So I’m rethinking my workout a bit. In CO last month, I hiked the mountain 16 or 17 times (pretty much every other day) and did weights fairly little. I wanted do spend as much time on the mountain as I could.
I’m really starting to question how likely/possible it is to build significant muscle over 40. I’ve heard various things about testosterone and how you build your muscle base by the time your 30.
Regardless, I think the evidence is pretty clear – not many people build much muscle over 40. Look at fitness gurus and you’ll see little change from 10 years ago to today. Tony Horton from P90 (2002?) to P90X3 (2013) – there’s not much change for 10+ years.
So unless you’re willing to go really extreme all around: time, cost, diet, supplements, etc. or very similar, it’s just not either doable or maintainable.
Given that, I’m doing a re-vamp of my workout based on those intentions. I don’t expect it to be a forever change, but it’s good to mix things up.
My current intention is to get on the elliptical every other day: 30 mins, high difficulty setting with a 20-pound weighted vest. Basically shorter (mostly to save time) but more intense.
The other days I’ll focus on 1 muscle group (chest, back, biceps, triceps, abs, shoulders, legs – not in that order). I intend to focus on high-reps and various moves for 1/2 hour. Today I did abs and did various sit-ups, legs ups w/ the pull-up bar, abdominal crunches, etc. Probably a total of 260 reps (13 sets of 20 reps where the last few reps were really hard).
So it’s a combination of fatigue and conditioning combined with time for sweating and heart-rate and a good recovery time (like a week or 2 between workouts for a given muscle group – I intend to be flexible so I might do 2 days of muscle in a row).
From my old recumbent exercise bike and other workouts since (elliptical), my legs are solid. I’m hoping to maintain my muscle while also solidifying and conditioning them more. They might not be bigger, but I’m hoping to go for quality over quantity while also getting a good sweat/heart/etc. workout.