The unfortunate truth is that as we age after around 30 years old, we begin to lose muscle mass. You can still gain muscle mass if you train for it fairly well after 30, but the effectiveness begins to decline the older we get. And if you are consistent in training, over all strength can still be maintained for quite some time. But some research suggests that the remaining muscle mass and biomechanics are integrating to maintain the strength. Non exercisers will almost all experience significant muscle loss as they age if they do not begin an exercise program.
As we age the manner in which we carry adipose tissue changes as we age. We carry more adipose tissue internally.
According to the ACSM, “Disribution of body fat is sex specific from the third to seventh decade. Whereas women tend to exhibit greater increases in internal body fat after age 45 years, men accumulate greater subcutaneous fat. The previously discussed losses in fat free mass with aging have been associated with decreases in basal metabolic rate of approximately 5% per decade throughout adulthood, which in turn is a contributing factor along with genetics in fat gain.”
Hope this is of help.
Hello Rebecca Moll,
I also see body fat percentages that are all over the place; because, everyone is really very different with their lifestyle and diet choices.
The elite athletes do not have much change, even into their seventies.
Generally, the aging process (50 and older) moves the fat from just under the skin to more internal. This is the reason we hear our elders mention that they need cushioning when choosing furniture. Then that internal fat increases while lean muscle mass decreases.
Therefore, the body fat percentage will increase, even if we may not see it.
Is this what you have noticed?