Everyone dreams of staying forever young, but eternal youth comes at the price of regular dietary control and having a consistent workout routine. However, it becomes challenging to maintain optimal fitness after a certain age as our body starts to slow down, and sarcopenia, age-related muscle loss, sets in. It’s rightfully said that age is just a number since all you need to do is put in some time and effort, and you can have a fit body even when you’re 50 or older. Keep reading to learn more about all the ways to build muscle over 50.
Men’s Guide to Building Muscle After 50
1. Proceed Slowly
Every man has different body shapes and types based on genetics and lifestyle. Whether you are underweight, overweight, obese or out of shape. When it comes to starting a fitness journey, most people end up doing too much from the very beginning and end up burning out fast.
We know that you want to achieve your fitness goals as soon as possible, but you must remember that slow and steady sometimes wins the race. The excessive workout will only make you severely fatigued, and it will increase your chances of getting injured. No matter what you do, you can’t build muscles within a day, but staying consistent and easing your body into your new routine will give you great results.
2. Weight Lifting building muscle after 50
This one a no-brainer. If you want to build muscle over 50, then you must lift weights. Weight lifting is crucial for building muscles at any age. Of course, you need to take things slow to avoid any injuries and burnout. But the bottom line is you need to establish a weight lifting schedule at least 2 to 3 times a week.
4. Compound Workouts for the Win
There are two main types of muscle workouts that are isolated and compound workouts. The isolated exercises focus on a specific set of muscles, whereas the compound workout routine deals with different muscle sets all across your body. Isolated training like arms day and legs day is more suited for your younger years when you can handle the extra wear and tear. Compound workouts or full body workouts that are extremely beneficial to get an all around workout and to give all the muscles in your body more repetitions. Compound workouts target different muscle groups at the same time, which is a more effective way to build muscle after age 50.
5. Workout Modification
While it’s possible to build muscle over 50, you need to take some precautionary measures. Your body is not as flexible as it once was, and it will also take more time to heal in case of an injury. Therefore, you should modify your regular exercises to your comfort. The usual muscle-building exercises like squats and deadlifts give excellent results, but instead of the traditional barbell versions try them with dumbbells or on the smith machine. Make sure to avoid any exercises with a high potential for injury. And don’t forget to cool down and stretch after your lifting workout to retain the optimal health of your joints and ligaments.
6. Use The Right Weight building muscle after 50
Muscle building involves a lot of muscle wear and tear. However, your days of training to failure or testing your limits for a new personal best are behind you. After 50 your body might not react the same way it did a decade ago. You might need to lower your weights and do more reps. Once you feel like you can’t carry on, you need to take a break and allow your muscles to recover. Studies suggest that it’s muscle recovery that will allow you to build muscle over 50 and at any age. Therefore, once you become used to your workout routine, you need to keep track of how heavy your weight are and move up if the weight is not challenging.
7. Focus on Recovery
It’s important to push yourself to get the most out of your workout, but recovery is crucial for healthy muscle development. You should only work out a maximum of 3 to five days a week and not more than 40 minutes to an hour. The recovery period allows your muscles to heal from the wear and tear, and as mentioned before, it’s the recovery that makes your muscles grow.
However, muscle recovery requires adequate sleep so make sure you get in your seven to eight hours every night. You should also drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day as working out can lead to dehydration which induces muscle cramping. A healthy diet is a key building block of building muscle after age 50 so you need to be mindful of your intake. Make sure you get plenty of protein to make your muscle gain possible and promote optimal post-workout muscle healing.
8. Proper Nutrition building muscle after 50
Diet plays a 70% role in building muscle. You don’t need to go back to the bulking days but you will need to calculate your protein consumption and your output and make sure you are in a caloric surplus so you are able to gain muscle. You don’t want to gain extra fat so eating junk food is completely out of the question. You need to have a healthy diet at all times to grow muscle without gaining fat.
If you want to build muscle over 50, then you need a lot of hard work and dedication. Consistency will be key and you will need to build a workout routine and stick with it. Take good care of your diet and the results will follow.