If you’re over 40, you probably have more “stuff” going on in your life than you did at 21, making it difficult to focus on eating right and training regularly. And the enthusiasm you once had for exercise—especially if you haven’t seen the results you were hoping for—may have waned, too.
You might feel that your body can’t handle the kind of punishment you used to dish out in your early twenties, and that it takes longer to recover than it used to.
But none of this matters. With the right type of training, you can still build muscle and get strong well into your forties, fifties, and beyond.
University of Oklahoma researchers compared people of different ages who followed the exact same program for eight weeks. They found that guys between 35 and 50 years old built just as much muscle as those between 18 and 22 years old.
DEXA (duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scans showed that the college-aged men gained around two pounds of muscle, while the middle-aged men put on 2.5 pounds of muscle.
Moreover, strength gains in both the bench press (7 pounds for the college-aged men and 14 pounds for the middle-aged men) and leg press (55 pounds for the college-aged men and 40 pounds for the middle-aged men) were similar in both groups.