The best way to slow the aging process is to maintain your already-healthy lifestyle.
By Jay Campbell and Jim Brown
Since the beginning of time, scientists and researchers have been searching for the fountain of youth to reverse the aging process. If you’re a regular reader of Iron Man and this column, it’s likely you also gravitate to articles and headlines with the words “bio-hack,” “anti-aging” and “life extension” in them. What if we told you the optimal way to extend your life was to continue living the IM lifestyle all the way until the end? Based on the newest research from Brigham Young University (BYU), it appears that's exactly what you should be doing. According to the researchers, the best method to tone down the aging process is intense exercise. This is noticed at the cellular level in the length of telomeres.
Telomeres are the protein endcaps on chromosomes found in the human body. They are the cells controlling your body's biological clock and its aging process. Each time a cell within your body replicates, a small part of these endpoints is effectively lost. As we age, telomeres gradually shrink.
The Science Says
The BYU research team determined individuals who engaged in demanding physical activity like high intensity weight training and cardiovascular exercise had longer telomeres than those whose lifestyles were much more sedentary. In fact, the researchers concluded regular intense exercise could present a boost of nine years versus those who lived a sedentary lifestyle.
Needless to say, a whole lot of world travel can be done in nine more years. We should note the study also stated that those who practiced a high level of physical activity had a seven-year benefit from it as compared to those who exhibited a moderate level of activity. They considered females jogging for 30 minutes, five days a week and males jogging for 40 minutes, five days a week, as a high level.
The specific mechanism responsible for preservation of the telomeres is unknown. But it stands to reason that intense exercise might alter and altogether suppress oxidative stress and inflammation leading to better health and longevity.
You already know from our previous articles that inflammation is what leads to cellular degradation and ultimately one of the many diseases of aging like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. What more evidence do you need to understand the amazing benefits that intense exercise (both through resistance and cardiovascular training) bestows upon lifespan?
What You Should Do
We wouldn’t be performing our due diligence with this column if we didn’t offer you an excellent training protocol to take advantage of this newest research. Of course, we don’t recommend jogging, as it is a high impact movement, which creates shearing forces dangerous to an aging athlete’s joints and tendons over time.
As we've previously discussed, nothing outperforms building muscle through resistance exercise. Our program offers the benefits of muscle building and cardiovascular exercise. This program should be performed with minimum time and maximum effort. You should do one or two sets per exercise and one to three exercises per body part. Not counting warm-up sets, each set is done to positive muscle failure. This might mean you're performing 20 to 30 reps per set.
4 Days A Week
Day 1 – Chest, Delts, Abs
Day 2 – Legs, Calves, Abs
Day 3 – Two 30-minute steady state cardio sessions (aim for 125-140 BPM)
Day 4 – Back, Traps, Abs
Day 5 – Arms, Abs
Day 6 and Day 7 – Seven 45-minute steady state cardio sessions (aim for 125-140 BPM)
We also would not be doing our job if we didn’t offer you supplements and medications to use in combination with this training program to reduce cellular inflammation. What follows are a list of supplements that you might want to consider.
Metformin – These lower insulin exposure over time with less vascular inflammation. You do need a doctor’s prescription. Consider taking 250mgs to 1 gram depending on bodyweight/body type and whether you're a male or female.
Curcumin – This works by reducing the amount of two inflammatory enzymes, LOX and COX-2. You might consider taking 3 to 5 grams, depending on whether you're injured. Look for a standardized version. Always take with fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids – Supplementing with omega-3 will help change the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in your body. The more omega-6 and less omega-3, the more inflammation. A good dose would be 4 to 6 grams per day.
Bromelain – Data suggests this inhibits pro-inflammatory factors from forming without affecting the anti-inflammatory ones. Consider taking 1.5 to 2 grams per day.
Jay Campbell is the author of the #1 5 Star Rated Book ever written on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), The Definitive TRT MANual, the founder of TRTRevolution.com and the creator of the TRT Revolution Podcast. Jim Brown was an NPC super heavyweight bodybuilder for over a dozen years, the creator of Forged Training and a performance improvement specialist who has coached thousands. Together they work tirelessly to help aging fitness enthusiasts realize their health and fitness goals. Read much more at TRTRevolution.com.