Many people often think that building muscle after 40 is next to impossible and not something that they should even consider attempting. But, is that really the case?
Or does it just take a certain technique to achieve success?
The fact of the matter is that it is perfectly possibly to build muscle past the age of 40 provided you understand what you should be doing with your workout program.
Let’s go over what you need to know about gaining muscle over 40.
Set Up The Right Exercise Selection
If you go into the gym and perform exercises that won’t deliver much in the way of muscle stimulation or results, you’re going to be disappointed in the progress you’re making.
For best progress, you’ll want to choose three to four compound exercises per workout as well as two to four isolated exercises to target the smaller muscle groups.
So for example, if you were doing a full body workout approach you might perform squats, the bench press, as well as barbell rows, and then add to this some lateral raises, bicep curls, leg extensions, and hamstring curls.
Following this exercise selection pattern will ensure that you’re getting enough volume into the program to see good results, but not doing so much volume with that program that you aren’t recovering optimally.
Remember that there’s a fine line between enough of a stimulus to grow and too much that you become overtrained.
Be Sure To Provide Nutritional Support
The second thing that you need to do for gaining muscle over 40 is to make sure that you are providing yourself top notch nutritional support.
Building muscle is quite an energy intensive process so if you aren’t consuming enough calories, you’ll never reach your goals.
Remember that you need calories from all three main macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and dietary fats, so don’t leave any out.
Some people over 40 who are very afraid of gaining body fat may choose a low carb muscle building diet. Unfortunately, this won’t produce nearly the same degree of results as a diet containing carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates will help to increase insulin in the blood stream which is one of the most anabolic hormones around. You don’t have to really overload on carbohydrates, but they must be in the diet, especially around the workout sessions.
Another thing that you might consider as you go about your workout routine for gaining muscle over 40 is adding some smart supplementation.
While you should never rely on supplements to do the work for you or use them as a replacement for a proper diet, there are a few supplements that can help to boost your results.
First, glutamine is one supplement to consider as it will help to enhance your degree of recovery between workout sessions.
Since recovery is imperative to success with building muscle and many people who are over 40 do notice slower recovery rates, this can really have an influence on your rate of progress.
In addition to glutamine, a good quality whey protein powder will also be essential for those over 40.
Your appetite may not be quite what it was when you were younger, so without that you could potentially struggle to get enough calories and more importantly, protein into your body.
Protein powder makes this incredibly easy and to add to that, it also helps to promote faster recovery from your workout sessions as well.
Go Easy On Additional Activities
The next important tip to note for building muscle is that you should ease up on any other additional activities you’re doing.
If you’re someone who always stays very active in a number of team sports for instance, now might be the time to give yourself a bit of a break away from those.
While they are definitely good to do and have in your fitness plan, when the goal is to build as much muscle as possible, they may take away from how fast you recover as well.
If you are doing too many outside activities away from the gym, you may find that eventually you can’t keep up with the gym sessions you’re doing, thus progress really starts to stall.
Once or twice it may be alright to partake in some other form of exercise, but beyond that let the body rest and recover.
Finally, last but definitely not least, make sure you have patience. While it’s by no means impossible to build muscle once you’ve reached the age of 40, you do have to realize that it will progress slower than it did when you were younger.
If you’re brand new to fitness and working out you will likely see a sudden burst of progress right off the start as your body gets used to this new activity, but after that it will slow down.
Muscle gain rates of around one pound per month – possibly two for those who are training very intensely will be a realistic amount to aim for.
If you notice that you’re gaining much more quickly than this, then you will want to note that chances are you are gaining quite a bit of additional body fat as well, so you may want to back off your calorie intake slightly to avoid this.
So there you have the must-know pieces of information about gaining muscle over 40. With the right program, diet, and mindset, you definitely can make some significant changes to your body and increase your strength gains dramatically so that everyday activities become that much easier.
For more quick tips and complete workout programs to get started with, please check out the Fit Over 40 program.