It was another eventful week in the world of fitness so here, Muscle & Fitness shares what can be considered some of the hottest and most impactful stories in the world of strength, health, and sports over the past few days.
Bill Gillespie lifts his way to a new world record bench press
On Jan 22, legendary power lifter Bill Gillespie broke the all-time world record on the bench press before triumphantly retiring from active competition. The astonishing lift took place during the 365Strong New Year Power Bash in Charlotte, NC, and saw the superheavyweight push an incredible 512.5kg/ 1,129.9 pounds shattering the previous record that was held by Tiny Meeker by 2.3kg.
Taking to Instagram to share video footage of his epic achievement, Gillespie commented: “1129 All Time World Record! Praise God for an incredible 50-year journey and all of the great lessons I have learned about life and my relationship with God. Today is my last competition and on my last attempt I have been blessed with the honor to stand on top of the mountain. I want to thank so many people for their support and help because I know that things like this doesn’t happen on your own. I am done competing now at 62 years old and I’m going to lose weight and use the journey that I have been through to help enrich other people’s lives.”
Gillespie rides off into the sunset after a powerlifting career that spans five decades. M&F wishes him all the best on this next exciting chapter in his life.
Exercising for just 10 minutes longer each day could save lives
Also this week, a large study was published, suggesting that 110,000 lives in the U.S. could be extended if those between 40 and 85 years of age exercised for just a few more minutes each day.
“Our projections are based on an additional 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity,” commented lead researcher Pedro Saint-Maurice of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. “If the walk is brisk, it counts.”
For the study, researchers observed more than 4,840 adults in the large 40-to-85 age bracket between 2003 and 2006, and found at the end of 2015 that adding just 10 minutes of exercise daily lowered the participant’s risk of dying by 7 percent. Those who undertook 20 minutes saw their risk of death reduced by 13 percent, and 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous movement cut that number by 17 percent. These findings were broadly similar across gender and race, meaning that everyone can benefit from exercise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that more than 60 percent of American adults fail to rack up adequate amounts of physical activity. Even more reason to stick with those fitness sessions!
Could urolithin A be the key to muscle health in aging adults?
If you are already making plans to add some extra exercise per day into your everyday routine, there may be help at hand. A compound that is produced in gut microbiome is showing promising signs of being able to offer support for muscle health in aging adults.
Urolithin A, a metabolite that is the result of digesting polyphenols found in foods such as nuts and berries, has been shown to boost the efficiency of our cell’s mitochondria. These findings, published last Thursday and becoming a hot topic for discussion this week, are the result of a small clinical study that observed adults between the ages of 65 and 90 years of age. The experiment, conducted at the University of Washington Medical Center and the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle, saw the subjects take either a placebo or 100mg of urolithin A.
The key findings showed that those who supplemented with urolithin A were more likely to improve their skeletal muscle-specific endurance, in areas of the body such as their hands and legs when taken long-term, for a period of two to four months. The compound was also found to be safe and well tolerated as a dietary supplement. The authors of the study acknowledge that more work needs to be done in order to determine the accuracy of their results, and to propose a correct dosage. They also need to analyze a wider proportion of the general public since 76 percent of the participants in this study were female and all were white, but, in the meantime, while data collection continues, the upside of urolithin A could be huge, potentially improving and protecting many of our functioning muscles such as the heart.