There are muscle gaining mistakes that can affect anyone of any age that lifts weights, and then there are those that are even worse when you get to be 40 years old. In this video, I’m going to show you the 8 biggest muscle building mistakes that you can make and how they are amplified when you get to be a little older.
1. TURNING YOUR WARMUP INTO A WORKOUT
The first is the warmup. This one is tricky since many people forget to warmup at all when they are getting ready to lift weights. On the other hand, those that turn their warmups into workouts themselves are doing far too much and it’s actually holding back the progress they should see on their workouts. Four sets working up to your working weight on compound exercises and 2 sets working up to your working weight on single joint exercises is a good recommendation of what is needed. A general total body core temperature raiser like jump rope or a bike is also important for overall prep.
2. NOT PURSUING RESPONSIBLE STRENGTH
When it comes to the actual training you can never forget to prioritize strength training. It doesn’t matter what age your are, training for strength via progressive overload on the big lifts should always be the base of your training pyramid. The issue comes when the pursuit of that strength comes at the expense of responsible training. This means that chasing numbers at the expense of your joints and muscle health is a big mistake. Ensure that you own the weight you’re lifting by incorporating paused lifts at every opportunity.
3. FORGETTING THE VALUE OF MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION
Not including enough of a focus on developing your mind muscle connection (and maintaining it as you age) is the next big workout mistake for men over 40. This is because the ego tends to get in the way and focusing on getting the weights from point A to point Z becomes more important than ensuring that the muscles you were trying to train to get them there are actually doing the job.
4. OVERLOOKING METABOLIC TRAINING
Since we focus on quality of reps, the way to expand this out to the entire set and the whole workout is to include some metabolic training into your plan. This is actually important for trainees at all levels since metabolic stress is one of the three known drivers of muscle growth (along with eccentric muscle damage and progressive overload) but it is particularly so for men over 40. The reason this works so well is that it doesn’t leave you with the soreness that makes it tough to recover between workouts and the joints are given a break by the lighter weights.
5. NOT TRAINING LIKE AN ATHLETE
Next you cannot forget to do what we preach all the time on this channel, and that is train like an athlete. This not only means taking a scientific interest in the type of training that you do but to actually get out there and include some athletic activities in your workouts. Things like running, jumping and doing agility work are all things that your body will lose if you don’t use them. The old phrase of use it or lose it has never been more true.
6. SKIPPING YOUR CORRECTIVE EXERCISES
This also brings about the importance of doing corrective exercises. Things like face pulls and band pull apart may seem like small and unnecessary exercises but they are not. Particularly when you get older, these exercises have a high value and allow you to get more out of the more commonly performed exercises simply by making sure there are no imbalances in place to get in the way.
7. DOING THE WRONG TYPE OF CARDIO
If you spend a lot of time doing long distance cardio, you are also going to be introducing impact damage on your joints. As you get older, there is a greater need for what I call “sparing cardio” which is going to save a lot of stress on your joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. This means finding lower impact exercises that will still allow you to increase your heart rate while maintaining training intensity. At the end of the day, you need to expand your cardio training selections.
8. THINKING NUTRITION IS JUST “PRETTY” IMPORTANT
Last but not least, when it comes to gaining muscle over the age of 40, you need to take a look at your nutrition. As your metabolism slows down, your reliance on and consistency with high quality nutrition is quite possibly the most important factor to gaining muscle over 40. Not only will high quality nutrition be the number one determining factor in your body fat levels, but it will also support your efforts in the gym; the less excess body fat you carry, the more productive your efforts will be in the gym.
As you can see, there are many things that you must make sure you’re getting right if you want to look your best not just in your 40’s but well past. This is what the ATHLEAN-X Training Systems allow you to do better than any other program out there. If you’re ready to start training like an athlete again and look better than ever before, click the link below and start training with me today.
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Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS
Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.