is it possible to bring the muscle back at 42?

I'll be 42 in 2 weeks... Can I gain back the muscle I had in my 20’s and early 30’s? I want to gain some mass and lose some belly at the same time… Thoughts? Supplements?

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The best answer it to get with a certified personal trainer to set up a comprehensive training and nutrition program. From that, week by week, you will progress forward logically and with minimal injuries.
Age is just a number. You absolutely can gain muscle mass and strength and reduce body fat. Is your system different than it was in your 20's? Of course it is. Will you possibly have to work a bit harder, and definitely smarter? Absolutely.
But you can do it. No question. Get engaged and then do it with conviction and consistency. Consistency - I say it over and over, all day long. Consistency.

I'm not a big supplement guy. I eat fresh fruits and veges, low-fat dairy, lean meats, whole wheat products, drink adequate water and attempt very hard to get adequate sleep.
As far as protein intake, think in terms of at least 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. A 220 pound man would then ingest 100 grams of protein over the course of the day. I personally split that up into 4 "mini-meals" per day, so about 25 grams of protein per food intake. Some will say that's a bit low, I'm not going to split hairs with them. 1.2 grams/kg might be better, you need to experiment to see what's best. I can tell you this - just throwing a bunch of protein down your throat won't do the trick.

The Nutrition Section has some great meal plans to engage in, so check those out.

Train hard, eat smart, rest well.

Go with it - GoJoeTurbo!!

6 years ago

GoJoeTurbo (love the name by-the-way)

All things are possible!

The funny thing is that although we are in different physical shape as we age, trust me I know, but we’re also in a different & much better state mentally.

We’re mentally, more mature & we have stubbed our toes, found some things that have worked, have seen failures or mistakes, experienced some victories, etc. We’re getting to the point where we can say, “hey I have many constraints & other things pressing for my time, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right with effectiveness, efficiency & with a purpose.

It’s like someone who goes back to college at the age of 35 versus an 18 year old; we have the ability to make this happen the most effective way possible.


Tony Nicholson 141k
6 years ago

There is absolutely no reason why you can’t. As we age our bodies do produce less testosterone (yes, ladies as well – just by no means as much) and this, as you probably already know, does help with muscle growth. Your body is still producing ample amounts of testosterone, and so long as you are training correctly and eating right, you will get the same gains as a 25 year old, it just may take slightly longer.

42 isn’t old at all and there are plenty of studies done on elderly populations (I don’t want to offend anyone here) but they include ages from 60-80 years old, and when they undergo strength training programs, (4-6 exercises, 2-3sets. 6-8reps) they will still see significant strength and muscle mass increases. The primary reason why most people decrease in muscle mass when they age is due to the fact they are no longer lifting heavy weights (or lifting at all) and as the saying goes “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. That is because the type 2B muscle fibers (fast twitch) are not stimulated enough to grow and they atrophy (die – opposite to hypertrophy) and these are the muscle fibers that typically ‘grow’ when you lift weights (under the right conditions). So there you have it.

You can try some Creatine Monohydrate and HMB, both things to help muscles grow. But I would probably add these in a few months and just build back a base level of fitness and strength in the mean time.


6 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly with Ken and Tony, and I particularly enjoy the metaphor Tony used about the 18 vs 35 year old going to college and having a completely different perspective, as I started taking college classes last summer after failing miserably 10 years previous.

I got a 4.0 Grade Point Average this past semester for 12 total credits, (which I am very proud of,) but just to give you an idea of how bad my grades were before; the 4.0 GPA with 12 total credits brought my overall GPA up to a whopping 1.7 GPA. Meaning I am still on academic probation.

My point, besides my massaging my own ego, is that no matter how bad it was before, or what you may think about a problem, we often make it into something much bigger in our mind than it ever actually is. If we have the right mindset and are prepared, there are few limitations.

One of my favorite quotes of all time to drive the point home:

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life... as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

-Booker T. Washington

Nick Flit 64k
6 years ago

Thanks for the input guys. Worked out tonight for the first time. Felt pretty good... And RW, I feel like I already am... LOL

GoJoeTurbo 105
6 years ago

That about says it all, Ken!! Happy

Brian Zehetner 36k
6 years ago

Joe, I'm not a trainer or anything. I just wanted to say that my husbands boss is in his late 50's and he is ALL muscle. He lifts weights at work 3x a week, I know, and when we go out to eat he orders like three dinners!!! If he can, you can, GO FOR IT!!!

RWashburn 9k
6 years ago

Go for it Joe!!! Envision yourself at your goal!!! Your gonna be hotter than most 20 yr olds I know!!!

RWashburn 9k
6 years ago

Thats the spirit! hahahahahahahahahahaa!!!!

RWashburn 9k
6 years ago

Jo I sure would like to be 42 again. I'm 68 and i hit the gym 6 days aweek. It sure nice when I msee some one I haven't seen in a few years and they say man your in good shape.
Stick with it Jo it will pay off.

mydog13 10
6 years ago

add your answer!

GoJoeTurbo member since Mar '11


3/2/2011 at 7:37 AM
Dietary Supplements