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72 and Just Started Micro-PA and WOW

For a foundation of my attempt to retard my regression of muscle loss and strength loss: I am a cynic when it comes to confidence any supplement actually works. That said, I will try most anything, and am currently taking a multitude of supplements just to help keep my muscle tissue. Some supplements have had an obvious positive impact, but most were pharmaceuticals. An exception was creatine and additional protein. I am currently taking a multitude of supplements that I won’t list here, but will answer if asked. The only pharmaceutical I am taking is 100mg of testosterone injection every 5 days.

Since I became 60 years old I have noticed a steady decrease of strength, regardless of my workout strategy or supplement adjustment. On the last week of October this year I received an email from T-Nation about Micro-PA. I read the ad. It mentioned Micro-PA would boost my mTOR. I had read a few articles in T-Nation about exercise strategy to boost mTOR. I tried all of those with no noticeable effect. But the cynic in me took it as no surprise.

But my philosophy is why not. Give it a try. I have always attacked bodybuilding from the shot gun affect. Try everything. Something might work. I didn’t expect any benefit. But on Monday, November 2nd my two bottles of Micro-PA was sitting on my front porch when I returned from the gym. I started Tuesday before my workout. I started keeping some data on reps for a seated dip machine. One day I do up to 20 reps with the same weight. The other day I do up to 8 reps with 3 progressive weights. (I won’t get into the data yet, but will address the difference in words, for now.)

Last week, which was the first week, I didn’t notice anything until Friday, when my leg routine seemed slightly easier. I took it as one of those “good workout” days. and thought nothing more of it.

This Monday my leg press routine was noticeably better. I did 25 reps as easily as I usually do 20 reps. Maybe something is going on here!!??

Tuesday was the 20 rep seated dip day. I increased reps on the second and third set. That’s great. Finally a workout where I actually got stronger.

Thursday was the up to 8 rep day on progressive seated dips and I increased those reps on the second and third set. When I went to curl grip pulldowns the weight felt much lighter. WOW! I was actually fun working out.

Disclaimer: I am fully aware of the placebo effect. I typically don’t get that, because I am such a cynic. Deep within me I don’t believe what I am trying will make any difference.

My initial thoughts. My guess is that as we age our bodies don’t manufacture mTOR efficiently, or at least, in significant quantities for muscle growth. Micro-PA gave me the mTOR I needed. This whole experience might be all placebo, but that will be made more clear in the coming weeks, one way or the other. I will keep you posted with my progress, or lack of it.

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Please do, either way.

Weekly Update

Generally speaking this last week was a good week. The workouts were easier and encouraging. Currently I am only using two lifting measurements to monitor progress. I might add a couple more. The seated leg curl and seated barbell shrug with a two second hold at contraction. But to the currents measurements:

Tuesday: 20 rep seated machine dip. I increased one rep on the second and third set.

Thursday: Up to 8 reps on progressive weight increases. I was unable to add a rep on any set. I can’t recall if it was easier or not.

I have been recording my weight daily for quite a few years. I decided to compare weight the month of October as “before” and one week after starting Micro-PA and the days forward as “after”

  • Before average: 199.6 lbs (twenty-two samples)
  • After average: 200.4 lbs (eleven samples)

I am well educated in inferential statistics so I decided to begin Control Charts and run a Two Sample T-test. Both groups of data were normal data and of equal variance. The results of the Two Sample T-test yielded a P-Value = 0.008, which means there is a statistical difference. (I must be cautious with this positive result in that I believe I am eating more calories which might be the critical “x” for the weight increase.)

My Friday leg press was considerably easier, so much so that I increased the “post fast reps” from 25 to 30. The first 2 minutes of the set I do 20 reps with with slow eccentric contraction and quick concentric contraction at 6 seconds per rep.

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On Friday, November 27, it was leg day and I forgot my phone (stop watch) so I couldn’t accurately measure 2 minutes. I decided to try a maximum rep on the leg press. The most I had done was 65 reps a year ago, give or take a few months. This time I easily did 70 reps, and would have tried to get 10 more if I’d have someone around to pull the weight off of me if I had a central nervous system breakdown. [I still remember, back in my mid 40’s wondering if I could squat 405 lbs for 20 reps. My normal squat routine was two sets of 10 reps with 495 lbs. So, I am cranking out the reps with 405. As I get to around 15 reps it is getting difficult, but I can gut it through… 16, 17, and 18 is getting slow, 19 is very difficult, but I am certain I can gut out the last rep. I go down and as I begin a slow return, my muscles refuse to fire and down it all goes down to the bottom of the “walk out squat rack”. I never tried it again. But it is a very strange feeling for muscle contraction to totally fail.]

My seated leg curl made no improvement. This is one that is my fast twitch muscle “test”, where I am doing max effort for around 6 reps.

Then on Monday, November 30, my other “heavy” leg day, I wanted to try to add some more reps at the end of my 20 reps over 2 minutes. My best effort had been 30 reps immediately after the 2 minute/20 reps. This time I did an additional 5, to 35 reps. The total elapsed time was 3 minutes.

Conclusion:
My slow twitch muscle capability is still increasing.
My fast twitch muscle capability might have plateaued. The next fast twitch test is Thursday.

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72 going on 40 something, huh?

Same here, and with a similar pondage/rep ego.

I now stop leg presses at 405 for 10, and I usually start to feel something in my hip. I still run up flights of stairs without higher weights/reps to avoid risking a hip operation similar to clee’s.

I personally thing 20 reps of 225 squats is enough leg work but I’ll do some hack squats and leg curls when the gyms are safe again.

I like your posts; good to read a comtemporary’s workouts .

Yesterday (Thursday) was my “fast twitch” test day. Though I was unable to add an additional rep on the highest weight, the 6th rep was easier this week than last week. So, technically, it was an improvement. But it might be attributed to just having a good day at the gym. So, for now, I’ll say no improvement in fast twitch test.

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Last week I added another fast twitch muscle test: the seated shrug. I do this exercise seated because of the 100lb holding weight standing limitation due to my artificial hips. Also, I perform the reps where I hold the weight at the contraction for a second, or so. (my philosophy is if you can’t hold the contraction you had too much weight)

I started a new gym five years ago (my old one closed that had a seated shrug machine) and had to improvise performing the seated shrug on the edge of a bench. I quickly got to 8 reps with 255lbs in strict form. Over the years my shrug strength has declined to 205lbs for 8 reps.

Saturday (Nov 28th) I tested the seated shrug with 205lbs for three sets and did 8, 8, and 6 reps. This last Saturday (Dec 5th) I performed all three sets for 8 reps. A slight improvement. Or, maybe it was just a good day.

Maybe the Micro-PA is helping with fast twitch muscle improvement. The remainder of Saturday’s workout seemed a little better than before.

An addition to this post: the results of Friday’s leg day. Yet again I added 5 reps to my leg press. Total time under tension was 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The first 2 minutes are slow negative and a stop at bottom that accounts for 20 reps. The following 75 seconds accounted for an additional 40 reps. My slow twitch muscle functionality has drastically improved.

I would assess that my progress has reached a plateau. Strength gains have stopped, apart from increasing my seated shrugs to 215 lbs for sets of 8 reps.

I’ll keep tracking and hoping for some positive results

IMO, I had a slight strength decline last week.

Progress has stabilized. I asked if Micro-PA needed to be cycled, because my body might have down regulated. An expert told me that there is no need to cycle Micro-PA. Even if I consider the information is accurate, I will run a short test (with a sample size of one). I am stopping Micro-PA for 4 weeks. And will re-start and monitor progress again. Apart from pure curiosity, it will save me a little $$.

I will make no further posts for five weeks (a week into my second cycle), unless I have a noticeable loss in strength the next four weeks.