If you are 40, you know that your body doesn’t work as it used to when you were in high school or college. Those were the good old days that are gone. Now you need to be more strategic when exercising, especially if you want to build muscle.
How your body changes after 40
As you get older, your body will go through a lot of physiological changes that will make it harder for you to gain muscle. These include:-
- Less testosterone:Your body will produce less testosterone, a hormone that helps build muscle mass and strength.
- Slow metabolism:Your body will also burn less fat. Even if you maintain the same exercise routine, less of the calories you consume will be burned.
- Loss of bone density: At the age of 30, bone mass stops increasing. And at 40 and 50, more bone may be broken down than replaced. Muscle mass has a direct relationship with bone density, so bone loss will reduce your ability to gain muscle.
Even if your body is going through these changes, you can still gain muscle. This article will provide some tips that will help you build muscle in no time.
Warm-up before exercising
If you lift weights all the time, you will start to notice aches and pains. To avoid this, always warm-up for at least 15 minutes before lifting weights. You can use a cardio device or simply do targeted warm-ups. This will raise your body temperature and promote blood flow before the workout.
Incorporate cardio into your routine
Regular cardio will help reduce your body fat which is difficult to shift as you age. It will help keep your heart strong, which will help you live a longer life. Do three 20-minute-low intensity cardio exercises a week. This could include walking or light jogging. Do not run as this might strain your knees and joints.
If you were a runner when you were younger, then it’s okay to run. You can start with a low-intensity workout, then begin running on a treadmill or rubber track, which are gentle on your knees.
Use machines instead of free weights
As you get older, your stabilizing muscles begin to weaken, which can leave your ligaments and tendons vulnerable to injury. Instead of using free weights, work out with a machine to reduce this risk. Your rep range should be moderate to high, with 8 to 12 repetitions (reps) for upper body exercises, and 12 to 20 reps for lower body exercises.
Don’t use weights that are too heavy as they could put too much weight on your joints and ligaments. This is particularly important for people who have begun to build muscle at 40, but also for those who resume bodybuilding after a break, regardless of age.
Get your positioning right
Once you get to 40, your body no longer has the same strength it did when you were younger. Your execution and posture need to be perfect. Wrong positioning can easily cause injury.
If you have just started weight lifting, do only 3 sessions per week for the first month, add one or 2 more days if you feel strong enough to do more sessions. Space out the training days since the recovery time is a little longer. If you’ve been exercising for a long time, stick to your regular workout routine because your body is used to it.
As you age, your body will store more fat. For men, more fat will be stored faster on the abs and love handles. If you are a woman, the excess fat will be on the buttocks and hips. To maximize muscle gain, consume a diet that is high in healthy fats, such as avocado and salmon. Also, get regular blood tests to monitor your fat levels.
Most people who are over 40 mainly exercise to stay in shape rather than build muscle. But if your goal is to gain muscle, you can achieve it if you focus on the essentials that we’ve talked about. However, it will take a bit longer because it is not as easy as it was when you were younger.