Can you really get fit after age fifty?
What are the keys to gaining muscle mass after 50 years old? You can get into top physical condition at any age as long as you possess the will to succeed and drive to persevere.
- Eat Well
- Move Often
- Pick Stuff Up
- Sleep Soundly
Keep it simple and get great results.
The tricks to gaining muscle mass after 50 may be a bit counter intuitive.
Conventional wisdom tells you to moderate your life and take it easy as you age so you don’t get hurt or throw out your back. But keep in mind, this advice is coming mostly from other old guys with big guts and bad backs. Just because you find yourself in a state of marginal fitness doesn’t mean you are sentenced to a mediocre finish in life.
The first mistake is thinking like an old guy. You have to avoid this like the plague.
Don’t believe you cannot be strong again.
Don’t take advice from guys with big guts, bad backs and skinny arms.
If you want to pack on some muscle, start acting like a young guy who wants to impress girls. It is going to take some work.
If you want to build muscle mass, you have to lift weights or perform some type of resistance training. Resistance can be provided using your own body weight by doing any number of exercises like pull ups, push ups, dips, squats and rows. This is typically a great starting point to get you back into training if you are just getting going again. But make no mistake, if you want to accelerate gaining muscle mass after 50 years old, you have to lift heavy weights.
The key is to lift heavy things. Remember, heavy is a relative term.
Heavy training can be done using traditional weight lifting workouts or even by lifting heavy rocks and logs and carrying them around. You can flip truck tires or push weighted sleds around. Lifting heavy simply means to stress your muscles in a way that causes overload without injury. This is how muscle mass is built.
The second mistake is lifting like an old guy.
Most old guys (and probably you too) who have been out of the gym for a few years have poor core strength. You need a strong core to perform many of the lifts needed for muscle building. Squatting, overhead pressing, power cleans, dead lifts and kettlebell swings all require a strong core to prevent injury.
Don’t mistake your weak back for an injured back.
You may believe you have a “bad back” because it is sore all the time when in reality you simply have a weak back that is stressed from bad posture, poor ergonomics and years of neglect.
The bad back syndrome is a downward spiral.
- You don’t think you can do it anymore because of your bad back.
- You can’t do this and you can’t do that because of the bad back.
You have to break out of this thinking.
Now let me be clear, you may actually have an injured back (a small percentage of us old guys do). It certainly does happen. I am not diagnosing you.
I am simply saying that the majority of bad back problems are due to a weak core and not really an injury. If you have any acute pain, you need an expert to analyze your situation.
Don’t use sit ups to work on your core strength.
They don’t work. Work your core with stabilization exercises, compound movements and twisting/bending moves. Overhead pressing, push ups and carrying exercises like farmers walks are core stabilizers.
Squats, dead lifts and kettlebell swings are compound movements. Burpees, T push ups and sledgehammer swings are excellent core builders using twisting moves. Obviously you start with very light weights or no weight at all when first starting these exercises. Build your core strength slowly. Try push up workouts for a great upper body and abdominal workout.
The third mistake is wasting your time in the gym.
Don’t walk on the treadmill for 30 to 40 minutes. This is a waste of valuable gym time.
Walking is for your rest days. Walk around the block a few times. Get some fresh air.
Did you ever notice that the treadmill walkers or recumbent bike riders never seem to build a better physique? They looked weak two months ago and still look weak today.
So stop embarrassing yourself.
The key to gaining muscle mass after 50 is to lift heavy weight using your big muscles. You need to squat, bench, military press, power clean and dead lift.
Focus on the big lifts using perfect form. Build muscle and get strong by focusing on the basic movements. As always, start slow to ensure you do not get hurt.
But do the big muscle lifts to build a solid physique. Now get going.
Take advantage of a free strategy call to see if individual coaching can help you achieve your fitness goals.
What is your biggest challenge with putting on muscle?
Please comment below.