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How to Build Muscle Mass at Over 30 Years Old

author image Lisa M. Wolfe
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.
How to Build Muscle Mass at Over 30 Years Old
Use the training principles of specificity and progressive overload to increase muscle mass after the age of 30. Photo Credit: Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Reaching the age of 30 is more than just the beginning of middle age -- it's a physical fitness turning point. From here on out, if you are not active, you could lose approximately 3 to 5 percent of your muscle mass every 10 years, says IDEA Health & Fitness Association. You can put up a good fight to retain muscles and keep them strong by performing a consistent workout routine.

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Step 1

Select eight to 10 exercises for each major muscle group, including your shoulders, chest, back, arms, core, hips and legs. Use exercises such as shoulder presses, pushups, dumbbell rows, arm curls, situps, squats and calf raises in your workout routine.

Step 2

Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions using a weight that is challenging for the final two repetitions of each set. Rest for 60 seconds between each set. Decrease the amount of rest time as your strength improves and to stimulate muscle mass.

Step 3

Increase your resistance amount as soon as your three sets of 12 repetitions are completed without muscular fatigue. The addition of weight is a key factor in improving your muscle mass.

Step 4

Complete your total-body workout routine one to three days a week with at least one day of rest in between sessions. If you separate your workout routine into different muscle groups, plan to exercise on a daily basis to build muscle mass. Be consistent in your workout routine.

Step 5

Challenge the muscles you want to improve with targeted exercises. For example, if your goal is to improve the muscle mass in the front of your arms, use arm curl variations such as biceps curls, hammer curls and reverse curls to focus the concentration on your biceps.

Step 6

Vary your exercises every four to six weeks to provide continuous muscle stimulation. Or, vary your workout order or routine to provide a new challenge. For example, instead of exercising your large muscles first, exercise your smaller muscles first.

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