Glenn links to this article. The article speculates that reversing muscle loss as one ages is a matter of identifying and employing the benefits of a particular protein. This sounds to me like the idea that dealing with maladies physical (and emotional and mental) is a matter of finding just the right drug, whether it's at Walgreens or in the gritty part of the city under a streetlight late a night.
Last night, Carol and I went to a birthday party at Rob's house. He was 48 yesterday. His parents from up north were visiting, which was another reason he wanted to have people over. His dad, just a few days before, celebrated his 84th birthday. (Rob noted some irony in his being 48 and his father being 84.) Rob's dad looked in his 60s: upright, slim - not skinny - the picture of vigor, and a very pleasing personality.
Rob told me that his dad lifts weights and begins each morning with a good stretching regime.
Could it be that a significant contributing cause of muscle decline is that we aging folk don't use our muscles? (cf. Matthew 25:24-28)
I did 24 "thrusters" at 55 pounds on Thursday, Carol at 35. (My age is 66.) We did them broken up into three sets with other exercises. Given what little I could do with just about any exercise 6 months ago, this astonishes me. We did a bunch of deadlifts earlier this week. I was at 80 pounds. These were not our "max" lifts. (My "1 rep max" on the dealift is 155 right now.) When we know we are going to be doing repetitions, we dial back (as the coaches advise us to do). I must also confess that part of the reason I dial back also is simply lack of confidence, but I think I'm getting over that.
In part, Crossfit is a big science project for Carol and me. It's also fun.