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How to Build Muscle Fast and Look Great in Your 40’s and Over

By: Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1,

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

The Perfect male body - Awesome bodybuilder posing with dumbbell
If you want to learn how to build muscle fast, to get yourself in great shape for a holiday or other special event, you're in the right place. This article will walk you through the best way to get started.

Of course, I would recommend making building muscle part of a commitment to a healthier lifestyle as well as an effort to look good for your holiday snaps!

If time is of the essence for you, check out our article ‘How long does it take to build muscle?' to see how much muscle you can expect to pack on within your timeframe.

Before you dive into our exciting article below and get set on how to build muscle fast, it's important to understand that muscle is muscle.

You may have already read about lean muscle, bulky muscle, and toned muscle.

However, all muscles are the same. It's the size of them, and the amount of body fat covering them, that makes them appear lean, bulky or toned.

You can see from the picture on the right, what the difference is in look when you add muscle by just loading up on calories (Dirty bulk) or keep your diet clean (Clean Bulk).

In general, once you have passed the magic 40 marker you should be looking to add lean muscle no matter what. Additional muscle helps to increase your metabolism and testosterone levels, both of which naturally decline as you age.

So, let's get stuck into the following steps and show you how to build muscle fast:

Get started with a proper program

The first stage in how to build muscle fast is to enlist some proper help.

No matter how good you think you are in the gym, or even if you have never been to a gym before; you need help with the right program for your body.

How to build muscle fastWe have a complete ‘Done For You' muscle building program called Old School Muscle that can help get you on the right track immediately.

Check it out here, to see how the program can help you today.

You'll learn about the forgotten techniques which can transform your body into a lean, mean, fighting machine in just a few weeks!

But, this is only possible when you understand you don't need to do this alone!

Make sure your diet is in check, to ‘lean-bulk'

When you're training to build muscle, it's essential to monitor your food intake to ensure it contains a healthy balance of all the nutrients you need.

Excess calories are useful to bulk up your muscles but you don't want to go so overboard that you increase body-fat. That's not something you need as you age!

We have a free 1-day meal plan you can download that informs you exactly what to eat for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

This will allow you to see what foods can be put together to create a balanced diet. It's important to look at your diet regardless of whether you want to lose weight or add muscle, you can't out-exercise a bad diet!

To make sure you're staying within a desirable level of each food group, I would recommend following an eating plan with 40% Carbohydrate, 35% Protein and 25% Fat.

Work on improving a little bit each session

Everyone has muscles, but the only way to make them bigger and stronger is to push yourself harder each workout.

This has names such as progressive overload. If you're familiar with the story of Milo and the Bull, you'll know what I'm talking about.

If not, it means choosing the most effective exercises, such as Deadlifts or Pull-ups and improving them by a rep or two, or a higher weight each workout you do.

Start by setting yourself goals; if you currently complete ten pull-ups then set yourself a target of twelve.

This is not a distant target; it's something you can aim for today!

Within a few days, you could even increase to fifteen, although you should be mindful of the optimal number of reps which is appropriate for the physique you intend to build.

To show you the best exercises for building muscle and what technique will keep you safe and injury free we've put together a short video and PDF guide that you can download, by clicking this link.

This will ensure you're doing the best exercises correctly, and that they will have the desired effect.

Compound your workout to save time

Most men over 40 simply don't have the time for lengthy workout programs. You need to make every minute count!

This is why it's essential to choose exercises that will work several muscle groups at the same time.

Deadlifts, Dumbbell Bench Press, and Squats are all good examples of these.

By working more than one group of muscles at the same time, you will save time, build more muscle and give your metabolism a good boost.

In addition, you will increase your overall coordination and stamina.

Stay hydrated throughout the day to keep away cramp

If you've ever experienced cramp when exercising you'll know how painful it is.

Cramp is not something you should be pushing past! It's the result of a lack of electrolytes in your muscles and happens when your body becomes dehydrated.

If you try to push through it, you'll be unable to use your muscles to their full potential, and you'll likely increase your chances of injury.

Although there are many sports and hydration drink options available, it is best to stick to good old-fashioned water …and plenty of it!

You should be hydrated before, during and after you train to ensure you can keep up the required intensity to build muscle fast and safely.

Make sure you give full attention to your recovery

This is the most underestimated part of building muscle, but is easily one of the most important!

Building muscles means pushing hard enough to create small tears in the muscle fibres. As these micro-tears heal, they allow your muscles to grow bigger and stronger.

However, they must heal properly before you train again; or you will do yourself a serious injury.

On the days you are not exercising it is important to make sure you are consuming plenty of protein.

This will repair and build your muscles. In fact, the recovery stage is when they will grow the most!

Use Interval Training to burn fat and ‘shrink-wrap' your muscles

To successfully show off the muscle you're working hard to gain, you also need to include some High Intensity Interval Training into your weekly workouts.

This will ensure you minimize body-fat and will keep your fitness levels high to perform the weightlifting exercises at a good intensity.

It will also help to boost your metabolism, (which naturally starts to slow), and in turn, will help to minimize your body fat also.

Cardio sessions can be limited to two or three per week; between twenty and thirty minutes is adequate.

Your commitment and consistency will be the key to your physique

If you've already read our article ‘How long does it take to build muscle?', you'll understand that everyone builds muscle at different rates due to their unique body make-up.

However, the critical factor for anyone looking to build muscle fast is commitment.

You need to choose your exercise and food plan and then stick to it; this is the only way you'll see significant gains in a short space of time.

Of course, your commitment must extend into the future to ensure you can remain looking great for years to come.

In fact, research has shown that the gains made by men in their 40’s can be comparable to those made by men in their 20’s.

All you need is the right information and a commitment to taking achievable action steps every day.

Get the help you need and deserve by checking out the full range of resources and advice available here at the Fit Father Project; you'll be surprised at just how great you can look!

Here's to your muscle building success!

Your new friend & health coach,

Stuart Carter Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

Brotherhood Nickname: The Fit Brit
Bragging Rights: 18 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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Small note about research cited in this article:

*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information. Thanks for reading!

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