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Can You Build Strength Over the Age of 40?

There’s one thing that’s certain, and it’s the fact that none of us are getting any younger. And as we age, many will find themselves making excuses as to why they can’t work out, why they are losing muscle, and why they can no longer build strength.


Well, that’s a bunch of BS. You and I both know there’s no shortage of excuses out there, and whether you choose to make them for yourself is up to you. But for me, that’s never going to be the case.


As we age, many individuals believe that the ability to build strength diminishes, and the idea of achieving significant gains in muscle mass becomes a distant dream. However, emerging research and the experiences of countless individuals like myself debunk this myth, emphasizing that building strength is not only possible but also crucial for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle beyond the age of 40.


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Disclaimer: It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before engaging in any exercise program.


The Physiology Behind the Ability to Build Strength


Before we dive into the specifics of strength training for individuals over 40 and how they can build strength as they age, it’s essential to understand the physiological changes that occur with aging.



As we all get older, there is a natural decline in muscle mass, known as sarcopenia, which can lead to a reduction in strength and functionality. Additionally, bone density tends to decrease, making the body more susceptible to fractures and injuries.


While these changes are inevitable, they are not irreversible. Strength training, characterized by resistance exercises, has been proven to counteract the effects of aging on muscle mass and bone density.


jimmy mentis - build strength

By engaging in regular strength-building activities and focusing your efforts to build strength, individuals over 40 can stimulate muscle growth, improve bone health, and enhance overall physical performance.


Importance of Strength Training in Aging


  1. Maintaining Independence: One of the primary reasons to focus on building strength as you age is to maintain independence. Strength training helps preserve mobility and functionality, reducing the risk of falls and injuries that can compromise an individual’s ability to live independently.

  2. Enhancing Metabolism: As metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining or increasing muscle mass becomes crucial for managing weight and promoting overall metabolic health. Strength training helps boost metabolism by increasing muscle mass, contributing to better weight management and metabolic efficiency.

  3. Bone Health: Osteoporosis and the decline in bone density are common concerns as individuals age. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises, such as strength training, have a positive impact on bone health, reducing the risk of fractures and maintaining skeletal integrity.

  4. Cognitive Benefits: Beyond the physical advantages, strength training has been linked to cognitive benefits. Regular exercise and the ability to build strength have been associated with improved cognitive function, memory, and reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline.



DHEA - build strength

Tips to Build Strength After 40


  1. Start Slow: If you are new to strength training or resuming after a hiatus, it’s essential to start slowly. Gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts to allow your body to adapt and reduce the risk of injury.

  2. Focus on Full-Body Workouts: Incorporate exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Full-body workouts not only maximize efficiency but also provide a balanced approach to strength training and can help build strength over time.

  3. Prioritize Recovery: As the body ages, recovery becomes even more critical. Ensure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and incorporate rest days into your training routine to allow for proper recovery and minimize the risk of overtraining.

  4. Consult with Professionals: Consider seeking guidance from fitness professionals or healthcare providers, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. They can tailor a strength-training program to your individual needs and ensure a safe and effective approach.


To wrap this all up, your ability to build strength over the age of 40 is not only possible but also essential for a healthy and active lifestyle. By incorporating regular strength training into your routine, you can defy the stereotypes of aging, maintain independence, and enjoy the numerous physical and mental benefits that come with a strong and resilient body.


Author: Matt Weik


Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published more than a dozen books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at www.weikfitness.com.

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