Does Aging Affect Your Muscle Gain?

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aging affect muscle gain

Does Aging Affect Your Muscle Gain?

It’s no secret that proper nutrition and regular exercise is the key to gaining muscle and strength. But, it’s quite common that we lose muscle mass as well as strength when we age. Normally, the muscle-weakening with age is also called Sarcopenia, meaning sarx – “flesh” and penia – “loss” in Greek. The aging process affects the strength and stamina of the body. Everyone ages at some point but sarcopenia could affect the person anytime. Workout routines need to be adapted to changing bodies instead of the other way around. Aging affects muscle gain in both men and women.

Strength And Stamina:

There are numerous factors that contribute to the rate of muscle gain that including the training experience, age, sex along with the type of exercise that you do routine. Everything is included how much muscle you can really gain. When you’re in your 30s, it’s quite common that your strength and stamina to slide down a little. When compared athletes in their 20s would have more strength and stamina than athletes in their 30s. Olympic Weightlifters would have peak performance at the age of 26 on average. The age of peak performance could also differ based on the sport or the workout routine. Most of the top athletes retire soon not because they’re past their physical prime, but because most of them are due to injuries, better career opportunities, or drug-related health risks.

Instead of spending hours on gaining muscle mass and lifting weight, much older adult prefers to opt for adjustment fitness routines. These also play an important role in their body and mind. These also help to easily allow older adults to gain more benefits with increased muscle mass. 

Normally, the Powerlifters would reach their prime performance at age 35 on average. The main reason is that the performance could not be measured objectively. Most of the greatest bodybuilders in the Mr. Olympia competition made their careers successful from the age of 20s to 30s. Here are some of the examples

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger won six years in a row (1970 to 75) for Mr. Olympia. Schwarzenegger retired in his 30s with his 7th title in 1980.
  • Lee Haney has set the all-time record for most Mr. Olympia titles for more than 8 years. Haney retired in his early 30s
  • Dorian Yates won Mr. Olympia about 6 times from 1992 to 1997 during his mid-30s. Dorian Yates revolutionized the bodybuilding industry by setting new standards across body mass and conditioning. Dorian Yates retired due to injuries.
  • Ronnie Coleman becomes the greatest bodybuilder for 8 years of Mr. Olympia. Ronnie Coleman retired from pro bodybuilding in 2007, as he had to undergo major procedures like hip replacements and back surgeries.
  • Jay Cutler was a four-time Mr. Olympia winner during his late 30s, and he retired soon.
  • Phil Heath is one of the best contenders for Mr. Olympia with 7 gold medals even in his 40s. Phil Heath won the competition every year from 2011 to 2017.
Lonnie gains after age 40

Lonnie made her Bikini show at age 40. She went on the 6-month competitive season making the top 3 placements. She also has won the National Champion Of Denmark. Lonnie stopped competing as she was pregnant.

How Does Age Affect Your Gains?

In our 30s, it is common to lose about 15% of lean muscle mass. These muscle mass are helpful for maintaining complete well-being as well as age health. Normally, Muscle growth helps to improve balance by reducing the risks of falling. These also extensively reduce the symptoms of aging problems such as osteoporosis and Lessening aches. Lowndes et al.’s (2009) research assure that muscle growth as well as strength development even with standardized strength training will be between 18- years to 39-year-olds. Normally, there is no relation between age and the rate of muscle growth the isometric strength development.

Age factor also affects the biceps curl with the 1RM strength development. Some research also states that the age factor is negatively associated with the increase in the biceps curl 1RM. It includes that the effect of age in men has a smaller relative on improvements. Making appropriate resistance training also becomes quite an efficient option for reducing the problem. Experts also suggest that age does not have a limited response to the training on the practical aspects. When it comes to building muscle, the approach to a fitness routine is quite common.

Some people think that the age of 40 is the end of their prime. The main reason for this condition is that there will be a loss of motivation, injuries as well as side effects due to drug use. Sometimes it could be due to moving to another career in the age of late 30s or 40s. During this age, it is quite difficult to push the limit for years in the possible direction. These could lead to more injuries that take time to heal.

One of the important attributes to consider is sarcopenia in the population. When you have the muscle loss quite modeled with the linear decline during the age of 20s, then it needs to be dealt with. Below is data states the Melton et al. (2015) report. You can easily find that muscle mass has been declining steadily over time when they are aging. It’s quite natural but slows as there is no breaking point. Knowing your prime is quite important for strengthening your muscles.

Loss of muscle mass with age

Have you wondered how sarcopenia is seen in the 20s? Have you wondered how powerlifters and bodybuilders even stay in their prime even at the age of 40? Based on recent scientific results states the rate of gains would stay with same until the age of 40. The main reason is that age is not a factor in the determinant of sarcopenia. Even experts have stated that Sarcopenia is especially not due to age factors. Another report also suggests that muscle strength or stamina does not suffer due to age.

Cause Of Sarcopenia:

Based on a recent review stating sarcopenia research by Kim et al. (2010) has stated that the important causes of sarcopenia are Malnutrition and a Sedentary Lifestyle. The research, states that people do not get weak as they get old, but they are weak due to the Sedentary Lifestyle. Spending hours on TV, enjoying snacks and many other activities makes them weak in the olden days.

Wroblewski et al. (2015) research also conclude that high-level master’s athletes do not suffer much loss of lean body. People who are away from the sedentary lifestyle gain strong muscles and strength even at the age of 40 to 81 years with routine exercising.

Another report states that downward trends of endurance athletes have been pushing their limits with muscular genetic potential. It could lead to serious problems as they get old. The research study also concludes that the study contradicts the common observations of muscle mass along with strength decline with the function of aging. Apart from these, they also decline signals with the effect of chronic disuse instead of muscle aging. It is a common attribute for taking better action to resolve the issue.

James body recomposition gains over age 50

James, aged 53 years old have experienced 7 years of weightlifting, and he was looking great when compared with the person following the sedentary lifestyle of the age. When you are changing the scientifically optimized training along with the proper nutrition program, it is quite an efficient option for gaining 10 pounds of muscle. These also include dropping from 15% to 10% of the body fat within 4 months. These could be seen in the 4 DXA scans. Apart from these, there are also scientific studies that state that age per se is not the cause of muscle loss in the aged person.

  • Ivey et al. (2000) study also states that there is no big difference in muscle growth between trainees in their 20s and 70s. The aging factor does not affect muscle mass response to strength training.
  • Roth et al. (2001) study state people between the age of 65 to 75 years have also gained muscle during 6 months of strength training. age and gender do not affect muscle volume
  • Mayhew et al. (2009) study included a group of 64-year-olds who had gained muscle and strength as that of people at 27-year-olds. They both underwent 4 months of strength training.
Ernestine Shepherd 82 year old bodybuilder

Ernestine Shepherd at age 82

The above data shows that all aged people could reduce their muscular potential. The 2020 meta-analysis states that muscle growth from strength training could diminish at the age of 60. People would be experiencing a 10% of variance in their muscle growth. In the 90s, all muscles could also remain responsive with strength training. These could include 8 weeks of strength training.

Metabolism with age


Changing from a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet nutrition helps your life a lot. Whether you are in your 30s or 80s, routine exercises could be helpful for you to gain muscle mass. Stay lean and fit by giving your body what it needs to provide you with a happy and healthy life.  

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