8 Things No One Tells You About Building Muscle After 40

8 Things No One Tells You About Building Muscle After 40

Building muscle after 40 isn’t impossible. From professional athletes, seasoned bodybuilders and people who have a new found focus on their health & fitness, many people are experiencing success and longevity well into their 40’s,50’s, 60’s and beyond.. Muscle is muscle no matter your age, and if your training is planned & structured, your diet is on point, and you’re taking the proper steps for rest and recovery, building new muscle past 40 is easily possible. Here are 8 things no one tells you about building muscle after 40.

1. You Can Build New Muscle

Turning 40 isn’t the end of the road for your fitness goals. In fact, many are just beginning their journey with weight training at this age. Gyms across the country are seeing an uptick in older individuals joining, all of whom believe they can reshape their physiques.

Muscle tissue reacts the same way to training at 50 as it does at 20: it grows when proper intensity and volume, coupled with an optimised diet for muscle growth and recovery are planned and executed well. While testosterone levels do naturally decrease with age—by about 1-2% each year after 30-35—this decline can be mitigated by maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals essential for overall well being.

2. You Don’t Need to Go Super Heavy

Lifting heavy weights is one way to build muscle, but it’s not the only way. Factors such as time under tension, volume, and metabolic stress are equally important. Reaching muscular failure with low rep sets (4-8 reps) can be hard on your joints, but higher rep ranges (10-20 reps) can build just as much muscle with less strain.

A 2015 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that reps in the 25-35 range built as much muscle as the group performing 8-12 reps. This suggests that lifting lighter weights to failure is just as effective as lifting heavier weights.

3. Reps Are Your Friend

Introducing higher rep training offers a new training experience that can be more demanding due to increased time under tension and lactic acid buildup. This approach can also improve your form and enhance the mind-muscle connection, making workouts more enjoyable and increasing accountability.

More reps can mean more practice with each rep, allowing you to refine your technique and explore new exercises that work best for you. Remember, higher reps with slightly lighter loads still require reaching muscular failure to effectively fatigue the muscle. Aim to stick between 15-30 for higher rep range volume training  

4. You Need to Build Muscle and Strength

Hitting forty and beyond isn’t an excuse to take up light jogging in the park. Since muscle mass starts naturally declines after 35, it’s crucial to develop muscle and strength for functional fitness, longevity, and hormone regulation.

Weight training can improve everyday activities and help maintain hormone levels like testosterone, which tend to dip with age. It also helps stop and sometimes reverse bone loss, improving and strengthening your structure for a better quality of life moving forward.

5. Strength Is a Requirement in Life

No matter how modern life becomes, physical strength remains essential. From carrying heavy loads such as groceries, garden materials/scraps, moving furniture, helping a neighbour build a fence, real-life tasks require more than just convenience and technology.

Refuse to believe that forty is the beginning of the end. Whether you’re new to weight training or have been lifting for years, see it as an opportunity to start fresh, learn new techniques, and improve upon what you’ve built so far.

So, it doesn’t matter if you have never lifted weights before, there is always a starting point for you. Just start light and slowly work your way up.

6. Technique Is Most Important

Proper technique is crucial at any age, but especially as you get older. In your younger days, you might have used momentum to lift heavier weights, but now is the time to focus on perfect form to avoid injury and maximise results.

Take a deep look at your core lifts and assess where you can improve your form. Lighten the load if necessary and practice textbook form, focusing on the mind-muscle connection and feeling the muscle fibres working. This helps prevent injuries and ensures that your workouts are effective. Not sure how? Get the help required to learn how from an experienced coach.

 7. Over 40 Isn’t Old

At the end of the day, forty isn’t old unless you make it so. With advances in nutrition, supplementation, and training, there’s no reason to hang up your gym shoes and there is no reason why you cannot be in great condition inside and out. Your mental state will dictate your future—believe that you can continue to build muscle and strength, and it will become your reality.

Muscle is muscle, and there’s no reason you can’t build plenty of it with a good deal of strength. Stay committed to a balanced training routine, focus on proper technique, and maintain a positive mindset.

Learn to prioritise your own health as it’s the only body you have.

8. Is your Nutrition on track

    Your results are not just about what happens in the gym; it’s more so about what you put into your body to fuel your workouts and to recover from your workouts. Poor nutrition can sabotage your efforts, no matter how hard you train. Consuming the right amount of calories needed to achieve your goals is essential. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in whole foods will provide your body with the necessary fuel to perform at its best and recover efficiently. Keep your water intake also and stay hydrated!

    Avoiding these common training mistakes is important for anyone who want to achieve their health & fitness goals.

    Want to know how many calories you need each day. Work it out here!

    If you are confused when it comes to knowing what to eat, Over 40s Transformation Program has that covered for you with our nutritional systems providing you with what to eat, when to eat, how Prepare your meals fast, grocery lists, ongoing support keeping you accountable plus the tools needed to achieve your desired result.