頑張って筋トレした身体をキープしたい人、必見!筋肉を効率よく維持するのに最適なトレーニング頻度とは

筋肉は何もしないと小さくなる。

筋トレをすると筋肉が大きくなります。しかし、その後に何もしなければ当然せっかくつけた筋肉はもとに戻ってしまいます。ちなみに、筋肉が小さくなるスピードはある程度わかっていて、筋トレをした期間と同じくらいの時間で落ちていきます。例えば、いまある筋肉を作るのに半年かかったのであれば、何もしないと半年くらいで筋肉はもとに戻るというわけです。つまり、筋トレは一度筋肉を大きくしたら終わりというわけではなく、理想的な体型を維持したいのであれば継続して取り組んでいく必要があるのです。

筋肉を維持するにはどれくらいの頻度で筋トレをすべきか?

一度つけた筋肉は週に一回程度筋トレをすれば維持できることが研究でわかっています。しかし、ごく軽い負荷の筋トレをしたくらいでは不十分で、それなりの負荷をきちんとかけるのが最低条件となります。ですから、筋力の維持が目的の場合でも30回もできる軽い負荷で筋トレをするのではなく、しっかりと重めの負荷で身体を追い込むようにしましょう。スポーツをしている人はオフシーズンに集中的に筋肉を大きくすることが多いわけですが、その筋力をシーズン通して維持するためには年間を通して筋トレに取り組む必要があります。なかにはシーズンが明けるとともに筋トレをやめてしまう人も見受けられますが、パフォーマンスを良くするという観点からするとあまり好ましくありません。

年齢とともに筋力は低下する。

ちなみに、筋肉の量は年を重ねると減少していきます。特に40歳を境に筋繊維の数がガクッと減ることが知られていて、当然適切な対処をしなければあっという間に老け込んでしまいます。それこそ、筋力の低下は転倒などの原因となることも多く、最悪の場合にはそれをきっかけに寝たきりになってしまうケースも決して少なくありません。筋トレというとアスリートのためのものというイメージがまだまだ強いですが、これを考えるとむしろ年配の人ほど積極的に筋トレに取り組むべきです。しかし、年を取ってからいきなり筋トレをするとそれはそれでケガのもとになりかねません。それ故に、ある程度若いうちから計画的に筋トレに挑戦するのがおすすめです。

年配の人におすすめの筋トレとは?

年配の人におすすめの筋トレはマシントレーニングです。こういうと「自重を用いたトレーニングの方がお手軽でいいのでは」と感じる人もいるでしょう。確かに、腹筋や腕立て伏せなどの自重トレーニングは身体ひとつでできる分お手軽なのは間違いありません。しかし、意外かもしれませんが自重トレーニングはかなり専門的な知識が必要な筋トレです。狙った部位にきちんと負荷をかけるためには正しいフォームでやらないといけませんし、それを少しでも誤ってしまうとケガをしてしまいます。一方、スポーツジムなどにあるマシンを用いた筋トレは初心者でも安心して取り組める作りになっています。説明書に従ったバーを押したり引いたりするだけで負荷を筋肉にかけられますし、レールによって動きが限定されるので間違った方向に体を動かしてしまう心配もゼロです。もちろん、ある程度筋肉が強くなって物足りなくなったらステップアップするのもいいでしょう。ただ、健康になるのが目的で筋トレをするのならマシントレーニングでも十分に大きな効果を期待できます。

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