Building Muscle Over 40: Tips and Tricks

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If you want to know if it is possible to build muscle when you are over 40, the answer is yes. It is definitely not going to be the same as when you were in your 20s, but it is not impossible. If you are over 40, you will have to exercise more than you did before your mid-30s to gain muscle. That simply means that you will have to do your reps more often than when you were younger.

Many studies have been done regarding muscle mass gain after 40, and it has been proven that it is not out of reach. There are many exercise plans readily available for people that are over 40 who want to gain muscle again. It is a scientific fact that anybody of any age can build muscle if they have enough motivation and patience. For faster and better muscle building, you may also need a well-balanced diet to go with your training sessions.

Lastly, you will also have to be very consistent and follow your plan to the letter. This will include a healthier lifestyle in general. If you have the patience and enough motivation to follow through, let’s have a look at how to build muscle after 40.

Get a Training Plan and Keep to it

Muscle gain is not just something you get up in the morning and decide you are going to do. To build muscle and gain muscle mass, you need an effective plan of action that needs to be set up in advance. That plan of action is especially important for people over the age of 40 who want to build muscle. Once you have started with your training plan, do not deviate from it.

It will not give you the results you want if you do not stick to it. Research proves that you don’t need to push your body to its limit every day to gain muscles. As you get older, you may start getting tired quicker, and you may find that your body can not take as much. That should not put you off from your training plan, though. With the right type of exercise, you should still get the right results.

At the age of 40, you probably have many more things to do than when you were 20 or 30. Therefore, you will have to be strict and consistent with your training plan, even more now than when you were younger. With a good exercise plan, you should be able to gain muscle and strength even if you are older.

Science Projects

Studies have found that older people can gain just as much muscle and strength as younger people at basically the same speed. Maybe they do not have the same amount of stamina to put into the exercises, but they have muscle maturity. This will help them keep up the exercises and gain muscle tone and size, as well as muscle strength. It was noticed that the strength gains with younger and older people were, in general, the same. The studies further showed that muscle mass between the younger and the older group was basically the same.

The rules for building muscle and gaining strength when you get older are basically the same as when you were younger. Different age groups respond the same to bodybuilding exercises, and the results are generally the same for both young and old. If you are over 40 and you want to start building muscle or continue to build muscle and strength, you can still get great results. You can still build muscle at 40 without hurting yourself by adding a few smart rules to your program. Let us have a look at the rules that may apply to your muscle-building program.

Exercise Smarter

If you don’t push yourself to the limit, how will you gain muscle mass? This is where the trick comes in - you must start by having and sticking with a smart exercise plan. Do not hurt yourself by using the heaviest weights you can handle to do your daily sets and reps. There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting using lighter weights. You just need to increase your reps per set. This way, you will not keep on hurting your body, but you will still build muscle. Plus, you don’t need downtime to heal.

Researchers from Japan found that if you use a lighter weight and lift it slower, you will still build muscle. You don’t need to lift it as fast with heavier weights, and you will still gain muscle strength and size. You can still do fast exercises but mix it up with slower ones to get better results for your muscles. If you mix heavy, light, and medium weights up with different speed training, you will still get the same results. Don’t hurt yourself by just pumping hard with heavy weights, as that will hurt you and interrupt your plan.

It is not always the best for your body and your muscles to push yourself harder to gain quick results. You may even sometimes think you are not getting results because you do not train hard enough or fast enough. However, getting the desired results is not always harder and doing it with a plan may give better results. As mentioned before, it is better to go with lighter weights and do your exercises with a more scientific approach. Get your trainer to work out a good exercise plan to push hard for maybe 3 weeks and then do lighter work for 1 week.

This way, you can help your body rebuild and heal from the inside. Also, you can see the results even better than when you just keep on pumping. You need to exercise and train hard enough to stimulate muscle growth and overall progress for your whole body. However, you must not push yourself so hard that your exercise has a negative effect on your training program. Your body needs some rest time after a few weeks of extensive training. For that, you need a well-structured plan. A good plan is to have a 4-week cycle plan; this will be 3 weeks of hard training and 1 week of lighter training.

Don’t Stop Moving

When you are injured, it is recommended that you take some time to heal and rest the muscles that are injured. That may not be the right approach for some injuries that may need you to keep on moving, though. Some pain in the elbow, such as tendon pain, may rather be of better use for exercises for treatment. Some resistance training, known as eccentric exercise, has shown to be a very effective treatment for that and for the Achilles tendon. This type of resistance training exercises to use as a treatment sometimes turns out to be a more effective treatment than surgery.

Another study showed that heavy regular training works just as good for tendon pain than eccentric exercises used in another study. When you start training for muscle building, the wise thing to do is have regular check-ups with your doctor and therapist. If you become injured during these exercises, do not try to take care of it by yourself. This may worsen the injury and scare you from training.

The best thing for you to do is stay with a solid training plan that you get from a professional trainer. On top of that, be persistent in your program and, when it’s starting to hurt again, get advice from your therapist.

A little bit of pain when training is acceptable, but if the pain does not go away after a few weeks, consult your trainer. You should always have an open and honest relationship with your professional trainer and your therapist or physician. It is not a shame to look after yourself and let anything that hurts be known to your therapist or doctor. If you feel the weights are getting too heavy for you to keep up your sets and reps, tell your trainer.

Your trainer may suggest a lighter set of weights with an exercise program with more reps and even a combination of faster and slower reps. Do not go and sit still if you are injured. Get some exercise that will advance your program from your trainer.

A Good Program

  • Start by warming up for 15 minutes with some cardio exercises to increase your core temperature before you start on weights.
  • Your repetition should be about 8 reps for the upper body and 12 reps for the lower body muscle exercises.
  • It is good and healthy for the body if you use a combination of machines and free weights when working out.
  • Your form and posture must be as close to perfect as possible, as poor form can result in injury to your body.
  • Rest time to recover is necessary, and you will need a little more time for your muscles and body to recapitulate.

Notes on the program: Start out with lighter weights and work your way up in time to use heavier weights that you are able to manage.

Heavier weights may put too much stress on the joints and the ligaments and may hurt you, while medium weights will still stimulate growth.

Cardio exercises are very important for anyone over 40, and it will help to keep the body fat in check. This is because your metabolism is not that fast anymore. It will also help to keep your heart healthy.

Cardio exercise may include walking or light jogging, but not hard running that will put stress on your joints.


  • Squat exercises on the smith machine should be 3 sets at 12 reps.
  • Leg curls lying on your stomach, you do 2 sets and 12 reps.
  • Standing calf raise you must do 2 sets at 12 reps.
  • Bench press with barbell medium grip is 3 sets and 8 reps.
  • Incline press with a dumbbell you need to do 2 sets at 12 reps.
  • Dumbbell row for one arm 3 sets 12 reps is good.
  • Dumbbell press with Arnold for 3 sets at 8reps.
  • Triceps press lying down you do 2 sets at 8 reps.
  • Hammer curls you need to do 2 sets at 8 reps.


A good nutrition program will help to support your muscle-building program and also keep your body properly fed. Because your metabolism slows down when you get older, you will need to step up your nutrition value. Fewer carbohydrates and calories will be the main feature of your muscle-building diet plan.

Your diet should be rich in protein that is good for your diet because of the cholesterol control at higher ages. For your body to gain muscle mass, you need to consume more carbs for the body to get the fuel from, which is essentially energy intake. If you are over 40, you need a diet that is lower in fat content and will give you a slight surplus.

This will be the energy food so that your muscles can absorb that for optimum growth. It will be a good thing to ask your trainer to give you a diet that will fit your training program and your body. Your diet should include such things as protein, carbohydrates, and more, and professional advice should be the way to go for that.


The best idea is to see a professional, which may cost you more but it will give you better results and fewer injuries. These injuries may interrupt, or even worse, completely stop you from having a healthy and well-toned body. As you may have observed, it is completely in your grasp to have a well-ripped body at over 40.

The best thing for you to do is to be always aware of the fact that you are getting older. Your body is not what it was 20 years ago, but you can still have that muscular and well-toned body you desire. With the right amount of patience and willpower, you can do it. Keep in mind the building muscle over 40: tips and tricks that we covered above and you will be well on your way to having the body of your dreams.