Having a dietician as a mom can be very beneficial to these types of conversations. So I asked her this the other day. Can you build muscle at any age?
She is in her mid 60’s, and she was telling me how she plans on starting a muscle building routine. At first, I was really surprised, but the more research that I did, I realized that you really can build muscle at any age.
Do not let the traditional norms fool you. In this article we are going to discuss exactly what it is going to take for you to build muscle, regardless of your age.
Before we get started, I highly recommend downloading our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). Our FREE workout plans will get you on the right track for your muscle building journey.
Get comfortable with calories
One of the most challenging things that I have to tell people, regardless of age, is the fact that counting calories is necessary for building muscle.
People hear the idea of counting calories and they immediately seize up like an old rusty engine.
Here is what I have to tell you. If you have struggled to put on muscle in the past, or struggled to gain or lose weight, there is a reason. That reason is that your metabolism differs from those around you.
Therefore you need to consciously do something about it. For example, my caloric needs to build muscle are significantly higher than most people I know. So if I ate the same amount of calories as them, I would actually lose weight.
Here is what you need to do. Read my article about how to calculate your maintenance calories. Can you build muscle at any age? Yes, but first you are going to need this maintenance calorie number.
From here, you can now eat at a caloric surplus, starting at around 500 calories over maintenance per day. You cannot build muscle in a caloric deficit. It’s just not going to happen.
So with this information, we can conclude that we have no choice but to eat at a caloric surplus if we are going to put on muscle at an advanced age.
I used to think that I ate a ton of food. That was until I actually started counting calories and realized I was well under what I really needed. For context, if I am building muscle, I need to eat 3,600 calories per day.
If you struggle with gaining weight, be sure to check out my 1000 calorie protein shake recipe.
Workout for strength and size
A lot of workout plans marketed towards aging adults are geared towards losing weight or just getting your body moving.
Why? Probably because 73.6% of the US population is overweight. So companies just realize that they can hit a bigger target by doing this.
But if you are trying to build muscle, you are going to be doing completely different workouts than what you would if you were trying to lose weight.
Those workouts are going to want to be anything that has to do with weight training. Our app has many free weight training plans.
I totally understand if you can’t download the app, or simply don’t want to. Which is why I put together some easy beginner workout plans right here on this blog.
For starters, I recommend taking a look at our beginner bodybuilding routine for mass.
The whole goal here is to lift heavy weights and put them down. That is how you build muscle. Of course, you absolutely must combine this with a caloric surplus.
When you combine these two things, your muscle growth will be unstoppable. By now, you are starting to understand the answer to our question, can you build muscle at any age?
Whether you are 14 or you are 70, you can still build muscle. There are no rules against that in life.
The final piece of the formula is to be consistent. Now, you will hear a lot of people talk about how it is ok to slip up and be lazy. I am not going to let you off the hook that easily.
The three main things that you need to build muscle is to be eating in a caloric surplus, lifting heavy weights, and doing this regularly. But there are a few more things that you need to factor in.
You need to be consistent in your sleep schedule. Making sure you sleep at least 7 hours per night will ensure that your muscles recover properly.
Also, being careful with what you put in your body is also important. There is evidence that alcohol stops muscle growth, so be careful with that.
The whole point that I am trying to make here is to be consistent with GOOD choices. They are going to add up and help you become the best version of yourself.
Over the course of 3 years in my mid twenties, I gained 70 pounds. The majority of Americans might think that’s a terrible thing, but it was intentional.
Yes, I purposely gained 70 pounds because I was a skinny guy who wanted to put on muscle.
I got there by making good choices every single day. I now know my body so well that I can alter it at will.
But having the mindset that you can do it is very important. And you also need to understand that it is going to take a good amount of time. Time is your friend here.
I think you should take a look at our list of realistic fitness goals for beginners to get yourself in the mindset of what progress you can make in a given time.
Main Point: Can you build muscle at any age?
If you have read this far, you know the answer to our question, can you build muscle at any age? The answer is yes, and as we covered throughout this article, it is going to take some work.
Starting with knowing your caloric intake. So many people struggle with this, that it is no surprise that the majority of the population is overweight.
Calculate your maintenance calories, and start by eating at a caloric surplus of 500 calories over maintenance per day. If you are not gaining at least a half pound per week, you should add a few hundred calories to your daily intake and re-evaluate.
We cannot forget strength training in our quest to build muscle at any age. Strength training or weight training is essential to building a muscular body. If you stick to a plan of 3-5 days per week, you are going to grow muscle, there is no doubt.
Lastly, we must talk about consistency. But it isn’t just consistency in hitting the gym. It is consistency in eating at a caloric surplus, working out, and making good choices.
It isn’t just the gym and eating that are going to propel you into building muscle. There are a plethora of other things too.
There actually is a magic formula for building muscle. It’s just so simple that people cannot believe it is possible. Mostly, people are not willing to put in the time or effort that it is going to take you.