5 Effective Muscle-Building Habits for Men Over 40
If you want to build a lean, muscular physique, you can’t just wing it. You need to set systems to create an optimal environment for muscle growth. And that’s exactly what we’re going to give you today.
Five things you can do daily for faster muscle growth. Let’s start with the basics “Muscle-Building Habits for Men”. Muscle growth is an adaptation to training.
If you’re training half-assed or skipping sessions, you will have a hard time building muscle, especially as you get older. Having said that, if you want to get the best results possible, make sure you’re training hard and applying these five tips for Muscle-Building Habits for Men.
You might be wondering, how is stretching daily help me build muscle faster? The reality is that most men neglect their mobility, and over time, this can negatively impact performance and lead to less muscle growth.
Most people experience stiffness in certain areas, like the hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and back.
Sometimes this stiffness can lead to pain and prevent you from training optimally. And that’s where stretching can help.
However, you start stretching every muscle in your body, there’s a big caveat that stretching is a tool, not a means to an end.
For example- stretching a tight muscle like your hamstring may bring some relief and improve mobility, but this is usually temporary.
If you’ve tried stretching before, you may have noticed that once you stop stretching regularly, the stiffness comes back.
When you stretch a muscle, it gains temporary viscoelasticity, giving you more mobility, but it eventually returns to baseline.
The best way to increase your mobility permanently is to spend time practicing these stretches daily.
You see, most men neglect stretching or mobility work, and they aren’t physically active either.
So if you have a job that requires you to sit for hours on end, chances are that you’ve experienced or are experiencing some stiffness in your shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and or lower back.
When you go to the gym and try to perform exercises like squats deadlifts, or bench presses and feel tight, you can’t seem to perform them correctly.
That reduces their effectiveness and increases the risk of injury, especially if performed under heavy loads.
So how can you implement stretching in your daily routine?
1- Stretching should be specific to the activity you’re trying to improve.
Let’s think of the squat as an example. If you can’t perform a full squat, then practice spending more time in a squatting position at home.
That will help your body feel more comfortable in that position and should translate into better squat practice sitting in a deep squat for 30 to 60 seconds every day.
Slowly increase the time until you can be in that position comfortably.
If a deep squat is too much to start with, start with a quarter squat and work your way down from there. Excessive static stretching before a workout may decrease performance, which affects how hard you can train.
Thus, it’s not advisable to do static stretching before a workout. Instead, opt for dynamic stretches like leg swings, walking, lunges, or bodyweight squats, which will help you get warmed up and ready for the squat.
2- Furthermore, remember that stretching should be used as a tool.
Stretching by itself is not going to result in more muscle growth. That’s what lifting is for. That’s why hypertrophy training is all about contracting and stretching muscles under resistance, in this case, external load, providing a stimulus for muscle growth.
Another interesting thing to consider is that stretching your muscles under load between sets may enhance muscle growth.
A recent 2022 study found that performing a 22nd loaded stretch between sets of calf raises resulted in more growth for the soleus but not the gastric naming, suggesting that slow twitch type one muscle fibers may benefit from loaded stretches.
Interestingly, participants who did the loaded stretches between sets also gained more strength.
This area of research is still somewhat conflicting, but these findings suggest that loaded intersect stretching may be something to experiment with in your routine. Especially because it doesn’t have any downsides and may result in more growth and strength.
3- Since these stretches are implemented in the set, they don’t make your workout any longer, making it a time-efficient option.
2- Eat sufficient Protein
The importance of eating the right amount of calories for your goals. However, we’re only going to cover your protein intake as that’s the biggest impact on your body composition “Muscle-Building Habits for Men”.
Research has shown that as long as total calories and protein are matched. the rest of your calories can come from carbs or fats and won’t affect body composition.
Why is protein so important?
Protein is a structured nutrient used to build up bodily tissues, including muscle mass.
That’s why a high protein intake has been shown to benefit muscle growth. On top of that, protein can also help maintain muscle mass in a fat-loss phase and improve satiety, which can help manage cravings and regulate your appetite.
One important note on protein is that, unlike carbs and fats, there are no protein reserves in the body. Carbohydrates can be stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver, or even converted into body fat as an energy store for later use. Dietary fats can be stored as body fat for later use.
The only protein stored in our muscles, and most certainly don’t want to use that as fuel. Thus, this highlights the importance of being consistent with your daily protein intake.
Based on the current evidence, you should aim for about zero eight to one 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maximize Muscle-Building Habits for Men.
If you’re dieting, you should aim for the higher end of these guidelines to help retain muscle mass and improve satiety.
If you’re in a caloric surplus, you can aim for the lower end of the range, as zero 8 grams/lb of body weight should be sufficient for optimal Muscle-Building Habits for Men.
3- Get enough Sleep
The third thing you can do for faster Muscle-Building Habits for Men is to get enough sleep.
How much are you prioritizing your sleep?
You might even tell yourself that you’re going to bed early, only to end up binging Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through TikTok instead. And the worst part is, that can quickly become a habit that negatively affects your life.
We’ve discussed the importance of sleep many times not just from a muscle growth perspective, but the impact it has on multiple factors like your performance at the gym, appetite regulation, stress, testosterone levels, and overall health.
Did you know that sleeping 5 hours per night can significantly decrease testosterone production and make it harder to burn fat, even if you’re eating the same foods and doing the same workouts?
One 2010 paper compared two groups one group sleeping eight and a half hours each night, and the other sleeping just five and a half hours.
Although both groups lost the same amount of weight, the sleep-deprived group lost 55% less fat and 60% more muscle.
That is especially important as you get older, considering that testosterone levels start to decline one to 2% per year somewhere around your 30s.
Considering the importance of testosterone for overall health, this is something to keep in mind. The reality is that you grow when you rest, not when you work out.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how hard you train or how dialed in your nutrition is, if you’re not getting enough high-quality sleep, you’ll never build muscle or lose fat optimally.
So if you want to be in the best shape of your life and be as productive as possible, make sleep a priority.
Do this every day, and we promise you’ll see the benefits. If you have a hard time falling asleep, try implementing a bedtime routine you can do each night to wind down.
- Cut caffeine at least 6 hours before bed.
- No more screens 1 hour before bed.
- Take a warm shower or bath around 30 to 60 minutes before bed.
- Read or journal to calm your mind.
- Make sure your room is completely blacked out.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
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Remember, you’re investing in your health. some days you won’t be able to get seven to 9 hours of quality sleep because life gets in the way. But as long as you’re making sleep a priority, you’ll be on your way to making more Muscle-Building Habits for Men.
4- Take creatine
Training hard and being on top of your nutrition and recovery are all you need to achieve great results. However, if you’re looking to maximize your potential, you should also consider supplementing with creatine.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most studied supplements in existence and has been shown to increase strength, improve lean body mass and enhance anaerobic performance.
One study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercises, compared two groups a creatine group and a placebo group.
Not only did the individuals in the creatine group gain significantly more strength on the benchpress and squad than the placebo group, but their muscle fibers grew two to three times more as well.
While creatine is a natural compound present in foods such as red meat, it would be impractical to get enough creatine from your diet alone.
That is why protein supplementation is so popular. For most people, three to 5 grams every day is all you need to reap the benefits.
5- Cut alcohol
Most people are aware that drinking alcohol isn’t going to do much for their fitness goals. Yet there’s no denying that for a lot of us, alcohol is a component of our social lives.
Whether it’s drinking a glass of wine at the end of the day with your loved one or smashing a few beers with the boys after work, alcohol seems to be present quite often.
Having one glass of wine or one beer after work now and then is not a major concern. However, if you’re the type of person who enjoys having a few beers at the end of the day, not will you be drinking a lot of empty calories, which may hinder your progress, but this could also affect muscle growth.
In short, alcohol can inhibit muscle protein synthesis, thus inhibiting muscle growth.
That is especially true in the postworkout period. Besides that, alcohol can impair sleep quality, lower testosterone levels and lead to dehydration.
All of these affect how hard you can push your sessions in the gym, thus impacting your results.
So if you regularly drink alcohol this can hold you back, but if you enjoy having a drink now and then, it’s probably not something you should worry about.
Like all things in life, moderation is key to recap. If you’re looking to build muscle as fast as possible, these are the five things you can focus on daily.
Aim for zero eight to one 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. Create a sleep schedule and aim for seven to 9 hours of high-quality uninterrupted sleep.
Supplement with three to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day, and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
If you can do these things daily, you’ll have no problem building muscle, losing fat, and achieving your fitness goals.