There is a misconception that people above 40 have no use in building muscles, and it's a waste of time and effort. Some people believe that building muscle is something you should do only in your twenties. Well, it is false! Once in a while, there is a trending photo of a 40 plus male with cut abs and tight looking muscles, and people cannot hold back their shock and disbelief. The truth is that people over 40 can build muscles just like twenty-year-olds. The only difference is that it takes a bit more to build muscles when you are older.
Many factors affect the way we build muscles at different ages. But if you play your cards right, you can bypass those limiting factors. The only thing to keep in mind is when you are older, your muscles will experience micro-tears easily, which take longer to repair.
Stop comparing yourself to others
There is the constant temptation to compare yourself to the younger lifters in the gym, thinking you can compete weight for weight. At 40, you probably think of yourself as a youngster, but you are not. And this is not to say it’s wrong to feel young and be confident about your abilities, but it is more about being realistic.
But if you are to build muscle at your own pace, the trick is to stop comparing yourself to every young person walking into the gym. Focus on your abilities, take stock of your weaknesses, and create a solid plan that aligns with your goals.
Set realistic goals
Again, being realistic about your current situation can make your goals easy to achieve. Evaluate your current physique with your goals, then be honest about your assessments. Take pictures, write down your current weight and sizes, then set realistic goals. Also, ensure that you are specific and outline every detail. If you think this sounds like a lot of work, team up with a trainer who will help you set your workout routines and fitness milestones.
Ensure that your plans are executable and you are not overtraining. Start your training program with the basics, then give room for progress to prevent burnout.
Do lots of cardio
Cardio is essential for anyone over 40 who wants to be fit and build muscles. At the age of 40, your metabolism slows down. So, you need regular cardio to prevent body fat from accumulating. Another reason you need cardio is that you need to keep your cardiovascular system strong to help you live longer.
Do 20 – 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio workout sessions 3-4 times weekly. This could be anything from light jogging or walking. You may want to stay away from running because it can put a lot of stress on your knees.
Focus on your nutrition
As mentioned earlier, your metabolism slows down by the age of 40, so you need to switch up your nutrition to accommodate this change. Since you are no longer young, what you eat becomes more important than ever. You will need to cut down on calories and carbs. Your goal is to build muscle with minimal fat gain, so your consumption should be a minimal surplus.
Also, try to eat foods rich in healthy fats because cholesterol is an enemy of anyone above 40. Eat more eggs, oatmeal, chicken, olive oil. For a boost of energy and metabolism, supplements can also assist you to build lean muscles such as LA Muscle LA Whey Gold and Norateen Heavyweight II.
Take a day or two off from lifting weights each week. Training too hard every day without rest days will lead to accumulated fatigue, which can ruin your sleep cycle, and in turn, affect your recovery. There is no other way around sleep, especially if you are 40 plus trying to build muscle.