How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time. Possible?

how to gain muscle and lose fat

Well, yes it IS POSSIBLE to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.  We’ll explore the ways in this article.

In the near past, the technique for getting ripped was to go heavy with the weights at the gym, overeat and then starve yourself to get rid of all the fat you gained when you were overeating.  Not Good!!

This is common practice in the bodybuilding world.  It’s referred to as Bulking and CuttingS.  It’s an extreme way to achieve an end, and probably does work, but it requires a lot of stress on your body.  It can negatively affect your body permanently.

It’s an extreme way to achieve an end, and probably does work, but it requires strict dedication and a lot of gym time.

And it’s short-lived at best.  This method is often done to prepare for a competition.  We’re not doing that here.

Bulking and Shredding are BAD for your body and an old technique that no longer has to be used to get a ripped body. We know more about our body and how it works.

Now, honestly, we don’t want a bodybuilder physique, but the principles to get big and lean still apply. You don’t have to whip-saw your body by overeating and then starving yourself to get a nicely defined, muscled body.

It seems as though gaining muscle and losing fat are contradictory, but they aren’t.

There are many who try to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously and fail.  It is not easy because the body needs calories to build muscle and needs fewer calories to lose fat.  Therein lies the dilemma.

how to gain muscle and lose fat

Because it is not easy, we must look at the science behind the body and see what clues we can get as to how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

The two are very much related.  You can do both at the same time.

It just takes some education, some willingness to see things differently and to commit to an eating program and workout that will adhere to the principles we outline here.

With science, information, and understanding of how the various systems of the body function, we can better understand and apply the right exercises and nutrition to help us achieve the goal of increasing muscle mass and losing fat simultaneously.

We’ll look at several approaches that will help you attain these goals, but first, let’s look at the science to see how we can get the results we want.

 

SCIENCE BEHIND THE APPROACH

Your body is a machine that science understands.  Now, not all bodies are the same, obviously, but the science is the same, nonetheless.

Below is a discussion of how you gain muscle.

MUSCLE GAIN

how to gain muscle and lose fat
Hyde Park Gym – Austin

We have been studying the human body for many years, and we know how muscles grow and the 3-4 different mechanisms that are involved.

Because there is more than one way to gain muscle and everyone responds differently, we’re going to propose that you rotate between the different methods to maximize your muscle gains.

 

 

1.) THE “PUMP”

You’ve certainly heard bodybuilders say “get a pump” or “get swole.”  This is actually your body responding to stress by increasing the size of the cells in the stress area.  This swelling will ultimately result in bigger muscles or a “pump.”

How To Get A Pump?

The best ways to achieve this “pump” and increase your muscle size is through the use of drop sets, super sets and doing each exercise to failure.

single dumbbell arm curls

A DROP SET is doing an exercise starting with a heavier weight and then removing a small portion of the weight immediately after each rep.

For example, you’d start arm curls with 35 lbs and do as many as you can, immediately pick up the 30 lb dumbbells and do as many reps as you can, then finish by doing as many reps as you can with 25 lb. dumbbells.

These are done with NO rest in between.  NO REST.

 

tricep push down machine

A SUPER SET is alternately doing two complimentary exercises without any rest in between.

For instance, do bicep arm curls alternately with triceps push-down.

Do a set of arm curls with a 30 lb. weight to almost failure and then immediately get on a triceps pushdown machine and do as many pushdowns as you can – moderate weight.

The key is not to rest in between. NO REST.

So muscle gain can be induced by a “pump” or swelling of the muscles.  Another way is TENSION on the muscle.

 2.) Muscle Tension

chest press with heavy dumbbells

You’ve heard of fast twitch muscles?  These are engaged when your muscles are put under great tension.  They are recruited when you do exercises with heavier weights for fewer reps.

Many programs will suggest 6-8 reps but I think you need to go heavy enough so you can only perform 4-6 reps.

It means that you should only do 3 sets of these heavier weight exercises.  Then move on and do 3 sets of another exercise.

These are actually “fun” because they make you feel like a bodybuilder.

 

3.) MUSCLE DAMAGE

Yes, to gain size and strength you have to “micro-tear” your muscles so they’ll grow.  You’ve heard the phrase “micro-tear” before.  It simply means you have to tear down the structure of the muscle so it responds by becoming bigger and stronger.

The METHODS for tearing down your muscles is negative reps, forced reps, forced negative reps and lifting heavy weights. 

chest press with spotter

A NEGATIVE REP is greatly slowing down the lowering of the weight during an exercise.  Each exercise has a “lift” movement and a “return” or “negative” movement.  By consciously slowing the negative portion of the rep, you will greatly enhance the tearing or damage to the muscle.

A FORCED REP will require that you have a workout partner to assist.  You will perform an exercise as you normally would except when you get to the point where you can no longer lift the weight, your partner will “help” you lift several more times.  He should only give you minimum physical help but also give you motivational verbal help.

This is forcing your muscles to perform past what they are capable of by themselves.  This technique is highly effective for many folks.

A FORCED NEGATIVE REP also requires a workout partner. With this technique, your workout partner will push against the weight as you lower it during the negative part of your lift.

For instance, during a bench press, you, alone, would lift the barbell and as you lower the weight, your partner would push the weight down while you resist this downward force.

 

4.) METABOLIC STRESS 

guy perfomring squats

If you’ve ever worked out with weights, occasionally you may have experienced a burning sensation in your muscles during an exercise.  This burning sensation is acid building up in your muscles.

This is a good thing, and you want to feel the “burn” often…..but, not all the time.  It means your muscles are responding in a way that they’ll grow, and you’ll look better and be stronger.

The METHOD that works best to achieve a burn is to limit rest between sets.  In other words, don’t chat with your friends for 5 minutes in between each set.  Sixty (60) to seventy-five (75) seconds is the max you should take between sets so that the acid doesn’t dissipate and you lose the burn.

In fact, the shorter the time between sets, the better.  Always.

 

 FAT LOSS

The secret formula for fat loss, while you’re gaining muscle, is:  FOOD & CARDIO

Those are the two things we’ll talk about now to give you the science behind how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

CARDIO

Cardio is the part I like least, unless it’s in a group setting, like at a boot camp.  Otherwise, it’s a challenge to stay motivated to do cardio.

Cardio is essential for weight loss.  If you’re trying to lose weight while you’re gaining muscle, you must do some sort of cardio.  Not just any cardio, but done so that it doesn’t detract from the muscle you’re gaining with your muscle workouts.

The approach to cardio while you’re gaining muscle is not to overdo it. Ideally, you want to use cardio and diet to get the fat loss that you’re aiming for.

There are two (2) types of cardio you should incorporate into your weekly routine:

1.) Steady/Slow – This is typically a 30-minute run, a 20-minute swim or 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I believe that outdoor physical activity is much better for you than an indoor machine. I just think a machine like a treadmill or an elliptical does not give you the same cardio benefits a good run or swim does.

2.) High Intensity – Doing 10 sprints is a high-intensity workout.  These can be incorporated into a long slow jog where you intersperse your jog with 20-second sprints.  This keeps your run more interesting and achieves a great cardio workout.

If you’ll mix these two different styles of cardio during the week, you’ll see much better results than if you do the same cardio exercise every time.

How often should you do cardio to lose weight while you’re gaining muscle mass?

Everyone is different, so if it’s tough for you to lose weight, then you’re gonna have to do more cardio – five (5) times a week.  I’d suggest two (2) long, slow runs/swims/treadmills/ each week of about 30 minutes each and three (3) high intensity workouts – slow jog with spurts of 20-second sprints.

If you find it easier to lose weight, then three (3) times a week will work for you.

The key is not to overdo the cardio because you don’t want to hamper the muscle gains you’re making in the gym. Too much cardio will sabotage your muscle gains.

 

NOTE:  The body gets bored with anything after a while.This applies to everything we’re talking about here. Weight training, cardio, diet, etc.

You gotta mix things up. You should never stick to the same weight routine or cardio for more than a couple of months.  Your body will adjust so that your efforts will be minimalized.  Change, any change, will result in new levels of achievement.  

 

Now, we’ve covered muscle gains and cardio.  It’s time to address the last leg of the stool named Gaining Muscle While Losing Fat.  It’s Diet/Nutrition.

Sorry to tell you this.  We all hate to think about our diet – what we eat.  It’s one of the toughest battles we have…..I’m thinking I’m not alone.

 

DIET/NUTRITION

This is the most important part of all weight training and fat loss programs, so when you’re doing these two simultaneously, the diet is of utmost importance.

I’m gonna make it simple and not complicate nutrition for this program. It will not be hard to follow and you might actually enjoy this diet. I do like this diet and have no trouble sticking to it.

LOW CARB/LOW CALORIE

This IS the most important part of the three elements of the program to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.

The title says it all.  You will reduce your calorie intake by 300 calories below what your suggested caloric “burn” is for a day.  This will not be hard given that you’ll be eating lots of protein, and you shouldn’t get hungry. 

If you don’t know your daily caloric burn, then look at this chart and see what your suggested daily caloric intake is. This is for men only and is based on your activity level.

For instance, if your caloric intake is 2,600 per day, then on this program, you’ll be consuming 2,300 calories per day.  That’s very easy to do.

You ARE gonna have to count calories, and there are a lot of very easy-to-use apps that will count them for you. I use My Fitness Pal by Under Armour.

 

 

 

 

The first thing to do is go to your pantry and throw out every food item that does not comply with this food plan.

Then go to the grocery store and stock up on all the foods that you will be eating from here on out.  For me, the only way not to cheat is to eliminate all foods from my house that I shouldn’t eat.  If it’s in my pantry or frig, I’ll eat it.

Your new diet plan will be filled with fresh, clean foods that are as unprocessed as possible.

 

Here are three simple principles to lose fat fast:

Eat Lots of Protein – This is the fun part. Protein is good for you, especially if you’re gaining muscle.  It’s the essential ingredient of muscles.  You need to make sure your muscles have enough protein to add strength and size as you’re working to gain muscle mass.Choose lean high-quality proteins like eggs, poultry, lean red meat and protein supplements.  If you weigh around 180 – 200 lbs, you’ll need 200-250 grams of protein a day.  If you are hungry, add some more protein.  It will kill your hunger.  Some fat is definitely OK.  In fact, we’re learning that a certain amount of fat is desirable.

Hardly Any Carbohydrates – The fewer, the better,  If you consume 100 grams of carbohydrates a day, you’re OK.   As I’ve said, the fewer, the better.  You’ll want to eat clean, fiber-rich carbs which include oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice and occasionally whole-grain bread.  No pastries or any food that’s white or has sugar.

 

 

100 oz. Of Waer A Day – It sounds like a lot, but it is of utmost importance that you drink mostly water during your gain and lose program.  It wouldn’t hurt to make it a life choice.

Water keeps you hydrated and provides the lubrication that your body needs. 100 oz is just three (3) of those 33 oz bottles that water normally comes in.  Have one before every meal and make sure you have one with you all the time.

Water is SO good for you, and you’ll learn where every bathroom in the city is.

SUMMARY

gaining muscle after 50

Gaining muscle while losing fat is possible, and something that you can do to start looking spectacular, but it’s also something you can continue to do by incorporating these principles into your life on a long-term basis.

Not only will you look FANTASTIC, but you will feel FANTASTIC!

Gaining muscle while you lose fat takes some effort, discipline and dedication.

Being motivated to look and feel 20 years younger will go a long way to getting you to the state of being a HUNK.

Just imagine how your life might change if you became a HUNK?

  • You’ll be the envy of all your friends
  • You’ll get hit on by both sexes.  You choose which you respond to.  🙂
  • Your sex life will get better than it’s been in 20 years.
  • You’ll have the confidence of a smart, rich 25-year-old
  • You won’t be embarrassed to take a shower at the gym
  • You’ll gain authority at work
  • You’ll have more mental awareness
  • You’ll sleep better at night
  • You’ll get offers you’ve never had before. 🙂

ENOUGH REASONS?

Try this program and once you start to see some success, you’ll be hooked on looking and feeling great for the rest of your life.

See you at the gym

 

 

 

 

Gaining Muscle After 50. How Can You Do This?

gaining muscle after 50

In the post entitled Can You Add Muscle After 40, we’ve established that anyone can gain muscle and enjoy all the benefits of having more muscle and less fat.

So now that we know you can. Where do you start?

In this post, we’re going to map out a basic routine for you to use to get started on your path to gain more muscle, lose fat and get in better overall shape, all leading to feeling and looking better.

Working out can have social benefits as well as physical and mental ones.  You may meet some like-minded people at the gym, and you also will connect with other people who work out.  You can compare notes. It’s a great icebreaker.

Do I Join a Gym?

This is a gym workout. There will be future blogs that will detail home workouts.

I find that going to a gym works for me. I have tried working out at home, and it doesn’t work for me because I won’t stick to a regular routine and won’t work out as hard,

gaining muscle after 50

If I go to the gym, I feel more committed to completing a workout, and somehow I feel like my fellow gym goers are “watching” me to see if I’m putting a good effort into it. It’s also not as easy to be distracted by any home chores that are staring you in the face when you’re at home.

Going to the gym does not work for everyone so future posts will be for those of you who want to work out at home. The reasons you might not want to go to a gym are:

  • the time spent traveling to and from the gym.
  • exercising in “public” if you’re not comfortable doing that
  • feeling like you don’t fit into a gym culture.
  • are self-conscious about your body if you’re not in the best of shape

A Good Alternative to the Gym.

gaining muscle after 50

I’ve known several friends who found that the local YMCA or the local city athletic club was their choice for working out.  These are both great alternatives and probably less expensive than joining a gym.  These are usually subsidized by the municipality.

Often, these facilities may not be as well equipped as a commercial gym. They may not have the variety of free weights and more serious weight machines that you and I might like to have, but sometimes they’re wonderful places because they are more laid back and have related exercise programs, such as yoga, wellness classes, Zumba, etc.

There is a nice city athletic club near me that would be a wonderful alternative to a gym.  Their hours don’t suit me.  Many of these local clubs are designed for day participants and don’t stay open as late as I would like.

What Do I Wear?

gaining muscle after 50Shorts and a T-Shirt.  It should be that simple.  If you’re more modest, you can wear long pants, but don’t wear jeans or anything that will encumber your movement.  Don’t wear one of those ridiculous plastic sweat suits that you see some overweight guys wear.  Silly.

There are lots of ways to spend a bunch of money on “gym” clothes, but you don’t need to.  It won’t make your exercise any better.  All you need is something comfortable that won’t restrict your movements.

Compression Wear – I think some compression shorts are sometimes desirable.  It keeps everything in place 🙂 and gives some mild support to your midsection when you’re doing squats and leg exercises.

Shoes – Basic tennis shoes of any sort will do.  You don’t need anything fancy, just something that will give you a good grip.  You don’t need Air Jordans or any expensive running/performance shoe.  With those, you’re not getting better performance, just fashion. You probably already have some tennis shoes in your closet that will work just fine.

How Long Will It Take To See Results?

gaining muscle after 50

It all depends.  You knew that was the answer, didn’t you? 🙂

It really does.

  • Some of us are very motivated to look and feel good.  Others of us are not as motivated.
  • Some of us gain muscle more easily than others.  Some of us can push ourselves harder than others.
  • Some of us put a higher priority on working out than others.
  • Some of us have better technique and form than others.
  • Some of us combine our workouts with proper eating and some of us don’t. So, it all depends.

If you commit to working out 3-4 times a week and do the exercises spelled out in the next post, you will start to see results in 4 weeks, and you’ll see noticeable results in 12 weeks,  This only applies to us men.  Women are a different story.

 Why Will You Succeed?

Because you showed up and started this program.  The old cliche is true. A big reason you’ll succeed is if you schedule your workouts and go do them!  Once you’re at the gym, you’ll be more motivated to actually work out and achieve the results you’re looking for.

Many times I just won’t feel like going to the gym.  I can come up with the lamest reasons, and if I can force myself to go, I often will have a great workout.

WORKOUT BUDDIES

Now, I don’t work out with a workout partner, but it can be good for those that need a little extra motivation.  Meeting your friend there or having him pick you up is a way to make sure you do your workout.

This really works for some people.  It also gives you someone to talk to and spot you on exercises that you might want to push yourself on.

Having a buddy really works for a lot of people.

BIG SECRET TO SUCCESS

Put your workout on your schedule, on your calendar.   It is as important as any business meeting you have, and probably more important than many of your social engagements. Commit to scheduling your workouts.

You must prioritize this part of your life. This will determine the quality of your life going forward, for the rest of your life.  How active and full a life you have.

Schedule your workouts for the week on Sunday.  You should know what important meetings and events you are scheduled for a week in advance, so add your workouts a week at a time.  The more regular you are with your workouts, the more they will become an integral part of your life.  Once that happens, you’ll see more progress than you’ve ever seen before.

Want To Be Motivated?  Here’s a Way? 

Commit with money.  Make a deal with a friend that if you don’t go to the gym at least three times a week for a month, that you’ll contribute $100 to his favorite charity or give it to a cause you totally hate.  If you’ve got more money, make the commitment with 3 friends.   There’s some motivation.

One More Secret? 

Did you know that how you perform each exercise will determine how much good you get out of it?

gaining muscle after 50

Have you seen a gym meathead trying to impress everyone by swinging a big weight around?  He’s not gaining much, and he’s not impressing anyone who understands the importance of good form. Besides, no one cares how much weight you lift.

DO EVERY EXERCISE with CORRECT FORM

Do Not be intimidated into thinking the heavier the weight, the more good you’re doing.  NOT!

The better form you have, the more results you will get!  That’s the secret.

Take notice around the gym.  Sometimes, the guy with the best body and most refined musculature uses lighter weights than you, and you wonder how that can be.  FORM and CONCENTRATION!

OK, Even One More SECRET

This is a secret you don’t want to hear.  You must start to eat right.  I know, I know.  I hate it too.

You can gain muscle and lose fat all at the same time, but you will have to make sure you’re eating correctly. In upcoming articles/blogs, I will layout a diet for gaining muscle and losing weight.

Of course, you can start by cutting out all junk food and sugar and drinking lots of water.  If you did that, you’d well be on your way to a good diet. Start there as a simple step to a full healthy diet.

A FEW TIPS FOR THE GYM

  • Take a bottle of water – staying hydrated is important while you work out.  Having a bottle with you will keep you concentrated on your workout,  instead of trudging over to the water fountain every few minutes.  I add a BCCA powdered supplement to my workout water.

Take a towel – If you’re doing everything correctly and pushing yourself enough, you’ll work up a sweat and having a small hand towel will be a welcome accessory.

gaining muscle after 50

Don’t Use Too Heavy a Weight – Again, I emphasize that heavy weights don’t equal better results.  Better form and persistence are the key.  If the weight is too heavy to perform your exercise with good form, you will not achieve your desired results and you’re asking for injury.

 

No Chit Chat – During your visits to the gym, you will make gym friends, but limit your conversations when you’re working out.  Save your longer chit-chat to the lobby before your workout or to the locker room after your workout.  You don’t want to be distracted from the reason you are there – gain muscle and look and feel better.

 

Use Free Weights As Your Default – Machines are OK, but you will not get the results you want unless you use dumbbells and barbells.  It’s just the way it is.  More of your muscles are engaged with free weights.  You’re forced to balance a dumbbell and thus engage more muscles during your exercise.

Start Slow – Don’t try to look like Arnold in the first month.  You’re the tortoise, not the hare. This should be a lifetime commitment, so there is no rush.

What Exercises Should I Do?

Subsequent posts on this site will detail workouts designed to give you some noticeable results in one month and great results in 3 months. The Catch:  You gotta stick with it.

RULES

  • Good Form – It’s so important to maintain good form during each exercise. Good form is the key to your success in gaining muscle and not injuring yourself.
  • Do Not Rest – More Than a minute to a minute and a half between each repetition. I have an app on my phone that is a workout app that I use.  I schedule 40 seconds for each set and 75 seconds for the rest in between.  That works for me.gaining muscle after 50
  • Do Not Rest More than two minutes between each exercise.
  • Ask For Help from a fellow gym-goer if you need a spot or you want clarification about an exercise that you’ve never done.  Everyone is happy to help you.  Gym guys are usually friendly, if you are.
  • Concentrate on the muscles that you are engaging. Think about the muscle you’re working and make sure what you’re doing is putting stress on that muscle or muscle group.
  • Don’t Do Less than is required by your workout schedule. This will require mental dedication.
  • Make No Excuses as to why you have to leave early, why you can’t up the weight from your last gym visit, why you can’t go to the gym, why, why, why.  It’ll kill your progress.

POWER TRIANGLE TECHNIQUE

The Power Triangle Technique is a technique that I have developed over the years as I’ve tried different techniques to try and get bigger and stronger.

This is based on years of real experience and what works for hard-to-gain guys, like me.  Easy-to-gain guys can do almost anything and gain muscle.

Those of us with more challenging body types have to use methods that break through the normal advice of gym trainers and muscle magazines.

There will be a full post on this technique, but for now, the basics are as follows:

Progressively Lighter Weight

This is a technique that I have used that works for me and will probably work for you.

It uses a different weight for every repetition and starts with a heavier weight and works down to a lighter weight.

For instance, if you were going to do a set of barbell arm curls, you might start with 40 lbs. for the first repetition.  Then for the second repetition, you’d take 5 lbs off and do the curl with 35 lbs.  Then for the third repetition, you’d take off another 5 lbs and do a rep with 30 lbs.   That’s exactly my routine right now.

More Exercises, Fewer Repetitions

I believe that the more variety you give your muscles, the better they respond to growth.

Based on this principle, with The Power Triangle Technique, you will do more exercises and only three (3) repetitions of each exercise.  Most exercise programs will have you do four (4) or more repetitions for each exercise.

I find that the more variety your muscles get, the stronger and bigger they get.

All of your workouts will be using The Power Triangle Technique.

Summary

gaining muscle after 50

This post is designed to get you going, to get you organized and motivated to start the actual exercises and workout.

This is how you can start to gain muscle after 50.

The real workouts will be detailed in the next posts.

See you at the gym.

Can You Build Muscle After 40?

There is a common myth that you can’t gain muscle mass after the age of 40.   PoppyCock!!!  

Can you build muscle after 40?  You BET!

Yes, when you were 20, it was a whole lot easier to get muscles, but studies have shown that anyone can build muscle after 40. In fact, it’s possible to add muscle up into your 60s, 70s, 80s, and even your 90’s  You’re saying “no way.”  But it’s true.

CAN YOU REALLY GAIN MUSCLE AFTER 40?

Can you build muscle after 40
Dumbbells All in a Row Ready for You

Marcas Bamman, director of the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama states that men and women in their 60s and 70s, who began weight training, developed muscles that were as large and strong as those of someone 20- 30 years younger.  Kind of amazing because we all have been led to believe that you shouldn’t even try building muscles after you get to the age of 50.

So why has this not been known until recently?…and how can this be true?

First, we’re gonna explore the way muscles are built.  Stick with me here.  This is important to know.

THE SCIENCE OF MUSCLES  (maybe a little boring but you really need to understand this)

There is a science to gaining muscle and losing fat.  The good news is, both of those are related. And your age only minimally affects your ability to gain muscle and burn fat.

Yes, it’s true.

There are different types of muscle.  For instance, your heart is a build muscle after 40

muscle, your eye is a muscle, but that’s not the kind of muscle we’ll be talking about here.

For our purposes we’re talking about gaining muscle, so that would be skeletal muscle.  Skeletal muscle is composed of thread-like fibers and is the basic unit of contraction.

Your muscles contract when they receive a motor neuron signal.  Motor neurons tell your muscles to contract, and the better your brain gets at sending those signals, the stronger you get.  Remember this…..your brain sends the signals.

MUSCLE  GROWTH  FACTS

build muscle after 40
Man’s musculature of the back

When you work out properly, you will break down muscle fibers and subsequently, the body will repair those muscles by fusing the muscle fibers together to form a stronger strand. These strands (myofibrils) increase in thickness and number to try and be prepared for another breakdown.  This causes muscle growth.

Can you actually add muscle to what you already have?   YES.  There are cells called satellite cells that are activated to add nuclei to the existing muscles and thus add size and strength to your muscle structure.

WHAT MAKES MUSCLES GROW?

The simple answer is Stress

build muscle after 40
Preacher curl performed to failure

In order to produce muscle growth, you have to apply stress greater than what your body or muscles have previously adapted to.

How do you do this?  Lift progressively heavier and heavier weights, or shorten the time for each exercise, or lengthen the eccentric portion of your lift.

Muscle Damage – If you ever get sore after a workout, this is a good thing because it means that you have caused a release of inflammatory molecules and immune cells that will activate satellite cells which will go to work increasing the size and strength of your muscles.  I feel good when after a few days the body part I worked out is sore.  You know you’re making progress.

Metabolic Stress is the “pump” that bodybuilders talk about.  Scientists used to poo-poo this, but have recently discovered that this “pump” is an effect of metabolic stress, which causes cell swelling around the muscle, which helps to contribute to muscle growth.

HORMONES

motor cycle being driven by man with black leather jacket
Testosterone on display

Hormones are another component of muscle growth. In particular, Mecho-Growth Factor (MGF) and testosterone are the two most vital hormones that promote muscle growth.  

Testosterone is an important part of gaining muscle. There is definitely truth to the fact that testosterone can stimulate our growth hormone responses, which can help to activate tissue growth.

This is why women shouldn’t worry about getting too many muscles.  Most don’t have enough testosterone to gain much muscle unless they take testosterone shots.

WHY MUSCLES NEED TO REST

shirtless guy showing off his chest and ripped stomach

If you don’t give your body adequate rest after a workout, you will probably do more harm than good.  This is why you probably should work out every other day or make sure that you don’t do the same muscle group more than twice a week.  The muscle response to a workout lasts for about 24 to 48 hours, and what you eat in that period also will affect your muscle response.

WHY FAST MUSCLE GROWTH IS NOT EASY

Muscle repair takes time and is relatively slow for the majority of people. You won’t see visible growth or increased strength for several weeks or maybe, months, and you’ll only see improvement if you are consistent in your workouts. muscled man doing a one-hand hand stand

And of course, we all have different genetics that varies from folks like me, who find it very difficult to gain size and strength, to the natural Ectomorphs who look like Greek gods with only occasional visits to the gym.

When I lived in LA there was a guy, who had an almost perfect body, who would arrive at the gym, do a couple of very intense exercises for about 10 minutes and then leave.  I always wondered if that was all he did or did he do this 5 times a day. Or was he just one of those that was naturally buff. It made me jealous because I have to work very hard to look just OK.

To ensure you’re doing your best to grow muscle, muscle protein synthesis must exceed muscle protein breakdown.

This requires that you consume an adequate amount of protein and carbohydrates to help the cells process and rebuild broken down muscle tissue.

Now that we know the mechanics of building muscle, how does that help you build muscle?

FIRST – Where Do We Start?

MOTIVATION
I’d say that motivation is the MOST important part of any workobuild muscle after 40ut.

It doesn’t matter how much you know about the mechanics of how muscles are built.  It does matter how much you realize what a good thing it is to do resistance training.  If you aren’t committed to actually starting a workout program, none of this matters.

The working out is easy compared to finding the motivation to start a program and continue with it to make a difference in your life.

I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but exercising is a lifetime commitment, if you want to get healthy, stay healthy and live a long, vibrant life, then you need to exercise regularly.  Going to the gym once won’t really help very much. It’s a lifetime commitment.

MY MOTIVATION
Each person has to find their own motivation, but there are some common ones, ones that work for those people who are able to stick to a workout program.

build muscle after 40DATING:
I personally am committed to working out because I am a single man, and I want to be attractive and have a nice body so that it’s easier to find a date.  If I was overweight or out of shape, that would make finding a date a lot harder.  Yes, it’s shallow, but unless someone is attracted to you initially, you’ll never get to show them the wonderful you inside. 🙂

 

DON’T BE IN DENIAL ABOUT THIS. Your physical being is the first thing someone sees. Don’t limit your possibilities by being out of shape.

 

CONFIDENCE:
When you know you’re taking positive steps toward becoming healthier and more in shape, you’ll develop a confidence that you might not have had if you were sitting on the couch every night with a bag of Doritos watching TV. You will develop a confidence in many aspects of your life, not just the physical, because of the way you feel from taking positive steps to improve your health.

 

BUSINESS/SOCIAL:
Even if I’m not the best looking guy in the room, I have an attitude of self-importance that people sense when we meet in business and social settings.  People are attracted to folks who exude a self-confidence and assuredness. It gives you authority.

 

SLOW AGING:
So many studies have shown that gaining muscle mass, maintaining an appropriate weight, and eating a healthy diet can slow the aging process.  We know the secret to the Fountain of Youth and we often ignore it.  Primarily because it takes work. It means exercising, eating healthy food and maintaining an active life.Cave wit waterfall in Iceland

 

LIVE VIBRANT LIFE:
Wanting to live an active, interesting life right up until the end is a HUGE motivation for me.  I fear becoming what I see in some of my fellow baby boomers, who are not taking care of themselves. They are headed for an unfulfilled, restricted future life because their physical body will constrict them from living to the fullest.  I would think this alone would be motivation for anyone who is over the age of 50.

 

REMAIN VIBRANT:
I have too much to do still, and I want to be in shape to be able to do all the things on my bucket list. I’ve got a huge bucket list, and if I weren’t in great shape, many of those things on my list would have to be crossed off due to physical limitations.

Here is a thoughtfull video on building muscle after 40, and even 50.

 

START TODAY:

If you aren’t doing any resistance training, commit to starting a program.  I don’t mean carve out many hours of your day.  I’m saying schedule a few hours a week to start a program of resistance/weight training. It can be as little as 1/2 hour a day, 3 or 4 days a week.  That’s a great start.couple holding hands in allee of trees

A married couple recently asked me about weight training (since they know I’m a gym goer).  They have a regular routine of walking.  They walk almost every day and a couple of miles each time.  They asked me about resistance training because they were concerned they needed to be doing more than just walking.  They had an intuitive feeling that they needed to be doing more as they grow older.

They are right.

They need to add a couple of days a week doing some type of resistance/weight training. It can be at a gym or at home.  Either works.

shirtless bodybuilders showing off at the gym
Body Builders at the Gym

Here was my suggestion to them.  Maybe it applies to you:

Join a gym near where you live. Why join a gym?  My thinking is that if you pay for something, you may be more inclined to go because you don’t want to waste your money. Now, hundreds and hundreds of people join gyms and only go for a week or two, or NEVER.  So, it takes more than joining a gym, but it’s a good start.

Going to a gym can be a pleasant event, and no this scene is not what most gyms look like.  Many folks are afraid this is what they’re going to encounter at the local gym.   Just a fantasy.

SUMMARY

The question of whether or not someone over 40 can gain muscle is not a question anymore.
There is conclusive evidence that almost anyone can gain muscle if they’re motivated to start a muscle building program and if they’re consistent enough to see results.

Whether you’re 40 or 90, you can still see the positive benefits of doing resistance training.  Now, someone 90 is not going to get the same results as the 40-year-old, but if you start early enough in life and continue throughout your life, you’ll be amazed at how improved your life can be over the long haul.

It’s NEVER too late to start, and you’re NEVER too old to see positive effects on your physical and mental well being.

I’m headed to the gym.  See you there.