromised training unfortunately
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  3. #3
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    At 67 I’ll tell you that yes it is a real thing. This is why guys shouldn’t stress so much about some muscle loss when cutting. As long as you can resume the training you had during your last mass adding phase and you actually had the muscle you though you had it comes back fast. I’ve had several periods over almost 50 years of training where I had to stop training and
    The muscle came back every time quickly.

    The last time I was 55 and had no problem putting the muscle back on. You HAVE to be able to train with the intensity and volume that will allow the muscle to come back and the issue is as you get older the recovery can really fall off and compromised recovery means compromised training unfortunately
    Good point on recovery time. You can still get the same results, it just takes longer.

    But it's great to hear about the muscle memory. I'm pretty sure I've lost a few pounds of muscle, though without "real" weights I haven't been able to test my strength on any of the big lifts. But it seems pretty clear from weight/body composition.

    Thanks.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Good point on recovery time. You can still get the same results, it just takes longer.
    Actually the problem is if you can't use the same volume and intensity on a weekly basis as before it's most likely to not going come back at the same level. At some point the joints just don't like to do these things anymore, exacerbating the outcome. As you age the muscle can come back however as the years roll on it becomes increasingly difficult to hold the size
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Actually the problem is if you can't use the same volume and intensity on a weekly basis as before it's most likely to not going come back at the same level. At some point the joints just don't like to do these things anymore, exacerbating the outcome. As you age the muscle can come back however as the years roll on it becomes increasingly difficult to hold the size
    Makes sense...I forget the %, but you lose a bit of muscle with each decade you age, that combined with more recovery time it all adds up...hopefully won't have to wait too long to find out. Another couple months and I'll look like I've never lifted in my life lol.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Makes sense...I forget the %, but you lose a bit of muscle with each decade you age, that combined with more recovery time it all adds up...hopefully won't have to wait too long to find out. Another couple months and I'll look like I've never lifted in my life lol.
    You'll look like you lifted more than those that didnt. Sean you'll just have to be satisfied with being good for your age. It sucks but it is what it is. There just becomes a point in life where other things matter more and you're just happy to be healthy and fit. You have a ways to go however that time does come and you need to be good with it.
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    You'll look like you lifted more than those that didnt. Sean you'll just have to be satisfied with being good for your age. It sucks but it is what it is. There just becomes a point in life where other things matter more and you're just happy to be healthy and fit. You have a ways to go however that time does come and you need to be good with it.
    Thanks Tommy, yeah I'm at peace with aging. It's just crazy how fast you can lose it...10 years of diet/training etc and a few months of no gym and I've lost 2 years progress. But it is what it is - use it or lose it, as they say.

    But trying to maintain a good physique as you age is a good way to stay healthy too - staying active, weight control, diet etc.

    In the end I agree - "happy healthy and fit" is enough for me.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Thanks Tommy, yeah I'm at peace with aging. It's just crazy how fast you can lose it...10 years of diet/training etc and a few months of no gym and I've lost 2 years progress. But it is what it is - use it or lose it, as they say.

    But trying to maintain a good physique as you age is a good way to stay healthy too - staying active, weight control, diet etc.

    In the end I agree - "happy healthy and fit" is enough for me.
    youll always lift and be healthy however you just won’t be so focused on perfection.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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