Last post we introduced sarcopenia as a condition we all suffer from in that basically past 35 we all begin to lose strength especially that which we have no daily use for. We also pointed out the problem, much like body fat gain, this tends to sneak up on us.
It is our position that basic strength ‘bench tests’ should be in place within the medical community because weakening is usually the beginning of a loss in health in general. It is our hope that the newly formed C.S.F. ( http://www.canadiansarcopeniafoundation.com/ ) will promote awareness to the point that simple examinations will be common place.
At our clinic we use our pet equipment to assess people however here are to staple tests anyone can perform which speak volumes about the state of your lean mass, strength and functionality. *Simply follow video test #1 and #2 as demonstrated and score as follows:
Poor: Could not properly complete at least 5 continuous repetitions.
Fair: Could perform 8 proper repetitions in a row.
Good: Could perform 15 continuous repetitions in good form.
*Weights have been adjusted for male verses females. The two tests together measure overall strength as it relates to joints/bones and lean muscle mass. Both movements are exceptionally simplistic in nature to help rule our skill as a factor, hence no twisting or jumping.
Audio instructions accompany each video.
Now if you are over 60 and have never really performed any basic strength exercise you may know from your very first attempt that these tests are not possible. Let us assure you that all of our clients 60+ do eventually build up to or very near the good level and most develop above that…so yes the ‘good’ level is what we consider the bare minimum for health and quality of life. The issue is decades of strength and muscle loss also brings major joint deformities with it – many of which compound the weakness issue.
The weight ranges are to account for different body types where larger structured people can naturally support more load with their bones and joints. Our hope is that these simple tests are an eye opener and help establish a healthy perspective.
We always welcome questions and offer complimentary evaluations even if you just want to send us a video of your tests. Next week we address sarcopenia and how it is as influential to body fat levels as is nutrition, until then…
Be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney