When it comes to bodybuilding for men over 50, I’m sure you’ve heard that you can only work out up to a certain age. It complete nonsense.
However, individuals who are getting higher in age with little workout experience have some special considerations to keep in mind. Let’s jump in so you can learn everything you need to know.
The first thing I’d like to acknowledge is the fact that, as we age, testosterone levels tend to go down. Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for men as it regulates how much muscle your body can build.
Not only does testosterone regulate how much muscle you can build, it’s also responsible for other important body functions including sex-drive regulation.
With that said, strenuous physical exertion in the form of exercise or weight lifting is known to increase your testosterone levels and is by far one of the best things you can do.
Pro-Tip: Check out Christopher Walker’s Video on the Benefits of Increasing Your Testosterone
So, with a dwindling supply of testosterone and an impaired ability to build muscle, what do you do instead?
TESTOSTERONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT HORMONE, BUT IT ISN’T THE WHOLE PICTURE
I feel the need to make a disclaimer here. If you’re worried about low T-levels on a medical level, please see your healthcare practitioner asap.
Although you may be worried and stressed out about embarking on your journey to become fitter, stronger and healthier as you age, there’s really not much to worry about.
By simply beginning your journey you can start reaping the positive benefits right away:
- Better sleep
- Higher sex drive
- Stronger bones, joints, tendons and ligaments
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular-related health conditions
- Increased energy and cognitive function
- Improved confidence
There’s really a large laundry list of benefits you get from working out, and there really are absolutely no drawbacks, if performed safely and intelligently.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR AGING BODY: BONES, JOINTS, LIGAMENTS AND TENDONS
Just because you might’ve benched 3 plates back in the dog days but haven’t done anything in the last 20 years doesn’t mean you can just jump into what you used to do be able to do.
It’s really no secret that our bodies become more frail and fragile as we age so special care has to be given towards starting slowly and listening to your own body’s needs.
One of the most important things to remember is to follow a pace you’re comfortable with and use information that’s been proven to work.
The last thing you want to have happen is to injure yourself as this can set you back significantly in your quest to a better body.
After you’ve purchased a workout plan from your favourite fitness personality you can either check out some tutorials on YouTube or hire a personal trainer to show you how to do the exercises.
Learning correct form and following a proven program will leave you feeling and looking better than ever, and will keep it that way and leave you injury-free.
HOW DOES RECOVERY CHANGE AS WE AGE?
When you begin exercising and working out at 20 and 30, things are different. It feels like you can go to the gym everyday sometimes and still be ready.
That just doesn’t last into your 50s and 60s. You might still get away with it at 40.
As our bodies age, its ability to heal itself and recover changes. Of course, as you get more experience in weight training your recovery improves as well so keep that in mind.
You will always want to make sure to find time to recover.
Allowing for proper rest and recovery, and planning frequency correctly will enable you to push as hard as your body will allow for.
How often you go to the gym and work out will greatly be dependent on your body’s ability to recover. As a beginner, your best option is to follow a fitness program that’s been designed by a professional.
This way, you can ensure that you’re following a program that’s optimised for balancing recovery and frequency/volume. ThinkEatLift’s ShredSmart program might be a great option for you.
FREQUENCY, VOLUME & INTENSITY
Ah, the Golden Triangle of Bodybuilding.
- Frequency refers to the number of bouts of physical exercise/weight lifting over a given period of time (usually one week)
- Volume refers to the total number of reps and sets performed (during a workout)
- Intensity refers to the physical weight on the bar
Planning your workouts with the right frequency, volume and intensity will also allow your body to work at its current ability. Over training isn’t good for anyone, ever, and it’s especially true as we age.
Setting your golden triangle correctly depending on your ability level will give you a helping hand in maximising what you can accomplish.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IN ON YOUR OWN
I know it can be daunting and overwhelming to think about all of these different factors before you begin working out. I want to assure you that it’s not as difficult as it seems.
Jump into a program that contains all the information you need to begin and you then won’t have to feel confused, overwhelmed and eventually get discouraged.
One of my personal favourite programs for this is Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength (you can learn more about Mark on Reddit).
Starting Strength is great for beginners as it gets you incredibly strong on major compound movements
However, I do feel as though Mark’s program is a little bit limited as it largely neglects accessory work and isolation movements to maximise your look and physique.
Exercises such as rear delt flys, bicep curls, tricep extensions, cable pushdowns, preacher curls and chest flys should be included in a workout program.
For an all-encompassing workout plan you have a few options.
You can either design your own if you have enough experience, hire a personal trainer or just spend some money and purchase a well-known lifting program.
The program I am following is called ThinkEatLift Shred Smart and you can go ahead and read my review of that if that’s something you’re interested in.
However, bodybuilding for men over 50 can be slightly different so you may like to check out Rusty Moore’s Visual Impact Muscle Building instead.
CONCLUSION: JUST GET STARTED, AND TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH AND BODY
That’s the real thing – just get started and you’ll soon be on your way to a stronger, better looking and healthier body.
I think one of the things that hold most people back, and maybe you too, is the self-limiting thoughts we have in our heads. They’re not real.
These thoughts could be things like, “Oh, I’m too old now…” or “I am more prone to injury…” etc.
While these thoughts are a good thing because they keep us from harm, but just keep in mind that most negative thoughts are self-limiting and aren’t true.
Yes, you’re 40, 50 or 60 and beyond, but better health is just one decision away from being your reality.
It doesn’t take much time to see the benefits right after starting, so don’t delay any longer.
Find out more about Visual Impact Muscle Building and how you can use this program to get into amazing shape, even at 50 or beyond.
As always, I hope you enjoyed the article.