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Let's say if one starts a good, systematical strength training programme at the age of 30. I would say he should be physically much stronger when he turns 40. What if he just continue this training programme? Can his strength just continue to grow, despite the aging? Or in other words, can he be physically stronger when he is 70, or 80 years old, compared with when he was 30 or 40?

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This depends on what you mean by "physically stronger". There are a few ways of interpreting this question.

Is it possible for me to lift heavier weights at 80 than I did at 40?

Yes. If you'd never trained a day in your life before 40, and you suddenly started working out, AND barring any other physical illness (this is the real caveat), then it is entirely possible. In fact, the physical training could help you prevent certain physical illnesses.

Is it possible for me to prevent the effects of aging and entropy by working out?

No. Not with our current scientific knowledge.

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  • Although people say that HGH is the fountain of youth :D – s3v3ns Feb 5 '15 at 7:41
  • Great answer! Your first interpretation is what I intended to ask. Here I am not talking about professional training but only doing it for a few hours per week. Let's say that I start training at 30, can I conclude that generally speaking I can lift heavier weights at m+n than I did at m, where m>=30 and n>0? – Zuriel Feb 5 '15 at 9:17
  • @Zuriel - For a while, yes. You can stave off age related decline, and stay very fit, but you probably won't be lifting heavier at 60 than you are at 30. Testosterone decline is king when it comes to things like that, unfortunately. – JohnP Mar 7 '15 at 17:33
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One clue should be world records in different lifts, and at what age they are set, I'll take the "worlds strongest man" competition as a basis for my calculation of "strongest" age.

2014 - Žydrūnas Savickas - 38 years

2009 - Žydrūnas Savickas - 33 years

2004 - Vasyl Virastyuk - 30 years

1999 - Jouko Ahola - 29

1989 - Jamie Reeves - 27

1979 - Don Reinhoudt - 34

Those are just some random picks, but the average age of these is: 32 years old.

So with optimal training, you will peak around 30-35 years old. However, if you start weight lifting at 30, it's pretty clear that you will peak later, and so on.

A lot of old people get extra testosterone to counter the falling levels these days because it seems to be healthy, so I guess you could prolong your golden days a bit unless you're competing.

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  • I appreciate this answer! I am not a professional bodybuilder; am I right in saying that as an amateur (training a few hours per week), I will peak much later than the professionals? Is it possible that I will peak at the age of 75? – Zuriel Feb 5 '15 at 9:20
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    There are people who are at their strongest at 75, but only people who didn't exercise seriously at a younger age, the potential for strength is much much higher when you're young. That being said, the most common reason for weakness at a higher age is a sedentary life. tranastyrka.se/traning-och-livskvalite-nar-du-aldras this picture a bit down the page of muscles in 40/70 year old triathletes and a 74 year old sedentary man is quite telling. – Mårten Feb 5 '15 at 9:38
  • Yes, it is! The 3rd picture looks disgusting... I definitely do not want my body to be like that! – Zuriel Feb 5 '15 at 9:44
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    -1 for recommending testosterone "because it seems healthy". We know testosterone and other steroids in younger people have serious health effects, just because elderly testosterone supplementation has not been popular enough to do long term studies doesn't mean it is automatically safe. – JohnP Mar 7 '15 at 17:35

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