The older you get, the harder it is to build muscle.
Specifically, new muscle tissue—not maintaining what you already have. ‘Cause if you’re in your fifties and in good overall health, preserving the muscle you’ve built over the years is mostly straightforward.
But adding NEW muscle as you get into the later years? Especially if you are close to your “genetic ceiling”—that’s MUCH more challenging.
Yet, it can be done.
All that’s required is… a long damn list of everything you’ve gotta get right:
* Training with progression but not overdoing it or getting injured (easier said than done!)
* Not missing workouts
* Consuming 30-40g of protein every 3 hours
* Avoiding foods that inflame the gut or disrupt sleep
* Eating the right amount of calories to grow but not getting fat (excess body weight is NOT in line with health or longevity as you age)
* Hormones at high-normal levels (likely requires “correction,” even with optimal lifestyle)
* Nailing 7+ hours of sleep
* Minimizing stress
* Hitting weekly cardio and step targets
… and it’s all MUCH harder than when you were young.
Back then, you could mail-in sleep/lifestyle and just hammer the training, eat a ton, and the muscle would grow. But as you get older, compartmentalization becomes increasingly challenging.
The near-impenetrable walls between training, life, and recovery that you had in your 20s allowed you to crush beers til 2am and still squat a PR the following morning.
In your later years, those walls are more like a picket fence at best.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to ditch having ANY semblance of a life and become a 60-year-old meathead.
But if you genuinely want to improve, you will NEED to carve out one or two, 2-3 month blocks every year where you work hard to nail everything down and carefully (and age appropriately) push the envelope.
The rest of the year? Heck, most of the year?
You can rely on your baseline habits to keep the training and nutrition wheels turning with minimal overhead. Even 80% consistency will keep things tidy and in check.
Just don’t quit chasing gains because you think it’s impossible. ‘Cause testing your mettle is where the real magic happens.
– Coach Bryan