Can I still transform my body when over 40?
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Flabby, fat, low energy and very, very unfit couch potatoes…yeah such is the over 40 years for many of us men. But when we hit 45 we start to crave the lost youth…or is it lost?
Many a guy try to recap his youth with a fast car…even disasterous extra marital affairs.
But when that has come and gone…it just leaves a sad unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Then they realize they are bald, grey, overweight and have a heart problem plus high blood pressure…not even to mention the cholesterol.
The pills add up and they are bigger in volume than your breakfast.
Life’s future seems dim…and what you once had in your youth seems to be completely out of your reach and faaaaar gone…
For many who have reached this point and have a serious heart problem…it might just be too late to recap what once was…but not impossible.
This blog-post is meant for those over 40’s…Wake up! Open you eyes…there is a way…a GREAT way out.
You might even feel better that you did in your youth because now you can apply some wisdom as well.
Yip those testosterone levels will be waaaaay lower than when you where 20…but they are still very far from zero and each milligram of testosterone flowing in your veins has got SERIOUS abilities to help you regain that youth.
You will not turn back the clock but you can start utilising each bit of testosterone to the fullest and let them do what they do…grow muscle, built up your body and in the process you will release even more testosterone. Those that have little will have less and those who have little but start to use it will get more…as simple as that. And on top of that, your body will start releasing higher levels of growth hormone when you reach a high activity level, meaning: feeling younger, better skin, more energy, lust for life and many other positive things…too many to mention.
As with so many things in life those that grab opportunity and DO something will have and those sitting back will have less…much less.
Yes, you CAN look better than you did when you was 20. I do and I am now 48 and every year I am looking even better than the previous one.
You have serious control over both those two miracle hormones: testosterone and growth hormone.
That is two key ingredients why you felt so good and look so good when you where young.
But it will not just come by itself…you will really have to MAKE it happen.
It will not happen by changing a single thing or starting to jog a little.
To get those hormones released and get them to do their job you will have to train hard and vigorously.
It will be painfull..initially. You can easily throw in the towel. Many does. How much do you want it? Think about it…I say…there is NO CHOICE! JUST DO IT! DO NOT TURN BACK!
Be wise how you do it. Slow gradual steps…climb the ladder step by step…leap and you will fall.
Full attack: Train right and train hard, eat correct for growth and recuperation, rest enough to allow recuperation and supplement with potent multi vitamins and lots of water.
Become what you never was….become the best you can ever be.
Be noticed…have a presence…and the best part…change inside.
Don’t just make it and outside change. Make you like the whole you, inside and out. That makes this new change soooooo much more worthwhile.
Care about the less privileged, care about your neighbour and start joining projects to help needy people.
You can have a new body, a new lust for life, look and feel the best you’ve ever did and have the cherry on the cake of having that awesome feeling that you helped someone today…that you’ve made a difference…
Those over 40’s have more time at their disposal…there should be no excuses.
The same hold true for those over 50.
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It does not stop there…you can still look kick-ass and be over 70. The choice really is yours.
Here a video of a muscle photoshoot I did 2 months before my 52nd birthday
Click HERE to take you to the program I am following [ADVANCED SYSTEM II]:
For those that want to know more, here is an article on testosterone release with training:
By Chris Thibaudeau
Okay, before you get the wrong impression, this article is not about training on the “juice”. It is an article on how to maximise the effects of your own serum testosterone and how to increase it naturaly.
A Little Reminder
Testosterone is known as the male hormone, It is secreted by the testes and according to the most recent research it is so in a circadian (regular cycling) manner. Still according to these studies even if each individuals have slightly differant cycles it is the general rule that testosterone levels are at their highest in the morning. So training in the morning do have a slight advantage over working out later in the day.
As you probably already know testosterone is the muscle-building hormone. By synthesising proteins it rebuild the muscle fibers damaged by resistance training.
The amount of testosterone in your body is a limitating factor because you can’t build more muscle if your testosterone levels are not high enough, that’s why athletes who take synthetic testosterone (steroids) experience faster muscle growth, their limitating factor just disapeared.
But without plunging in the hell of performance enhancing drugs there is a way to increase your level of testosterone naturaly.
Effect of Weight Training on Serum Testosterone
Again, research prove, in a consistant manner, that the level of serum testosterone is higher after a bout of demanding resistance training. That increase being affected by the amount of muscle mass stimulated, the training load and the level of intensity (again intensity reffering to a %age of your 1RM).
Effect of the amount of muscle mass stimulated on serum testosterone
Findings all flood in the same direction as to say that the larger the amount of muscle mass is stimulated simultaneously, the more the testosterone level increase. You might have heard a trillion time that multi-joints exercises were better than isolation exercises to develop muscle mass and strength but without really knowing why.
Well this is one of the reasons: multi-joints exercise stimulate more testosterone production compared to single-joints movements. That’s why doing heavy sets of squat will build you all around, because it shut your natural levels of testosterone through the roof!
For that reason the bulk of your program should be constituted of the basic, multi-joints movements, if you want more testosterone that is!
Yet despite that we see countless people doing endless hours of biceps curl, leg extension and the likes. Literaly wasting their time when they could be training productively!
Effect of the Training Load (volume) on Serum Testosterone
Most of the literature goes in the same way on this issue. Resistance exercise must be done at a sufficient volume to fully stimulate testosterone production. Too low a volume will not cause testosterone to be released a level near what higher volume do.
But that doesn’t mean that you should hammer countless sets of countless exercises. Because if studies shown that an higher volume do cause more testosterone to be released those levels quickly decrease after 45 to 60 minutes. So giving that evidence I have to disgress slitghly from my original plan to include:
Effect of the Rest between Sets on Serum Testosterone
Since an higher volume lead to more testosterone but longer training time lead to less there must be a time factor somewhere that will enable us to conciliate the two. Of course it’s the time of rest between your sets.
To cut a long story short, many studies researched that variable, the most significant being by Kraemer et al.
This research consisted of two groups, one performing an hypertrophy workout made of sets of 10 RM with a minute of rest between each sets.
The other one was a strength training consisting of multiple sets of 5 RM with 3 minutes between each sets.
Both group shown significant increase in serum testosterone, the earlier showing a slightly higher increase.
That indicate that hypertrophy workout do increase testosterone level more than strength training. Also shorter rest periods seem to have the same effect.
If 1 minute seem to lead to bigger increase in testosterone level than 3 minutes I wouldn’t recommand going below 1 minute in hope to increase the testosterone level even more, because by doing so you would greatly impair your short-term recovery and would have to decrease your load.
Effect of Intensity on Serum Testosterone
As I just said hypertrophy training seem to bring more serum testosterone increase. But one shouldn’t forget that the group performing sets of 5 RM with 3 minutes of rest also showed a significant increase. In fact for optimum testosterone increase the intensity should be kept between 5 and 10 RM with a rest time proportionate to these levels of intensity.
Effect of Time Under Tension on Serum Testosterone
If the repetition range is a good way to determine the level of intensity it might not be the best way to determine the optimum time under tension. TUT also play a big role in testosterone stimulation since it directly influence the type of training followed, and since hypertrophy showed an higher increase in serum testosterone the time under tension should be aimed toward that type of training (to maximise testosterone production at least, maximum strength is another thing). The optimum time for hypertrophy has been found to be between 40 and 70 seconds. Thus 10 reps at a tempo of 101 might be in the correct rep range but the time under tension (20 seconds) is not high enough for maximum hypertrophy, in this case it would be geared more toward neural adaptation.
Points to remember
1-You should stick with as many multi-joints exercises as you can.
2-You should use a training load high enough to fully stimulate testosterone production.
3-Keep your reps in the 5-10RM range,
4-Keep your rest between sets in the 3-1 minute(s) range according to your intensity level.
5-For maximum testosterone release keep your time under tension between 40 and 70 seconds.
6-Train early in the morning if you can. Not to worry if you can’t since this don’t have a huge effect.
7-Increase your post workout protein intake to take advantage of the testosterone spike.
Baxendale, P.M., M.J., Reed and V.H.T. James. Testosterone in saliva of normal men and it’s relationship with unbound and total testosterone levels in plasma. J. Endocrin. 87:46P-4P.1980
Booth’ A.A., A.C. Mazur, and J.M. Dabbs. Endogenous testosterone and competition: The effect of fasting. Steroids 20:269-278. 1972
Bridges. N.A., P.C. Hindmarsh, P.J. Pringle, D.R. Matthews and C.G.D. Brooks. The relationship endogenous testosterone and gonadotrophin secretion. Clin. Endocrin. 38:373-378. 1993
De Lacerda, L., A. Kowarski, A.J. Johanson, R. Athanasiou, and C.J. Migeon. Integrated concentration and circadian variation of plasma testosterone in normal men. J.Clin.Endocrin.Metab. 37:366-371. 1973
Fahey, T.D., R.Rolph, P. Moungmee, J.Nagel and S.Morata. Serum testosterone, body composition and strength of young adults. Med.Sci.Sport Exerc. 8:31-34. 1976
Florini. J.R. Effects of testosterone on qualitative pattern of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. Biochem. 9:909-912, 1970
Florini. J.R. Hormonal control of muscle cell growth. J.Animal Sci. 61:21-37. 1985
Fleck, S.J., and W.J.Kraemer. Designing Resistance training program. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1997
Hakkinen, K,. and A.Pakarinen. Acute Hormonal responses to two differant fatiguing heavy-resistance protocols in male athletes. J.Appl.Physiol. 74:882-887, 1993
Kraemer, W.J., L. Marchitelli, S.E. Gordon, E.Harman, J.E. Dziados, R.Mello, P.Frykman, D. McCurry, and S.J. Fleck. Hormonal and growth factor responses to heavy resistance exercise protocols. J.Appl.Physiol. 69:1442-1450. 1990
Landman, A.D., L.M. Sanford, B.E. Howland, C.Dawes, and E.T. Pritchard. Testosterone in Human saliva. Experientia 32:940-941. 1976
Lejeune-Lenain, C., E.Vaucauter, D.Desir, M.Beyloos, and J.R.M. Franckson. Control of circadian and episodic variation of adrenal androgen secretion in man. J.Endocrin.Invest. 10:267-276. 1987
Loebel, C.C., and W.J. Kraemer. A brief review: Testosterone and resistance training in men. J.Strength and Cond.Res. 12(1):57-63. 1998
Staron, R.S., R.S. Hikida, F.C. Hagerman, G.A.Dudley and R.Murray. Human skeletal muscle fibers type to various workload. J.Histochem.Cytochem. 32:146-152. 1984
The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes.
Godfrey RJ, Madgwick Z, Whyte GP.
Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.
Human growth hormone (hGH) is secreted in a pulsatile fashion, generally following a circadian rhythm. A number of physiological stimuli can initiate hGH secretion, the most powerful, non-pharmacological of which are sleep and exercise. hGH has many varied roles throughout life, from growth itself, including the turnover of muscle, bone and collagen, to the regulation of selective aspects of metabolic function including increased fat metabolism and the maintenance of a healthier body composition in later life. The exercise-induced growth hormone response (EIGR) is well recognised and although the exact mechanisms remain elusive, a number of candidates have been implicated. These include neural input, direct stimulation by catecholamines, lactate and or nitric oxide, and changes in acid-base balance. Of these, the best candidates appear to be afferent stimulation, nitric oxide and lactate. Resistance training results in a significant EIGR. Evidence suggests that load and frequency are determining factors in the regulation of hGH secretion. Despite the significant EIGR induced by resistance training, much of the stimulus for protein synthesis has been attributed to insulin-like growth factor-1 with modest contributions from the hGH-GH receptor interaction on the cell membrane. The EIGR to endurance exercise is associated with the intensity, duration, frequency and mode of endurance exercise. A number of studies have suggested an intensity ‘threshold’ exists for EIGR. An exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of hGH. Exercise training above the lactate threshold may amplify the pulsatile release of hGH at rest, increasing 24-hour hGH secretion. The impact of chronic exercise training on the EIGR remains equivocal. Recent evidence suggests that endurance training results in decreased resting hGH and a blunted EIGR, which may be linked to an increased tissue sensitivity to hGH. While the potential ergogenic effects of exogenous GH administration are attractive to some athletes, the abuse of GH has been associated with a number of pathologies. Identification of a training programme that will optimise the EIGR may present a viable alternative. Ageing is often associated with a progressive decrease in the volume and, especially, the intensity of exercise. A growing body of evidence suggests that higher intensity exercise is effective in eliciting beneficial health, well-being and training outcomes. In a great many cases, the impact of some of the deleterious effects of ageing could be reduced if exercise focused on promoting the EIGR. This review examines the current knowledge and proposed mechanisms for the EIGR, the physiological consequences of endurance, strength and power training on the EIGR and its potential effects in elderly populations, including the aged athlete.
34 thoughts on “Can I still transform my body when over 40?”
Gert: Inspiring article. I will be turning 40 this March. Have been an old time gymmer off and on…. but seriously after reading this, I plan to pick up the dumbbells again and start some serious training to be fit. The only problem is my schedule. I am busy since 9 AM to 1 PM in the night. Just want to check if sleeping fr 6 hours and then starting the exercise early in the morning is fine ????
Congrats on the upcoming 40th birthday!
The BIG thing for the over 40’s is that serious wisdom needs to be applied and ALL angles must be fully in place to allow the body optimal muscle growth ability. Because at best muscle growth is slow (or slower!) when one is over 40.
One of these things that needs to be in place is ample rest to allow the body to recover and grow. Most growth actually occurs while sleeping. The shorter you cut this period the slower the body will be responding. But that being said, 6 hours of solid sleep might be more than enough for certain individuals. For me…I need 8 hours (but then I am 51 already).
So just be carefull with this and you will soon see if your body copes. Feeling sleepy, drained, etc…it means you needs some more sleep.
I also suggest you spend some time one my blog, it is specifically written to help guys over 40 who want to start up again.
But if you want me to work out a specific diet and training approach, check here: http://gertlouw.com/contact-me/
Wish you success my friend.
Great work Gert. Inspiring. I’m a 41-year-old Canadian (engaged to a woman from Durban, just for interest’s sake), looking to get fit. Fantastic to see that it’s doable.
Wish u MUCH success Michael!
Thanks mate… all the best!
Hi Gert, I just want to add that I admire your dedication to fitness. It is a real marvel how you transformed yourself. Your muscularity is such that you appear so much younger than what you are. I love the blog also and the motivational tips. It inspires me and I hope to be able to bulk like a pro like you, 🙂
Thomas – thanx for the feedback bud – much appreciated! I agree it is amazing what we can still do with our bodies even when past our “sell by date”!
Wish u MUCH success my friend…it is very much possible. Make it happen! Gert
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You have a way with words. Excellent work!
“I had to refresh the page times to view this page for some reason, however, the information here was worth the wait.”
Merci pour ce joli blog. C’est tres bien.
Gert – Question: I saw your before and after pics. Very impressive but how long did it take you between those two photos? Was it a mere 90 days like the people at P90x would have you believe? Or was it more like a year or 2?
Thanks -Av Mac
Hmmm, I had some serious health issues to contend with, but when that was sorted it took me about 2 years to get to the after pic.
I honestly don’t think it can be done in 90 days and really think that is false advertising.
For a young guy (+-20 y/o) it will be significantly quicker to transform that an over 40 guy simply due to higher testosterone and Growth Hormone levels, but even for a young guy it is going to take anywhere from 9-18 months to have a killer tansformation.
3 Months is just not possible – even on anabolic steroids it will be a challenge for some guys to get a super transformation in 3 months. So I am sorry but such claims is hogwash!
So set your target on 2 years and DO IT!
Wish u succes bud.
Thanks for being truthful – yeah I am 53 now. At 50 I had some serious issues…cardiologists inserted 4 coronary stents in me. Ouch! I got healed up and at 51 I hired a trainer and for 1 year I trained hard. Went from 6′ tall 205 and 25% BF to 185 and 9% BF. I lost 30 lbs of fat and gained about 11 lbs of muscle. I just completed year two solo (dropped the trainer) and I’m still at it hard. But haven’t made a lot of gains the past year. I’ve only gained about 4 to5 lbs of muscle this year still at 9% BF but I now weigh 190. I can’t seem to get below 9 or 10% BF!!! The thing I’m disappointed with are abs. Upper abs are showing somewhat but lower abs are covered with a thin layer of fat right at the navel. It’s very frustrating because I’m having hell getting rid of it. Maybe it’s just my age and genetics. I eat very clean and am pretty strict on what I eat. I’ve read your dieting tips and I think I’ve been doing what you recommend for a couple years now. This isn’t rocket science. You’re either doing it or you’re not. And I’ve been DOING IT. But I’m starting to suspect Low “T” and may see a doctor for that.
Thanks again for the info and the encouragement.
Glad you are much better now and the training is going well.
You might want to increase cardio…some people just respond better to cardio to get that bf% down.
But I agree with u, go an see the doctor. 1 in 4 guys over 40 have low testosterone levels that warrant medication.
U might also want to try over the counter testosterone boosters?
Wish u success bud.
Gert – just so you have a reference of my progress without me sending photos…I looked about the same shape as you did in you #1 photo when I started. Maybe a little fatter but not alot. After 2 years my physique is something between your #3 and #4 photo. I’m probably a little better shape than your #3 photo but no where near your #4 photo and I’ve been at it 2 years. 🙁
If you have any suggestions I’m all ears bro. I realize a lot of the difference is just genetics and metabolism. I’m in damn good shape for a 53 year old…but I want to be in even better! 🙂
Avery – see my reply in your previous message. Let me know if you have any queries. Gert
Thanks for informative post. I am pleased sure this post has helped me save many hours of browsing other similar posts just to find what I was looking for. Just I want to say: Thank you!
Thanx for the feedback. Make it happen and shock us with your before and after pics! G.
I think so. I think your article will give those people a good reminding. And they will express thanks to you later
Diedra = thanx…I truly hope it give one or two over 40’s an inspiration to make a change… Wish u a great day. Gert
Can’t believe you have put it so well that even a newbie like me can understand it. many thanks
Very glad it was of help bud! Wish u MUCH success. Gert
I personally feel that this one is the best work from you.
Many thanx for that feedback! Wish you a great day. Gert
Good blog post. I absolutely love this site.
Keep it up!
Thanx Milagros! Wish u a great 2013! Gert