Obviously pre-pubescent males have much less ability to put on muscle than teenagers or adults. If you are talking about older people, there is a decline but it's a lot smaller than you might think.
I am not sure if this question is asked in relation to being young or older, therefore, I'll address both ends of the spectrum. (Of course, it's always best to get the approval of your physician before embarking on any radical changes in dietary or exercise programs.)
With respect to being too young to do weight training effectively, many authorities think that it is unwise for people younger than 16 to do weight training (since their bones have not matured.) If you are younger than 16, it would likely be best never to go below 5 repetitions on any single exercise and to ensure that your exercise technique is perfect.
With respect to being too old to do weight training effectively, in 1991 the book BIOMARKERS stimulated a revolution in the thinking of many physicians. It seems that we are never to old to benefit from proper strength training--and there are many, many benefits to doing it. If you are older than 50, it is particularly important to get a thorough warm-up and to use perfect exercise technique. It may be safest for you also not to go below 5 reps on any single exercise or, at least, if you do heavy singles, be sure you know exactly what you are doing.
Further down this page, listed under Related Links I have added two web pages that have solid information on effective weight training including how to warm up properly, which exercises to use, tips on proper exercise technique, training programs for beginners, or intermediates, and how to maximize the benefits you receive.
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