Muscle building isn’t only achievable when you are young and hip. Muscle building is just as much attainable in your 40s as it was in your 20s. After all, age is just a number, right?
If you agree, you are on your way to muscle building in your 40s and over.
It’s true that as we age, our metabolism slows down, plus our testosterone levels will also start to fall (check our testosterone boosting article). You might also have a few aching joints or muscle pain, or something else to put you off; but frankly, that doesn’t change anything.
It is just a different routine for people who have hit their 40s.
In this article, we will discuss the altered aspects of nutrition and training routine to conquer muscle building in your 40s:
Some Changes to Make To Your Training
At this point in life, be mindful that your body will be more susceptible to injuries, so here are some changes you need to make to your training routine:
a) Warm up for at least 15 minutes before weight lifting to increase core temperature and blood flow.
b) Keep repetition in a moderate to high range. For upper body exercises, 8-12 reps, and for lower body, 12-20 is enough.
c) As you age, the stabiliser muscles weaken, leaving tendons, and ligaments open to injury. To avoid this risk, make use of free weights and machines.
d) Poor form can easily cause injury at this age, so make sure your posture is perfect.
e) At this age, you might have to decrease your gym commitments and increase the rest period between workouts. Also, keep your training session to 40 minutes or less. Nothing more than that.
Let’s Start With Nutrition
Some significant nutritional changes are required, to make your exercise regimen effective for building muscles.
As your body isn’t as energetic as it was once, so your carbs and calories intake will have to be cut down. You should eat at a slight surplus to maximise muscle gain with minimal fat gain.
By focusing on your carbohydrate intake before and after your workout, you can make the most of the rebuilding period after the workout.
Include healthy fats in your diet, because at this age, cholesterol is an issue for most people.
Cardio Is Critical
As we mentioned earlier, your metabolism is slowing as you age, so it is very important to include cardio in your training routine.
Cardio helps keep your body fat in check.
You also want a strong and healthy heart to live longer and healthier, so include 3-4, 20-30 minutes of low intensity cardio sessions, within a week, in your training routine.
Running can be strenuous on your knees and joints so you can compensate it with walking or jogging.
Stay away from running on the pavement, as it can be tough on the knees; its best to use the treadmill or rubber track instead.
To gain muscle size, you need to include strength-training exercises. You can start holding dumbbells when performing squats to build muscle in your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Avoid focusing on only one part of your body as it can result in postural difficulties and strength imbalances.
The goal of your routine should be to keep lifting until your muscles fatigue.
To build muscle effectively then you need to start incorporating the following exercises: Bent over rows, flyes and triceps kickbacks, dumbbell curls, crunches, planks and pushes.
For best results, you may do strength training and cardio workouts alternatively, or opt for one training plan including both, and performing it on alternate days.
At any age, muscle building isn’t difficult and at 40, it is as achievable as ever.
Depending on your routine, you may have to make significant lifestyle changes, but if you are determined, you can achieve it without much trouble.