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How to Build Muscle After 30

By Ryan Casima

If you consider building muscle after age 30 an exercise in futility, think again: Some of the best world athletes reach their primes when they are in their late 20s or early 30s. You are still young, and building muscle now will help you continue to feel young, look great and boost your heart and immune systems. The process might be slower than when you were a teen-ager, but with effort, the outcome can be the same.

Building Muscle After 30

Start slowly. If you are lifting weights for the first time, you cannot jump in with heavy weights. Too much too fast can cause pain (joint pain, muscle soreness) and injury (torn tendon, sprained ligament). Begin with weights you can lift for 12 to 18 repetitions. This will strengthen your joints and "activate" your muscles. After about a month, you can move on to heavier weights, shooting for six to eight repetitions.

Eat right. When it comes to nutrition, you are not a teen-ager anymore. Teen-agers have high metabolisms and can get away with eating junk food while exercising. However, your body has stopped growing, and your metabolism has slowed. Eat right to keep it well-charged and to help build muscle, focusing particularly on protein and healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Choose the bodybuilding method. This method focuses on muscle shape and size as opposed to the powerlifting method, which focuses on strength. Bodybuilding helps you build up slowly, and is a better choice, particularly if you are new to weightlifting. Bodybuilding is easier on the joints and shows results more quickly. With a powerlifting workout, you lift as much weight as possibly can. With bodybuilding, you use a lighter weight but do your reps slowly, forcing more blood into your muscles and working them longer.

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