Sarcopenia – Weight? Reps? Sets?

As we mentioned in past posts regular activity like sports, hiking, swimming, biking etc, surprisingly does nothing to combat Sarcopenia. This is why so many suffer, even those who live an active lifestyle face significant weakening and eventual frailty. The key is weight…real weight on the muscles and bones.


Once you realize that getting strong is the only substantial way to maintain health the questions flood in. Last post we took a look a different types of weights: – the next thing is how much? You will choose amounts of weight, amounts of sets and reps so what is the best way to do this?


Most just guess or copy and count some repetitions somewhere between 8 reps and 15 reps and do as many sets as they can before getting too fatigued or bored. There is a better way and it is called ‘time under tension’ or TUT for short. You basically choose a weight which allows you to lift for a certain amount of time before you hit a point where your muscles are too tired to *continue.

544955_703763633077574_2921268127189360312_n 3 sec up/3 sec down10959426_703763563077581_3283706865366704572_n

Start with 60-80 second sets and move your repetitions at about a 3/3 pace. That is 3 seconds up ands 3 seconds down, it seems sort of slow but allows good form and high quality stimulation (we often go even slower!). Use a stopwatch or that type of thing and fine tune your weight choices to see your sets lasting at least 60 seconds and no longer than 80 seconds.


This is a good place to start and if you keep your reps all at the same pace (don’t speed up as you hit the hard ones! ) you will create excellent strength stimulation. How many sets and general organization will be talked about in future posts, TUT is a good way to know if you are going heavy enough but not too heavy.

Be well, be strong,

Andrew and Tierney


* Keep the reps going until you cannot do another rep without cheating and breaking strict form.


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