Top Tips to Build and Preserve Muscle

As we get older, we tend to lose muscle – approximately 7 pounds of lean tissue lost per decade with this loss accelerating after the age of 40. As a result, our strength and endurance is reduced, our metabolism drops resulting in weight gain, our bone density is lowered, our posture and alignment deteriorates, our balance falters, and we experience an increase in general aches and pains.

So, it is absolutely critical that we do whatever we can to maintain our muscle tissue.

Here are the top tips for preserving and building muscle:

Strength Train

Commit to strength training at least 2-3 times per week. This is the most effective activity to build muscle.

Lift Heavy

Heavier resistance and less reps is the preferred path to building muscle in comparison to lighter resistance and higher reps. Aim for 8-12 reps. 

Compound Lifts

Perform exercises that are multi-joint movements that involve multiple muscles. Squats, lunges, rows, chest press and overhead presses are staple movements that build muscle.


In order to stimulate muscle, perform multiple sets per body part. Strive for a goal of at least 10 sets per body part per week. How many times per week you strength train will determine how many sets you need to perform at each lifting session.


In order to build muscle, you need to consume the building blocks. Aim for at least .5 to .8 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight. So, if your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, you’ll strive for 75 to 120 grams of protein per day. 

Frequent Meals

Research indicates that eating more regularly throughout the day is a better approach for building muscle. Aim for 4 meals/snacks per day with your protein equally allocated throughout the day. 


None of your bodily functions operate well in a dehydrated state including building muscle. Strive for half your ideal body weight in ounces of water per day. If your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, you’ll aim for 75 ounces of water per day. 


Speak to your doctor or health professional to determine if you would be a good candidate for supplements and/or hormones based on your profile. 

Many physiologists and researchers are deeming Muscle Conditioning to be the true Fountain of Youth the magic “pill” to reverse or prevent a significant portion of the aging process.

Your quality of life improves dramatically by preserving your muscle mass. Muscle looks good and it can improve your posture so that you hold yourself better and with more confidence. You’ll move with better strength, balance, coordination and agility and your performance in your recreational pursuits will be enhanced significantly.

Strong is the new SEXY!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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