Ageing and Muscle Growth in Men Over 40

Posted by Beni Cook
Unraveling the Science: Ageing and Muscle Growth in Men Over 40


As men approach their 40s and beyond, they may notice changes in their bodies, particularly in muscle growth and strength. Ageing is a natural process that can impact various aspects of physical health, including muscle mass and function. However, it’s crucial to understand that these changes are not inevitable, and there are effective strategies to maintain and improve muscle growth in men over 40. In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind how ageing affects men’s muscle growth and explore actionable tips to promote muscle development and overall fitness in this age group.


Understanding Ageing and Muscle Loss

Sarcopenia: Age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia, is a common condition that occurs as men get older. Sarcopenia is primarily driven by several factors, including:

  1. Hormonal Changes: With age, men experience a decline in testosterone levels, which plays a vital role in promoting muscle growth. Lower testosterone levels can lead to reduced protein synthesis and, consequently, decreased muscle mass.
  2. Reduced Physical Activity: As men age, they may become less active due to various factors, such as busy work schedules or family responsibilities. Reduced physical activity can contribute to muscle loss over time.
  3. Inadequate Nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. As men age, their nutritional needs may change, and they may not consume enough protein or other essential nutrients to support optimal muscle development.
  4. Increased Inflammation: Ageing is associated with increased levels of systemic inflammation, which can interfere with muscle regeneration and repair processes.


Tips to Improve Muscle Growth for Men Over 40
  1. Strength Training: Engaging in regular resistance or strength training exercises is one of the most effective ways to combat age-related muscle loss. Strength training stimulates muscle fibers, leading to protein synthesis and muscle growth. Incorporate a mix of compound exercises (e.g., Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press) and isolation exercises (e.g., Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions) into your workout routine.
  2. Progressive Overload: As you age, your muscles may not respond as quickly to exercise. To continue making progress, implement progressive overload techniques. Gradually increase the weight, repetitions, or intensity of your exercises over time.
  3. Prioritise Protein Intake: Protein is the building block of muscles, and older men may require slightly higher protein intake to support muscle growth. Aim for approximately 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, preferably from a variety of sources, including lean meats, fish, dairy, and plant-based options.
  4. Balance Your Diet: In addition to protein, ensure you consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. These nutrients provide essential vitamins and minerals that support muscle function and overall health.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for muscle function and recovery. Drink enough water throughout the day to support your body’s physiological processes.
  6. Get Enough Rest: Adequate rest and sleep are critical for muscle recovery and growth. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to optimize your body’s repair mechanisms.
  7. Incorporate Cardiovascular Exercise: While strength training is crucial, don’t neglect cardiovascular exercise. Cardio helps improve overall cardiovascular health, which is essential for endurance and overall well-being.
  8. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key to achieving and maintaining muscle growth. Stick to your exercise routine and dietary habits, even if progress seems slow. Small, consistent efforts can yield significant long-term results.
  9. Listen to Your Body: As you age, it’s essential to be attentive to your body’s signals. If you experience pain or discomfort during exercise, seek advice from a healthcare professional or a good personal trainer to modify your workouts as needed.
  10. Consult a Professional: Consider consulting with a personal trainer or nutritionist who specialises in working with men over 40. They can provide personalised advice and create a tailored plan to help you achieve your muscle growth and fitness goals.


Ageing is a natural process that can impact muscle growth and strength in men over 40. However, with the right approach and lifestyle modifications, it’s possible to maintain and even improve muscle mass as you age. By incorporating regular strength training, prioritising protein intake, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest, you can optimise muscle growth and overall physical well-being. Remember that age is just a number, and with dedication and determination, you can continue to lead an active and fulfilling life well into your 40s and beyond. Embrace the journey and make the most of your fitness potential at every stage of life.

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Beni Cook
Beni Cook is the Head Personal Trainer and Founder of Beyond Best. Beni is a health and fitness expert who develops individualised exercise programs that will meet your own short and long-term objectives, while providing information, advice and encouragement that will enable you to lead your healthiest life, every day.

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