You Can Still Get Ripped After 50: The Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle and Strength

You might hear the urban myths that say you can’t get ripped after 50 because you don’t have the stamina or muscle strength that you used to, but those aren’t real. Even worse, you may even tell yourself some of those myths yourself. But they are called myths for a reason. The truth is that when you are trying to build muscles after the age of 50, your motivation is the only emotional tool that you need. The rest is all science. Don’t listen to the naysayers who say you can’t lift weights and that you need to exercise slowly.

Some yoga would be nice for you, and could even help. But you can get ripped after 50 with a multi-faceted workout routine and dietary plan that will get you where you need to be. Sadly, it is estimated that as many as 31 million adults over the age of 50 are falling victim to these myths, but you don’t have to be one of them. You shouldn’t be. 

Use this guide to create a “man after 50 workout” and learn more about how to get in shape the way you want.

Benefits of Fitness After 50

There are many benefits to adding fitness to your life after the age of 50. The most obvious benefits are longevity and better health. Being in shape in your middle age years and beyond is good for you. One study indicates that it can even reduce your risk of death by as much as 70 percent.

With longevity as a result of regular exercise and a menu plan that works, you will also create more independence for yourself. This kind of independence will keep you going. Exercise helps you to improve your bone health, strengthen your muscles and your bones, and reduce your risk of disease significantly. You’ll have a better working heart, and better coordination overall.

You will also think better, think more clearly, and sleep better than living a life without regular exercise. All of this will contribute to an improved life overall. Yes, you will look the way that you want, which may be your driving goal. But you’ll have a better life when you look better and feel better, and can think better about your everyday lifestyle.

One Harvard study noted that simply adding walks to your everyday routine can improve your health and reduce your risk of health problems by as much as 28 percent. When you can move independently, you can live independently. You’ll also have a better heart. And, with heart disease being a leading cause of death in the United States, this will help with your longevity and independence.

If you want to become more physically built and add more muscle to your body, you’ll need to add cardiovascular exercise to your everyday life. When you add all of these things to your new routine, you will build the muscle mass that you want, and become a healthier person. Another key benefit to this is improved cognitive function, something we can all appreciate as we age. There is a body of evidence that indicates that regular exercise and a healthier lifestyle can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and even prevent it.

Even without this worry, adding more exercise to your life will send more oxygen flowing to your brain, and you will experience a clearer mind and a healthier outlook on life overall. You’ll also have stronger bones when you add weight-bearing exercises to your life. When you begin lifting weights, your body is forced to work a little harder against gravity, and this forces your bones to respond in a way that builds strength. With this comes the added benefit of decreasing your risk of muscle loss, which is a significant contributor to losing independence later in life.

Finally, it can’t be said enough that your emotional life will improve as well when you add exercises for men over 50 into your life. You will see lower levels of anxiety and depression when you are working out regularly, and you will feel great. You will begin to look the way you want and have more joy and happiness in your life. All of these benefits are also going to contribute to better sleep quality, which will also improve your life and day-to-day activities significantly.

Dispelling Myths About Aging and Fitness

There are so many myths for those who are over 50 and trying to work out more that discussing them all will be impossible. But you know which ones are the worst for you because you probably have them all running through your head right now. You may not be able to remove them from your mindset all in one sitting, but you can beat those myths the longer you exercise and keep that routine in your life. This is another situation in science where it is mind over matter.

One common myth is that if you have never exercised regularly in your life, starting now will be too late. This could not be further from the truth. It is never too late, and, as we age, we need to exercise more for several reasons. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see benefits and improvements in cognitive activities, strength, and overall physical balance.

You may also have heard or felt the myth that weight-bearing exercise at this age isn’t good for you because you are too weak or may hurt yourself. This isn’t true either. You can lift weights and can still get ripped at 50, and you won’t hurt yourself at all if you do it right. You’ll do your body and your mind a lot of good.

Strength Training Workouts for Older Adults

When you begin strength training over the age of 50, be sure that you start slowly. But don’t be afraid to go the extra mile, or add extra weight to your bars. If you are new to this, ask for help at the gym you are working out at, and you can get some help building your routine. Try some of these exercises for men over 50, and you will see for yourself how much confidence and mental agility you can build over time as you are building your physical strength.

Before you start these workout routines for men over 50, remember a few simple rules you need to put into every workout. You want to stretch and warm up before and after every workout to get ready to work out, and then cool down after. You’ll also need to create a workout schedule that allows for giving your body a break in between weight-lifting sessions. Create a schedule that starts with shorter sessions of weight lifting and works up to longer ones as you become more fit and more ripped.

Don’t stack on more weight than you can handle to start. The beginning of this journey is not the time to push yourself. You have to give your body a few weeks to get used to this new experience. Then, you can push it, but start by lifting only as much weight as you can handle.

Start with the basic squat. You can start this without weights to get used to the form, and then add weights to the routine once you are used to it. With the squat, you have to start at the standing position with your feet wider than your shoulders. Here you are going to be taking a barbell with weights on each side and holding it on your shoulders. You can practice the form without the weights first.

You’ll simply lower your hips up and down to squat. This will work your hamstrings and your glutes and strengthen your back muscles. You want to do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, starting with a smaller number if you are not accustomed to this exercise. Enough of these with a good cardio routine will sculpt this part of your body in no time.

Simple dumbbell lifts will also help you when you are trying to sculpt your arms, and you can shape your biceps by curling dumbbells towards you. Hold the dumbbell facing you with your arm straight and your palms facing you. Curl the dumbbell up towards you several times. These are some good starting exercises to build your muscles, so you can get ripped after 50 while you get accustomed to the gym equipment that will eventually work every muscle system in your body.

Nutrition Tips for Building Muscle After 50

Protein is the key to establishing a good diet when you are trying to work towards a ripped body after 50. You want a diet that is high in protein. You can go to Keto and cut out carbs completely for a little while, and this will help you to burn fat. A diet high in protein is going to help you build the muscle mass that you need when you are trying to shape your body your way.

Chicken or turkey at least two meals a day will help to keep you full and keep your diet stacked with the right calories to fill you up and strengthen you after your meals. These foods are among the highest in protein in the meat family. Add other elements of protein such as dairy through cheese, yogurt, and eggs, which you can, in your diet. Fruits and vegetables as sides and snacks will make for a complete nutritional plan when you are getting in shape after the age of 50.

Creating a Sustainable Fitness Routine

A sustainable fitness routine is going to be one that can last for you. You want to have exercises that you can do and that you will enjoy doing, and this is true for any exerciser of any age. You want a plan that you won’t give up on. At the same time, you need a plan that your body can manage. If you have any health conditions, talk to your doctor about your plans to work, to see if they have any suggestions or recommendations so that you don’t stress your body while you are doing this.

Start slowly and get your body conditioned to doing these new things. It is normal to feel sore when you are working out your muscles. Remember to add warmups and cool-downs to every workout routine, every single one. And, remember to schedule a day off or two during the week to let your muscles rest and heal before the next workout.

These rest days are as important as your workout days because your body is working for you while you are resting. Your muscles will get stronger on those days, even if it feels like you are doing nothing. In the first week, start with some basic exercises like walking, and try strength training at least once this week for up to 20 minutes. By the second week, you can add heavier cardiovascular exercises like running or treadmill work once or twice that week, and strengthen training two times that week.

In week three, you want to add more cardio minutes to your plan and an additional strength training routine with weight-bearing exercises. You may want to increase the amount of minutes that you have with your cardio to get more fat-burning. The amount of minutes in weight training here is not as important as adding more reps and sets to your routine. After the first month, your body should be conditioned to the new lifestyle, and you will be more likely to stick to a routine of weight training a few times a week, and cardiovascular training 3 to five times a week.

Get Ripped After 50

When you have reached the age of 50, it all seems downhill from here. We remember our old bodies and forget that some of this body science is mind over matter. Start slowly when you want to begin this new change in your life. Create a plan you will enjoy and can stick to, and getting ripped after 50 will seem like a breeze, and you’ll have fun while you are doing it.

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Stevie Compango, CNSC, CPT

Stevie is Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for the past 10 years. He specializes in mobility and chronic pain management. His methods have helped thousands of clients improve the quality of their life through movement.

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