By Darren Buford
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2001.
Don’t believe anyone who professes you’re too old to build muscle mass or that men develop strength faster than women. A University of Maryland research team recently focused on both age and gender in relation to strength change from training and detraining, or non-activity, in 41 individuals. According to the study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, younger subjects (ages 20–30) demonstrated only a slightly greater increase in strength than their elder counterparts (ages 65–75) after nine weeks of training. However, older participants did show a greater decline upon 31 weeks of detraining, revealing it pays to stay in shape. Accompanying the results, research found men and women in both groups gained strength proportionately to one another.