The Key to Building Muscle After 40
Building muscle mass is a long and time-consuming process that requires a focused dedication to training and fueling your body the right way day-in and day-out. Traditional strength training is far too often thought of as a “young man’s game”, where only people in their teens, 20’s, and 30’s are capable of building and maintaining the muscle mass and physique they desire.
Those of us who are 40 and older are seemingly stuck at an impasse: we think we either need to continue to push our bodies too hard in the weight room and risk injuries we don’t have time to recover from, or give up on that goal of getting stronger with age entirely. That doesn’t need to be the case.
The Truth About Aging
Over time as your body ages, your muscles, tendons, and surrounding tissues tend to become more rigid and lose elasticity, which can contribute to an overall loss of strength. This causes the recovery process to slow down, especially when you overload your muscles and joints with heavy weight training, and makes those little aches and pains you feel every morning just that much more noticeable the day after a workout. People in their 40’s and beyond often experience progressing muscular breakdown due to a condition called sarcopenia, which is responsible for the shrinking of muscle tissue and an overall decrease in strength and stamina. Though sarcopenia is a condition that is commonly seen in aging adults, it is by no means unpreventable:
- Make sure you are getting enough dietary protein. Eat more fish, eggs, poultry, and lean red meat, and consider adding a protein supplement, like our TB12 Plant-Based Protein or our TB12 Whey Protein Isolate, to your regular diet.
- Next, focus on strength training. A combination of increased protein and strength training will increase muscle mass and strength more than either therapy alone.
Though you can’t control the changing hormones in your body or your reduced capacity to break down protein, there’s no reason you should be limited by them. Sure, you may not be able to go to the gym and put up the big weight you could at 25 or 30, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be every bit as strong as you were 15 years ago (if not stronger). It all starts with resistance bands.
Stronger at 40 (and Beyond)
We love resistance bands because they allow you to train with a large, fluid range of motion that improves your functional strength, stability, and mobility without overloading your muscles and joints. Where weight lifting causes muscle and joint overload and accelerates the natural wear and tear on the body that comes with age, resistance training allows for strengthening without this same trauma.
The most common misconception about training with resistance bands is that they’re just for rehab or toning muscles and won’t actually get you stronger or help you build muscle mass. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Different resistance bands offer varying levels of tensile strength, meaning you can build up to a higher resistance level much like you would use heavier weights to enhance a workout.
Our TB12 Resistance Bands allow you to do any exercises you’d normally do in the gym without the same risk of overload and injury that come along with traditional strength training. For those of us who are over 40 and looking to pack on muscle, there are few key muscle groups to focus on:
- Biceps and Triceps
- Upper Back and Shoulders