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Massive Muscle Loss Just From Aging?

All Gains Gone By 40?!

Posted by Scott_Herman - June 2nd, 2018

One excuse I hear all the time that REALLY gets under my skin, is when people say ‘wait until you’re my age’. In fact, that was what people used to tell me ALL THE TIME when I was in my early teens, and they were just in their mid 30s! They would tell me how much harder it is to stay in shape because the body ‘slows down’. Seriously, who comes up with this stuff?!

I’m 33 years old now, and things are going just fine. I have a full time job (just like many of you), I’m married and I have a step-daughter. I have a lot of responsibilities, I still train 5 – 6 days a week (maybe not 3 hours like I used to when I was younger, but I’m still in there getting it done), and my body hasn’t ‘slowed down’. If anything, I’ve made some great gains this year since I switched my workouts to my Cheat & Recover style of training.

No More Excuses!

So why do people still claim that it’s harder to stay in shape as you get older? Is it true that, after hitting 30 years old, that you can no longer build muscle at an optimal rate? Do you really start losing your gains every single year you’re over 30? And most importantly…is it fruitless to start lifting after 30 because your body’s testosterone levels may begin to drop a little bit as well? Do you know what all of these things are? These are EXCUSES.

Is it harder to build muscle and lose fat when you are 35 compared to 18? Yes, it can be, but not just because your hormones are through the roof when you were in your teens, but you also have much less responsibilities, and therefore have more time to train when you are younger. But does that mean you have to give up? No, absolutely not! Here’s a dose of the hard truth.

The Most Important Things To Maintain Your Gains

The human body is smart. It is a machine designed to NOT DIE. Above all else, your body wants to survive. It doesn’t know if you live in a nice rural area, or in a desert somewhere, it just wants to survive. Your body will ONLY burn through muscle if it doesn’t have a NEED for it, OR if it cannot hold on to it any longer. It doesn’t really matter how old you are. As long as your body deems it necessary to hold on to your muscle mass, you will be able to KEEP the vast majority of it as you age.

In saying that, you should know that physically inactive people can lose 3 – 5% of their muscle mass every 10 years after 30. It's been proven. Keep in mind, I didn’t say people in general lose 3 – 5% of their muscle mass every 10 years after 30, I said PHYSICALLY INACTIVE PEOPLE. That is the key term in that sentence. So what’s the solution to not losing all your gains, and turning into a shrunken hunchback who needs a walker by the time you’re 60? It all comes down to two things – EXERCISE & NUTRITION!

Remember, your body will ONLY burn through muscle if it doesn’t have a NEED for it. This simply means that if you are a couch potato, doing nothing but driving to and from work, where you sit in front of a desk and type all day, and then coming home to sit some more while eating food and watching TV, then your body will decide that it takes too much energy to keep those big biceps, and will just start to break down and use that muscle tissue for energy.

I know that might sound TERRIBLE, but if you think about overall efficiency, can you really blame your body for doing that? At the end of the day, like I said, your body wants to SURVIVE. If it’s wasting all this energy trying to maintain all this muscle mass that it’s not using, it’s going to get rid of it. It makes sense. It’s logical. There’s no reason to keep all of that muscle if there is no stimulus telling your body to keep it.

How Active Do I Need To Be To Keep My Gains?

If you don’t want to lose your gains, give your body the STIMULUS it needs to maintain the muscle that you’ve already built, and believe you me, it WILL hold on to it! And I’m not talking about anything radical or extreme here…I’m talking about moderate exercise 2 – 3 times a week. It could be a regular lifting session at the gym, it could be a sport, it could even by cycling or running. Keeping yourself active is exactly how you program your body to NOT start burning off muscle as you grow older!

But staying active is only half of the equation, and I’m sure many of you know this. You can’t out-train a bad meal plan, and if your nutrition is garbage, your body will not be able to maintain it’s muscle mass, no matter how active you are. In fact, if you are low on your overall calories (including both your macro and micro nutrients), your body will instinctively break down muscle tissue, because that’s where all that good nutrition is.

If you are SKINNY FAT, but you workout all the time, this is exactly why. You train hard, but your nutrition and water intake is so bad, that your body has no choice but to break down muscle tissue for energy.


Again, I’m not talking about anything extreme here. As long as you focus on having enough calories (especially protein), and your meal plan is solid 90% of the time, you will be able to hold onto your muscle mass. So, no more EXCUSES! Your body doesn’t ‘slow down’ as you get older, the problem is that YOU slow down as you get older, which is the only reason why you’re losing your gains. That’s just my nice way of saying stop being a lazy turd, and go and do something!

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I am so grateful you discussed this subject at hand. Because I can't tell you how many times I have heard it will be a lot harder to see muscle growth once I reach passed the age of the 30. I believe a couple of reasons some people say things like this: 1. They have become really lazy. And 2. They are jealous to see you making progress. I am so glad to see, that you have proven with science, you can be in your mid-late 30's and still see some gains happening! With this inspiring video, I will keep on slaying at the gym and be on point with my nutrition! Thank you Scott!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@co14 yeah man age is just a number! Keep working hard and you WILL see results!