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How to Overcome Age-Related Challenges to Building Muscle After 35

Updated: Feb 10, 2023


As you age, you might be wondering if you can still building muscle like you did when you were younger. This is defiantly a worry for those who are over 35. When we hit 35, we are perceived as not quite middle age, but not quite young either. 35 Is kind of the age where you are dealing with the stressors from home, stressors from work and not to mention stressors that derive from money. Sometimes it's easy with everything going on in our lives to step back and focus on our health.






When you are at a state of peace and wellbeing, you really become more successful overall. Many studies have linked mental health and physical health to improve quality of life - regardless of the stressors.


So, if you are thinking that you are getting too old to build muscle and live a healthy lifestyle, you might just want to think again. Here, we will go over several ways to build muscle so you can live like you are in your 20s again.





Age & Muscle Loss


Yes, we all age, and it really is a constant aging process. And as we age, our body does less and less for us, and it requires us to give more and more so it can be healthy and function at its optimal health.


One of physical struggles that tends to occur is the loss of muscle mass, which can lead to decreased in coordination and balance. A decrease in muscle mass can be related to genetics, injuries or even lack of proper nutrition.


It's estimated that by reaching your 50s, you can possibly lose about 25% of your original muscle mass. In order to avoid this muscle loss, build some muscle naturally, gain strength after 35/40, and try incorporating weight training into your routine at least three days per week. Off course building muscle, whether you are over 35 or not, can take time. Just remember, with proper dedication and motivation, you will be able to see those results!





When your body ages, the time it requires for recovery and muscle repair takes a bit longer too. Surprisingly, testosterone levels tend to decrease. When testosterone decreases, we don't have the capacity to build muscle like we use to because testosterone is required for muscle building. Your testosterone declines by about 1% yearly, equating to about 25% at 50. This will result in a 20-50% reduction in strength and lean body mass from their peak at 18-30 years old.






Many people loose between 3 - 5% of muscle mass per decade! Yes, really! The more muscle you have lost, the less strength you have and it can be difficult to build back those muscles once you have lost it. But, if you stick to a plan, develop healthy eating habits and stick to it, you will be able to see muscle gains. I cannot stress how important it is not to give up.


Not only is building muscle a great way to maintain a healthy metabolism, but it also helps with weight management. As we age, we not only fight muscle loss, but we also fight gaining unwanted weight. When we strength train, we can help with both muscle gain and weight gain. Strength training after 35 can provide many benefits, including improved bone density, reduction in risk for diabetes, better balance, and reduced joint pain.


Here we will discuss 5 major components you need to build strength.





As mentioned before, as we age, our metabolism slow down. This can be a result of loosing muscle mass. Which makes muscle building an essential part of your daily routine. Some experts recommend working out at least 2 times a week for 30 minutes. There are so many workouts that you can try, even if you aren't into lifting weights. For example, you can try Pilates, yoga or even Cycling. Most local gyms have classes too that offer Zumba, and a variety of other classes. It might be worth checking into. You could always try out something in order to figure out what workout you like best and stick to a routine.



As you age, eating healthy is so important. You will need to eat a wide range of fruits, veggies, protein and healthy fats to maintain your weight. I would recommend that you eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. There are several different variety of protein foods that you can include in your diet. Foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, greek yogurt are all great choices. But, remember, when you are choosing a dairy product such as milk or cheese, try to choose low fat or fat free and avoid saturated fats that are most found in fried foods.






When we think of the word dieting, we might think of counting calories. But that is always not the case. Although it is so important not to go overboard on the calories, counting calories isn't always the answer. I like to use Myfitnesspal. Myfitnesspal counts the macros and calories so you can make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. Myfitnesspal is s so to use too, you just log your meals and it will do all of the calculations for you. I like it because its a great way to keep your nutrition in check.


When you log your meals, you are able to monitor your calorie, protein, fats and carb intake. Also, be on the lookout if you are one that snacks throughout the day. Those little meals can add up if you are not careful. A good rule of thumb is to eat whole foods, and monitor your fats.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying not to pay attention to calories at all. But, calories are not the entire picture. There are some good guidelines to stick to when it comes to calories though. A woman aged 25-30 should eat between 1500-2000 calories a day, while a woman aged 40-45 should consume between 1300 - 1800. Men aged 25-30 years should eat 1800-2200 calories daily, while men aged 40-45 should consume 1700 - 2100 calories.




When you add more exercise to your fitness routine, you might find yourself feeling frustrated because you can't do as much as you thought you could. When you set certain goals, such as "I'm going to walk for 30 min", it makes it more attainable instead of just saying "I'm going to walk 2 miles in 30 min". By doing this, you will feel more accomplished and feel better about yourself. You don't want to set yourself up for failure. You want to keep yourself motivated and keep going with progress. Remember, it will take time to advance, and that's totally okay. Give yourself some grace and let yourself attain small goals.



Exercise should not feel like a chore; make sure you are finding exercises that you enjoy. If you don't like walking on a treadmill because you find it boring, then don't. Find another cardio exercise and do that instead. If you find yourself getting bored with a few exercises, change it up. One day complete a cardio exercise, then the next do some weight lifting exercises. Don't be afraid to try something new. If you don't know how to do an exercise, feel free to ask a trainer at your local gym. They would be happy to help you!




Also, don't be afraid to try out new exercises such as Pilates or Yoga.

Remember, if you are just getting back into exercising, be careful about working out too hard because pushing yourself too hard could lead to injuries.





Learning how to complete exercises with proper form is so essential to building the body you want. Weather you are a seasoned gym goer, or a newbie, we have tips and trick for everyone on their fitness journey.


That’s why we send out weekly fitness and nutrition tips in our newsletter.


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