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How to Build Muscle in Your 40s and Beyond


Many people in their 40s and beyond worry that it’s too late to build any real muscle. Fortunately for them, they’re wrong!


Every week I get emailed by at least a few guys that ask if it’s too late to build muscle and get fit.

Most are very pleasantly surprised when I explain that it’s most definitely NOT too late, and that I’m regularly working with guys in their 50s and even 60s who are rapidly building muscle and getting into the best shape of their lives.

How should people in their 40s and beyond go about building muscle, though? Certainly they can’t train and eat like the 20-year-olds, right?

Well, you might be surprised to learn that not nearly as much changes as people think.

Let’s look at the details.

Scientific Proof That the Middle-Aged Can Build Plenty of Muscle

how to build muscle for men over 40

One of the first things I refer people worried about age squashing their dreams of being fit is a study conducted by the University of Oklahoma.

In this study, 24 college-aged (18 – 22) and 25 middle-aged (35 – 50) men followed the same weightlifting routine for 8 weeks.

Researchers used DEXA scans for pre- and post-routine measurements, and they found that the middle-aged men built just as much as their college-aged counterparts! 

In fact, the middle-aged men built a little more on average, but it wasn’t enough to be statistically significant.

Strength gains were comparable as well:

  • The middle-aged men gained an average of 14 pounds of strength on the bench press, and 40 pounds on the leg press.
  • The college-aged men gained an average of 7 pounds of strength on the bench press, and 55 pounds on the leg press.

People 60 and beyond aren’t left out of the party, either.

Research has shown that they too can build significant amounts of muscle and strength, and that doing so is actually a great way to fight the “dwindling health spiral” normally associated with aging.

These findings agree with my experiences working with hundreds of men and women aged 40 – 70. One for one they are able to build visible muscle, get lean, and improve their overall health and well-being. In many cases, they’re able to get into the best shape of their lives.

The bottom line is you can get into great shape at any age.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

Training Tips for the Middle-Aged

old man build muscle

If you’re middle-aged and excited to learn that it’s not too late, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to go about it.

Fortunately, age doesn’t change much in terms of routine, but there are a few points you should know.

Heavy, compound lifting is the absolute best way to build muscle and strength. But it also demands a lot from your body–it causes considerable damage to your muscle fibers and places a large load on the joints.

You shouldn’t be afraid of heavy weightlifting, even if you’re in your 50s or 60s, but if you’re not an experienced weightlifter, I recommend you start your training in the 8 – 10 rep range and stay there until exercises feel very comfortable.

You can then move into 6 – 8 rep range and work with that until it feels completely stable and comfortable. You can then move into the 4 – 6 rep range, which I recommend in my Bigger Leaner Stronger program, but it’s not mandatory. You have to see how your body feels.

  • Don’t ignore back, knee, shoulder, or other such issues.

If you have any lower back issues, don’t Deadlift unless instructed to do so by a physical therapist. The same goes for knee issues and squatting, and shoulder issues and pressing (both Bench and Military Press).

Work around such limitations–don’t try to blast through them, or you may wind up injured and out of the gym for months.

  • Make sure you get adequate rest.

Recovery is a huge part of making gains in the gym–both muscle recovery and systemic recovery. If you neglect it and try to go all-out with your exercise, 7 days per week, you’ll just wind up overtrained.

While age actually doesn’t impair the recovery process nearly as much as some people think, research has shown that aging can make recovery take longer.

The solution is simple: make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat enough protein, and take a week off the weights every 6 – 8 weeks.

Diet Tips for the Middle-Aged

building muscle mass in older men

I have some good new for you:

Don’t worry about your metabolism–it’s fine.

A common worry among middle-aged people is that their metabolisms have slowed to a crawl, making weight loss or muscle growth nearly impossible. This isn’t true.

It’s true that aging causes some metabolic slowdown, but much of it is actually caused by the loss of lean mass (muscle)

Muscle burns calories, and we naturally lose muscle as we age, so our bodies burn less and less calories over time. The good news is that you can totally reverse this process with regular resistance training–it is NOT inevitable, nor “incurable.”

So, if you’re looking to lose some fat, so long as you don’t have a serious metabolic impairment (like metabolic syndrome), you will simply do what we all do to lose weight:


Do you agree with this article? Have anything else you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

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