Muscle Gain for Over 40s

The Value of Proper Caloric Intake for Muscle Gain

Putting the Numbers of Muscle Gain in Context

Consider a hypothetical lifter who begins at 140 lbs in order to comprehend the muscle gain numbers in a real-world setting. They can anticipate a rate of muscle increase in the first year of 1–1.5% of their body weight each month, or 16.8lb - 25.2lb for the first year. While theoretically possible, this rate of muscle gain would be extremely fast in an over 40 trainee, even if everything were optimised with their lifestyle. A far more realistic number would be half that, with females half again. In other words, a beginner male trainee over 40, working hard to a smart system, with their diet and lifestyle set up to enhance muscle growth, will gain about 10lb/ 5kg, with females about 5lb/ 2.5kg. 

The longer you've been training for, the slower this rate of gain becomes. Most people will reach their genetic limit for muscle gain 3-5 years into their journey despite their best efforts. (Again, not taking drug use into account), 

How to Determine Your Daily Caloric Needs for Gaining Muscle

Calculating your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is essential in order to predict your daily calorie requirements for muscle growth (TDEE). Your basal metabolic rate, the quantity of calories burned during exercise, and the thermic effect of meals are all factors considered by TDEE.

You can then add a calorie surplus to encourage muscle building once you've established your TDEE. Many go crazy here and believe that adding in 10% - 15% to your daily calories as a surplus will be helpful. However, in a single week, for a 90kg sedentary male eating 2000cals a day, a 200-300cal/ day surplus is going to quickly add up to 1400-2100cals for the week, or an entire day per week of extra eating. Just think about how quickly you'd gain fat if you ate 8 days per week...

The rate of MPS is far slower than what this kind of surplus can create. Thos extra calories will just get stored as fat, which unlike MPS, we can do right now. In other words, you can gain fat today, but you cannot gain muscle today. Think about that when setting your surplus.

If we take the possible rate of muscle gain and calculate based off a possible 5kg of muscle for the year we get something like a 20,000 surplus needed. (If muscle is mostly protein, then at 4cals/ gram, a kilo of muscle has 4000cals. So 5kg has 20,000cals). 

20,000 divided by 12 (for months of the year) = 1666cals surplus per month. 

To get the daily surplus you need 1666 divided by 30 = 55cals/ day surplus needed. Just like I was saying - the rate of MPS is far slower than the rate of fat gain possible. Adding in a massive surplus in an effort to speed up MPS isn't possible without drugs. 

It's crucial to frequently assess your development and modify your calorie intake as necessary. You might need to boost your calorie surplus if you are not experiencing improvement in your muscle building. On the other side, you might need to cut back on calories if you notice an increase in body fat.

Example of a Meal Plan to Gain Muscle

Here is an example menu to help you achieve your aim of muscle growth:

Breakfast: a three-egg omelette with cheese, vegetables, and whole-wheat bread.
Greek yoghurt, mixed berries, and a few almonds make a tasty snack.
Brown rice, grilled chicken breast, and steamed vegetables for lunch.
Protein smoothie made with almond milk and frozen berries for a snack pre-training.
Dinner will be a stir-fry of grass-fed beef, quinoa, and mixed vegetables.
Cottage cheese and peaches for a snack
The 2,500 calories in this meal plan are distributed evenly across protein, carbs, and healthy fats to assist muscle growth and repair.


The right calorie intake is essential for successfully gaining muscle while not gaining excess fat. You may make sure that your body has the resources it needs to grow new muscle tissue by calculating your TDEE and adding a calorie excess. You may achieve your muscle gain objectives by giving full, nutrient-dense foods a priority in your diet and by routinely tracking your progress.