Consider all the physical activities you enjoy performing right now, from standing, walking, getting out of a car, going upstairs, getting off the toilet bowl, picking up a son or daughter, to running.
What are your thoughts about still being able to do these activities in 20, 30, or 40 years?
This can be achieved, but it's not something that is simply waiting for you as you get older. In fact, increasing or preserving your muscle mass is something that only happens if you train it to increase or stay. Otherwise, after 30 years of age, you can expect to lose 3-5% of your muscle mass every decade.
Let's picture that for a moment. What concerns do you have about losing approximately 30% of your muscle mass over your lifetime?
Now that you have reflected on the two sides of the "muscle mass" coin, What are you currently doing to build or maintain yours?
If you want to be as fully functional as you can be in this decade and every decade following this, here is the simple piece of information you need to know to help maximize your muscle mass:
Step 1: Choose a weight you can lift for at least six or more reps.
Step 2: Work the muscle or movement until the point of form failure*.
Both of these steps are necessary, but the step I hear clients and friends constantly overlook is working "to the point of form failure." Exercise is great. I encourage everyone to do it, but stopping before this point will not work to help you maintain and build muscle mass!
*Form failure is when your muscles can not perform another rep with a safe technique (form).
The beauty of this is you have a wide range of light and heavy loads to work with. You don't have to pick up a weight you fear will crush you. For example, if you can't perform a full push-up from your toes, a kneeling push performed to failure will be effective. And it's not going to be inferior. It's not a cop-out.
Why? Because the key point is, no matter the weight you pick up, you are good to go as long as you can perform six or more reps and keep performing reps until your muscle reaches failure.
Before you go, take 60 seconds to think about what you will do with this piece of information.