If you’re just getting into fitness, you’re probably wondering what the best age is to start. The truth is, there is a perfect age for building muscle, and that’s usually in your late teens and early 20s.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t build muscle when you’re older. In fact, working out when you’re older is the perfect way to stay fit and reduce the chances of age-related illnesses.
So it doesn’t matter whether you’re 60 or 16, muscle growth is always possible, but there will be many factors related to age that affect muscle growth.
What Is The Best Age To Build Muscle?
For men, the best age for building muscle is 20-30 years old, this is because the hormone which is testosterone is usually at its highest around this age.
The testosterone hormone is responsible for many things, testosterone is responsible for promoting tissue growth by interacting with the nuclear receptors in DNA. This is what promotes protein synthesis.
The more testosterone you have which is a growth hormone, the more muscle you’ll grow, this is why younger men specifically in their 20s, and 30s will have significantly more muscle than children and older men.
Unfortunately, men will see a decline in testosterone levels in their mid-30s, it’s said to be about 1% every year.
Does Working Out Increase Testosterone?
So we know testosterone levels are related to age, but what are the other ways you can increase testosterone? Well, exercise is proven to increase testosterone levels.
And this testosterone boost isn’t specific to only men, however, men will experience a longer-lasting testosterone surge compared to women.
Also, if you’re consistent with your working out, you can experience a long term testosterone boost, this is especially helpful for men who are in their older ages.
(HIIT) High Intensity interval training is known to boost testosterone, but the effects are only prominent in men. The study can be found here.
Also, HIIT is known to actually reduce testosterone in women, this is beneficial if you’re a woman and suffer from high testosterone levels.
Additional Testosterone Boosting Tips:
- High protein diet
- Reducing stress levels
- High quality sleep
- Vitamin D supplements
Also Read: HIIT Workouts
What Factors Affect Muscle Growth
While age does have an impact on muscle growth, it doesn’t limit or prevent you from being able to build muscle if you are too old. So to understand how muscle actually grows, we must first tell you what the key factors are.
Age is an integral factor when it comes to determining how much muscle a person can put on. As we age, we will naturally become less efficient at synthesizing protein(testosterone promotes protein synthesis), so it can become difficult to put on muscle as we age, but not completely impossible.
Also, age is a complicated factor, the older we are, the less able our bodies are at repairing muscle issues. As a result, older individuals have reduced muscle regeneration compared to their younger counterparts which result in more soreness, and fatigue.
Nutrition is a key element to building muscle. What you eat is the building blocks for muscle synthesis, and the most important types of food for building muscle are foods that contain protein.
While other forms of nutrients such as carbs and fats are crucial, and can even influence how fast you’re able to synthesize protein, you should always maintain a decent amount of protein intake. Also, ensure that you’re getting adequate amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients.
Your protein intake will also depend on how much you weigh, for example, heavier individuals will require more protein. Here is a protein intake calculator that helped me out with building muscle: https://www.calculator.net/protein-calculator.html.
I also cannot stress how important water intake is. Our muscles are composed mainly of water making water an integral part of building muscles. Adequate hydration is required to help the muscles contract and relax optimally.
Always bring water or an appropriate hydration beverage when working out, this will keep you hydrated, and promote your muscles to contract by supplying them with enough water.
3. Lifting Heavy
Progressive overload is a key factor for muscle growth. Lifting heavy weights is one of the best ways to achieve muscle growth as it places greater demand on your muscles which sends a signal to the muscles to grow.
Remember testosterone? Well, a heavy weight is known to increase anabolic hormone production which includes testosterone. So the more you lift heavy weights, the faster you will see muscle growth. And testosterone will always be boosted whether it’s short-term or long term regardless of how old you are.
In conclusion, the best age to build muscle is between 20 and 30 but that doesn’t mean older or younger individuals cannot build muscle. Teenagers can build muscle as they’re usually going through puberty, and older people can build muscle through eating right and working out enough.
Older bodybuilders must place extra emphasis on recovery. You won’t recover as fast as someone in their 20s, this is due to less muscle synthesis due to you having lower hormone levels.
Younger people can often get away with much more, but older people will have experience on their side.