Building Muscle When Over 40

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by 19thlohan, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword

    So now that I'm a couple years past 40 I feel like I'm losing some body mass and strength. Not a lot but I was never very big to begin with. I've always done some weight training but mostly just keeping active kind of stuff. I'd like to gain back a little muscle and then maintain it. Can anyone recomend a good work out program?

    Also I've always been a high activity guy. I know it's hard to gain weight when you're burning a lot of calories but how much activity can you do and still gain weight? I've heard things like more than an hour a day is too much yet There are people who do high activity jobs 8-10 hours a day then go to the gym and still bulk up. Pro athletes play their sport and bulk up at the same time. This is the most confusing area to me.

    Lastly I have a lasting elbow injury that keeps me from doing curls and many back excersises but for some reason I can do chin ups no problem. Any recomendations for other excersises to work those muscles that aren't too stressful on the elbow?
  2. jkd_si

    jkd_si Valued Member

    you want to get in touch with BigMikey, he does an online personal training thing, i'm sure he can hook you up with a good program tailored to you needs and past injuries. He's over 40 and obviously knows about building muscle, just look at him
  3. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    Lets chat in PMs a bit more. I'm sure I can help.

    Firstly, work does not equal exercise. Thats a common misconception. If that were the case there'd be 50 year old construction workers with six pack abs all over the place instead of 12 packs in their hands.

    A lot of what you're looking at is diet related though. Most people dont understand that every single thing you do requires calories. The average, physically active man, may require up to 1400 calories a day just to maintain basic life functions such as brushing teeth, preparing meals, EATING meals - yes that takes calories as well, getting dressed, bathing (hopfully not in that order).... everything takes energy and we derive our energy from the calories we eat. Now thats 1400 calories and we havent even driven to work yet. Work its self requires calories so lets say we're at 2000. Now we add into that exercise and, more importantly, the desire for muscluar growth and the need for caloric intake can jump tremendously.

    As we age, men in particular find it difficult to maintain lean mass because of the naturally occuring decrease in testostorone the body undergoes. For this reason, diet and rest become even more important.

    If you can do chin ups you can do lat pulls. Since you say you cant curl my guess is you have a nice case of chronic tendonitis or more commonly known as tennis elbow. They make braces that are rather effective at minimizing the effects of T.E. I recently purchased an ACE type for my wife who suffers from the same thing due to her job for around 16 bucks and she noticed the difference almost instantly. I can find a link if you're interested. It wont make you "better" but it will minimize the daily discomfort and allow you to toy with exercises that right now are just sliiiiiiiightly out of reach.

    An important factor though is weight when lifting with T.E. If you slow your cadence and limit your range of motion you can make even a ten pound dumbell become challenging. Its a matter of creativity over habit.

    Like I mentioned earlier, shoot me a private message and i'll be glad to help in anyway I can.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  4. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    Excellent points there mikey as usual.

    Also... FST-7, seems ideal for old* people.

    * just being cheeky here, you've got years of training yet.

    Anyway, listen to mike over me on this subject, I'm 19!
  5. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    You're KIDDING - 19?? I had no idea. Well kudos to you man, for 19 you've got a fair bit of knowledge to ya. :cool:
  6. Osu,

    Very interesting thread here... Please don't keep the good stuff via PMs though! :)

  7. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    Thanks man, I'm always trying to learn.

    Just FYI expect nagging PMs for the next couple of years when I realise I'm not as smart as I thought (starting my degree lol)
  8. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    DEAL. :)
  9. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    LOL, I look forward to it! :D
  10. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword


    Maybe we don't have 6 packs due to over training?:hat: Or not.

    Actually I can do chin ups with my palms facing me and hands close together but I feel it a lot if I do pull ups or lat pull downs with the palms facing away and the hands wider apart.

    I have one of those neoprene sleeves but I'm just not sure what the injury is and whether it would get injured further using it. Can't afford the doctors right now. I tried before to train a little and see if it was something I could work through. While I can work out with it I feel it getting worse and more consistant so I stopped again. Not sure if that's the right kind of brace either.
  11. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

  12. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    I may be wrong here, but wouldn’t and kind of torque irritate TE?

    in which case doing chins on a solid bar may well cause pain (when doing pull or chin ups the wrists want to twist, obviously they cant so the pressure is applied further down the chain, ie in your poor elbow)

    If possible something that will allow your wrists to twist while doing chins and pulls would help, think gymnast rings, the strappy handles from a cable station hooked on the bar, hell you could just take scissors and duct tape to the straps of an old rucksack and sling them over.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  13. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    Well then you can do narrow grip pull downs with reverse grip (palms facing you), nothing wrong with those and as long as you get a good stretch you'll get a fair amount of lat work as well.

    The brace you want should look like this:

  14. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    for those that dont know, tennis elbow is a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow at a bony prominence of the upper arm. Certain repetitive movements of the wrist can cause this condition. dont be fooled by the name, it's not limited to tennis players, lol. But to your point, Steve, its caused more through repetitive motions that require hard squeezing than from torque in most cases.

    In the gym, most guys tend to get it from too much heavy curling where they grip the bar for dear life or heavy back without straps. Ordinarily there are positions where the tendonitis doesnt flare up and gripping and pulling can be achieved with little to no pain. However, if the case gets bad enough the simple act of releasing a fist can be excrutiating.
  15. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword

    Yeah I can probably do those.

    Another funny note. I can't do curls with weights but I can do isometrics/ self resistance as hard as I want. Always thought that was bizarre.
  16. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Bigmikey is a great resource, use him.

    I'd recommend for some outside reading the book "Gray Hair and Black Iron" by Brooks Kubik.

    Brooks Kubik is or turns 53 this year, is in great shape, and bull strong. His advice is simple and basic, but with hard work you will make terrific progress.
  17. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    Because you're not squeezing anything with your hands, and the load isnt at the end of the forearm so there's nothing to irritate the tendons ;)

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