Building muscle and getting after it in the gym. Isn’t it a young man’s game?
They have raging hormones, unlimited energy, and the drive to impress young, beautiful women.
But what about you? Your 30’s have come in full force, and the gym isn’t as enticing as it once was. You’ve won: you have a wife/significant other, and life seems to get in the road whenever you try to get back in the gym. Why build muscle and get stronger?
Plus, I’ve heard testosterone drops by 1% each year (1), so is it even possible for a 35-50 year old to build muscle?
Not only is being strong and building muscle one of the things that makes us inherently men, your life is better lived when you’re strong and have extra muscle.
Recently at the university of Oklahoma, a group of researchers found that guys aged 35-50 can build muscle at the SAME RATE as a college age kid. When they follow a sound program, and follow a quality high protein diet, they can build just as much muscle and lose as much fat as a college age kid.(2)
It throws out the idea of it being impossible to build muscle after 35.
So if this shows that it’s not impossible, and our hormones respond favourably to building muscle and strength regardless of age, why is it so much harder?
The environment we build for ourselves makes it so much harder in our 30’s-50’s.
We find that we want to climb a corporate mountain instead of a real one. We have responsibilities with our families, and forget about the responsibility to ourself to get stronger and fitter.
We stay up later than we want, watching Netflix shows we don’t even like.
It might seem hard to change your enviroment to make you into a strong powerful man, but the changes aren’t hard, or confusing. It’s simple, like men should keep things.
To build muscle than you did in your 20’s, you’ll need to change these 5 pieces of your environment. Start by changing one at a time, instead of all at once. The changes will stick around longer than you think.
- SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
You don’t need to go to every single social event. Honestly, you probably don’t even like every social event you go to any ways. Limit it to 1-2 a week, and you’ll save money, you’ll start leaning out by not eating so much, and you’ll have time to get after it in the gym
- START PREPARING YOUR FOOD FOR THE WEEK
If you don’t prepare your food, there’s no way you’re going to build muscle. YOu’ll always be behind the 8 ball just reacting to your life. By preparing you put yourself in the driver’s seat of your fitness AND your life. Get yourself a simple, straight forward meal plan that helps you save time by getting you EXACTLY how much food you need.
- GET A GREAT PROGRAM
Building muscle doesn’t just happen. You don’t get participation ribbons in building muscle. It happens when you decide to follow a program for 3-6 months, put the work in, and not get side tracked.
The men in this program above followed an upper body/lower body split, meaning they did upper body exercises 2 days/week and lower body exercises 2x a week. You don’t have to follow their program, but With a great program you’ll build more muscle, especially one aiming to slowly improve the same lifts over time. No need to program hop, thinking that you need to find something better. Because the best program is the one you’ll do long term.
- SPEND ADEQUATE TIME WARMING UP
With less time focused on mobility and stretching, and more time spent in chairs at computers, we as humans and adult males can’t just rip into our workouts like we used to. Spending a good 5 minutes on a whole body workout will do the body a whole lot of good.
- FIND A GOOD REASON TO BUILD MUSCLE
Impressing your significant other is cool, but that’s the reason why most guys get pudgy after they have their wedding: They don’t find a reason to build muscle for themselves.
Find yourself a real reason to build muscle. Do you want to be the best dad you can be? Do you want to be proud of yourself for sticking to something? Find something that really matters to you and do it for that reason.
You’re not hopeless trying to build muscle at over 35. We’ve seen that by the research. But you have to change things a little mroe than your college age self. Get after it and you’ll see your body change, and how you feel as a man change too.