Building Muscle Mass After Age 50
The article is about Building Muscle Mass After Age 50. It’s great that you decided you’re taking your health into your hands. Pity it’s too late… Just kidding. Building muscle, even at such an age is absolutely feasible and even recommended to do, as you will slow down the process of aging and live a life worth living.
The prospect of being a helpless old man / woman who needs assistance with basic functioning doesn’t seem too tempting does it? By engaging in a physical activity such as smart weight lifting, you literally extend your independent life.
After the age of 40, men lose about 10% of testosterone secretion per decade. Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for muscle mass and bone density, among other things, as you probably knew. What this means is that unless you consciously make an effort to strengthen your body, it will quite rapidly degrade after age 60. Weak muscles, rigid joints and hollow bones, that’s what down the road for the untraining…
See a physician
OK, we got the intro covered. Now to the practical stuff. First of all, you should definitely consult a physician, especially if you know that you’re not the healthiest person in the world. Even if you’re to-the-naked-eye healthy, still do so, just in case…
Start with funny-low weights
If you’ve been a couch potato most of your life, or in other words, in an extremely bad shape, you first of all should start very small–as in–very low weight, because you’re both a rookie and quite old, your body isn’t as tough as it used to be, too much pressure too fast and it might do more harm than good.
Rest and sleep a lot
The more you train, the better: wrong. Allow a full day’s rest between workouts AT LEAST, better if more. Train from 2 to 3 times a week. Let’s say: Sunday you workout, 1 days’ rest, Tuesday you workout, 1 days’ rest, Thursday workout, 2 days’ rest and repeat. The 2 days’ off at the end of the week are something not to underestimate, those are not “burned” days, on the contrary, during rest is when actual muscle size is being built. Allowing prolonged periods of rest, sometimes up to a full week, is a great opportunity for your body to fully recover and grow.
Eat plenty of protein, complex carbs and favor healthy fats
Now about the diet, you should get plenty of protein, 2 gram per body kg / 1 gram per pound, per day. There are existent articles on the site on the topic so I won’t go into much detail. Get healthy fats too — omega-3 fatty acids. They are good both to your body and mind. Favor slow digesting carbohydrates (which come from wholemeal / brown rice, pasta, bread and the likes), as they are less likely to be stored as fat and give you a continuous stream of energy.
Finally for the workout itself, train no more than 1 hour per workout session. Warm up before by running (on a treadmill or a [stationary] bike for example), this will lessen the chance of injury by flexing your joints and muscles. Do it for about 15 minutes, going into the whole workouts’ time.
Begin with low weights and climb up instinctively each set (not on the first workouts, on the first few you should use low weights exclusively). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions each. You shouldn’t feel the weight is too low on the third and last set of an exercise, while neither it should make you lose all proper form to somehow push that final rep. Good form is crucial, or else you risk injury.
3 sets for each exercise, each set 10 repetitions.
Do compound, multiple muscle group targetting, exercises
The exercises! How could I forget. Go for compound exercises (those simultaneously involving several muscle groups) as they will build your body thoroughly, not forgetting any muscle groups. This will take your body as it is, and up it one level. The compound exercises you should perform are: benchpress (chest + triceps), bent over rows (back), squats (legs, some back), pull-ups (biceps + back), military press (shoulders). Keep your back straight at all times, keep your head up as it will help you do that.
I hope you’re still awake
So take those exercises and allocate to the number of workout days you want to have a week. Search for info on how to exactly perform them with good form. This is out of the scope of this article, sorry!
In no way is this a comprehensive guide. Basically, you should find a solid workout program and down it a notch, or two. What I mean is less weight and more rest.