T Nation

The Bodybuilding Peak


My buddy and I were discussing when your body peaks as for as muscle gains go? I remember reading somewhere that your body's testosterone production levels out in the mid 20's and starts declining in the low 30's.

Thanks for the info,


Your T levels may begin to drop, but that definitely does not mean you can gain any more muscle.


Yeah thats corrrect, T levels and muscle mass gradually decline after around 30 in the general population.

Obviously even natural lifters can maintain and build muscle much older than this, I'm not sure whether T levels are maintained to the same degree.


The older you get the harder it gets.


That's a pickup line for cougars if I ever heard one.


I was gonna say "thats what she said" but it didnt really apply... almost though.

Yeah OP if you're in your 20's already and arent super jacked you should just quit lifting now... and if you're already 30? shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! You better start looking on craigslist for a nice used wheelchair cause you're leg muscles are going to deteriorate any day now and you'll be screwed


You're pretty witty. I'll keep it in mind.


For somebody who doesn't lift weights and perhaps goes in once a week for bench press and bicep curls, the 20s may be the Glory Days... for somebody who lifts very regularly (many on this site), gains can probably be expected well into and past the 30s. Given the right level of dedication.


An interesting series of studies suggested that various issues with aging were actually due to lowered muscle mass, rather than issues in aging affecting muscle mass.

However, testosterone was not one of these factors, being that T production resultant from weight training tends to be lower in older age groups than young men.

With TRT, however, this, too, should not be an issue.

In terms of muscular gains, if all else is equal (Therapeutic use of HGH, T, t3, etc.), then I believe one's muscular peak is more dependent on injury accumulation and susceptibility due to training age than age alone.



While you may joke about it, the bottom line is that if you aren't already big/huge by 30-35 or damn close, chances are pretty slim that you will be sporting 20" arms with any sense of definition at all, at least not without massive drug use.


who cares.....stop reading...start doing....it wont matter.....


Look at Mighty Stu, he's gaining muscle mass when he'd be supposed to "start to have declines in it".


I'm 40, and still going at for 20+ years.

The key as you get older: more stretching, ensuring proper rest, listening to your body and being consistent. This is sage advice at all levels, but gets more important as you age. I noticed injuries starting in early 30's before I started doing these things.


Good seeing you X (been a while since I logged on), and that's what I'm getting at.


Whenever the topic of longevity in the training/bodybuilding lifestyle comes up, I always think of Robby Robinson.

64 years old, been lifting for 40+ years. The pic above was from this summer.




I think some of you are either missing the point or mistaking the entire topic. No one here said no gains at all can be made after 40. However, if you think Robby Robinson is still gaining significant muscle mass at that age, you are mistaken. he is smaller now than ever before even though he should be commended for staying in that kind of shape.

I don't think this is about whether you can go to the gym and look good the older you get.

It is about how you will NOT be making gains at 40+ like you can at 20-35.


True, that's why I clarified my post by talking about longevity and quoting the other guy who talked about the necessary dedication. A related side-topic to the thread's original post.


Definitely true, and at 35+ your joints don't want you lifting as much, either; at least that's what I've been told by the older ones in the iron game. I'm sure a little bit of GH and AAS helps Robby stay that way too. :wink: Speaking on longevity, Serge was another good example at age 70. There's countless examples of older pros keeping a great physique at an old age.


Obviously the joints take a beating over time, but at a certain point, I think older trainers can be (not always though) smarter about their own training. I often wonder if I would have had the discipline to tough it out in a contest prep when I was 25 instead of 35. There are a good number of natural competitors that continue to make progress well into their 40's (and I'm sure some beyond that). Personally, I don't know if I'd be as willing to suffer such day to day hardships as a contest prep if I had my own kids to be concerned with.