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5 Worst Muscle Building Mistakes For Men In 30s And 40s

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Avoid These Huge Muscle Building Mistakes In The Gym

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the 5 worst muscle building mistakes for men in 30s and 40s.

As a 42 year old dad of 2 kids, I’ve been training for over 20 years, and knock on wood, I’ve never suffered a major injury.

I equate a lot of this to training smart, rather than training with ego.

How To Workout Smarter For Your Goals

As guys, I know this can be hard.

Unfortunately, this is why I see so many men in the gym either getting hurt, or not getting the results they desire, even though, they’re showing up to the gym every week.

My intention with this post is to help men train smarter, especially if you’re in your 30s and 40s.

5 Worst Muscle Building Mistakes For Men In 30s And 40s

So with that said, let’s jump into the 5 worst muscle building mistakes for men in 30s and 40s.

Muscle Building Mistake #1: You’re Ignoring Time Under Tension

what does tempo mean in working out

I see a lot of men raising and lowering the weight too fast, rather than creating tension by squeezing the muscle with each rep.

It’s clear they just want to hit a rep count, with no regard for the tempo or the time under tension for the exercise.

I often call these junk reps.

Research shows muscle growth is influenced by several factors, including:

  • Time under tension
  • Volume
  • Intensity
  • Muscle damage

Lifting a weight with a slow tempo increases the muscle’s time under tension, which can increase muscle damage, thus creating more muscle growth.

I refer to this as quality reps.

By lifting a weight with a fast tempo, it may not allow for sufficient time under tension, thus not providing the same stimulus for muscle growth.

In my muscle building programs, I always include a tempo.

What Is Tempo?

The tempo of a lift refers to the speed at which the lift is performed and can be broken down into four parts:

  • Eccentric lowering phase
  • Pause at the bottom
  • Concentric lifting phase
  • Pause at the top

Performing a lift with a slow eccentric phase can increase time under tension and result in more muscle damage, which can lead to greater muscle growth.

Action Step: During your next workout, I challenge you to complete the given tempo for each rep, rather than just getting through each rep as fast as you can.

If you can’t, the weight is probably too heavy.

Muscle Building Mistake #2: Your Rest Periods Are Way Too Long

How Long To Rest Between Sets For Fat Loss, Muscle Growth, And Strength

The optimal rest time between sets for building muscle depends on a few factors, such as:

  • Your training goals
  • The intensity of your sets
  • Your individual recovery abilities

Unfortunately most people are not timing their rest periods, thus they spend way to much time on their phone, talking to other people, or just day dreaming, between sets.

Action Step: During your next workout, as soon as your set is done, challenge yourself to set your phone’s timer for the rest period as indicated in your program.

Muscle Building Mistake #3: You’re Lifting Weights With A Minimal Range Of Motion

The range of motion (ROM) refers to the distance a joint and muscle lengthens and shortens during an exercise.

Your range of motion effects muscle growth as it determines the amount of tension that is placed on the muscle during an exercise.

By increasing the range of motion, it can lead to a longer time under tension.

As I shared earlier, a longer time under tension, is an important factor in muscle hypertrophy.

For example, when performing a bicep preacher curl with a full range of motion, it will place more tension on the bicep muscle compared to using a partial range of motion where the arm is only partially extended at the bottom of the curl.

Action Step: During your next workout, I challenge you to take each exercise in your workout program, through the full range of motion, for every rep.

If you can’t, the weight is probably too heavy.

Muscle Building Mistake #4: You’re More Concerned With The Amount Of Weight Rather Than Creating Tension In The Muscle

How To Gain 15 Pounds Of Muscle Without Getting Fat

Yes, progressive overload is key to building muscle.

However, for long-term health and optimal muscle building, you need to overload the muscle with tension, not your joints.

Creating tension in the muscle is important for muscle growth because the contraction causes small tears in the muscle fibers, thus stimulating the muscle fibers to adapt and grow.

Lifting heavy weights is one way create a lot of tension in the muscle, however for long-term joint health, it’s also important to focus on adequately challenging the muscle with time under tension training.

Action Step: During your next workout, I challenge you to find a balance between using enough weight to challenge the muscle and using good form to create adequate tension in the muscle.

Muscle Building Mistake #5: Their Is No Structure To Your Muscle Building Training Phase

In other words, you’re going into the gym and winging it, rather than following a structured workout program specifically designed for muscle building.

A structured muscle building workout program should include:

  • Training styles that take into account the 3 main mechanisms of muscle building
  • Rep counts
  • Set counts
  • Rest periods
  • Tempos

The 3 Main Mechanisms of Muscle Building

1. Muscle Tension

Muscle tension causes small tears in the muscle fibers, which leads to new muscle growth.

2. Metabolic Stress

Metabolic stress causes the accumulation of lactic acid during the workout, which stimulates new muscle growth.

3. Muscle Damage

Muscle damage occurs when the muscle fibers are torn during exercise.

The body then repairs these damaged fibers by building new protein strands, leading to muscle growth.

Join My Workout App To Build Muscle In A Healthy Way

Make this the year to avoid these muscle building mistakes for men, so you can get faster results, in a sustainable and healthy way.

If you liked these tips and want to support me, my 6 week Live Lean MASS 2.0 muscle building program provides all 3 of these mechanisms, plus structure, progressive overload, variety, and accountability.

You can get access to that program, as well as all my other strength, fat loss, and mobility workouts inside my workout app for free for 7 days.

Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

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