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6 Tips For Building Muscle & Improving Longevity

Jun 3 2024
4 min read
A mature woman building muscle with dumbbells

Building muscle goes beyond aesthetics – it's crucial for overall health and longevity.

Building and maintaining muscle is key to overall well-being, helping us avoid and minimize frailty, falls, and cognitive decline as we age. The list of health ramifications related to muscle loss is long, including increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, dementia, and some types of cancer. Women, in particular, benefit from weight training as they are start out with less muscle mass, lose it faster, and are more susceptible to bone density loss.  

The good news? Building muscle can be incredibly rewarding and even fun. To learn where to start, we caught up with our very own Mike Siemens, Canyon Ranch’s director of performance science. Explore Mike’s top tips for building muscle – and keeping it – below. 

Man working in the gym with a medicine ball

1. Start Now and Stay Consistent 
Without weight training, the average adult loses as much as one third of a pound of muscle a year. That's why it’s so important to start your muscle-building journey now. Second most important? Consistency. Remember what your goals are, commit to your health, and keep up the work to achieve the best results. Remember, even short one-set workouts are better than skipping it altogether. Stay in the game!

2. Learn Your Starting Point 
Before you begin, it’s helpful to assess where you are now. Body composition tests like a Bod Pod® or DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) scan offer valuable measurement insights, like pounds of fat-free mass – the sum of muscle, bone, fluids, and organs. This can help shape your fitness plan and determine if your routine is working by re-checking your body composition every three to six months.   

3. Work with a Personal Trainer 
When it comes to weight training, it’s essential to follow a program that meets your individual needs. A skilled personal trainer not only helps you curate the right fitness plan for you, but also guides you in achieving good form – in turn, reducing your risk of injury. Also, it's helpful to know what your injuries or pain-producing movements are and what movement mechanics have caused those issues. Working with a good sports medicine doctor can help identify and correct your movement issues. Interested? Explore Designed Experiences, such as Fitness Amplified.

woman doing lunges with dumbbells

4. Eat Enough Protein 
A key part of building muscle is making sure you are getting enough protein in your diet. While the general recommendation is to consume 0.7 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily, it’s important you consult a dietician to determine the amount that’s ideal for you.  

5. Avoid Caloric Deficits 
Your body needs the right fuel to keep you feeling energized. Skipping meals or following a very low-calorie diet can hinder your goals and result in muscle loss. Make sure you're eating nourishing, balanced meals – and enough of them – to support your body.  

6. Have a Back-Up Plan 
Tough or busy days happen. When you're low on motivation or short on time, make sure you have a quick, 8-10 minute back-up routine you can fall back on. Doing something is always better than doing nothing – and squeezing in just one set of each exercise can make all the difference over time.  

At Canyon Ranch, you'll find all the resources you need – from sports medicine doctors to personal trainers, body composition scans, and more – to create an effective, personalized muscle-building plan. Start today and explore our Designed Experience packages, spanning various focuses including longevity, fitness, health, and more. Or, create your own stay, start to finish, with a Stay Your Way package at our Lenox, Tucson, or Woodside wellness resorts.