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Bodybuilding After 50: What to Know


In case you’re serious about bodybuilding, now could also be an ideal time.

As you age, you lose lean muscle mass. You could have much less vitality and be much less energetic. Bodybuilding can reverse the method, serving to you construct muscle mass and have extra vitality.

Boosting your energy has different well being advantages. It helps you construct stronger bones, handle your weight, sharpen your considering, handle circumstances like arthritis, diabetes, back pain, and heart disease, and enhance your high quality of life.

Is Bodybuilding Protected Over 50?

Even if you happen to’ve by no means performed it earlier than, you can begin bodybuilding now. “You may get in form at any age if you happen to reside an energetic way of life and are in good well being,” says private coach Warren Gendel, winner of the Mr. Santa Barbara 1992 NPC bodybuilding contest and proprietor of Nicely-Match by Warren, an organization targeted on fitness for males over 50.

Bracha Goetz, a youngsters’s creator from Baltimore, began at age 60. “I began lifting weights to maintain my muscle tissue sturdy and to forestall osteoporosis, which my mom and older sister had.”

Lifting weights is now a part of Goetz’s routine and he or she feels stronger and more healthy. “Our our bodies had been designed to maneuver, so it’s a pleasure to do, particularly to music. Now I even have stronger muscle tissue than I ever had once I was youthful,” she says.

In case you’re not energetic now or when you’ve got a continual well being situation, speak to your physician. They may also help you resolve if bodybuilding is best for you.

It’s Not Only for Males

“Usually, ladies are turned off to bodybuilding due to a typical false impression that lifting weights will make you bulk up and appear like a sure inexperienced Marvel hero,” says Griff Robinson, a NASM-certified private coach outdoors Boston. “However bodybuilding isn’t only for males. Many ladies benefit from the psychological, emotional, and bodily advantages of weightlifting.”

In case you’re a lady and also you don’t need to bulk up, don’t fear, Robinson says. “Except you’re coaching like an elite, 22-year-old bodybuilder, you may count on to look fitter and extra toned, not beefy and ungainly.”


The best way to Begin

After you get a inexperienced gentle out of your physician, begin with 2-3 weightlifting periods every week.

“Attempt to maintain your exercises below half-hour,” Robinson says. That helps you do larger depth workout routines with out overworking your physique.

Begin with a quick warmup. Strive 5-10 minutes of brisk strolling or one other cardio exercise.

Intention for 12-15 repetitions of every train. Some individuals love to do 2-3 units of 12-15 repetitions, however specialists say one set is ok too. Choose a weight that’s not too simple however not too laborious. Your muscle tissue ought to begin to really feel drained whenever you get to the tip of every set.

As you get stronger, you’ll see enhancements. Your muscle mass will enhance, you’ll really feel stronger, and also you’ll be capable of work out longer. When it begins to really feel simple, bump up the quantity of weight barely.

Security First

Observe these steps for protected and efficient bodybuilding exercises after age 50.

Begin sluggish. In case you do an excessive amount of too quickly, you’re extra more likely to get injured. Ease in with gentle weights and brief periods.

Bear in mind to relaxation. Add relaxation days to your bodybuilding routine. Your physique wants time to get well from lifting weights. “Take a day without work between every coaching session to relaxation and get well,” Gendel says.

Use good kind. Lifting weights with poor kind or approach can result in harm. In case you’re unsure the best way to do it correctly, get a private coach to information you, Gendel says.

Hearken to your physique. If one thing doesn’t really feel proper, cease lifting. Strive utilizing a decrease weight. Double-check your kind and approach. Take a break for a number of days. In case you nonetheless really feel pain, speak to your private coach or physician.

Spherical Out Your Exercises

Bodybuilding isn’t nearly lifting weights.

“In case you’re seeking to keep in fine condition and maintain your physique sturdy and wholesome, it’s at all times a good suggestion to include some cardio, like jogging, into your health routine,” Robinson says.

Add body weight actions to your routine. Strive workout routines like push-ups, squats, and sit-ups, Robinson says. They use your personal weight that will help you construct muscle mass and sluggish bone loss linked to osteoporosis.

Bear in mind to eat properly. “That you must have good nutrition to gas your physique for muscle development,” Gendel says.


When to Cease

Typically it’s finest to carry off. Take a break from bodybuilding if:

  • You’ve gotten a cold, the flu, or an an infection with a fever.
  • You’re feeling much more tired than you often do.
  • You’ve gotten swelling or ache in a muscle or joint.
  • You’ve gotten a symptom that you simply’re unsure about.
  • You’ve gotten chest pain.
  • Your heartbeat is irregular, fast, or fluttery.
  • You’ve gotten shortness of breath.
  • You’ve gotten a hernia.



Mayo Clinic: “Energy coaching: Get stronger, leaner, more healthy.”

CDC: “Rising Stronger: Energy Coaching for Older Adults.”

Warren Gendel, ACE-certified private coach, San Francisco.

Bracha Goetz, weightlifter, Baltimore.

Griff Robinson, NASM-certified private coach, Boston.

Edward-Elmhurst Well being: “10 finest workout routines for senior adults.”

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