WORDS BY SIMON SMITH
You're beautiful. We can see. Great flexing. Looking good my man. Nice arm. And it should feel good. If you've an average build then the chances are you're packing five pounds of muscle in that arm. Just imagine for a moment that muscle was gone...vanished. All that you'd be left with is skin and bone.
But that number is important because it's about how many pounds of muscle most men lose between the ages of 24 and 50. And that number doubles by the time they're 60. Once a man gets past the 50 mark, he can expect to lose 1% of his muscle each year for the rest of his life. Holy. Shit.
But you can do something about it, and you should.
If you lift weights, there's no reason you can't maintain a healthy, strong musculature well into your 90s if you use man's most effective anti-ageing weapon: resistance training.
"Lifting weights regularly signals your body to fight to keep your muscle," says Jeff Volek, an exercise and diet researcher at the University of Connecticut.
Here are 4 reasons why you should be lifting weights more:
IT'S BETTER AT BURNING FAT THAN CARDIO
What a strappin' young man Arnie was. The beast. Let's be honest. The main reason any of us head to the gym is to shift that fat around the waist. The goal is to go as little possible and get results like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. The good news is that lifting weights has proven to be a far more effective method of fat around the waist than running on a treadmill has.According to a 12-year study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) healthy men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities.
IT BOOSTS TESTOSTERONE
Unfortunately, after you hit 30, your testosterone levels will start to fall. That's bad for a number of reasons. Your sex drive, sperm production, energy levels and bone density are all going to take a hit.
The good news is that regular weight training can help in two ways. It will give that post-workout testosterone boost while offering muscle growth and fat loss - both of which help maintain healthy testosterone levels. Look at wrestler Ryback in the picture. He's 35 and looks healthy.
YOU WON'T DIE AS EARLY
This probably should have been at the top of the list as it's quite important. If you pump iron you'll be at a significantly lower risk of dying from a hole bevvy of disorders. Those who weight train are less likely to suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension and can even enjoy a 40 percent reduction in getting cancer. If that doesn't convince you to whip on a tight vest and get to the gym then we don't know what will.
YOU'LL BE BETTER AT OTHER SPORTS
The least surprising of them all. Doing weights improves your game all round, even - as the above image suggests - when it comes to running. Including strength training into your running program means you'll be less injury prone, you'll be more efficient and burn more calories as a result of having more muscle. Ultrarunning legend Scott Jurek does two to three days of strength training each week to help him regularly run 50-mile plus races.