You may have seen pictures recently of a completely ripped JK Simmons (OK, Vern Schillinger if you’re an Oz junkie). Agreed, the dude’s packing some major pipes. But that’s not why the photos went viral. The bigger story was the actor’s age: 61 years-young at the time they were taken.
But doesn’t that fly in the face of common sense? That most guys 50+ are more flab than fab, they lose muscle, and the only six-pack older guys sport is the one in the cooler?
It’s true that metabolism tends to slow as guys get older. That means it’s easier to put on fat and harder to lose it. Yet studies show older guys can put on just as much – if not more – muscle than men 20, sometimes 30 years younger. But you’ll need to be strategic how you do it, with the following tips to help guys build muscle after 40…
#1 – See a Dietician
You’ve heard it said that abs are made in the kitchen. This is true – food is fuel and affects pretty much everything that goes on inside of you, especially as you get older.
This is a huge topic. But as a general rule, 40+ guys trying to add muscle should eat their carbs before and after the gym. Go easy on the beer and heavier on muscle-building protein. Speak with a dietician to make a food plan for muscle after 40.
#2 – Train At Lunch or On Weekends
You’ve got less time and more responsibilities when you’re in your forties. So make time – try first thing on Saturday or Sunday morning. It doesn’t need to be a full-on 2 hour blitz. A 45 minute workout is fine. Now, do the same at lunch during the week.
#3 – You Can (and Should) Still Train Heavy
Some older guys focus on lower weights and higher reps. While not every set or workout needs to be heavy, the basics of building muscle remain the same, no matter what your age.
That means push yourself with heavy weights, like you did when you were a wee’ lad.
#4 – Stretch More
Here’s something you definitely saw coming. You’ll need to stretch more and give yourself more time for your body to build muscle after 40. Think at least 15 minutes per workout.
Remember, it’s more than possible to be ripped at 40, 50, and even beyond. Be consistent – aim for at least 45 minutes in the weights 4-5 times a week. See a dietician and stretch plenty. The gains will come a little slower than in your younger years, but stay the course and they’ll come.