Although I wrote similar articles in the past this one is more focused on exactly WHAT is required for the over 40 guys to force muscle growth.
Over 40 is not all that great for a guy. We start losing our hair, our gut is getting bigger by the year and well, we simply don’t look that great in clothes anymore, not to even mention without clothes!
Off-course we have a big contribution to this state we are in. We like our beer just a little too much, we smoke and sit just too frequently on the couch watching our favorite sport channel. We become very docile with limited activity. But it is not all just our fault. Our ability to grow muscle and burn fat has been stripped from us in a big way. Our sexual and erection ability is not even close to what it was when we were 20. And THAT says it all. Our testosterone levels are far from the levels that pumped through our veins when we were young. And if that is not all, even our Growth Hormone levels have declined significantly. Both these helped us to have that great body when we were 20 despite our laziness and beer drinking.
Now what can we do as over 40 guys to force the muscles to grow again? Everyone know it is much harder after 40. But it is NOT impossible. Sure, many sidestep this with anabolic steroids. But, this can be a dangerous game given the fact that our bodies are not young anymore and feeding it with potentially dangerous chemicals can have serious medical consequences. Sure there are some “safer” steroid options but this is not something you should be playing with unless you are an expert in the field and know EXACTLY what you are doing.
To force muscle growth in a natural environment is not about one or two things that must be done correctly. It is about everything that needs to be in place to create the perfect environment for growth and then to stimulate the growth and lastly feed it to be able to actually grow. Only then will the over 40 body respond in kind.
Surprisingly there is a lot we can do, and the following is some of the key concepts that needs to be in place to force muscle growth for the over 40.
Let’s go through the 10-point plan.
- Nothing is going to happen without your blood testosterone levels being in the upper regions of healthy. Guys with low T cannot grow muscle and will severely struggle to lose fat with also a host of other serious health problems. So, get yours tested at a Urologist or sports doctor. You might want to read the article I’ve made on this subject “How to counteract declining testosterone levels when over 40” . This is the first step that needs to be in place. Without this, nothing will happen.
- Beer or any alcohol is only allowed ONCE A WEEK and not more than the equivalent alcohol contained in 500ml of red wine. This is the no.1 reason why guys over 40, struggle to lose fat. Alcohol results in a fat layer forming internally around the organs and just about every guy you see with a protruding tummy is an alcohol consumer. You NEVER going to get the gut small if you do not curb alcohol intake drastically. It is allowed ONCE a week and at that meal when drinking alcohol, NO CARBS ALLOWED – only low-fat protein source and a salad.
- You need to follow a caloric controlled diet focused to feed muscles for growth. The only reason we are “fat” is because we take in more calories than we require and the body stores that extra calories as fat. The cycle can only be reversed when you feed the body slightly less than what it need so that it starts using the fat stores for energy. But (!) be careful. Many guys start following a diet with such low calories that the body thinks it is in starvation mode and then the opposite happens – the body burns muscles for energy and keep the fat as a last resort. ONLY muscles give shape and lean muscle is what keeps your bodies metabolic rate high. So, by following a starvation diet, the body will lose a lot of muscle loss and little to no fat while the body will lower its metabolic rate to protect itself making fat-loss even more difficult. Now, how do you know where to pitch the calories for your body? THAT is a VERY important question. You will start with a standard caloric controlled diet (40/30/30 macro protein/carbs/fat) and can use any APP to determine your starting calories for your age/length/weight/target. However, this daily calorie suggested by the APP most probably is NOT going to work for your body. Each of us have unique metabolic tempo’s. Thus, we HAVE to go through a process of aligning any diet to our body’s metabolic rate or it will fail. The process is simple and done every 14 days, but it does take a certain amount of effort. However, it is one of those things that cannot be ignored if you want a great looking body. This is the way all great looking athletes are doing it. The process are as follows: monitor your results every 14 days with a fat caliper, measuring tape and weighing scale. Interpret these results to see whether you lost/gained fat or muscle. Then depending on these results, you adjust your diet upwards or downwards with 10% calories and redo the process every 14 days until such time that you reach a point of losing fat and not muscle. That is the sweet-spot. At that point your diet has been successfully aligned with your body and the diet need no adjustment. But keep on with the 14-day body monitoring process…this can change at any moment and you have to keep the diet aligned to your bodies ever changing metabolic tempo. This whole process becomes critical for the over 40 guys in adding muscle and shaping his body. Young guys can still get away with this, us over 40 guys can NOT!
- As a result of inactivity over many years, your muscle mass has slowly decreased and is currently low. Even if you lose all the fat, you are still NOT going to look great. Why? Well, because it is only muscles that give a body shape…nothing else. So, the less muscles you have the less shape your body is going to have. You are NOT going to look great naked or in swimwear. If you want a great body like when you were young you need activity. The muscles need to grow to give shape to the body. The question is now, what exercise to do to get best results. Cardio will definitely be very healthy and some resistance type cardio like swimming might actually help build a little muscle, but the bottom line is, CARDIO IS A MUSCLE KILLER. The bodies normal reaction for moderate to intense cardio is always to limit muscle growth. So, if your aim is great shape and a great looking body, be mindful of cardio and keep it to the absolute minimum. The only effective way to stimulate muscles for growth is through resistance training where you train regularly to failure (!) to stimulate growth. Since your blood testosterone levels are healthy plus your diet is focused to support a muscle growth environment, the muscles will respond to growth when stimulated via training to failure. Let this sink it, training to absolute muscle failure is what stimulates growth! Cardio does the opposite. And don’t think more is better! Training more than 5 days a week will severely limit growth. Your older body cannot recuperate fast enough anymore for too frequent training. Four to five days a week at 60 min at a time is best for the over 40 body to repair and grow.
- So far everything sounds fairly easy, don’t be fooled. There are quite a few things that can very easily derail all your plans, especially for us over 40 guys. They are:
- Continuous stressful environments which results in excessive cortisol levels. This will mean the body will struggle to build muscle and the muscle might even decrease in size. Cortisol is a muscle killer. A big aim should be to bring your daily stress levels down. Gym sessions helps a lot!
- Too little sleep. Sleep is critical for the body to repair and grow muscles as well as for healthy testosterone levels. Min 6 hours per night but preferably 8 hours.
- 3L water per day keeping the body healthy (and kidneys) and help metabolizing fat break down.
- The over 40 guy, need a focused supplement stack that produce results. Forget all the crap advertising of the “magical” products out there. It really (!) is all lies or half-truths and has NO SCIENCE behind them. It is hollow claims and stolen photos, or people paid to lie. The supplement trade is one of the shadiest trades on the planet. Very few supplements have the necessary science behind them. Here is a list of the ones that do and has been proven to make a real difference and should be considered by the over 40 guys in his supplement stack:
- Caffeine (help with focus during training and also help raising metabolism)
- Creatine (can make a significant difference and also slightly raise testosterone levels. Must be taken with an activator like grape juice).
- Whey protein (straight after training)
- L-Glutamine (before and after training – aid in muscle repair with a host of other benefits)
- Simple but a critical point. If your health is bad and you are regularly sick, then there is no way that you will get success. For the over 40 guys to reach success he need to make sure that he has good health. This means the following:
- Get enough son in per day. You cannot be healthy and be indoors 24 hours. You need to activate the Vit D in your body.
- You must take a potent multi vitamin daily. Contact me if you want to know the best options. Over 40 and placing the body under this renewed strain could easily result in your getting sick.
- Ensure you get enough Omega 3 and 6 in.
- I also advise a strong anti-oxidant. Something like Alpha Lipoic Acid or Co Enzyme Q10.
- Warm up, cool down, stretch! You are not young and can very easily hurt yourself which means a long time of training! Be wise start out slowly and do a gradual step by step approach. Do NOT jump off the cliff and think you can play with the big boys. Give your body time to adapt and especially for the joints and tendons time to strengthen. For this purpose you MUST follow a 3 month alternating approach between a cutting and building phase when over 40. If not, the strain on the body will soon end up in severe tendon or joint injury and your muscle building plans will be pretty much down the drain. A balanced approach is critical for the older guy, thus 3 months cutting phase and then 3 months building phase and repeat…
- At the core of my teaching to the over 40 on body transformation is the rule that you cannot just transform the outside of the body on its own but that the key to unlocking your true potential and reaching true success is to transform the character and soul at the same time when transforming the body. Meaning making right with God and start liking yourself as a person for being kind, considerate, mindful and helping your fellow human in need. Such a total transformation makes the whole process so much more important and actually easier to adhere too. It is not anymore just a superficial, skin-deep transformation but one that will make you a better person, inside and out. This is what life is about! Don’t just become a better looking jerk but become a better-looking man with integrity and respect for his fellow human being. Not having achieved a focussed mindset to get to your goalpost is probably more important than all the other points together…because NOTHING is going to happen if you are not inspired and motivated to get off that coach and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
- Use the power of your mind to force the muscles to grow. This might sound a little “off”, lol…but this is something many serious bodybuilders and including me found to make a big difference. Constantly while training visualize the muscle being trained and see it in your “mind’s eye” how it is flexing and contracting and focus on how that muscle shape must develop and what you aim for. Develop a STRONG mind-muscle connection and visualize with every rep you are doing. Slow, controlled and with focus. This also helps you to concentrate and isolate the muscle being trained better.
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So, all my over 40 and well, over 50 friends, this is the key concepts if you want to force muscle growth while age is counting against you.
Of course, all of the above form part of my ADVANCED SYSTEM II which I designed for the older guy. It is a customized holistic transformation blueprint worked out specifically for your body and goals. If interested, you can signup through this link: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/
Wish you all happy training and a GREAT day.