It might seem hard and frustrating at times to add muscle to your physique. No matter what you do, it seems to not make any difference. In truth, there are certain things that if you do them well and often enough, you will over time see a significant difference in your physique.
1. TRAIN OFTEN WITH HEAVY WEIGHTS
Frontiers in Physiology research shows that even men in their seventies can derive lasting benefits from resistance training. In fact, men up to the age of 50 can build just as much muscle as 22-year-olds. The key is to regularly subject your body to heavy weight training sessions and stick with it. If you can consistently maintain a training regime for nine straight months, you’re also likely to continue it as a lifestyle for the foreseeable future, according to the University of Helsinki.
2. MAKE IT EXPLOSIVE
Explosive exercises not only improve strength and muscular performance, but they also stimulate muscle growth, naturally increase testosterone and growth hormone levels and work multiple muscle groups. These include compound exercises such as flat bench press, squats, deadlifts, clean & press, military press and barbell row.
3. GO FULL BODY
Fewer total-body sessions are as effective as training split muscle groups (ie arms and chest one day, legs another) more frequently, according to Concordia University. Likewise, compound moves are better than isolation exercises for the older exerciser. That means an older gymgoer should be looking to do barbell rows over bicep curls to utilise more muscles.
4. TAKE IT EASY
A little under an hour of training produces the same results as a punishing five hours, reports Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. There’s no need to kill yourself every workout. Don’t overdo it as the longer you train for, the more harm than good you’ll be doing to your body. Training as little as 3-4 sessions under an hour per week is enough to see significant results.
5. VOLUME CAN BE BETTER
Performing fewer reps using heavy weights puts older muscles at greater risk of tearing, says the JSCR. So, drop the kilos and spend more time in the 10-15 range. Instead of always going heavy, try and mix up your sessions with some focusing on volume. Choose a challenging weight where you can do over 10 reps at a time and go for a high-volume session.
6. GET A LOT OF PROTEIN
As testosterone levels decrease and muscle mass becomes harder to hold on to, you need more protein. If you're bored of meat, try some plant-based options. As a bonus, they also contain more fibre, which can help to see off prostate cancer. Mix up your diet and keep it full of useful sources of protein to help repair and add to your lean muscle mass.
7. RECOVERY IS KEY
Good sleep, sufficient rest days and a bit of time spent relaxing are more important than ever. The good news? Recovery time is roughly the same at 50 as at 25. Put younger men to shame by walking off DOMS with ease. You might want to train every day and think its good for you but just make sure you add at least 2 rest days per week.
8. STAY NATURAL
Resist the temptation to use anything illegal, such as steroids. There are a lot of serious side effects that can also include joint pain and a higher cancer risk, according to Harvard University. We would recommend using something natural, such as Norateen Gold, or any of our other testo boosters.
9. STAY MOBILE
After the age of 40, our range of motion falls by about six degrees each decade. Maintain mobility by performing dynamic stretches at the start of your workout, or practise mobility moves on your rest days.
10. BUILD A STRONG CORE
A strong core not only helps improve every exercise you do, but it will also improve your overall physical health and posture. Deep core strength built by exercises such as planks will strengthen your lower back, which fights posture deterioration, reports Harvard University. Start with your hands elevated if it's tough, but work up to a full 90 second on the floor.