How does Muscle Building Change as We Age
Think you can lift the same amount of weight in your fifties as you did in your twenties? Well, you probably could, but only if you were smart about your training your entire life. A number of factors will determine your physical health, strength, energy levels, and vigor as the years go by, yet there is one crucial factor in your story you cannot fool, or avoid forever. Time itself.
Time catches up will all of us, it changes how we feel inside, and it influences our physical condition more than anything else. But that doesn’t mean you cannot make the most of it while you’re here. Your genetic composition and your age can be greatly influenced by your decisions, habits, and dedication. So here it is, your step-by-step guide on how to maximize your performance based on your age and how to ensure a lifetime of strength, vigor, gains, and most importantly, health.
Humble beginnings between ages fifteen and twenty
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: children should train various sports and should develop a natural propensity to love exercise. However, you should refrain from lifting heavy weights until you’ve reached your teens, somewhere around fourteen and fifteen, solely for the purpose of letting your bones develop properly and to avoid injuries.
Once you’ve reached your teens, you have the green light to start your fitness journey. Still, you should stick to moderate weights and practice form, rather than going all out with heavy deadlifts and squats. Why, I hear you asking? Because you will develop a solid foundation of strength that will allow you to become the strongest version of yourself in your twenties.
Building strength in your twenties
Your twenties (and your thirties) are your golden years when it comes to lifting, muscle building, and strength. Through your twenties and all the way to your thirties, you are able to push your limits with minimal risks of injury to reach new PRs in the gym and become agile, fast, and downright massive if your goal is size.
This is the time to focus on big compound movements such as squats, deadlifts and various presses, and it’s also the best time to bring up your cardiovascular endurance with fast-paced resistance training such as HIIT and conditioning. In essence, you want to run, jump, climb, throw, push, squat, and pull everything you can get your hands on, as your body is able to transform your effort into pure size and strength.
This also means you have a bit more leeway with your nutrition as well, because of your fast metabolism and your ability to burn calories more efficiently. Now, don’t go ‘round eating junk just because you can, as all bad habits will come back to bite you in the ass later in life.
Going strong in your thirties
Think you’ve peaked in your twenties? Think again. While it is true that you can fearlessly go all out in your twenties, the majority of people are actually able to discover and reach their true potential in their thirties. From sprinters and marathon runners, to powerlifters and strongmen, many of them have achieved their greatest feats in life after crossing that notorious thirty threshold, so don’t worry, there are still plenty of gains to be made.
However, this is the time to become mindful of what you eat on a daily basis, as your metabolism naturally stars to slow down and it becomes easier to hold on to fat than before. If you were accustomed to eating high amounts of carbs for energy, you might want to dial it down significantly and up your protein and fat intake to keep belly fat at bay.
Remember to experiment with your nutrition and stick to a high-protein diet.
Giving it all you’ve got in your forties
After you cross the forty threshold, you will start to feel the wear and tear of time, with various aches and pains starting to permeate your body, and becoming harder to get rid of. This doesn’t mean, luckily, that you can’t push yourself to become stronger or maintain your muscle mass and explosiveness, it simply means that you will have to be smarter with your training approach.
You need to start using your protective gear more, such as compression clothing, wrist wraps, and elbow and knee sleeves to keep your joints warm and support constant blood flow while staying warm, dry, and flexible at all times. This is not the time to be a hero or to do a live re-enactment of your twenties, this is the time to exercise caution and stick to a strict diet to maintain a lean physique.
After all, there is nothing sexier than a silver fox with a six-pack.
Maintaining health and vigor in your fifties and beyond
Okay, you’re not technically a senior yet, but life doesn’t feel as easy as it used to. At least you’re healthy, right? Right, and you want to keep it that way in order to live out the rest of your life imbued with strength and vigor. This is the time when you’re no longer able to build muscle efficiently, so a more sensible option is working towards maintaining what you already have.
If you stay dedicated and persistent, you can maintain a very healthy body fat percentage, between 15 and 20%, boasting some considerable muscle mass, which will in turn help you lead a more energetic lifestyle. You will also significantly increase your quality of life and your health, prolonging your time on earth. So, make sure you don’t stop exercising no matter what anyone says – be the buff grandpa everyone envies!
For the majority of your life, you’re able to build muscle mass, maintain low body fat levels, and increase your strength. You only need to stay dedicated and persistent, train smart, stay safe, and eat healthy. This all-around healthy lifestyle will not only allow you to become a beast in your own right, but it will also help you become more productive on a daily basis and ensure a lifetime of health, strength, and happiness.