When talking about gaining muscle after 40 I could talk about a condition called sarcopenia. Which is responsible for the shrinking of muscle tissue and an overall decrease in strength and stamina.
I could talk about falling metabolic rates and hormone changes as we age. Or a host of other things.
And the truth is all that stuff matters…
But the real reason IMHO, the real reason it’s difficult to build muscle after 40 is…
Most of us stop doing it!
Stick with me, I’m going somewhere here.
By 40 most of us live fairly sedentary lives simply because we have more stuff going on. Families, jobs, mortgages etc, so we move less in general.
Then when we do hit the gym to make up for this sedentary life, (which we know is bad for us) we hit it hard.
We’re terrified of losing muscle and know we’re now in that age bracket where we lose it naturally. So we beast it, hard.
Often our workouts haven’t changed since we were 20.
This approach inevitably leads to injury. Injury which then stops us working out entirely for a period of time. A period of time in which we are losing muscle mass.
Once we’re back up and running we either go even harder to make up for lost time (resulting in more probability of re injury and the cycle continuing) or we get disheartened at how much we’ve lost and simply give up…
It doesn’t have to be like this and is, in reality, much easier and much less effort.
Your muscles work on a use it or lose it principle…
As you become more sedentary your body literally says, “look maintaining these muscles is a huge metabolic cost, it means I’ve got to take in a lot more calories every day just to keep them, so as we’re not using then we obviously don’t need them. I’ll just get rid of them and save myself some work.”
Now I’ve written an entire book about how you can prevent this from happening and build muscle easily after 40 without getting injured. Which you can grab here >>
But to get started it’s really as simple as reminding your body that it needs the muscle by using it on a regular basis.
Ok, still really obvious Sam…
An easy way of doing this, every few hours go and do 10 press up, 10 squats, 10 lunges…something simple and certainly not anything which is really pushing you, risking injury or long recovery periods (you should not ache the next day from this).
All we’re trying to do is signal to your body, “look I need these muscles so keep hold of them.”