Can you build strength after 40?
In Fact one of the strongest clients at our gym is over 50.
When I first met Daniel he had a major goal in mind.
He wanted to be in the best shape of his life by his birthday.
This was a tall order considering he had been a lifelong athlete and college basketball player.
Daniel had been generally active and doing pilates but it had been a long time since he had worked out in any serious way.
Like many people he was concerned that because of his age he wouldn’t be able to get the results he wanted.
That’s when I shared a bit of wisdom with him.
I told him “you can get to any goal you want, we just have to be smarter about it when we get older.”
For Daniel this meant limiting him to to just two sessions per week in the gym while incorporating walking and mobility work on his off days.
It also mean picking ways of measuring strength that fit within his goals.
So how did this personalized approach turn out for Daniel?
In 5 months of training he added 150 lbs to his deadlift, reduced his resting heart rate by 10 beats per minute, dropped 20 lbs, and was able to knock out 5 pull-ups and 30 pushups just like when he was in college.
Best of all it gave him the confidence to take his shirt off at the pool during his birthday weekend.
Daniel’s progress shows what happens when hard work meets the right plan at any age.
Daniel hard at work in the gym.
Many people think that we get weaker as we get older. And it’s true that we’ll all experience some physical decline as we age.
But it’s a fact that strength can be improved at any age, and older adults who train regularly can become incredibly strong. With continued training, they can hold much of that strength very late in life.
Think of it like this: If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. And you certainly won’t improve it.
People who are sedentary will start weak and become ever weaker if they don’t train as they age. Similarly, an active person who stops training will grow weaker quickly and then gradually become weaker as years pass.
The flip side is amazing:
Inactive people who start working out at any age become stronger—often quite quickly at first. As people continue to train, they’ll gradually gain more strength. If they continue working out over their entire lives, they’ll become very strong, and they’ll lose strength due to advanced age at a much slower rate.
These people retain their capabilities later in life even as inactive people around them lose their independence!
We’ve seen people well over 70 gain strength and dramatically improve function, so if you’re over 40, it’s definitely not too late to start.
SUBHEAD: Strength Training Over 40: Three Secrets
Here are three tips for gaining strength after 40 (you aren’t “over the hill”):
1. You have to work out consistently.
Building strength is about momentum. If you train 2-4 times a week and do the right stuff (see below), you’ll get stronger and stronger. But you can’t work out for a month and then take a month off. If you do, you’ll lose your progress.
2. You have to do the right things the right way at the right times.
Strength training is a balance of stress and recovery, and you can definitely do too much or too little. Similarly, doing the same things over and over will blunt their effect. You need some variety and something called “progressive overload” to ensure you always make progress. And then you need to make sure you do the movements properly. Don’t stress about all this—our professional coaches take care of everything for you!
3. Nutrition is important.
You can’t drive a vehicle without fuel, and your body won’t become stronger without the right food. Protein is important, and so are vitamins and minerals. Carbs and fats figure into the equation, too. Again, we’re experts and we can tell you how to optimize your nutrition so you get strong!
SUBHEAD: Let’s Start Lifting Together!
Remember, It’s never too late to start working out. Here’s the best part of all: People who start working out usually notice changes in strength fast. As the body “wakes up” and connects the brain to the muscles that are already there, people get stronger very quickly.
Later, with great training and nutrition, people generally notice a few more changes. Their clothes start to fit differently, movement becomes easier and more fun, and they usually add a little bit of muscle.
Don’t worry about “getting bulky.” That just doesn’t happen. If you gain muscle, it will happen slowly, and you’ll look “fit” rather than “bulky.” You don’t have to be big to be strong.
We’d love to help you accomplish your goals. We specialize in building strength in people over 40, and we’ll tell you exactly how we can help you do it in a free consultation.
You came here to find out if you can get stronger after 40. Now you know that you can. You just have to start training.
Don’t waste another day—book a consultation with us today and let’s get started!
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– Brandon and the Virtuo Team