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Top 3 Workout Splits for Muscle Growth (Men Over 40)

Cultivate muscle strength irrespective of your age.

If your goal is to enhance muscle growth, meticulous selection of your workout routine and the included exercises is crucial. Check out the top 3 workout splits for muscle growth for men over 40.

As we age, the importance of a well-structured workout routine becomes even more crucial for maximizing gains in muscle strength and size. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, certain principles can guide us in creating effective training splits.

This becomes even more significant as you navigate beyond your prime, especially when you cross the 40-year mark, as indicated by scientific studies. A key contributing factor is the decrease in natural hormone levels, notably testosterone and growth hormone, both essential for muscle protein synthesis and overall muscle maintenance. With advancing age, these hormonal shifts result in a diminished capacity of the body to construct and sustain muscle mass, introducing additional challenges to the muscle-building endeavor.

The aging process is often accompanied by a phenomenon termed anabolic resistance, wherein muscles exhibit reduced responsiveness to the anabolic stimuli generated by resistance training and protein consumption. This results in a slower pace of muscle protein synthesis. Additionally, factors such as heightened inflammation, increased oxidative stress, and a general decline in physical activity levels further complicate the muscle-building journey.

In this article, we’ll delve into these principles and explore the three best training splits for building muscle after 40.

The person who came up with this list is coach Alain Gonzalez, an author, personal trainer and YouTuber with over 800K subscribers. He often uploads videos of fitness workouts, tips, training tricks and more, all related to making the most out of your time when working out.

Top 3 Workout Splits for Muscle Growth (Men Over 40)

Before we dive into the recommended training splits, let’s briefly discuss the key principles that play a significant role in muscle growth.

  1. Training Volume:
    • Higher training volume leads to increased hypertrophy gains.
    • A baseline of at least four sets per muscle group per week is recommended, with 10 sets or more ideal for maximizing muscle growth.
  2. Training Frequency:
    • Training frequency does not significantly impact muscle hypertrophy when volume is equated.
    • Increasing training frequency is an effective way to boost total volume.
  3. Training Intensity:
    • Lifting with heavy weights (90% of one rep max) can lead to greater muscle growth.
    • Terminating sets close to failure results in improved hypertrophy outcomes.
  4. Progression:
    • Gradually increasing stimulus over time through weight progression or increased volume is essential for sustained muscle growth.

Related: 5 Methods of Progressive Overload to Force Muscle Growth

Source: Barbara Olsen on Pexels

Now, let’s explore the 3 best training splits for building muscle after 40:

  1. Full Body Training:
    • A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that full-body training resulted in increased size and strength compared to split training with equal weekly volume.
    • Dr. Mike Israetel emphasizes the importance of the stimulus-to-fatigue ratio, making full-body training a smart choice for optimal muscle building without excessive fatigue.
    • Each session includes one to two exercises per muscle group, with 3 to 4 sessions per week.
  2. Push-Pull-Legs (PPL):
    • PPL is a versatile and adaptable training split that targets upper body pushing and pulling muscles, as well as the lower body.
    • The split can be customized based on individual goals, ranging from 3 to 6 days per week.
    • The logic behind grouping functionally related muscles together provides a flexible and efficient way to structure workouts.
  3. Upper-Lower Split:
    • Alternating between upper body and lower body training sessions allows for customization based on individual needs.
    • Prioritize specific muscle groups in each session for a tailored approach.
    • Typically done four times per week, but can be increased to six for those with more experience or needing higher training volume.

Building muscle after 40 requires a strategic and sustainable approach to training. The most effective training split is the one that allows optimal recovery while providing a substantial growth stimulus.

Remember, training smart is just as crucial as training hard to avoid injuries and promote longevity. Choose the training split that aligns with your goals, preferences, and lifestyle for long-term success in building muscle after 40.

Watch the video below for more information about these workout splits for hypertrophy gain for men over 40.

The Only 5 Exercises You Need to Look Jacked (for Men Over 40)

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