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Age related muscle wastage in legs

bflkbflk Posts: 240
Went 3 months without any biking this winter, by far the longest I've been off the bike for quite a few years. Turned 54 in the spring and resumed in March - I had been running and racing* so still had some more general aerobic fitness. Really struggled at first... and still struggling, today I only averaged 13mph and that was ride #11. Quads possibly look a bit more developed but I'm started to fear I am fighting a losing battle with muscle wastage; hard to see any strength translating into 'performance'. Has anyone been in this situation before in their 50s? Did it come back eventually?

* for comparison my running times are marginally down on last autumn by around 0.5%.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,074
    Strength doesn't really translate into performance on the bike, assuming you are talking about general road cycling. If you've been off the bike for three months, that will represent a significant (if not total) loss of bike fitness. Given that you've only been back on the bike since March, then it's very early days. Although you haven't actually said how often/how long you are now riding for, so any improvement will be highly dependent on that.

    54 is a bit early to start talking about age-related muscle wastage, to be fair...
  • bflkbflk Posts: 240
    Most of the sources I have read talk about it really kicking in in the 50s. OK its only 11 rides, longest one 40km but I get the impression it is taking a lot longer to get back into it than any comparable break up to late 40s.

    I would definitely say I was or felt totally detrained.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,166
    Am I right in that you have been running all the time you have been off the bike. If so it might be that you lost your cyclists legs and have got runners legs now. As for your bike speed you've have only been back it a month.
    Last year from January I had 2 months with no lower leg activity due to a ruptured Achilles . As soon as I was allowed I got on the turbo then outside on the road, increasing the distance gradually with a bit speed work thrown in. By mid May I did a flattish 100 mile sportive at 17+ mph.
    I was 60 at the time
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I'm 52 and had a pretty shocking year so far - so much so that only today I passed the 100 miles for 2017 mark because events just haven't allowed me to get out on the bike much. Did a chilly but near pan-flat 30k in just under the hour and I'm feeling it a little bit. But, after a friend told me his body started to fall to bits at 50, I'm not seeing any of it so far. In fact, I'd say my late 40s and early 50s have been some of my best years. The only thing I've noticed (apart from slightly failing near-vision) is that I don't bounce quite as well as I did when I was younger.

    ETA - the ad links threw up this http://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/1312/ ... a281d6e096
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • bflk wrote:
    Went 3 months without any biking this winter, by far the longest I've been off the bike for quite a few years. Turned 54 in the spring and resumed in March - I had been running and racing* so still had some more general aerobic fitness. Really struggled at first... and still struggling, today I only averaged 13mph and that was ride #11. Quads possibly look a bit more developed but I'm started to fear I am fighting a losing battle with muscle wastage; hard to see any strength translating into 'performance'. Has anyone been in this situation before in their 50s? Did it come back eventually?

    * for comparison my running times are marginally down on last autumn by around 0.5%.
    i. 3 months break from cycling will result in a significant loss of cycling fitness that may require more than 3 months to reclaim. How long depends on the nature of your cycling training/fitness before your break and what level of fitness you are seeking to reclaim.

    ii. Strength training may result in degrading endurance cycling performance through mitochondrial dilution, reduced capillary density and increasing cell diffusion distance (slowing gas and metabolite exchange processes). Size of muscle mass is not a good indicator of your aerobic condition (and endurance cycling is an aerobic sport).

    iii. speed is a poor means to judge fitness given many factors influence your velocity other than how much power you are producing.

    There is a fundamental principle in training called the Reversibility Principle. Have a read of some of the links from the google search and you'll get the idea. In essence, use it or lose it.
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    Imposter wrote:
    Strength doesn't really translate into performance on the bike, assuming you are talking about general road cycling. If you've been off the bike for three months, that will represent a significant (if not total) loss of bike fitness. Given that you've only been back on the bike since March, then it's very early days. Although you haven't actually said how often/how long you are now riding for, so any improvement will be highly dependent on that.

    54 is a bit early to start talking about age-related muscle wastage, to be fair...

    No it's not, clearly you haven't spent any time in a gym lately and taken a look at guys that age that do nothing to halt the decline in strength at that age and younger, why do you think old people eventually end up as weak assed individuals sat in chairs with nothing left but skin an bone, your hoping this won't happen to you as you age because you peddle a bike then think on, resistance exercise is essential as you age, cycling fitness is a separate issue
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,074
    reacher wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Strength doesn't really translate into performance on the bike, assuming you are talking about general road cycling. If you've been off the bike for three months, that will represent a significant (if not total) loss of bike fitness. Given that you've only been back on the bike since March, then it's very early days. Although you haven't actually said how often/how long you are now riding for, so any improvement will be highly dependent on that.

    54 is a bit early to start talking about age-related muscle wastage, to be fair...

    No it's not, clearly you haven't spent any time in a gym lately and taken a look at guys that age that do nothing to halt the decline in strength at that age and younger, why do you think old people eventually end up as weak assed individuals sat in chairs with nothing left but skin an bone, your hoping this won't happen to you as you age because you peddle a bike then think on, resistance exercise is essential as you age, cycling fitness is a separate issue

    FFS, who is this guy... :roll:

    edit - now I remember - it's the guy who made a complete idiot of himself on this thread viewtopic.php?t=13072594
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    Imposter wrote:
    reacher wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Strength doesn't really translate into performance on the bike, assuming you are talking about general road cycling. If you've been off the bike for three months, that will represent a significant (if not total) loss of bike fitness. Given that you've only been back on the bike since March, then it's very early days. Although you haven't actually said how often/how long you are now riding for, so any improvement will be highly dependent on that.

    54 is a bit early to start talking about age-related muscle wastage, to be fair...

    No it's not, clearly you haven't spent any time in a gym lately and taken a look at guys that age that do nothing to halt the decline in strength at that age and younger, why do you think old people eventually end up as weak assed individuals sat in chairs with nothing left but skin an bone, your hoping this won't happen to you as you age because you peddle a bike then think on, resistance exercise is essential as you age, cycling fitness is a separate issue

    FFS, who is this guy... :roll:

    Calm down dear, just because you don't don't know everything about training theirs no need to get all hot an bothered, you could try reading up on stuff instead of trying to improvise with answers that are factually incorrect.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,074
    reacher wrote:

    Calm down dear, just because you don't don't know everything about training theirs no need to get all hot an bothered, you could try reading up on stuff instead of trying to improvise with answers that are factually incorrect.

    So explain how your ramblings relate to the OP's question? This is pretty much the same conversation that you made such an utter d1ck of yourself on in the other thread.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I returned to road cycling aged 50 and following knee surgery. Took a couple of years to build up a decent level of bike fitness, but I didn't put on any noticeable muscle mass. This year I'll be 60 and I'm still fitter than I was 10 years ago, but I do think I'm starting to look a bit thinner around my quads. My aim now is to just keep cycling as frequently and as far as I can. I'm increasingly conscious of the use it or lose it scenario.

    The only people I'm aware of who manage to maintain serious muscle mass in later life are the fanatics in the US who take testosterone, steroids and HGF, and do a stupid amount of weights
  • jeremy1jeremy1 Posts: 71
    13mph I did better than that last week and I have not cycled for 3 years and I am 60
  • jeremy1jeremy1 Posts: 71
    Is this prat for real or just a moron insulting the older community. A** H****

    Perhaps this moron needs to visit people in old peoples homes and see dementia, age related problems, lonliness and geriatrics for real, in fact one day I hope they experience it

    "No it's not, clearly you haven't spent any time in a gym lately and taken a look at guys that age that do nothing to halt the decline in strength at that age and younger, why do you think old people eventually end up as weak assed individuals sat in chairs with nothing left but skin an bone, "
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    Imposter wrote:
    reacher wrote:

    Calm down dear, just because you don't don't know everything about training theirs no need to get all hot an bothered, you could try reading up on stuff instead of trying to improvise with answers that are factually incorrect.

    So explain how your ramblings relate to the OP's question? This is pretty much the same conversation that you made such an utter d1ck of yourself on in the other thread.[/quote

    They don't, they relate to your answer, whilst your certainly very knowledgable on certain subjects looking at your constant postings on subjects that clearly you have no in depth knowledge of or experiance why not just contain your answers to stuff that you do know about and not make assumptions about resistance training or what happens to the body as regards strength as you age. You should let other people who do know about this stuff answer instead of trying to make yourself look like you know everything when clearly you actually don't know because you have never done it
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,074
    reacher wrote:

    They don't, they relate to your answer, whilst your certainly very knowledgable on certain subjects looking at your constant postings on subjects that clearly you have no in depth knowledge of or experiance why not just contain your answers to stuff that you do know about and not make assumptions about resistance training or what happens to the body as regards strength as you age. You should let other people who do know about this stuff answer instead of trying to make yourself look like you know everything when clearly you actually don't know because you have never done it

    Mate - you need to calm down. Presumably you are taking issue with something I said up thread. Spell out which bit you disagree with - and why - and let's take it from there.
  • bflkbflk Posts: 240
    this is a quote from the 'bible' of running, Tim Noakes Lore of Running 4th edition p80

    "In humans the detioration of skeletal muscle with age begins between the ages of 50 and 60 and is characterized by the following (FW Booth et al 1994)
    * Muscle strength is relatively well maintained until age 50 whereafter there is a 15% loss of muscle strength per decade up until 70. Between 70 and 80 a further 30% is lost.
    * Total muscle mass peaks at age 24 and falls by 10% by age 50. Thereafter the loss acccelerates so that another 30% is lost by 80.
    * equivalent loss of Type I and II type muscle but remaining type II are also smaller in size than their peak adult size..."

    Booth, F.W., Weeden, S.H., Tseng, B.S. (1994). Effect of aging
    on human skeletal muscle and motor function.
    Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 26, 556–
    60.
  • bflkbflk Posts: 240
    webboo wrote:
    Am I right in that you have been running all the time you have been off the bike. If so it might be that you lost your cyclists legs and have got runners legs now. As for your bike speed you've have only been back it a month.
    Last year from January I had 2 months with no lower leg activity due to a ruptured Achilles . As soon as I was allowed I got on the turbo then outside on the road, increasing the distance gradually with a bit speed work thrown in. By mid May I did a flattish 100 mile sportive at 17+ mph.
    I was 60 at the time

    Yes it is definitely a case of not having cyclist legs right now. But 'cyclists legs' are a lot more obvious than 'runners legs'. Maybe that is more of a matter of what I can observe physically, but I do lots of running and it doesn't remodel my legs like cycling does. I would struggle to even notice any change in legs between fully trained and detrained.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,074
    It's already been established that cycling is not a sport where strength is a significant factor though, so while I have no issue with studies which report muscle wastage/ageing, I'm not sure why everyone is getting fixated on the strength/muscle wastage thing on this forum. As far as I'm aware, you lose between 0.5% - 1% per year from your 40s onwards, and this tends to accelerate once beyond around 75 - but there are plenty of old, trained, aerobically-fit, fast cyclists out there, in their 50s, 60s and beyond. I've been dropped by plenty of them over the years...
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,039
    @ OP

    I''d suggest your over thinking this and applying causal links when really there aren't any.

    so you've has three months off with a month back on the bike but you haven't described the intensity or distance your covering? It will hurt coming back and getting bike fit again but it would have little to do with whatever cycling muscle you perceive yourself to have lost in three months and more to do with your aerobic state.

    I lost interest during the winter and managed one 50 mile ride a week and putting on a hell of a lot of lard during that period. So I'm now adjusting my calorie and micronutrient intake accordingly and cycling a couple of times a week in a chain gang and a long ride at the weekend. I can't say I've noticed any decrease on leg muscle size but equally the efforts are king sized but the speed is nowhere near last years.

    I appreciate speed as referenced above isn't a stable indicator of fitness but now Ive done a month of the above I'll start doing a fasted zone 2 rise on a Wednesday.

    My fitness is returning and one thing that is relevant to age is the recovery time I need which amplifies the need of a good diet and plenty of sleep as your recovery is just as important as riding.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • bflkbflk Posts: 240
    slowmart wrote:
    @ OP

    I''d suggest your over thinking this and applying causal links when really there aren't any.

    so you've has three months off with a month back on the bike but you haven't described the intensity or distance your covering? It will hurt coming back and getting bike fit again but it would have little to do with whatever cycling muscle you perceive yourself to have lost in three months and more to do with your aerobic state.

    I lost interest during the winter and managed one 50 mile ride a week and putting on a hell of a lot of lard during that period. So I'm now adjusting my calorie and micronutrient intake accordingly and cycling a couple of times a week in a chain gang and a long ride at the weekend. I can't say I've noticed any decrease on leg muscle size but equally the efforts are king sized but the speed is nowhere near last years.

    I appreciate speed as referenced above isn't a stable indicator of fitness but now Ive done a month of the above I'll start doing a fasted zone 2 rise on a Wednesday.

    My fitness is returning and one thing that is relevant to age is the recovery time I need which amplifies the need of a good diet and plenty of sleep as your recovery is just as important as riding.

    I get what you saying and maybe I am just panicking prematurely. The impression that the comeback is harder than before is subjective after all. Anyway its spring and that means biking for good or bad. :)
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Now bone density IS something you should worry about if you only cycle..
  • pinnopinno Posts: 40,248
    I'm...younger.

    ETA - the ad links threw up this http://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/1312/ ... a281d6e096

    Nice quote in that article:

    "Professional athletes work harder when they are injured than when they are fit. So, if you attempt Alpe D’Huez after six months off the bike and you get injured, it’s not because you’re old, it’s because you’re daft. "
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 40,248
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Now bone density IS something you should worry about if you only cycle..

    Oh no, don't say that :roll:
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,204
    I suffered much more from getting wasted in my 20s than I do now.
    Only because I get wasted less often now.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Now bone density IS something you should worry about if you only cycle..

    Sounds like a load of shite. Gaszillions of people do censored all, but you don't hear about an epidemic in bone density related sickness type diseases.

    If all you did was ride and go to bed, then you might have a point.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    That actually made me laugh how stupid that was. Well done.

    Osteoporosis.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Garry H wrote:
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Now bone density IS something you should worry about if you only cycle..

    Sounds like a load of shite. Gaszillions of people do censored all, but you don't hear about an epidemic in bone density related sickness type diseases.

    If all you did was ride and go to bed, then you might have a point.

    i wouldnt poo hoo it, its what you did or didnt do up to the age of about 30 that matters....

    "The scale of the problem

    One in three women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist or spine as a result of osteoporosis.

    In total, osteoporosis causes 310,000 fractures in the UK every year. The estimated cost of treating these fractures runs into several billion pounds each year if you include the social care that many need afterwards because of permanent disability"

    http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/conditions/a ... eoporosis/
  • BMD is definitely an issue as one ages but of course individual responses vary.

    Being physically active is the best way to address BMD, and in particular activities that provide a form of light jarring to the skeletal system (e.g. brisk walking, jogging, or sports that make you do running, jogging, jump, skip etc) is most effective in helping address BMD.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,204
    mamba80 wrote:
    ...
    "The scale of the problem

    One in three women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist or spine as a result of osteoporosis.

    In total, osteoporosis causes 310,000 fractures in the UK every year. The estimated cost of treating these fractures runs into several billion pounds each year if you include the social care that many need afterwards because of permanent disability"
    Just for clarification, over 50 includes those over 90.
    I fully expect those in their 90s to have some form of osteoporosis.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    But is it more prevalent in cyclists? Everybody walks, right?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,074
    Garry H wrote:
    But is it more prevalent in cyclists? Everybody walks, right?
    Good point, well made ;)
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