Question: Is it still reasonable to expect to be bodybuilding over 50?
Bodybuilding over fifty is an activity that can prove to be extremely beneficial. It helps to create a healthier senior person and improves the condition of the heart. Bodybuilding through weight training is also proven to be an effective means of prolonging life and keeping illness at bay.
Another advantage to start or keep bodybuilding over 50 is that it helps you to look as much as ten years younger and thus contributes to feelings of well being as well as improving confidence levels.
As at any age and fitness levels, it is still advisable to get professional advice before proceeding with a bodybuilding routine.
There is nothing to suggest that senior bodybuilding is in any way different to what a younger person may do. It is just a matter of adjusting certain routines and being more careful.
Ensure a Proper Warm Up
Twenty years previous you could get away with jumping right into a set of weight lifting exercises with just the slightest of warm ups. Not only is this inadvisable at any age it can be quite dangerous in later life.
When you hit fifty plus, a proper warm up is essential to increase blood circulation to the muscles and improve oxygen absorption.
A good 10 to 20 minutes of moderate cardio activity is recommended prior to your weight lifting routine.
Aim to perform one set at 50% to 75% of the actual weight to be lifted before your real set.
Perform Fewer Exercises
A big mistake for many people you see in the gym is that they do too many exercises for each muscle group.
This is not necessary and results in wasted time and more importantly wasted energy. Use your time and energy wisely by working out major muscle groups at a high intensity over a shorter time scale.
Your muscles will benefit exactly the same and you’ll save yourself from unnecessary, depleting, multiple exercises.
One of the biggest misconceptions in strength training and bodybuilding is having to train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The goal of every workout should be to increase the intensity of work done compared to your previous workout. As intensity increases your body needs more time to recover (especially as we get older) so workouts have to be spaced further apart. This is more good news to everyone except the exercise addict.
When you begin a strength training program you might be able to workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, providing your body can fully recover with just one day off. But as you get stronger and start lifting heavier weights, you will need more time to recover. So your third or fourth week might allow you to train on Mondays and Thursdays.
Two weeks later you might only be able to see increases in intensity if you train one day per week. After a month of that you will need to train only once every ten or fifteen days.
It is common for advanced bodybuilders to workout lifting weights once every six weeks and see improvements in every exercise on every workout.
The truth is you can achieve greater muscle definition by working-out with precisely engineered workouts that contain clear goals about as frequently as you get a haircut.
That’s very welcome news to those of us who just want results and especially for the over fifties who don’t use the gym as a social gathering place.
Muscle Equals Youth
Have you ever seen two people who were both 60 years old but one of them looks 70 and the other looks 45? Age can’t be measured by the calendar alone. There are several well established “bio markers of aging” that are used to give more accuracy to the assessment of physical age. Guess what? The amount of muscle your body contains is one of the principle bio markers of aging.
The more muscle you have, the younger you are. Another bio marker of aging is bone density. Guess what the number one method is of increasing bone density? Heavy, weight bearing exercise!
Those over fifty years of age can greatly slow down (and in many cases reverse) aging processes by performing rational, efficient strength training that increases muscle mass and bone density.
The really great news is that it can be done without hours of exercise performed week after week. Less wear and tear on the body, fewer workouts and increased youth. It’s great to finally be old and wise!!
Have a great workout!
I’m 57yrs old and I recently started working out again after a 20yr hiatus and I’m amazed at how quickly my body has responded. I don’t know if “muscle memory” has given me an advantage, but I’m sure that anyone can benefit from weight training at any age.