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  1. #1
    Banned FiveBellies's Avatar
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    At what age do men peak in strength/mass?

    According to science, studies suggest that men lose five pounds of lean muscle per decade after the age of 40 due to reduced levels of human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone. According to those harrowing numbers, by the age of 60, most men will have 80% less HGH in their system than when they were 20.

    I also notice many powerlifters hit their prime around the mid to late 30's... some even getting better into their early 40s, but 99% of the time their personal bests are behind them when they hit 45.

    Most bodybuilding pro's peak in their mid to late 30's also - a 28 year old is considered a "baby" in that sport.

    So if a guy started lifting at age 19, when will he peak in mass and strength? I guess all directs towards to the early to late 30's am I right?
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  2. #2
    The Jesus Crew 2nd_chance's Avatar
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    I don't know but your signature is one I would expect on a 17 year old not a 33 year old. So I'd worry more about when your were going to mature instead of hit your lifting prime.
    David


    I'm not a bodybuilder but I play one on the internet.
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  3. #3
    Ripped Van Winkle IronCharles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I don't know but your signature is one I would expect on a 17 year old not a 33 year old. So I'd worry more about when your were going to mature instead of hit your lifting prime.
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  4. #4
    Registered User brotatorcuff's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I don't know but your signature is one I would expect on a 17 year old not a 33 year old. So I'd worry more about when your were going to mature instead of hit your lifting prime.
    OPs jimmies dun got rustled.
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  5. #5
    Nihilist Karl_Hungus's Avatar
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    I'd say mid to late 30's. That isn't true of all athletic dimensions, but it seems to be the case for strength.
    It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.
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  6. #6
    Kicking sarcopenia's azz ljimd's Avatar
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    Exactly at age 34 years and one day. I hope you are training hard. You don't have much time.
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  7. #7
    Hammer time... Smelly bull's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I don't know but your signature is one I would expect on a 17 year old not a 33 year old. So I'd worry more about when your were going to mature instead of hit your lifting prime.
    x2

    And regarding strength peak, to many factors on this equation....who knows.
    “No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates

    My journal...mostly focused on losing weight and maintaining mass

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=159539181&p=1192452511#post1192452511
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  8. #8
    Mostly harmless Fatoichi's Avatar
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    I've never given it much thought and don't know that it matters.
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  9. #9
    Finally accused of juicin Corbi's Avatar
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    I'm going with 50+. Didn't work out when I was younger but quite honestly i'm stronger than I ever was at don't see any sign of that decreasing anytime soon.
    "You know that little thing in your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn't? Yeah, well, I don't have one of those."
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  10. #10
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Does it really matter?

    I mean if you thought you would hit your peak at 20, would stop training if you were 25? If you thought you would hit your peak at 35 would you stop training if you were 40?
    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

    GOD IS GOOD.....
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  11. #11
    Registered User DocTats's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FiveBellies View Post
    I also notice many powerlifters hit their prime around the mid to late 30's... some even getting better into their early 40s, but 99% of the time their personal bests are behind them when they hit 45.
    I really don't have much to add but one factor as to why their personal best might be behind them is accumulation of injuries due to many years of heavy lifting rather than being past their peak. Deep down, if it weren't for lower back, hips, shoulder and knee issues, I think the almost mid 40's version of me can match and surpass the 30 yr old version of me (when my lifting numbers were the highest)
    My ever evolving workout journal (journey?):
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  12. #12
    Ripped Van Winkle IronCharles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Does it really matter?

    I mean if you thought you would hit your peak at 20, would stop training if you were 25? If you thought you would hit your peak at 35 would you stop training if you were 40?
    Believe it or not, John, there are TONS of people around here with this mentality of failure. "Oh no, I'm getting old, I better slow down, lift light weights, I'll never be big, I've hit my genetic cap, I might get hurt, blah blah blah." There's lot of folks (including myself, Corbi, others) here who never started training seriously until their late 40's, who have packed on some decent size and increased their overall strength. But even with such irrefutable proof, there are still many (even in their 20's and 30's) who think they can't grow or get stronger because of "old age".

    You can only encourage these folks so much. I think there comes a time when you have to say, "Fine. Go live your fearful, underachieving life." Guys like you and I know different. We'll keep on lifting and striving for improvement for as long as we possibly can.
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  13. #13
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    Believe it or not, John, there are TONS of people around here with this mentality of failure. "Oh no, I'm getting old, I better slow down, lift light weights, I'll never be big, I've hit my genetic cap, I might get hurt, blah blah blah." There's lot of folks (including myself, Corbi, others) here who never started training seriously until their late 40's, who have packed on some decent size and increased their overall strength. But even with such irrefutable proof, there are still many (even in their 20's and 30's) who think they can't grow or get stronger because of "old age".

    You can only encourage these folks so much. I think there comes a time when you have to say, "Fine. Go live your fearful, underachieving life." Guys like you and I know different. We'll keep on lifting and striving for improvement for as long as we possibly can.
    Awesome post.
    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

    GOD IS GOOD.....
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  14. #14
    No longer in denial Nikonguy's Avatar
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    I'm going to go with "What is when you stop believing you can make gains for $1000 Alex".

    You peak when you give up.



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  15. #15
    Finally accused of juicin Corbi's Avatar
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    Excellent responses from a few NH, Nikon, IC even Doc. On spread as usual.
    "You know that little thing in your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn't? Yeah, well, I don't have one of those."
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  16. #16
    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FiveBellies View Post

    At what age do men peak in strength/mass
    The same day you think you're done, you're done.
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

    "The fitness and nutrition world is a breeding ground for obsessive-compulsive behavior. The irony is that many of the things people worry about have no impact on results either way, and therefore aren't worth an ounce of concern."--Alan Aragon

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  17. #17
    Registered User powernpain's Avatar
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    strength and size are two different cups of tea. many want to lump them together. Understanding that there can be and is, a physical limit that ones body can continue to produce muscle mass ( will be a range #, cannot continue forever) does not mean one is of weak thinking. There are an abundance of areas where one can continue to perfect their bodies ongoing, being, strength, muscle definition & symmetry, endurance....

    Size and strength are and should be recognized as two entirely different beasts. As mentioned you should consider at some point you are not going to continual pack mass on year after year, ( we are talking natural I would presume). As for strength, I would agree one can add ongoing, it may slow down , but if your are willing to put the time in strength gains are always achievable at ant age. Back in the day as a youngster (12 - 17yrs.), when working on the farm and saw mill the old boys that were 40- 60 years old, were the iron horses.

    These men worked like machines, any young spirited cocky kid that thought he could show up these boys quickly realized what true strength and power was all about. All to often they would be there one day and gone the next! And to differentiate size and strength, most of these men were not huge, they looked like working men, but loaded to the nuts with power........

    Size will slow ( body mass), strength now that something to keep on!
    Observe everyone and everything, accept what is useful, discard what is useless, and create essentially what is your own – “Bruce Lee”
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  18. #18
    Ripped Van Winkle IronCharles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by powernpain View Post
    strength and size are two different cups of tea. many want to lump them together. Understanding that there can be and is, a physical limit that ones body can continue to produce muscle mass ( will be a range #, cannot continue forever) does not mean one is of weak thinking. There are an abundance of areas where one can continue to perfect their bodies ongoing, being, strength, muscle definition & symmetry, endurance....

    Size and strength are and should be recognized as two entirely different beasts. As mentioned you should consider at some point you are not going to continual pack mass on year after year, ( we are talking natural I would presume). As for strength, I would agree one can add ongoing, it may slow down , but if your are willing to put the time in strength gains are always achievable at ant age. Back in the day as a youngster (12 - 17yrs.), when working on the farm and saw mill the old boys that were 40- 60 years old, were the iron horses.

    These men worked like machines, any young spirited cocky kid that thought he could show up these boys quickly realized what true strength and power was all about. All to often they would be there one day and gone the next! And to differentiate size and strength, most of these men were not huge, they looked like working men, but loaded to the nuts with power........

    Size will slow ( body mass), strength now that something to keep on!
    Fascinating! So your muscles will stop growing at some point, but you can continue to get stronger and stronger until you die!


    Just when I thought I knew it all, I find myself learning new things all the time....
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  19. #19
    Registered User NorwichGrad's Avatar
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    I am with the others 100%. My discipline may be different, but we all belong to the same iron brotherhood. I honestly stopped believing in this "peaking" nonsense just the other day, believe it ot not, when i hit a 295-lb front squat pr. Less than 2 years ago the thought of an empty bar ATG front squat was an impossibility.

    True story. Just this morning at the gym I met a 74 year old man who was doing deep lunges across the basketball court while holding a pair of 30 pound dumbells over his head. Then he set up the bar on the smith machine at the highest setting and placed his right foot on the bar to stretch. He basically did splits while standing up at 74. He started lifting 12 years ago. He was in fantastic shape. He looked better than most 25 year olds.

    This peaking thing is just an excuse, brah.
    This above all..
    To thine ownself be true..
    And it must follow, as the night the day..
    Thou can'st not then be false to any man..
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  20. #20
    Nihilist Karl_Hungus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NorwichGrad View Post
    True story. Just this morning at the gym I met a 74 year old man who was doing deep lunges across the basketball court while holding a pair of 30 pound dumbells over his head. Then he set up the bar on the smith machine at the highest setting and placed his right foot on the bar to stretch. He basically did splits while standing up at 74. He started lifting 12 years ago. He was in fantastic shape. He looked better than most 25 year olds.

    This peaking thing is just an excuse, brah.
    Check out this guy ... Age 82!

    It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.
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  21. #21
    Registered User powernpain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    Fascinating! So your muscles will stop growing at some point, but you can continue to get stronger and stronger until you die!


    Just when I thought I knew it all, I find myself learning new things all the time....
    Strength and muscle size are two different aspects, you can achieve more strength without getting bigger. How you train, is really the determining factor. For us over 35vers, we will see a slow down in the amount of muscle we can add " as in size". I have used this as an example, middle line backer vs. corner back , its going to be evident that the middle line backer is going to be bigger, and will be powerful. The corner back will be smaller in muscle mass, but will be equally explosive.

    In this case, they both go to the squat rack, but the corner back can squat more? Yet he is smaller in statue? How is this possible, it is all in the training methods and how they approached meeting there goals. Strength & Size.....two different cups of tea, I am smaller than I was when I was 29, but I am pushing more weight now at 40. My overall strength had nothing to do with my size of muscles..period!
    Observe everyone and everything, accept what is useful, discard what is useless, and create essentially what is your own – “Bruce Lee”
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    Registered User powernpain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    but you can continue to get stronger and stronger until you die!


    Just when I thought I knew it all
    You might be onto something ^^^^^

    You will not keep on indefinitely with strength gains, as I mentioned it will range. Not sure if you then agree gains will not last forever, and if you are, this would contradict your point, that max potential can never be reached. But maybe I am missing what you said.
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  23. #23
    Finally accused of juicin Corbi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by powernpain View Post
    For us over 35vers, we will see a slow down in the amount of muscle we can add " as in size".
    I call bull$hit bro-science on that one. Far too many of us over 40 and over 50ers are doing exactly what you claim we can't.
    "You know that little thing in your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn't? Yeah, well, I don't have one of those."
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  24. #24
    Cutting on PHAT! MuscleConfusion's Avatar
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    The minute you start believing you have reached your potential you are done. I am almost 46 now and after less than 2 years training my strength and size gains have surpassed where I was in my 20's after 6 serious years of hard training. Granted much of this is muscle memory gains but the fact that I recovered what I had lost and gone beyond my previous gains speaks volumes. At this time I am still growing and do not feel it coming to a stop any time soon. I do have more aches and pains and more prone to injury at this age but I honestly feel best in the gym training.

    I am sure when you start training has a lot to do with when your gains start to slow. If you start later in life you will continue to make good gains into your later years than if you start in say your twenties.

    I wouldn't still be doing this if I thought it was all over, maybe I should just roll over and die......NOT!
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  25. #25
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

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  26. #26
    Crazy Ass Texan so-tex's Avatar
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    I am stronger at 50 now then when I was at 18. We were required to lift weights for football in high school. I call BS on the growth harmone factor. Had my blood tested last year, and my testosterone levels were 1158. Guess my test levels were 4,000 plus at 18
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    Registered User powernpain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Corbi View Post
    I call bull$hit bro-science on that one. Far too many of us over 40 and over 50ers are doing exactly what you claim we can't.
    I am not saying you can't gain, but as you mentioned you did not lift at a younger age. therefore, as for yourself you will see nice gains. keep to your diet, lift hard, keep pushing yourself, and in another 5- 10 years lets have the same conversation. Its not about putting in less effort or achieving goals, but i would take an educated guess that in 10 years you are not going to hit 260-275lbs lean and natural. and this will happen only because of your bodies physiology.

    And if you are one that believes there are limits on the bodies ability to put on mass, it still doesn't mean your weak in the mind. as mentioned earlier there is an abundance of other areas to continually work on to be better.

    Just as a footnote, if you honestly believe our body can keep building mass, ( without a physical mass limit) why do people have to gear-up to achieve certain sizes? What some have suggested their believes to be, would mean the gear would not be necessary? And all of these pro achievement (BB, PL) are capable naturally. O.K I am your Huckle-Berry.

    That ain't no Bro-Science, that's common scense.
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  28. #28
    Riding 2 horses w/1 butt JRT6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by so-tex View Post
    I am stronger at 50 now then when I was at 18. We were required to lift weights for football in high school. I call BS on the growth harmone factor. Had my blood tested last year, and my testosterone levels were 1158. Guess my test levels were 4,000 plus at 18
    Your test level is way off the chart for your age group so count yourself lucky b/c you sure the hell ain't the norm.
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  29. #29
    Crazy Ass Texan so-tex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JRT6 View Post
    Your test level is way off the chart for your age group so count yourself lucky b/c you sure the hell ain't the norm.
    I know. I couldn't believe it myself. I did have it taken in the morning, while fasting. It is my understanding, this is when the test. levels are the highest.

    Edit: I didn't have my free test checked, but I assume it would be high also
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  30. #30
    Registered User powernpain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Corbi View Post
    I call bull$hit bro-science on that one. Far too many of us over 40 and over 50ers are doing exactly what you claim we can't.
    I am not sure where I have claimed you can't keep getting better? maybe you miss read all of my posts. I conveyed my strengths are better than when I was 29? ( I am smaller though). I would also point out, I did not come up with this sh*t, to ignore what science has known for many years ( the ability the body has to build muscle mass and for how long).

    So what is your definition of Bro-Science if this is not a typical case of it?

    A few do not want to accept the die hard reality what science is saying? Its your right not to believe it, but remember this still does not make it any less real.
    Observe everyone and everything, accept what is useful, discard what is useless, and create essentially what is your own – “Bruce Lee”
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