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REVSERENA SparkPoints: (0)
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10/7/11 1:09 P

As a woman (not a heck of a lot of testosterone) in my forties I saw significant gains when I was lifting at peak weight three times a week. Definitely possible.

ROB2006 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/7/11 12:28 P

Thanks all. Now to decide to join a gym.

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/5/11 10:14 P

over a 4 year period from age 39 to age 43 I gained approx 12lbs of muscle. It becomes more difficult past age 35 (for men) as declining test levels mean gains take longer to realize, but certainly not impossible. I have also read a study wherein 6 mos of strength training reversed approx. 10 years of muscle atrophy in elderly people.

THIRTEENREASONS SparkPoints: (40,990)
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10/5/11 9:43 P

It is definitely possible to gain muscle at any age. There are plenty of men and women who do bodybuidling and figure competitions in their 40s, 50s, and 60s...

How quickly you gain muscle comes down to nutrition, training, and genetics. But you also need to have realistic goals. Since you're trying to lose weight, you more than likely won't gain muscle quickly... but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't strength train. Strength training while losing weight can help ensure that the weight you're losing is water and fat and not muscle. You can still make strength gains while losing weight, but you might not see those strength gains reflected on your body as muscle gains.

You really can't focus on gaining muscle and losing weight at the same time. Some people can do it, and when you hear of a "body recomp" that's what they are referring to... but in general the people who have the most success with this are people who are skinny fat, i.e. people who are at a healthy BMI but have a higher bodyfat percentage.

I know that was long winded, but from my experience, focusing on losing the weight and then switching up the focus to gaining muscle works better. Keep strength training at least 3 days a week and doing cardio. Once you hit your goal and switch your calories to maintenance you'll probably notice that you'll make strength gains faster. After you've adjusted mentally and physically to maintenance you can reassess your goals and if you want more definition you can start eating above maintenance and doing less cardio while focusing more on strength training and you'll begin to see more muscle gains.

SLYSAM SparkPoints: (43,184)
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10/5/11 8:20 P

It is hard to say as it seems the ability to gain muscle is variable--some people have an easier time than others. But in some studies elderly people have gained strength and some mass so some gain should be possible at any age. It is difficult to gain while dieting so that may be a factor, but you can become stronger, have some improvement to your muscle and prevent muscle loss as other have said.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,456
10/5/11 7:11 P

A lot of the benefits (including increased strength) of strength training in fact come from improved muscle quality, rather than increased mass.

It is difficult to gain muscle mass while running a calorie deficit to lose fat, as the body tends to burn protein for energy, rather than creating new muscle tissue. Most body builders tend to run cycles of 'building' (where they run a calorie surplus to gain muscle and fat) and 'cutting' (where they run a calorie deficit to lose fat while trying to maintain muscle mass).

Testosterone is the major hormone driving muscle mass gains, and testosterone levels vary significantly amongst men. Two people could follow the same program, yet experience different rates of muscle mass gain.

Increases of more than 2 lbs per month are rare, and 1 lb per month would probably be a better planning figure.


10/5/11 1:38 P

Don't forget strength training helps your bone mass as well emoticon

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10/5/11 1:31 P

I just turned 40:) it's not near as bad as you think:) I started weight training about four months ago and have put an inch on in my biceps. So yes, it's definitely possible.
I actually feel better now than I did in my twenties.
Good luck!

10/5/11 1:21 P

I agree with Coach Nancy - it's not easy to give you any kind of figure to expect since it's true that literally everybody's body responds differently. Some people are "hard-gainers" which means they find it hard to add mass even though they get stronger. Some people put on muscle mass easily because they have the right chemical make-up, genetic make-up, and a lot of testosterone. There are training protocols and nutrition protocols that can help you out if you want to put on mass, but it's hard and your body will respond differently compared to somebody else's.

FITCHALLENGER SparkPoints: (0)
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10/5/11 12:40 P

Don't take it for granted because I've just started experimenting this with myself, so even if I read it, I have not proved it. But studies I've read have shown that weight training while on a caloric deficit helps prevent muscle mass loss, and over a period of 8 to 12 weeks it can lead to an increase of from 0 to 4 pounds of muscle on average.

Nevertheless, I've also learned that strength trainig combined with cardio training help shred up to 3x the fat that would have been lost with cardio alone, but with a light muscle gain or no muscle loss.

So that is good news, because in the end, even if you did not gain large amounts of muscle, your lean mass percentage will be much higher than when you started.

I think that it would be logical to say that once you have lost the excess fat and you take your calories up to a maintenance level, strength training can actually help you gain considerable muscle mass by using the extra protein calories to build muscle at a higher rate (proteins need to be present in your macronutrients for muscle growth)

Edited by: FITCHALLENGER at: 10/5/2011 (12:50)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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10/5/11 12:22 P

Hi Rob,

While I can't give you a specific answer, just know that it is never too late to put on lean body mass. In fact studies show that even our elders (80's and 90's) can benefit from strength training and the benefits that come with it.

I wish you well!

Coach Nancy

ROB2006 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/5/11 12:17 P

I will be 40 next month :(.

If I started working out and eating right how much muscle growth should I expect? At the age of 40 can there be substantial muscle growth or just a little growth with health benefits?

Just hypothetically thinking.

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