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Experts: Muscle building from 40 years upwards? This is how muscle growth works even in advanced age

Experts: Muscle building from 40 years upwards? This is how muscle growth works even in advanced age


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Men aged 40 and over: counteract age-related muscle loss with strength training

At 40, you are generally not considered to be “old”, but strength already decreases at this age - at least if nothing is done to reduce muscle loss in old age. According to experts, it is never too late to build muscle.

Strength training is the trend

For years there has been a report on a booming fitness industry in Germany and other countries. Strength training in particular is in vogue: training with weights helps you lose weight. This, in turn, lowers the risk of numerous lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure. Above all, training serves to build muscle. This is especially important for people who have already reached the age of 40.

Muscle maintenance and building possible even in advanced age

Maintaining and building muscle is an essential prerequisite for maintaining health, independence and quality of life into old age.

Nevertheless, many people do not counteract muscle loss in old age.

The muscle breakdown and the associated loss of strength begin at the age of 30 to 40 years. Therefore, it is important to counteract these - relatively young years.

The personal trainer Detlef Romeike, called "Der Starkmacher", explains in an interview with the magazine "Men’s Health" what men from the age of 40 should pay attention to when building muscle.

Don't train like teenagers

According to the physical therapist from Hamburg, men over 40 should ideally no longer behave like adolescents during strength training.

The amount of training should be significantly reduced compared to the younger ones, but the intensity should be maintained. In addition, more emphasis should be placed on regeneration.

"Those who previously had 5 units a week on the schedule are better off on 3 intensive trainings beyond the 40," recommends the expert with 30 years of coaching experience.

According to the expert, the resilience "is very limited with increasing age, so you have to work more in the area of ​​recreation". How this should be done best, everyone has to find out for themselves.

In the "Men's Health" interview, the 57-year-old points out that even as a 40-year-old you are still able to build muscles very well, but it takes longer than with a teenager.

According to the personal trainer, building muscle mass is no longer possible for people who have already trained intensively. These people then only fight against mining.

The risk of “ailments” should also not be neglected. How they turn out depends, among other things, on whether and how active you have been so far.

It is therefore particularly important to keep recovering from time to time. If this does not happen, it can cause inflammation and pain in the tendons and joints.

A trainer can be useful for some newcomers

According to the trainer instructor, even at 40 you are not too old to start strength training. If you want to start at such an age, you should pay more attention to degenerative diseases and injuries, if any.

If necessary, it is advisable to contact a professional trainer to start strength training.

But: "If you have no complaints and a good body feeling, then a trainer is not absolutely necessary," says Romeike.

For those who plan to learn classic weightlifting exercises, however, it is recommended to work with a coach.

Regardless of whether with or without a trainer: "From the age of 40, three intensive training sessions per week are the maximum that a person can tolerate without pharmaceutical help," explains Romeike.

According to the expert, this is about full-body units, because in more mature years men should no longer train muscles in isolation, but instead focus on athletic attributes.

Initiate regeneration during exercise

Five to six exercises that are carried out with different intensities are sufficient. How often these should be done depends on the age: "45 are 45 repetitions," says the professional.

It is important to plan time for the warm-up before the workout and to initiate regeneration during the workout by breathing deeply between sets and supplying the muscles with a lot of oxygen.

According to Romeike, there aren't many exercises that people over the age of 40 shouldn't do. What he cannot recommend are dips on the bench, for example, because they strain the shoulder apparatus too much.

Pushing the neck with the barbell is also extremely stressful for the shoulder, as is pulling the back of the neck.

In general, the back of the ligament should not be carried out on a negative incline bench, as this can lead to a sharp rise in blood pressure.

Less exercises are better

In the "Men’s Health" article, some exercises are listed that are also suitable for men over 40 years of age: squats and deadlifts with a barbell, bench press with dumbbells in the upper grip, shoulder presses with barbell in a sitting position, getting up with a kettlebell and pull-ups in the lower grip.

You can do this in the fitness studio or in the home gym, which requires a weight bench, a pull-up bar, kettlebell and barbell.

No matter where you train: "Stick to the basic movement patterns - fewer exercises are better with increasing age," says Romeike.

According to the personal coach, the focus should not be on building muscle, but on flexibility.

What is meant by this is that the strength exercises are to be carried out in full range of motion, for example, when doing the squat with the buttocks up to the rear thighs.

The expert recommends adding ten minutes of cardio at the appropriate pulse rate after each unit of strength, otherwise you will soon run out of steam.

You shouldn't overdo it: “Excessive endurance training is more likely to harm men. If we run or cycle for a long time, the cortisol level rises sharply, ”said Romeike.

All the stress hormones make it harder to break down fat. They also slow down regeneration.

Too much protein can hurt

Some athletes use protein bars and shakes after training to strengthen their muscles. According to experts, however, this is unnecessary. A natural protein supply is sufficient.

Romeike also points out that consuming a protein shake directly after training is not helpful.

"The blood is still in the muscles, the digestion is much too limited to optimally utilize the proteins at this point," said the expert.

According to the trainer, it is important not to fall into the protein trap anyway, because too much protein is often associated with problems with the connective tissue.

"Too much protein clogs the cell membrane, i.e. the last passage from the bloodstream into the cell," explains the specialist.

If you consume too much protein over a longer period of time, you run the risk of deposits that hinder cell exchange. As a result, degradation products would no longer come out and nutrients would no longer enter the cell.

Natural nutrition

"Especially in old age, it is crucial to eat as naturally as possible. You should make sure that the body gets everything it needs," recommends Romeike.

When it comes to which foods are best suited for healthy and fast muscle building, many people immediately think of eggs and steaks.

But vegetable proteins, for example from legumes, are also suitable for this. (ad)

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