Entropy - The Disuse
Syndrome By Tom Venuto - author of
Burn The Fat, Feed The
Do you know what the word
entropy means? In Websters, entropy is defined as, "The
degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of
inert uniformity." Put more simply, entropy is the tendency of all matter to
fall apart, wear out or disintegrate into the substance from which it came.
In some cases, using
material things wears them out faster. Your car, for example, accumulates wear
and tear and loses it's value when you put a lot of miles on it. Entropy occurs
in the human body in the opposite fashion: It falls apart when it is NOT used.
Differently stated, Use it or lose it.
Dr. Walter Bortz, author of
Dare to Be 100, refers to aging as the disuse syndrome.
Thats a great definition.
We do not have to experience
the effects of aging as most people perceive it in our culture. We do not have
to succumb to disease. We get old and decrepit because we dont exercise
enough and because we believe its normal to become decrepit. We think "old
thoughts" and old thoughts lead to old people
Through societal suggestion
and life experience, our paradigms are formed. We see others age so we believe
its normal. We see others slow down as they age, therefore, we slow down and
take it easy too...
... and then proceed to fall apart,
deteriorate, and decay.
A human body not used will
waste away into a frail, weak shell. You must USE IT or you are going to lose
- Bones not challenged to bear weight
will become soft and brittle. If youre inactive, your bone mineral
density will gradually begin to decline at around age 35 and this decline will
accelerate after you turn 50. One out of three women and one out of six men
will suffer a hip fracture by age 80.
- You begin to lose aerobic capacity
within just days after you stop exercising. After less than two weeks of
inactivity, your cardiac output, blood volume and maximum oxygen consumption
all drop by 15%. Hearts and lungs not stressed to pump blood and transport
oxygen will slowly deteriorate to the point where walking up a single flight of
stairs will leave you breathless and gasping for air.
- Most people over the age of 70 have
a noticeably restricted stride and gait pattern because disuse causes a
decrease in the size and strength of tendons and ligaments. If you dont
USE IT you may even lose the strength and flexibility to perform mundane
household chores that involve twisting, squatting, bending or extending.
- By age 65, people who haven't
exercised regularly can show a decrease in muscular strength of as much as 80%.
According to Dr. Patrick OShea, professor emeritus of Exercise &
Sports Science at Oregon State University, 28% of men and 66% of women over age
75 cannot lift an object heavier than 15 lbs. Imagine not being able to lift
your suitcase or move your furniture! You will get weaker and weaker every
yearunless you USE IT!
- People who dont work out with
weights lose up to 40% of their muscle mass by age 65. This decline starts
early. The average inactive person loses as much as five pounds of muscle every
decade after age 20 if they dont exercise. This age related muscle loss,
called sarcopenia, causes a decline in metabolic rate and calorie burning. For
every pound of muscle you lose, you burn 50 calories less every day. If you
burn 50 calories less every day, you will gain an extra pound of fat every 70
days; 5 extra pounds of fat every year; and 50 pounds of fat in 10 years.
If youre in a panic
now because youre 50, 60, or 70 and you havent been exercising,
dont worry because heres the good news:
Its NEVER too
Research by Dr William Evans
conducted at the US Department of Agricultures Human Nutrition Center on
Aging at Tufts University has proven that the muscles of elderly people are
just as responsive as those of younger people.
One 12-week study of 60 and
70 year old men showed not only substantial increases in strength (their
lifting ability increased by 93%), but also larger, leaner muscles. In another
study on 87 to 96 year old women confined to a nursing home, the subjects
tripled their strength and increased their muscle size by 10 percent in only 8
Based on decades of
research, Dr. Evans has concluded that much of the loss of muscle as we
age is preventable and even reversible. He was also quick to point
out that his findings were not aberrations - they were the norm.
Rest is exactly what aging
people DO NOT need!
Nature intended us to live
lives of vigor, health and activity to the exact degree we desire -
right up until the day we peacefully pass on after the purpose of our brief
pilgrimage here on Earth has been fully realized.
You can start at any age,
and the sooner you start the daily exercise habit, the easier its going
to be to keep going.
The proof is
TED CORBITT has held
American records for 25-, 40- and 50-mile marathons. Corbitt ran 199 marathons
and ultra-marathons during his career and was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic
At the age of 50, Ted set an
age group record for 50 miles, running 5 hours and 34 minutes. He also ran 100
miles in 13 hours 33 minutes at age 51, and in 1973 he completed an amazing
134.7 miles in 24 hours in at the age of 56.
Today, Ted is 82 years young
and he is widely considered the father of distance running. As he
approaches his 83rd birthday, he has toned down his distance running a bit,
however he still takes regular short 31-mile walks around
GORDON BORGES, at age 75,
has 18.5" biceps, a 47.5" chest, a 17.5" neck and weighs 209 muscular
Hes worked out
consistently for 58 years through seven children, 14 grandchildren and two
years in the Navy. "Maturity can be a banquet when fed by exercise," says
In 1953, BILL PEARL won the
Mr. California, Mr. America and Mr. Universe title. He then went on to win the
Mr. Universe title three more times. His last bodybuilding competition was in
1971, where at age 41 he won convincingly at 241 lbs and in the best shape of
Today at age 73, Bill is
retired from competition, but he has not retired from bodybuilding. Pearl still
gets up a 3 am every morning to train, just like he has for the past 50 years.
Bill squats 325 lbs for ten reps
easy, and he looks 20 years younger than
he is. He is still working, happy, vital, energetic and enjoying life.
After 20 years of being
their own "case study" in the area of weight training and fitness, mother and
daughter bodybuilding duo KELLY NELSON
(75) and COLLEEN FISHER (46), have succeeded in staying lean, healthy and
Kelly did not start weight
training until she was 52 years old, with no athletic background whatsoever!
Colleen is a certified personal trainer and has been training people for the
last 18 years. They have been featured in magazines and on television,
including Rosie ODonnell, Maury Povich and others.
Kelly just sent me an email
yesterday and she wrote, "I have before pictures of the 38 yr. old girl I am
training. She weighed 275 lbs one year ago and now is at 160. She is beautiful
and has Muscle. Legs and lats and shoulders, triceps from her shoulder to
elbow. Tom, I too get emails every day from 50 year olds wanting to start
weight training, but ask, "Is it too late?" I tell them that 50 is puberty and
they have a lot of time to become better and reach their goals."
The active bodybuilding
lifestyle is not going to halt the fall of the sand in the
hourglass, but it IS the closest thing to the fountain of youth that
youll ever find.
If they can do it, so can
you. So USE IT!
Warmly, your friend and
Tom Venuto is a bodybuilder, gym
owner, freelance writer, success coach and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The
Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best Bodybuilders and
Fitness Models. Tom has written over 150 articles and has been featured in
IRONMAN magazine, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Muscle-Zine,
Exercise for Men and Mens Exercise. Tom's inspiring and informative
articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and motivation are featured regularly on
dozens of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's "Burn The Fat" e-book,