You Can’t Build Muscle OVER 40 Naturally!

It is commonly felt that you can’t build muscle over 40 naturally or without the use of PED’s. In this video, I’m tackling this conception head on. This comes in the form of a question and answer session where we open up our comment section to our viewers to ask their most burning questions. One of the themes that repeatedly comes up is on the subject of how much muscle can be built over the age of 40 naturally.

If you listen to most social media influencers, or simply look at their physiques, you may have noticed a trend in the last couple years towards unnatural development. With the great media push of the benefits of testosterone in “replacement” dosages, we have seen a record number of men move towards exogenous forms of T to help them build muscle.

In fact, some will have you convinced that it is the only way to build muscle, or even look good, over the age of 40.

I couldn’t disagree more.

This has been used as a copout on a grand stage, for a reluctance to engage in hard work and consistent effort in training. In fact, the most rampant use of this strategy for building muscle is occurring in an age bracket far below the men in their 40’s. We are talking about kids in their 20’s who are abusing TRT and engaging in PED use in an attempt to speed up the natural process of bodybuilding.

As someone who has pursued my career as a lifelong natural, I find this to be discouraging and a disturbing trend in the wrong direction. Far too many social media influencers are knowingly or unknowingly leading many men, young and old, down the wrong path to fitness and better health.

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Not to mention, the times that the admission of TRT is actually a mere smokescreen for the things they won’t tell you they are taking are countless. Ever see a guy who wants you to think that the only thing he’s using is some replacement dose of hormones, when he has not only a history of long term PED use but a tendency to be caught up in supplement scams and legal troubles? I’m sure you have, because there are quite a few of them.

The point is, when PED’s are the first place our young lifters turn when they want to make muscle gains, we have a major issue and it’s one that has been caused unfortunately by the very platforms that have delivered the education to a hard working alternative.

“You can’t build muscle over 40 naturally” is what they’ll say.

That is simply not true. There have actually been numerous, well conducted studies that have been done that prove otherwise.The key is a dedicated consistency to the cause.

No, I’m not talking about working out and eating right for a few weeks or even months. I’m talking about making sure to have all aspects of your training and nutrition in check and to continue on that path for years and years on end. It’s actually much easier to do when you are following a workout plan that doesn’t break your body down, but makes you feel better or when you are following a nutrition plan that doesn’t rely on starvation and deprivation but on eating in a way that is enjoyable and still progressive in terms of fat loss and muscle building.

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If you look even at the case of a younger guy like Jesse from ATHLEAN-X, you can see what realistic muscle gains can look like. Some have witnessed his body transformation and called the 5 year results amazing. Others have viewed the very same videos and said that he is scrawny and hasn’t made any gains at all. It just goes to show you how distorted the perception of natural progress has become because of the blurred lines that have been created by social media and phony fitness influencers.

The key to making new gains starts in your head.

You need to realize that the degree of muscle growth and fat loss you desire is likely achievable through nothing more than hard work and dedication. It truly is. There are people who walk around right now with the type of body that you may desire, doing nothing more than staying true to their goals and leading the healthiest life possible in the pursuit of them.

Does it take more time?


They don’t call them performance enhancing drugs for no reason. They will not only speed up the pace of the muscle building results that you can experience but they increase the degree and the amount of them that are possible. But that doesn’t mean that you need to choose that path.

If you’re looking for a complete workout and meal plan to build muscle and burn fat, be sure to check out via the link below and start training like an athlete today.

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For more videos on how you can’t build muscle over 35 without TRT as well as workouts for men over 40, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube via the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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50 thoughts on “You Can’t Build Muscle OVER 40 Naturally!

  1. Diggity SC says:

    Comparison is the thief of joy. There is using other people’s fitness results to inspire you, and using other people’s fitness results to quit. As a guy using your programs to build muscle over 40, I appreciate both you guys.

    • Utkarsh Tripathi says:

      @MC Mark Markson everything a human does is being human.Using rationale to determine what outlook one should have towards society and oneself in order to have joy is just being a better one.

    • ntsst3 says:

      Comparison IS the thief of joy but joy is the enemy of gains and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So comparison =’s gains!

    • MC Mark Markson says:

      @Utkarsh Tripathi No it isn’t we are intelligent, we have the capacity to go against our nature.

      And few people can be robots and plan what joy they want to have in the future. Not sure it’s a benefit either, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. In the end you only change the moments you have your joy.

    • Yuppi says:

      In the end the you yesterday is the one you should be comparing your results with. That’s the guy with the same resources and same history. The goal is to beat that guy today, not your neighbor. Progress is progress. If you go forward from where you start, that’s the stuff. Not being ahead of someone else, you could still be comparing terribly against yourself despite being ahead of someone else.

  2. ATHLEAN-X™ says:

    *THE GIVEAWAY IS BACK* – I’m giving away my brand new complete 90 Day Beaxst PPL program to 40 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 40, but those randomly selected within the first hour the video is published. Click the link to see if you’ve won. No strings attached! Clicking twice does nothing. Only one entry per video. Remember to watch to the end for more workouts.

    If you don’t win, no worries, you’re not going away empty handed. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • Dt says:

      Would love to see Jeff’s opinions on supplements for general health and longevity. Things like taking NAC+Glycine after the age of 45 or so, to prevent muscle cell deterioration etc.

    • Yannick Campagna says:

      Hi Jeff,. I would like your advice how to correct imbalance. My left arm fatigue faster and weaker than my right (easily 5 to 10lbs depending dumbbell exercises). Doing extra set with only my left is the solution or do you have a better plan? Thanks

  3. Roman says:

    This video was put out right when I needed to hear it. Needed that reminder that I’m only competing against myself and I want to be healthy and live longer for my kids. I’m 38 and I feel great. I’m not aesthetically where I want to be but I can’t cut corners and I can reach it.

  4. Zoran Nesovanovic says:

    I’m 53 and for last year and a half I work on constructions. I also gained muscle without any supplements. By the way, thank You for posting your extremely valuable videos, about correcting …many things (hips, posture, lower back…etc).

  5. Run Frankfurt says:

    Steps to grow muscle when you‘re over 40:
    – Discipline
    – Dedication
    – Determination
    – Solid training plan (stick to it)
    – Proper nutrition / plenty of protein
    – Enough sleep
    – Patience
    = Done

  6. Stephen Shivers says:

    I’m 42 and I pretty much only train based on what Jeff has put out here for free. I put in the intensity, but if not for his advice I wouldn’t have the physique I currently have. I can’t thank you enough for showing me how to put in the work around things like having a bad back, and knees, but learning how to adjust so I can still deadlift and squat. Also how to bench press without further destroying my garbage shoulders. My wife and I both thank you for the best physique I’ve ever had. The only things I take are pre-work out, protein shakes, and aminos for afterwards.

  7. Pistol Pete says:

    Thanks Jeff, Jessie….always good to hear that I’m not wasting my time as a 76 year old gym rat with two new shoulders, knees and , recently a new hip. I am 6’1″ tall and maintain my high school wrestling weight at 190 lbs…keep up the good work – especially those tips that keep me from doing something stupid in the gym.

  8. The American American says:

    I’m just a weekend warrior gym goer, but I’ve been doing that for over a decade now and you guys are the only fitness channel I watch because you keep real both metaphorically and literally! Thanks guys for what you do!

  9. Preston Cram says:

    Glad to hear you touch on the body image aspect of this, I think a lot of guys have their priorities out of order. In my 20s I wanted to be huge, but at 39 I think I look better and feel significantly better physically because I’ve embraced the idea of being lean and fit, prioritizing heart health and overall fitness instead of just trying to look like Arnold. This channel has been such a great resource in helping me get myself in the best shape of my life. Cheers guys

  10. Jayson Kang says:

    As a younger person who’s felt a lot of the pressure Jeff is talking about, I’m glad this video was made. PEDs have become more common and normalized among younger people and the temptation is always present because of social media. Glad to be a part of this discussion and I’ll never look like Jeff but hope to look like Jesse in his recent vid next year lol

  11. Stephen Antonelli says:

    Thanks Jeff, I’m 71 and have been doing resistance trying for most of my life ( on & off – more on than off). I retired several years ago and hit the weight room pretty consistently for the last three years. My T levels have steadily increased year over year for all three. I’m really not seeing muscle gain and was frustrated until I saw this. Guess I’m fighting the decline. Thanks

  12. ahessena says:

    Turned 40 this year and was literally feeling a little down about it today right before seeing this video. The timing is crazy. Thanks for all you do. Just started your “effective rep” approach yesterday.

  13. Chad Delany says:

    I’m 50 and have been steadily building muscle over the last year and half since I found your channel. Thanks for the great information and embodied life-philosophy.

  14. Євгеній Міненко says:

    Thank you for inspiring me, Jeff! I have health conditions that limit me in terms of loads and substance use, so it has always been discouraging to see others in the gym knowing I’ll never look as good or bench press as much. However, your videos have encouraged me to continue training. Most exercises I do I learnt from you & I can see positive results from doing them. Plus, your no BS attitude has been nothing but compelling!

  15. Chris English says:

    I am 60 years old. I am 6’2″. I am also what you would consider a hard gainer. Jesse, I feel you and congratulate you on your success! Three years ago I had to go through chemotherapy and radiation. During the process I lost muscle mass and strength. I dropped 28 pounds. Once I began lifting again I was able to put on 10 pounds of muscle within a number of weeks. Even now, I can continue to gain as long as I am consistent and all elements are in order (i.e. nutrition, rest, workouts etc.) I appreciate the intelligent and safe instruction and information from Jeff C. My goal is strength and health and longevity. I am proof that even at 60 you CAN gain muscle and strength.

    • RV says:

      I am 65 and 5″11. I had severe complications from a full jaw replacement and was on a liquid diet for several years. I was nearly hospitalized due to severe weight loss and malnutrition.
      I gained back 25 pounds of mostly muscle in six months.
      I feel great, and am no longer at diabetic levels with no doctors, medication, trainers, supplements, etc.
      For myself, it was just a lot of inspiration, and hard work in the gym.
      I’m glad to hear stories like yours.
      Jeff is absolutely correct.

  16. Tom Key says:

    This video, Jesse’s transformation video, and the mistakes-I-made video have been three of the best videos in all the years I’ve been training with Athlean X – and that was starting in 2008. Thank you Jeff and Jesse not only for what you teach and inspire about how to train for strength, mobility, aesthetics, and health — but for how to evolve and mature as a human being.

  17. Adam Lockington says:

    Jesse’s transformation is a perfectly realistic expectation for 5 years of training without enhancements.
    Great work dude. You put in the effort and it shows

  18. Hunter Smith says:

    Such an amazing video of revelations! I love the honesty in this one. Great stuff man. Question… have you ever tried Next Level Diet? I got a muscle-building meal plan from them, and I love it.

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