You know what people say, 40 is the new 30, and in some cases, they’re absolutely right (in theory anyways). If you’re looking to build muscle, but feel that at 40 or older, you’re just too late, then think again! Are you familiar with movies? If you are, then unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll have no doubt heard of “Dwayne the rock Johnson”. If you’ve seen him, and followed him for the last 10 years or so, you’ll have noticed that recently, he’s in the best shape of his life, and has more muscle on his frame now, than he did when he was in his late 20’s. Obviously he has access to the best personal trainers, equipment, and nutritionists that money can buy, but even so, the fact is that if you put in the hard work, you too can achieve a physique that would make a 25 year old jealous. Here we’ll be giving you a few hints and tips, (many of which should be common sense quite honestly) for muscle building over 40.
Give 100% every single workout – This should go without saying anyways, but especially if you’re getting older, you may need to work just that little bit harder. Every single workout, you need to be giving it absolutely everything that you’ve got. If you do 12 reps, but feel you can do another 4 or 5, then do another 4 or 5 reps. Don’t cheat on your form, and make sure that you’re going to failure on every single exercise. Your fitness and stamina may not be as it was in your 20’s, but that’s no excuse not to work as hard as you possibly can. If you’re serious about building muscle, you need to be willing to put in the hard work.
Lift hard and lift heavy – As we grow older, we begin to naturally lose muscle mass. To combat this, we need to be looking to add muscle mass to our frames. Rather than go for light weight, high rep exercises, instead focus on lifting heavy weights that make you work harder. Obviously you shouldn’t go out and try to bench 400 lbs, but choose a weight that really tests your strength. Find a weight that, although it makes you work hard, you can still perform with perfect strict form. You’re looking to build muscle mass, and heavy weights with medium reps will let you achieve just that. Whilst we’re on the subject, don’t go out and look to perform a 1 rep max with each exercise. We’re looking for reps of between 6 and 10, all with perfect form.
Structure your workouts on free weights – Don’t get us wrong, machine are absolutely fantastic, and can be hugely beneficial, however, you should base your workouts on free weight exercises, incorporating only a few machines into the mix. Machines are better for isolating and toning specific body parts, where as free weights bring a bit of everything into the mix, and strengthen your core in the process. Stick with compound lifts such as bench presses, squats, and military presses, and look at getting a good squeeze on every single rep. Remember, the main aim is to build muscle, and free weights will do just that. A couple of machines every workout will be absolutely fine, the lat pull down for example, is perfect for giving your back a great workout, but remember to priorities free weight exercises.
The truth is that this advice can apply to somebody of any age who happens to be looking at building muscle, because all of our bodies respond in a similar fashion. Yes you may be older, and perhaps won’t recover as quickly as you used to, but if you follow this advice, and eat a clean healthy diet with plenty of lean protein, you’ll soon notice big changes in your overall appearance.