Group: Health & Fitness over 40

Created: 2011/12/31, Members: 197, Messages: 2480

Group dedicated to men and women over the age of 40 that care about their health and want to take the fitness and nutrition down the right path.

Join group

How to build muscle at 40

sanjeev_sk
sanjeev_sk
Posts: 2
Joined: 2011/12/07
United States
2016/01/27, 09:27 AM
I have been working out at the gym for over 2-3 months. I follow a 5 day schedule that covers over all body training.
However I have only lost about 3-4 kgs of weight. How and what do I need to do to build up muscle ?
bb1fit
bb1fit
Posts: 11,105
Joined: 2001/06/30
United States
2016/03/05, 03:35 PM
Gaining muscle at any age is difficult, and in your 40's and beyond it gets even moreso. What you cannot do is 'think' like a 20 year old, that you can gain lots of muscle. This will lead to just giving up. Be realistic in your goals. You mention you have lost 3-4 Kg. of weight. This leads me to believe fat loss is your main objective. If this is the case, you need to focus your efforts there. It has certainly been said a million times, you cannot gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. This is largely true, even in your 20's. What you can hope for is lots more fat loss, with minimal muscle gain. But, loss of fat will enhance any muscle you do have, and this can give a great appearance to your physique, which in the end is more than likely what everyone is striving for. 

Ok, that out of  the way, muscle gain is done the same way now as always. Taxing/overload of a muscle group is what induces muscle growth. It has been debated to death over the years of high reps/low weight or high weight/less reps. Either can work, and in combination can work well. However, if I was cornered by a lion and threatened to mauled to death if I didn't pick, I would choose heavy weight, less reps. 

Rest is as important as the gym. You actully do not grow in the gym. It 'feels' like it, but not so. Resting and time to rebuild is necessary. As we age, this rest becomes even more important, as our recovery time is naturally increased. A good guage would be if the next time you  went to the gym and did the same exercise on your next scheduled day for that exercise, and you find you are significantly  weaker, you probably have not rested enough.

Then the biggie, diet. Tons of protein will not build muscle, though you need a steady source throughout the day for necessary amino acid usage. Balance this out with good carbs and fats, and you can give yourself the best chance to build muscle. 

And a word about that much hyped after workout shake, earn it! If you do not, then it is simply extra calories and you know what can happen with that scenario. 

Good luck to you. It is not easy, and takes dedication and work.
sanjeev_sk
sanjeev_sk
Posts: 2
Joined: 2011/12/07
United States
2016/03/06, 06:26 AM
bb1fit
Gaining muscle at any age is difficult, and in your 40's and beyond it gets even moreso. What you cannot do is 'think' like a 20 year old, that you can gain lots of muscle. This will lead to just giving up. Be realistic in your goals. You mention you have lost 3-4 Kg. of weight. This leads me to believe fat loss is your main objective. If this is the case, you need to focus your efforts there. It has certainly been said a million times, you cannot gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. This is largely true, even in your 20's. What you can hope for is lots more fat loss, with minimal muscle gain. But, loss of fat will enhance any muscle you do have, and this can give a great appearance to your physique, which in the end is more than likely what everyone is striving for. 

Ok, that out of  the way, muscle gain is done the same way now as always. Taxing/overload of a muscle group is what induces muscle growth. It has been debated to death over the years of high reps/low weight or high weight/less reps. Either can work, and in combination can work well. However, if I was cornered by a lion and threatened to mauled to death if I didn't pick, I would choose heavy weight, less reps. 

Rest is as important as the gym. You actully do not grow in the gym. It 'feels' like it, but not so. Resting and time to rebuild is necessary. As we age, this rest becomes even more important, as our recovery time is naturally increased. A good guage would be if the next time you  went to the gym and did the same exercise on your next scheduled day for that exercise, and you find you are significantly  weaker, you probably have not rested enough.

Then the biggie, diet. Tons of protein will not build muscle, though you need a steady source throughout the day for necessary amino acid usage. Balance this out with good carbs and fats, and you can give yourself the best chance to build muscle. 

And a word about that much hyped after workout shake, earn it! If you do not, then it is simply extra calories and you know what can happen with that scenario. 

Good luck to you. It is not easy, and takes dedication and work.

--- Hi bb1fit,

I want to first thank you for the detailed message. I guess this has been one of the most clear and concise analysis/guidance that I have received from an open forum.
Appreciate your help on this.

While my BMI analysis shows that I am just around the ideal weight for my height (181 cms height vs 74kgs), I would now like to focus on building on muscle mass.
I would be grateful if you are able to guide me on the specific exercises.

That said, I have looked up for the exercises with this goal in mind on the workouts available on this site. I guess, from the above jist, your advice would be to go in for lesser reps with heavier weights and adequate rest.

Thanks again and look forward for your thoughts.

Cheers
bb1fit
bb1fit
Posts: 11,105
Joined: 2001/06/30
United States
2016/03/06, 10:12 AM
sanjeev_sk
I want to first thank you for the detailed message. I guess this has been one of the most clear and concise analysis/guidance that I have received from an open forum.
Appreciate your help on this.

While my BMI analysis shows that I am just around the ideal weight for my height (181 cms height vs 74kgs), I would now like to focus on building on muscle mass.
I would be grateful if you are able to guide me on the specific exercises.

That said, I have looked up for the exercises with this goal in mind on the workouts available on this site. I guess, from the above jist, your advice would be to go in for lesser reps with heavier weights and adequate rest.

Thanks again and look forward for your thoughts.

Cheers
---


My goal is to sincerely try to help folks with this stuff. It is very good that you are at a 'good' point in your physique. This would be the ideal point to start trying to build more muscle, as building muscle will entail a caloriy surplus along with the work, and this will indeed lead to some fat 'tag along' gain. One note here, you will have to be the judge of your muscle gain amount. This meaning if you had to work extremely hard to lose fat to get to the ideal point you speak of, then you will need to try to gain at a slower pace. That is, add extra calories, but not an extraordinary amount as to attempting shall we say an 'gain at all costs'. Think of how easy it is to lose weight(fat) for you, and is it worth the added fat to gain a tiny bit of muscle when the diet is over. 

That said, the workout plan should be consistent, heavy work. Focus on compound exercises, this will build the most overall muscle mass. This would be heavy bench, squats, deadlifts.

Or, if you 'must' do a split, you can do as menitoned in my first post, antagonist exercises in a split such as a 4 day. But, spend the first month doing 3 a week full body workouts, as heavy as you can go, no more than 3 sets per body part(as crazy as it sounds, you have to work out to be able to work out). Then follow with what a quck overview could be....

Day 1....Chest
Day 2.....Legs
Day 3.....Rest
Day 4.....Shoulders and Biceps
Day 5.....Back and Triceps
Day 6.....Rest
Day 7.....Rest

Again, as mentioned, overload of a  muscle is key for growth. This will go hand in hand with a diet such as would be needed for overall physique change, with addding minimal fat, and better overall body appearance with a stronger physique. I would be wary of alot of 'isolation' type exercises to begin with, as they look good and feel good (like you are building muscle there), but the body is pretty uniform in its growth. You can spend tons of time isolating biceps, triceps, deltoids, (side, front, back), etc,, but this will probably not accomplish your goal and to build muscle in your 40's and up it is ideal to work smarter, not harder. If you start the isolation stuff, before you know it you are doing a workout you cannot sustain. You are not working to become a bodybuilder. Our goal here is to spend less time in the gym, be smarter, rest more, build an overall strong physique, feel healthier, and look healthier. Maximise your time in the gym.

Hope this is not too convoluted. Again, I caution ever so strongly about beginning a workout you cannot sustain.Think about what you are doing in there, can I do this indefinitely? Time is valuable, and there will be a point where you will start to slow it down even subconciously if you are doing too much. You will get to dread your workout, and next thing you know you will not be doing it at all. 

In the end, think what you are working to achieve, and work and diet towards that end. Be smart.
Jac48
Jac48
Posts: 125
Joined: 2004/04/23
United States
2016/04/03, 02:27 PM
bb1fit
Rest is as important as the gym. You actully do not grow in the gym. It 'feels' like it, but not so. Resting and time to rebuild is necessary. As we age, this rest becomes even more important, as our recovery time is naturally increased. A good guage would be if the next time you went to the gym and did the same exercise on your next scheduled day for that exercise, and you find you are significantly weaker, you probably have not rested enough.

Then the biggie, diet. Tons of protein will not build muscle, though you need a steady source throughout the day for necessary amino acid usage. Balance this out with good carbs and fats, and you can give yourself the best chance to build muscle.

And a word about that much hyped after workout shake, earn it! If you do not, then it is simply extra calories and you know what can happen with that scenario.

Good luck to you. It is not easy, and takes dedication and work.

---

That can't be overstated.  Iwork two jobs...and have been for over 10 years.  The one thing I lack is rest.  There are days I get no more than 4 to 5 hours of sleep.  I can't stress how much better I feel when I get 6 to 8 hours.  Rest...Rest...Rest