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In the minds of people, a stereotype has developed that it is better to engage in bodybuilding at the age of 18-35, and if older, and even more so over 40, then this is a problem and will never become a competitive bodybuilder. In fact, it all depends on the right approach to training and your body. After 40 years, bodybuilding allows you to not only improve your health, but also increase muscle mass, build an ideal body with beautiful cubes on your stomach. Having gained a lot of coaching experience, in 2012 I returned to competitive bodybuilding after a 10-year break when I was 44 years old. I am still progressing, over the past year I have gained 10 kg of pure muscle mass. I also personally train a dozen veterans. Three of them are already in competitive form, and Sergey Gushchin became the medalist of Russia among veterans in the fall of 2014, the rest added significantly in strength and muscle mass without body fat. I am ready to share the main approaches and principles of training veterans with readers.


The rate of recovery decreases with age, so strength training is best reduced to four days a week. To save the joints and ligaments, we correct the basic exercises: we replace the squat with a barbell with a hack-squat, the bench press – with the bench press in Smith, we do the deadlift in the upper phase, lowering the barbell to the knees.

We make the number of repetitions quite high – 12 times, thus we do not lift the working weight high, but we perform each repetition with good technique, giving all the best in the approach to the fullest. Training should not exceed 1.5 hours. After power, stretch well so that the muscles and ligaments do not lose elasticity. Do not forget about cardio loads to improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system. We perform 3 times a week for 20 minutes on days of rest from strength training.


It is very important to gain muscle mass to eat at regular intervals and increase the number of meals up to six times a day, not counting sports nutrition. Strength training should begin after at least two meals. Protein is the basis of building muscles, it should be present in every meal. For breakfast, we take protein in the form of eggs, after training, meat steak or red fish, at the last meal before bedtime, cottage cheese or white fish, the remaining three meals of protein in the form of chicken fillet. The number of grams per serving is calculated depending on the weight of the athlete and can vary from 150 to 350 g of steak, fish or fillet. Complex carbohydrates on the “mass” are also present in all meals. If an athlete weighs more than 100 kg, then the side dish consists of cereals (oatmeal, rice, brown rice, buckwheat). If the mass is less than 100 kg, then there is an alternation of cereals with vegetables (one meal of cereals, one vegetable). It is possible to add a piece of cake to the main meal once after training, which will spur the production of insulin and bring nutrients to the cells of the body faster and more.

Additionally, we take two fruits, 1 in the form of a banana due to the high content of potassium in it. We eat one banana for breakfast, and the other after training, if there is no piece of cake. From sports supplements, we take omega-3 fats, omega-6, vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex, multivitamins, calcium, antioxidants, oats, glucosamine, and chondroitin, Q-10, as well as a portion of BCAA before training. After it, a portion of protein + glutamine + arginine. All this will strengthen the immune system, speed up the metabolism, support the work of the body under stress, recover faster and keep joints and ligaments healthy.

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