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  1. #1
    chitown animal hjayss's Avatar
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    Muscle Building over 40

    By Scott Miller

    MYTH: A man over 40 years old can no longer build muscle.

    Granted, at 40 years old, men usually have less testosterone
    in their systems, but we can still build muscle. It just
    takes a bit more persistence and hard work.

    If you read all the muscle mags and try to follow what they
    say, you might make some gains, but typically you will be
    over-trained. So, let's throw all of that away and
    concentrate on the things that really matter: training,
    nutrition and rest.

    Whatever your routine, make sure it's working for you and
    you're making progress. After 3-4 weeks of your new
    routine, if you're not lifting more or doing more reps,
    you should re-think your routine. Remember, there is no
    "cookie cutter" routine that works perfectly for everyone,
    so if this one doesn't work, change it.

    One of the biggest things to remember in your routines
    for adding muscle mass is to LIFT HARD and HEAVY! I
    can't stress this enough. I've talked to too many guys,
    young and old, who proclaim that they can't add any size.
    If you watch them, they never really push themselves.
    You must always push yourself and strive for more reps
    or more poundage or you will never make any quality gains.

    Lifting hard and heavy leads us right into a few other
    points ? your joints and using straps and wraps. Being
    over 40 and lifting can pose problems with your joints.
    Aside from taking glucosamine and chondroitin (not a bad
    idea), stretching frequently before, during and after a
    training session is important. Even stretching
    during your work day can help keep you limber and
    actually relieve some of the soreness and help keep the
    joints from getting stiff. If you've got a joint
    problem that is persistent, don't try to "man through
    it", but go see your doctor and have him make sure you're
    OK.

    Many exercises can be quite taxing on your grip and your
    grip will give out before the muscle you're training will.
    In those instances, use straps. You don't want to limit
    your muscle growth because your grip gives out. BUT,
    make sure you include grip/forearm exercises in your routine.

    At our age, knee wraps are probably a good idea, just for
    the added support they give. I use a wrap on my right
    knee and will be starting on my left knee soon. Be smart.

    I do not wear a lifting belt. I used to, but I discovered
    that my lower back was just, plain weak. I started doing
    good mornings, back extensions, dead lifts and rack dead
    lifts. Within a few months, I had no need to wear a belt,
    with the exception of near 1RM squats.

    Whether younger or older, you need to track your progress.
    Whether it's a log book or a piece of paper in your pocket
    that you then enter into your computer at home, track your
    progress. This will let you know where you're at and
    where you've been. At the next workout, you won't be
    guessing, you'll have the numbers in front of you.

    Setting goals goes hand-in-hand with tracking your
    progress. Setting both short-term and long-term goals
    is very important and will help keep you focused on your
    lifting.

    If you're really serious about putting on muscle, then
    nutrition is probably 70% of the entire package. You need
    to be eating clean foods ? not fast foods. At least 5
    meals a day is necessary to keep your metabolism going.
    6-8 meals a day is not unreasonable, if you have the time.
    For us "older guys", building muscle isn't quite as easy
    as it used to be, so we have to really concentrate on
    what we eat and when. Protein, carbs and fats are all
    essential, not only in proper nutrition, but for
    building muscle.

    Make sure you eat enough to support muscle gain. Most
    people, older or younger, that call themselves "hard
    gainers", just aren't eating enough. How do you know?
    An easy way to figure it out is to write down everything
    you eat every day for a week. Get a calorie counting
    book and put the numbers to it. Then figure out your BMR.
    If your BMR is 2200 calories, then you have to eat more
    than that each day to gain, and that's not 2210
    calories a day, but 2300+. Granted, there's a balance
    between eating an excess and pigging out every day. You
    can make muscle gains and keep the body fat at a minimum
    if you don't over eat and eat clean food.

    Last, but not least, REST.
    That's right, rest. 7-8 hours of good, steady sleep is
    critical. If you're always tired from not sleeping enough,
    not only will your workouts suffer, but nearly everything
    else can suffer, as well. A nap, if you have the time,
    can be wonderful.

    So, you're "Over the Hill", huh? Big deal. If you eat
    right, train hard and get good sleep, you can still be
    on the front side of the hill, instead of the back side.
    I'm bigger and stronger now at 45 years old than I have
    ever been.
    $$$$BIG MONEY BALLER CREW$$$$$

    Lifetime reps..
    kenkong..n00bi3..Drew23
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  2. #2
    Going for strong and lean jtroster's Avatar
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    Great post. We need to keep this one around for all the times some noobie posts another of those "Can I build muscle at age..." threads.
    Joel

    “Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

    My 2014 Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=159562211
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  3. #3
    Slower, but smarter Capnwilliam's Avatar
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    Yes!

    Hjyass, I believe that you've hit on the ONLY "Magic Formula" that will work for everyone, of any age. :-)

    Jim
    I wonder how soon it will be before we start seeing "Don't blame me, I voted for McCain" bumper stickers?
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  4. #4
    Registered User BELLC's Avatar
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    I wonder if I thought that way when I was 32...
    Hang up and drive. Slower traffic move right.
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  5. #5
    Registered User thomasale's Avatar
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    I started working out last March. I was very serious about my efforts. I included 45 minutes of cardio at least 4 times per week. In August I had an accident that kept me out of the gym for 6 weeks. During the first phase of my training I got a lot leaner but not much stronger. When I went back in the gym I could not do cardio due to an ongoing foot/ankle problem. I went to a 5 x 5 program concentrating on the main lifts. I dropped bicep/tricep direct workouts and have really concentrated on the big muscle groups. I have serioslky increased all my major lifts and have gone from 197 to 209 lbs with a leaning out all over.

    I am quite a bit over 40 and have been adding muscle at a steady rate...now I am no Red Weston but I am professing the same creed "Just keep on Pumpin! " It CAN be done. Great post and Reps to the starter of this thread!
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  6. #6
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Granted, at 40 years old, men usually have less testosterone


    I read this passage and stopped reading all together, as this does NOT pertain to me!!!!!!!

    Bunch of BS!
    Last edited by bodyhard; 01-18-2008 at 07:25 AM.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Inthegrass's Avatar
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    They should sticky this thread!!
    Good post.

    Jeff
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  8. #8
    Registered User m1k3g0rd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Granted, at 40 years old, men usually have less testosterone
    in their systems, but we can still build muscle. It just
    takes a bit more persistence and hard work.


    I read this passage and stopped reading all together, as this does NOT pertain to me!!!!!!!

    Bunch of BS!
    For the people on HRT, it's not BS.

    I agree with the others, this ought to be a sticky - but the title should be 'Sticky: Gaining muscle over 40 (for everyone except BodyHard)'.

    :-)
    John McCain:
    "You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately. And you know, I couldn't agree with them more. I couldn't disagree with you. I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god-loving, most, most patriotic part of America, and this is a great part of the country."
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  9. #9
    Registered User thunderchild's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I like this!!! A great realistic way of looking at the issue. Reps and this should be made a sticky!!
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti
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  10. #10
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by m1k3g0rd View Post
    For the people on HRT, it's not BS.

    I agree with the others, this ought to be a sticky - but the title should be 'Sticky: Gaining muscle over 40 (for everyone except BodyHard)'.

    :-)
    LOL Yup I gain muscle over 40 way better than I did when I was younger, I do NOT believe that your test drop at 40, my doctor even told me that my test are going up as oppose to down.

    When I was younger my test levels were low and they increased as I got older. Rare but true!

    So yes to me that is BS. The part about test dropping at 40 NOT the part about being able to gain muscle at 40.
    Last edited by bodyhard; 01-18-2008 at 07:26 AM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User FREDROCKS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    LOL Yup I gain muscle over 40 way better than I did when I was younger, I do NOT believe that your test drop at 40, my doctor even told me that my test are going up as oppose to down.

    When I was younger my test levels were low and they increased as I got older. Rare but true!

    So yes to me that is BS. The part about test dropping at 40 NOT the part about being able to gain muscle at 40.
    u got it BH, my best years were 45 to 51. Congrats on never giving up!
    Live till u die
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  12. #12
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FREDROCKS View Post
    u got it BH, my best years were 45 to 51. Congrats on never giving up!
    Good for you man, I bet you Fing rocked at that age as well, me I am looking to continue gaining into my 60 and 70's God willing.

    My old man is 79 (just turned 79 Jan 13th) and he is strong as hell!
    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

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  13. #13
    Registered User bobs7447's Avatar
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    Everything is relative according to the individual, but as one who started bodybuilding at 54 after having being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (I'm now 60 and still at it), I can say for me the advise by hjyass is right on the money.

    I really don't worry too much about testosterone. I look in the mirror, occasionally the scale, and monitor my vitals. I like what I see.
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  14. #14
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bobs7447 View Post
    Everything is relative according to the individual, but as one who started bodybuilding at 54 after having being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (I'm now 60 and still at it), I can say for me the advise by hjyass is right on the money.

    I really don't worry too much about testosterone. I look in the mirror, occasionally the scale, and monitor my vitals. I like what I see.
    No disrespect to you, but I have been in a car accident, crushed my pelvic, fractured my ribs, broke my left clavicle, had internal bleeding, was told I would never walk again.

    I am now 43 years of age, you think I am going to listen to that BS that was written? Get the F'ck out of here. I am going to go at it 100% full force, no Fking pitty patting foot steps for me. I am not going to take it easy all because my age dictates that I should, if that were the case I would look like **** by now.

    I don't believe in getting old I believe in getting better, age is a number to me, not a sign that because I reach a certain age that I should "take it easy" F'CK THAT!!!

    I am who I am and I do what I do and I do a damn good job at it, who ever doesn't agree with me, so be it!!

    If I was to give in to all the BS and believe all the crap that is written by so called experts I would still be in a wheel chair......
    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

    GOD IS GOOD.....
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  15. #15
    Registered User FREDROCKS's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    No disrespect to you, but I have been in a car accident, crushed my pelvic, fractured my ribs, broke my left clavicle, had internal bleeding, was told I would never walk again.

    I am now 43 years of age, you think I am going to listen to that BS that was written? Get the F'ck out of here. I am going to go at it 100% full force, no Fking pitty patting foot steps for me. I am not going to take it easy all because my age dictates that I should, if that were the case I would look like **** by now.

    I don't believe in getting old I believe in getting better, age is a number to me, not a sign that because I reach a certain age that I should "take it easy" F'CK THAT!!!

    I am who I am and I do what I do and I do a damn good job at it, who ever doesn't agree with me, so be it!!

    If I was to give in to all the BS and believe all the crap that is written by so called experts I would still be in a wheel chair......
    No **** BH, I got a big AMEN on that one
    Live till u die
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  16. #16
    The show goes on chodan9's Avatar
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    The part he wrote about the weight belt is something I feel like should be ignored for me. having had back surgury I already know my back is weaker than it might otherwise be. Advising back strengthening is a good idea though. I am able to lift now about 8 times what my doctors told me I would be able to lift. But that dont mean I should ignore safety equipment that is available. Weight belts are proven to allow you to lift more weight, more weight = more overall muscle development. I just make sure to work those lower back muscle groups specifically and safely.
    ----------
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  17. #17
    Registered User IR45N's Avatar
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    It's a decent post BUT:

    Still falls into the general notion that the BIG FOUR ZERO is such a MOMENTOUS MOMENT and if anyone had a chance they'd be stuck on 39. Probably had more truth when the life expectancy was somewhere in the 60s.

    Less test? Less than who? A 17 y/o? Even IF it is, it's probably put to better use & more often. Good chance the 40 y/o will be more patient, more persistent and more productive-we're now talking iron AND sex here- (and has a bigger food budget).

    There is no cookie cutter routine and there is no cookie cutter age.

    No problem with the 'lift hard and heavy' nor the stretching and using straps or going to the Dr. if there's a persistant issue (if you're a Dr. goer).

    quote:For us "older guys", building muscle isn't quite as easy
    as it used to be, so we have to really concentrate on
    what we eat and when.quote

    Ummm, any age lifter should concentrate on the eating part of the game & hell, with muscle memory it could damn well be as easy as it used to be. Balls to the wall training doesn't stop at 29 or something.

    Hill? What hill? I'm not heading towards any damn hill & if I do for cardio, the grass is probably greener on that side anyway.
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  18. #18
    Registered User rocketman44's Avatar
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    Overall, it sounds like good advice, but it has to be individualized, since each person is different and responds differently as we get older.

    Personally, I've had two hernias, so the "lift hard and heavy" mantra doesn't apply in my case. It's more like "lift carefully and watch the weight".

    But the basic principles seem generally sound.
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  19. #19
    When in doubt, mumble namtrag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Granted, at 40 years old, men usually have less testosterone


    I read this passage and stopped reading all together, as this does NOT pertain to me!!!!!!!

    Bunch of BS!
    Not for me it ain't. I don't think I have ever had much, and now even less. If I had some, I wouldn't be such a cow.
    Yorkshireman I: Right! I had to get up in the morning, at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill and pay mill-owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our dad would kill us and dance about on our graves, singing Hallelujah!
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  20. #20
    Registered User ricks350z's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thanks for the post. At 40 minus 3 months, i feel pretty good, with the exception of a few nagging issues.
    And being able to dunk a basketball at my age and height (6'1), I feel pretty fortunate to be doing some of the things I did 20+ years ago in high school.
    Now, if i could only build the quality muscle i'm looking for.
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  21. #21
    Squats and Milk Bando's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how the article applies to those over 40 specifically as opposed to anyone else who bodybuilds/trains. It's mostly good advice but I've read it all in some form/somewhere before.

    When I was 16, 17, 18 I wrestled, played lacrosse, lifted weights, ran, took karate etc. but I had nowhere near the build I have now. Believe me - I tried.

    Man, now that I know what I'm doing, It's working, and I'm just getting started at 40.
    ▪█───────█▪

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    Iron Pratherian Crew

    "Have you ever said "I can't train today?" It's a somber thought; the realization that many now use the word 'can't' when they really mean 'won't.' It's the polite way to say to others, and even to ourselves, that we lack the desire to sacrifice. To justify our unwillingness to commit without admitting it, since 'won't' needs a reason."

    -Kane Sumabat
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  22. #22
    Registered User ironviolin's Avatar
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    success at fifty...

    Hey guys...Guess you'd call me a late bloomer...been working out under five years...working toward competition couple of years and have loved every minute of it...hard work and always changing things up to keep the ole body guessing...works like a charm... won pro card in npa last oct... looking to switch to npc for fun this year... lifting heavy and enjoying every minute...best of luck to all in 2008...Ironviolin
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  23. #23
    Registered User FREDROCKS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironviolin View Post
    Hey guys...Guess you'd call me a late bloomer...been working out under five years...working toward competition couple of years and have loved every minute of it...hard work and always changing things up to keep the ole body guessing...works like a charm... won pro card in npa last oct... looking to switch to npc for fun this year... lifting heavy and enjoying every minute...best of luck to all in 2008...Ironviolin
    Well done my man
    Live till u die
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  24. #24
    No excuses Ronboski's Avatar
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    Great post!
    Thanks for the info and motivation.
    The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.
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  25. #25
    chitown animal hjayss's Avatar
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    Thanks all I posted this as I was very happy to see this....I am always bumed aboutthe thought of all the work I put in and the very thought of bam losing it after 40 or so man...I am happy and lift with a new attitude now....
    $$$$BIG MONEY BALLER CREW$$$$$

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  26. #26
    chitown's own dtrain dtrain1027's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hjayss View Post
    Thanks all I posted this as I was very happy to see this....I am always bumed aboutthe thought of all the work I put in and the very thought of bam losing it after 40 or so man...I am happy and lift with a new attitude now....
    Nice post repped it big time..solid post bro...
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  27. #27
    Registered User davesporty's Avatar
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    Well i am 40 and do not see any problems compared to when i was 20.
    I think you gain fat easier at 40 but muscle building is hardly any different.
    Making sure your protein intake is higher than average ensure increased test levels.
    davesporty
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  28. #28
    Registered User ServoScanMan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hjayss View Post
    By Scott Miller

    ....One of the biggest things to remember in your routines
    for adding muscle mass is to LIFT HARD and HEAVY! I
    can't stress this enough. ...

    ...I'm bigger and stronger now at 45 years old than I have ...
    ever been.
    Scott, I almost made a (negative) comment because your signiture shows you to be 32. Can you please update your age?

    Good post. I have people come up to me a least once a week wanting to see my workout routine (I always have a log sheet with me). If they look like they are over 40, I caution them about going to heavy on the lifts because of the joint/tendon/ligament possibly being the weak link. I know, because I hurt myself a year ago lifting over 200lbs on my BB bent over rows. A year later I can lift over 200lb on BB bent over rows but I had to make some changes.

    Like you said, everyone is different and you will need to find out what works for you.

    Great post!
    47yr male, 5'11", 235lbs, BF who knows? (Oct 05)
    48yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 15.2% BF (Nov 06)
    48yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 15.2% BF (May 07)
    49yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 14.5% BF (Aug 07)
    49yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 13.5% BF (Jan 08)
    50yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 13.5% BF (Jul 08)

    ....and the height chart says I'm fat...ugh!
    Oh well, I gotta one pack ab.
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  29. #29
    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davesporty View Post
    Well i am 40 and do not see any problems compared to when i was 20.
    I think you gain fat easier at 40 but muscle building is hardly any different.
    Making sure your protein intake is higher than average ensure increased test levels.
    Reps to you man, and by looking at you I know you know your **** unlike some others here.
    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

    GOD IS GOOD.....
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  30. #30
    Registered User davesporty's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Reps to you man, and by looking at you I know you know your **** unlike some others here.
    Cheers,reps back although mine are the grey ones.

    I am just getting to understand this addiction slowly,but the more i work out the more i learn.

    Keep liftin !
    davesporty
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