Strongman Diet & Weightlifting = Best body for Dads over 40

What muscles to train to get strong fast

After you turn 40yrs old, everything gets harder. It gets harder to gain muscle because your testosterone level starts going lower. It takes longer to recover from an injury. You may not have as much energy to even do your workouts. However, a strongman diet & weightlifting = Best body for Dads over 40.

At age 48, you CAN get strong, but you have to do it right.

First, train only the big muscles. What are they you ask?

Legs, back, chest, glutes, shoulders, core (abdominals).

Don’t even bother with biceps, triceps, calves, forearms, unless you have unlimited time to spend at the gym, and most of us do not. Plus, with many of the lifts I am going to mention, you actually hit many of these smaller muscle groups anyway.

Eat for strength

Now, equally important for getting stronger is what you eat.

If your goal is to maintain your weight, but also get stronger, bigger muscles, you have some calculations to do. First, you have to find out your BMR, short for Basal metabolic weight.

To determine your metabolic rate, you first need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). There are several different ways to determine BMR. The most accurate way to measure BMR is to have it tested in a lab. Some health clubs also do metabolic testing for a fee. But you can calculate your metabolic rate using an online calculator.

If you like to do math, you can also use the Harris-Benedict Equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate:

Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)

Now that you have your BMR, you can find out your total metabolic rate. Your total metabolism or metabolic rate is a combination of your BMR and other variable metabolic processes like eating, exercise, and other daily movement.

Here is a link where you can plug in your numbers and get your Total metabolic rate. This will give you the number of calories per day that will keep your current weight.

Now, to get stronger, you must eat a lot of protein. Protein is the muscle building base needed to repair your muscles after you break them down in a hard workout lifting heavy weights.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, you need to consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. That equates to about 80 to 135 grams in a 165-pound adult. Oliver C. Witard, exercise metabolism researcher at the University of Stirling in Scotland, advises consuming even more, namely those trying to hit new PRs.

For athletes seeking optimum performance, a recommendation of 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight may be beneficial,” he notes. Contrary to some previous concerns over the risks of excessive protein intake, 2.0 grams per kilogram is not “too high” and is not harmful, he adds. Layman agrees. “A lot of people out there will say that eating too much protein is bad for the kidneys or bones, but those are myths,” he says.

In one American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism study of healthy adults ages 52 to 75, those who consumed 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight built and preserved more muscle than those who ate according to the 0.8 minimum. “As we get older, our bodies become less efficient in using protein,” Layman says. “We need more protein to encourage the same muscle health.”

I currently weigh 93.9kg and take in about 1.5 to 2 grams per kilogram each day.

Now comes the timing of when to eat that protein.

Immediately after a workout: When training, the most important time to take protein is straight after your workout. Eat at least 20 grams of protein within 1 hour of lifting heavy weights. Your muscles will then soak up the nutrition for muscle recovery and growth.

Before a workout: When you work out, it’s good to have a protein shake 30 minutes before your first rep to create an ‘anabolic window’, which lowers the damage to your muscles as you train. If you’re taking a shake with carbs (like banana), it will give you extra energy and also reduce exposure to muscle damage.

First thing in the morning: Taking a protein shake first thing in the morning is a good way to get essential nutrients after eight hours of sleep. There are also a number of great ways you can use protein powder besides shakes, including in the recipes for protein pancakes, flapjacks or cookies.”

Carbohydrates are also very necessary before lifting weights. Fueling before a workout is essential for optimal performance, and carbohydrates (carbs) are the primary source of fuel for your muscles. Whatever time you exercise, fuel your body with carb-containing meals throughout the day: Fill ½ your plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ with whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, whole-whole pasta, barley) or starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes), and ¼ with protein-rich foods (meat, fish, poultry, beans, nuts/seeds, soy/tofu, and low-fat dairy products).

If your workout is going to be longer than 60 minutes or really intense, fuel up on extra carbs. Eat a meal with 200–300 grams of carbohydrates and 1–2 servings of protein 3–4 hours before your workout to maintain your performance for the duration. Eating 3–4 hours prior to exercise also allows enough time to digest your meal. Watch out for high-fat or high-fiber foods that can cause stomach upset, so listen to your body and adjust meals to your personal preferences and needs.

How often do you train each muscle per week

You can and should train your “big” muscles at least once a week, but I think about twice a week is better.

For example, if you are going to train your back only, an hour long session of about 3 different exercises, starting with the hardest first (i.e. deadlifts), so 5 sets of deadlifts, 5 sets of cable rows, 5 sets of lat pull downs = 15 total sets. This would be enough for a once a week workout of your back. However, I think if you can split this up into about twice a week (Mon. doing 1/2 of this workout, Fri. doing the other 1/2), you will grow your muscles faster.

If you are an intermediate or advanced trainee with any goal, a training frequency of twice (or about twice) per week is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to train.

Literally all research and scientific studies looking at weight training frequency have come to the same conclusion: training each muscle group about twice per week (between once every 3rd and 5th day) is the most effective way for an intermediate or advanced person to train.

Here is an example:

Week 1

  1. Monday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

  2. Tuesday: Back & Biceps

  3. Wednesday: off

  4. Thursday: Legs & Abs

  5. Friday: off

  6. Saturday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

  7. Sunday: Back & Biceps

Week 2

  1. Monday: off

  2. Tuesday: Legs & Abs

  3. Wednesday: off

  4. Thursday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

  5. Friday: Back & Biceps

  6. Saturday: off

  7. Sunday: Legs & Abs

Training each muscle group twice (or about twice) per week tends to work best for the following people:

  • Most of the population, especially older men, most of the time.

  • Intermediate and advanced trainees who want to build muscle, increase strength, get “toned,” lose fat, improve athletic performance, or really do anything that involves improving the way their body looks or performs in virtually any capacity.

It’s not a coincidence that the majority of the most proven and intelligently designed weight training programs in existence happen to be built around this training frequency.

Here’s to getting strong and lean,

Fitdad, James

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