The desire to remain strong, active, beautiful and agile, like love, is subject to all ages.
Therefore, I am not surprised at all when I see the interest in power exercises of people who have approached the age limit of half a century (this sounds really like a lot!), even if before they had practically ignored sports.
I have been traveling a lot throughout my life (mostly to the European countries) and I have observed that older people from abroad are more likely to practice sports (including strength training) than people from my country.
I truly wish to see my older compatriots starting to exercise more often.
However, both experienced bodybuilders and beginners have quite reasonable questions: is there any sense in practicing bodybuilding after 50 years old?
How will training affect the general condition of the body, well-being? Are there any specific features and recommendations for athletes 50 years and older?
I myself am approaching my 40s, and therefore, the peculiarities of the strength training at an older age are getting more and more actual for me.
Here are some important aspects of how to build muscle after 50.
The Benefits of Strength Training After 50
Loss of muscle tone, deformation of posture, impaired digestion, fatigue, lethargy, loss of appetite and much, much more … These are inevitable manifestations of the aging process.
Perhaps, you will be surprised, but a well-planned bodybuilding training program, in compliance with a number of simple rules can, if not completely eliminate all these troublesome problems of older people, then at least significantly reduce their manifestations.
Practice proves that regular training of moderate-intensity allows you to get rid of excess adipose tissue, strengthen and build muscle, increase efficiency, and endurance.
Moreover, bodybuilding at the age of 50 helps to normalize the heart rate, reduces blood pressure, improves the condition of joints, and activates metabolism.
I bet, no medication in the world is capable of providing such results!
Of course, no one cancels the need to strictly monitor health condition, and, for bodybuilders, this recommendation is especially relevant.
Timely detection of problems in the functioning of the cardiovascular system, for example, or joints is necessary for the prompt introduction of adjustments to the training program.
Otherwise, bodybuilding can be a negative factor in the development of the disease.
5 Golden Rules of Bodybuilding After 50
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or came to the gym for the first time, remember that all your workouts should take into account the current physical condition, health problems, as well as the principle of moderation.
#1. Carefully Calculate the Amount of the Loads
Safety training is largely determined by the correctness of the exercises and the optimal selection of weights.
The capabilities of joints and ligaments should be adequately assessed, which is especially important for aging beginner athletes.
Keep a slow pace and watch your breathing as you exercise. Ideally, you should seek help from a professional instructor who will plan your training program.
It will also be useful to visit a doctor, who will check your health condition and let you know about permissible physical activity.
#2. Alternate Loads
Regardless of previous experience in sports, bodybuilding at the age of 50 requires the preparation of a certain scheme of periodization of loads.
Work with heavyweights must be alternated with lightweight sets, and the emphasis should be placed on the latter.
The impressive iron weight should be preferred to a greater number of repetitions of the exercise.
So, when working with low weight, the number of repetitions per one approach can vary in the range of 12–20 times, and with heavyweights, their number decreases to 5–12 times.
The rest time between sets should be anywhere around 2-3 minutes.
#3. Pay Special Attention to the Stretching Exercises
Since muscles actively lose their flexibility after 50, this increases the possibilities of injury during the workout which is the last thing you want.
That is why make sure to set a time of 15-20 minutes to warm up at the beginning and end of the workout.
#4. The Intake of Aids Supplements
In the sixth decade of our life, the number of amino acids produced by the body decreases greatly (by about 55-60%), which clearly does not contribute to great success in bodybuilding.
The fact is that these substances are involved in the healing process of microtraumas of muscle tissue, which is accompanied by muscle growth.
All kinds of dietary supplements help fill the lack of substances such as L-Tyrosine, L-Leucine, L-Carnitine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine.
By the way, regular practicing of bodybuilding over time leads to the restoration of the required production volume of these organic compounds.
Strength training can and should stimulate muscle growth, but only if the body can produce testosterone and growth hormone (anabolic hormones).
At the age of 30, the body still produces enough amount of anabolic hormones, but less than at the age of 20-25, and by the age of 50 this decline tends to go down significantly.
That is why it makes sense to include in your diet foods that support the production of testosterone or dietary supplements that contain ingredients proved to naturally increase T levels.
#5. Let Your Body to Recover
Obviously, the older body needs more time to fully recover from physical exertion. In order for bodybuilding to really benefit you at the age of 50, you need to take breaks of at least 2-3 days between workouts.
If for any reason you feel bad, return to the gym no sooner than your condition returns to normal.
I think every one of us is aware that the potential of the body in 30 years exceeds the 50-year-old organism.
This is due to age, what kind of lifestyle you had, how did you care about the health of your body in the first half of the century of your life, it will definitely return to you like a boomerang in the second.
If you had a stormy lifestyle when you were younger (lack of sleep due to partying, alcohol drinks, improper diet, etc.), then, at the age of 50, the body begins to remind you of the flaws of your turbulent youth, and your muscles get tired sooner than before.
Strength training will benefit your health, but it can also harm it. Bodybuilding at the age of 50 should be approached with more caution than at the age of 20.
A 20 years old young man can easily allow a lot of weight and approaches to the failure, and with fewer repetitions.
At 50, you cannot allow yourself this, you need to abandon sophisticated loads and load the body 60-70% of the maximum.
Recommended Read: How to Get Big Muscles Fast (In Just 6 Weeks!)
The same thing applies to the diet. When you are 20, sometimes you can allow not fully following a diet. At 50 though, you need to strictly monitor it, if you want to have a muscular body.
If you still wonder whether can you build muscle after 50, I would respond in this way:
After some time in which you have been practicing bodybuilding (say 1 or 2 years), there is no way for you to look the same as your mate who is not doing any type of strength training.
With proper diet and wise approach to rest, you should see improvements in terms of muscle building.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and now, you know better how to build muscle after 50.
If you have any questions or thoughts about the above aspects, or you have something to add or share your story, please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you asap.
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I wish you stay fit, no matter your age is!