If you think you had it hard when it comes to fitness then you might want to read this article and get a better idea of what astronauts deal with in space. Not only do they have to find ways to stay active and fit; they also have to deal with the amount of muscle loss they lose at such a rapid pase without gravity!
“Astronauts are working out hard, but the loading characteristics aren’t there,” said Trappe. “They’re losing more muscle mass than they should be.”
“ARED was designed to provide a constant force throughout the range of motion,” said Loehr, mimicking the physiological gold standard of free weight resistance. In contrast, the iRED was a 21st century version of a Bowflex machine, with unidirectional resistance provided by an ingenious arrangement of rubber bands that provide an “ascending force curve that doesn’t match traditional free weights,” and can lose strength over time.
For some exercises, like squats, a person needs to lift twice as much weight in space to get the same result as on Earth. So iRED’s maximum weight of 300 pounds translates to just 150 pounds squatted on Earth. Maintaining leg strength becomes extremely difficult with that amount of weight. And it’s the legs, accustomed to constantly supporting our bulks against Earth gravity, that weaken first in space. ARED’s maximum load of 600 pounds means astronauts can squat the equivalent of 300 pounds on Earth, which should be enough to keep their legs in shape (source).
Although gravity may seem like our enemy as we age (things start going south), and make exercises such as pull-ups difficult; we forget that the mere pull of the earth actually help us to maintain the muscle that we have and keep us from diminishing. Next time your struggling during your exercises or hate those dreaded wrinkles, be thankful that you can still walk around on earth due to the muscle on your body.