Sarcopenia is a degeneration of muscle mass and strength, sometimes referred to as osteoporosis of the muscles.
This is a serious condition that affects people who don’t use their muscles regularly for lifting and moving. Adding the EAT Resistance Program to your weekly routine enables you to combat sarcopenic muscles. Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t look like a body builder through this program, but you will recondition and increase your muscles in both size and number.
Now, on the two days each week you’re not walking through the EAT Walking Program (and it’s okay if you replace your Weekly Habit of Health walking time on these days as well), you’ll do 30 minutes of resistance exercise. Make sure those two days aren’t consecutive, though.
The core principles of the EAT Resistance Program are:
• Muscle groups are moved slowly through the full range of motion in order to eliminate gravity and momentum and work muscles more completely. Improves strength, bone density, and overall function.
• Movements are held at the point of maximum contraction just before lock-out to enable the muscles to grow fatigued and encourage them to recruit more muscle fibers. Builds muscle.
• Focus is on the core muscles. Improves overall stance and posture and maximizes energy expenditure.
• Movement is continuous. Boosts cardiovascular health.
• Muscles are stretched to the full range of motion after each muscle-group movements. Promotes long-term flexibility.
Day One: Plan Your Program
Step One: Do you have the following readily available?
• A mat and stability ball.
• A safe and spacious workout area.
• Time available in your day to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, two days a week.
If not, your assignment is to make sure you do before you move on to step two.
Step Two: Warm-up for five minutes with some or all of the following suggestions:
• Walk in place while swinging your arms.
• Mentally walk through the resistance movements you’ll be performing in your resistance rotation.
• If you’re at a gym, use any type of cardio equipment (treadmill, exercise bike, Stairmaster) at a moderate pace.
Step Three: Identify which area you’d like to work on first.
Upper Body Lower Body
Core (upper) Core (lower)
Latissimus dorsi (back) Gluteals
Pick five exercises to try from our recommendations in Appendix E of the Habits of Health. You don’t have to use dumbbells in the beginning, but over time you may choose to enhance your workout with them, as well as with other tools such as medicine balls, a vest weight, and ankle weights. Alternatively, if you don’t own my book, ask your doctor for some exercises that will work the above muscle groups without overexerting yourself. Your safety comes first.
• Begin each exercise with a slow, consistent contraction (eight seconds), hold in place just before lock-out (four seconds), then relax the muscle as you slowly return to your starting position (eight seconds) – for a total of twenty seconds per exercise.
• Immediately begin another repetition, for a total of five per exercise.
• Rest for twenty seconds after your five repetitions.
Step Six: Repeat step five for the remaining four exercises.
Step Seven: Once you’ve completed your five exercises, take five minutes to stretch the muscle groups you’ve just worked.
Step Eight: Log your workout on the corresponding (upper body or lower body) EAT Resistance Program Training Log.
Tomorrow, we will talk about day two of the EAT Resistance Training Program and discuss your long-term goals. This is quite a transformation you’ve made! At the start of the 30-Day Challenge, you may have never had an exercise program, and now you’re well on your way to making exercise a part of your lifestyle. That’s quite remarkable.