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The Peter Attia Drive

Sep 20, 2021

In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter and Bob discuss the longevity benefits from greater cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and greater muscle mass and strength. Conversely, they dive deep into the literature showing a rapid increase in morbidity and mortality risk as fitness levels decline with age. They also try to tease out the relative contributions of CRF, muscle mass, and strength. Additionally, they discuss the impact of fasting on muscle mass, the potential tradeoffs to consider, and finish by discussing why it’s critical to maximize your fitness level.

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We discuss:

  • VO2 max and its association with cardiorespiratory fitness [2:45];
  • Changing mortality risk based on VO2 max and cardiorespiratory fitness [7:45];
  • The profound impact of improving cardiorespiratory fitness [15:15];
  • Muscle mass, function, and loss with aging: how it’s defined, measured, and the cutoff points for sarcopenia [25:00];
  • Increasing mortality risk associated with declining muscle mass and strength [40:00];
  • Muscle size vs. strength—which has the bigger impact on mortality risk? [58:00];
  • Evaluating the cumulative impact of cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength on mortality risk when put together [1:03:30];
  • Investigating the rising incidence in deaths from falls, and what role Alzheimer’s disease might play [1:09:00];
  • The impact of fasting on muscle mass and the potential tradeoffs to consider [1:14:30];
  • The critical importance of working to maintain muscle mass and strength as we age [1:20:30]; and
  • More.

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