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Over 50 Muscle Building: 3 Invaluable Ideas For Your Safety & Success!

Many individuals over 50 abandon the idea of getting started on a muscle-building program ... Use the following 3 ideas and sample workout for strength and health.

By: Shannon Clark

Article Summary:
  • One change that will need to be made is total training volume.
  • You need to be aware of your nutritional strategy around your workout.
  • Below is a sample workout program for those who are over 50.
  • As you get older, you may start to believe that you are 'past your prime' as far as muscle building is concerned. The natural anabolic hormones in the body are starting to slow down and this is just going to make it harder and harder to gain the lean mass you're looking for.

    In some cases, individuals who are over 50 may abandon the thought process of getting started on a muscle-building program entirely, deciding instead to focus their efforts on something else in life where they think they will stand a better chance for success.

    This is unfortunate because, despite the fact that your body is growing older, there are still plenty of things that you can do to take your physique to the next level.

    There Are Still Plenty Of Things That You Can Do To Take Your Physique To The Next Level.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    There Are Still Plenty Of Things That You Can
    Do To Take Your Physique To The Next Level.

    BodySpace Member: Captain Ahab.

    Adding lean muscle mass to your frame at this point in your life could be even more beneficial than someone who is in their early 20s or 30s because aesthetics aside, that muscle is going to help you maintain an active lifestyle into the latter years.

    Individuals over 50 do normally see a dramatic drop in lean muscle mass unless strength training workouts are being performed, so it's vital that even if you have never weightlifted before, you now take the time to start doing so.

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    Author:
    Lisa Sutton

    Lisa Sutton

    Before diving right into a muscle-building program you come across however, there are a few special considerations you should keep in mind to make sure you progress at a good rate and that you are staying safe in the process.

    dot
    1. Mind Your Volume:
    dot

    One of the very first changes that will need to be made to a workout program for an older adult is total training volume.

    When you're young, your body is able to recover quickly, therefore it can handle not only longer gym sessions, but you can perform these sessions more frequently as well. Back when you were 30, you may have found that you could go into the gym for a hard workout one day and be right back in there the next to target another group of body parts.

    One Of The Very First Changes That Will Need To Be Made To A Workout Program Is Total Training Volume.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    One Of The Very First Changes That Will Need To Be Made
    To A Workout Program Is Total Training Volume.

    BodySpace Member: oldsuperman .

    Due to this fact, younger individuals are better capable of handling workouts where the body is split into groups and require multiple gym sessions each week, often performed consecutively.

    Once you start getting older however, you're going to find that you can't recover as quickly and if you attempt one workout the day after another was performed, performance may really suffer.

    RELATED VIDEO: Fitness With Steve
    Online Senior Workout!

    Join Steve and Anne as they give you this workout suitable for seniors. If we can do it so can you, just work at your own pace.

    They had 21 subjects with a mean age of 80 years perform 11 weeks of lower body exercises. Eleven of these subjects performed negative work by exercising on a high-force eccentric ergometer. This type of exercise still requires the muscles to contract but demands very little energy from the subject. Therefore, this type of exercise is something that most frail elderly who are at a high risk of falls can tolerate.

    Ergometer:
    An Ergometer is an apparatus for measuring the work a person exerts while exercising as used in training or cardiac stress tests or other medical tests.

    The researchers also had another group of 10 subjects attempt to perform (to the best of their abilities) traditional weight training for the lower body muscle groups. They performed 10-15 repetitions that were considered 'easy' as well as another 6-10 repetitions that were considered by the subjects to be 'difficult.'

    After the eleven week study was completed, the data demonstrated that negative work was just as effective for increasing muscle fiber cross-sectional area, improvements in strength, balance, stair decent, as well as a decreased risk of fall.

    In Some Instances, The Situation May Be That You Physically Are Unable To Perform Traditional Weight Training.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    In Some Instances, The Situation May Be That You Physically
    Are Unable To Perform Traditional Weight Training.

    BodySpace Member: Luvsfitness.

    Additionally, since this negative work was regarded by the subjects to be effortless, it may prove to be a good exercise solution for those who are extremely intolerant to exercise.

    dot
    Conclusion
    dot

    So don't be so quick to think that you cannot increase your muscular strength, power, and degree of muscularity. With some smart training adjustments and a good attitude, you can really make a difference in how you look and feel.

    Here's a workout to provide an example of what your program may look like. Perform this 2-3 times a week with one day off between training sessions.

    ExerciseSetsRepsTempo
    Leg Press36-8

    Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 2:0:2
    Set 3 - 1:0:2

    Barbell Banch Press36-8

    Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 2:0:2
    Set 3 - 1:0:2

    Seated Cable Rows36-8

    Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 2:0:2
    Set 3 - 1:0:2

    Lying Leg Curls28-10Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 1:0:2
    Leg Extensions28-10Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 1:0:2
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press28-10Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 2:0:2
    Barbell Curls210-12Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 2:0:2
    Triceps Pushdowns210-12Set 1 - 2:0:2
    Set 2 - 2:0:2
    Exercise Ball Crunches212-15Comfortable Pace

    References:

    1. Duret, Camille Ma. Et al. (1999). Once-Weekly Resistance Exercise Improves Muscle Strength and Neuromuscular Performance in Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 47(10:1208-1214).
    2. Agrawal, S.K. et al. (2003). Effect of Strength and power Training on Physical Function in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 58:M171-M175.
    3. http://www.coe.uga.edu/cs-pfp/
    4. Ewy, G.A. et al. (2003). The Positive Effect of Negative Work: Increased Muscle Strength and Decreased Fall Risk in a Frail Elderly Population. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences. 58:M419-M424.

    Over 50 Muscle Building: 3 Invaluable Ideas For Your Safety & Success!
    ShannonC_77@yahoo.ca

    Back To Shannon Clark's Main Page

    Back To The Articles Main Page.

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    dmprice

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    dmprice

    i am 50 and still try to power lift for strength. your article rang true in the area of recovery

    Article Rated:
    Sep 8, 2012 7:27am | report
    thunderchild

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    thunderchild

    Getting back into it for awhile after knee and shoulder surgery. Had to build back up as I had lost ALL my strength. Taking it slowly but I can feel the joints getting stronger quickly.

    Jan 8, 2013 12:30pm | report
    redstrom

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    redstrom

    I'm almost 53 and have been able to hit the gym 5 days a week for several months now. It feels great to start building muscle at this older age. With all the fatties my age walking around I'm starting to turn heads:-) I have a ton of energy. Diet is crucial with working out! Eat whole non processed foods. Less meat more veggies. Cut out the dairy and breads if you want to get serious about being lean and showing those muscles...

    Jan 28, 2013 3:01pm | report
    chickspadilla

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    chickspadilla

    Yep! I had a feeling the recovery time was due to age. Nice to know.

    Feb 24, 2013 4:20pm | report
    moebill

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    moebill

    Iam 50, recently I hurt my back and had to take off a couple months. I have made a complete recovery, but I have picked up a lot of weight in my mid section and my motivation is low. However, after reading this article I am once again inspired and motivated. Stay tuned!!!!!!!

    Mar 25, 2013 7:28am | report
    milanmv

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    milanmv

    Fully agree with the recovery time, need to extend the workouts cycle from a weekly program to 10 to 12 days program, (work same muscle only after 10 days)

    Aug 11, 2013 12:52am | report
    • Body Stats
    • ht: 13'4"
    • wt: 160.16 lbs
    • bf: 10.0%
    Consettaman

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    Consettaman

    This is a recent picture of me, at 51! I've lost 65 pounds and have been back in the game for about two years. I'm having the time of my life and making great gains!

    Sep 14, 2013 9:20pm | report
    Phillyrex

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    Phillyrex

    I'm having to make a lot of adjustments as I get near 60yo.
    I take a lot more time between sets. Also carefully about the knees. (the doc says may be arthitis). Also care with suplements, which may react with other medications.
    I feel I sound old when I chat about the challenges of being a senior bodybuilder, but it is best to recognise the challenges, make adjustment, and keep on lifting.

    Mar 9, 2014 3:05pm | report
    Muskoka62

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    Muskoka62

    ive just turned 52, although recovery time is longer still hit the gym 5 days a week, doing the kris Gethin 12 week plan for the 3rd time, just mixing it up a bit and not going heavy. loving it

    Apr 5, 2014 3:50pm | report
    • Body Stats
    • ht: 12'5"
    • wt: 149.91 lbs
    • bf: 17.5%
    Showing 1 - 9 of 9 Comments

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