Having toned-up and well-shaped muscles not only help you look more powerful to other men and sexier to women, but they also endow you with a number of health benefits. Gaining muscles after 60 years of age helps restrict muscle loss, builds-up strength, boosts metabolic rate, decreases low back and arthritic pain, improves bone density and supports cardiorespiratory health.
The bodies of physically stronger men are generally able to heal faster after an illness.
Can You Build Muscle After 60?
For some reasons, an average man or woman has more natural muscle mass on his/her body when he/she is younger than when he/she gets older. Muscular natural development process progresses slower as we age. Notwithstanding these facts, it does not mean that an individual of 60 years of age and beyond cannot acquire a healthy, muscular physique: yes he can. While older adults don’t build muscles as fast as the younger ones, but they can still attain notable increase if they follow the guidelines given in this article. Continue reading this article to find ways to build muscles quickly at 60 years age, and even beyond 60.
Building Muscle Over 60
If you are interested in muscle-building after 60, here are 10 tricks on to build muscle faster:
1. Warm Up: Make sure to take a 10-15 minute walk at a quicker pace or do a cardiac such as treadmill to warm up before you start workout and a 10-minute walk at a lesser pace after your workout to cool down. You can do this even at home walking back and forth in a room, on a treadmill or you may warm up with calisthenics. Take care not to use up too much of your energy if you do calisthenics or treadmill for warm-up. You need to save as much energy as you can for your main workout.
(i) Doing warm-up at a faster pace has additional advantage in that it will strengthen your heart and help in controlling your blood pressure.
(ii) Alternatively, you can begin your workout with a set of light warm-up stretches. While stretching before a workout is important at any age, it is even more important as our body’s age.
2. Gradual Progress: Don’t try to break records overnight in your workout. Increase the weight and intensity of your workout gradually. Take your own time. Better to go gradually than too fast and risk injury.
3. Weight Training: It is never too late to get into strength training. I myself started strength training in gym after 64. The most successful and proven way to gain muscle mass is through weight training. Free weights like barbells and dumbbells provide you with a great prospect to begin adding alluring firmness and shape to the muscles in your chest, shoulders, arms, back, legs and stomach.
4. Avoid Jerks While You Work Out: Maintain your form “smooth.” Never use jerky movements or swing the weight while doing workout. Maintain the best smooth movement form that you can manage when doing exercises. This will ensure that you get best results out of the workouts and minimize the chances of any injury. Use lighter weights if you are unable to manage proper movements with heavier weights. As the saying goes, form is king. More, so as you get older.
For instance, avoid swinging weights when you perform workouts such as curls or lateral raises. Pause for a moment at the bottom of the exercise, and then you lift the weight back up.
5. Higher Reps: Try increasing reps in all or some of your exercises. For instance, 15-20, 20-25. Higher reps using a little lower weight are gentler to your joints and not only will safe guard you from hurting yourself, but also heal injuries. However, to get the best out of higher reps, you need to work the reps till muscle-fatigue. Not total failure, just until the point where the muscle is tired enough and you would be hard pressed to force out a few more reps.
6. Recover And Move: Recovery of muscles is as important as workout and diet. If you feel drained the day after a workout, it might be an indication to reduce the volume of workout you are doing or work out less. For example, instead of working out 5 or 6 days a week splits, you might consider doing 3 or 4 times a week with rest days between workouts.
7. Select Your Exercises: If an exercise doesn’t feel right to you or in case you have injured yourself while doing any exercise, select an alternative exercise. After age of 60 years sprains and injuries can happen more easily as compared to when you were much younger. It’s better to work out safely then be unable to exercise due to injuries. For example be careful while doing dead lifts as you might injure your back muscles. Another example is bench press. Some times older folks’ shoulders become sore after benching. Alternative can be dumbbell bench presses with neutral grips, push-ups or chest flies. There are always alternative options that you can try or can select with the help of your trainer.
8. Do Sets According To Your Capacity: If you feel exhausted after completing your work out, then consider doing 2 sets on all or most of your exercises instead of 3 or more sets. Shorter workouts will be easier to recover from.Note: Some folks after 60 still do 3 or more sets and 6 day splits. I myself do 3-4 sets with 5-6 day splits. Having said that, it’s an individual choice and capability involving many variables.
9. Whey Protein: Drink a 25-30 gram whey protein mixture within half an hour after you complete your workout. This helps gaining lean muscle mass and cut back body fat. According to many studies and research papers, elderly men who drink 20-40 gram whey protein with in half an hour after work out gain more muscle mass than those who take less or no whey protein.
And above all the most important is: Have fun and enjoy your workouts to get the best results, otherwise the odds are you might quit working out.
10. Total Fitness Tip: For the ones who either don’t like lifting weights and doing any resistance training or who for some reasons can not do so, they can go for daily long walks and indulge in other physical activities. Although with only walking and physical activities, they will miss many benefits of resistance training, stronger bones, retaining muscle mass, etc. – but then something is better than nothing. I know a guy in his late nineties who has been taking long daily walks for decades and he is maintaining excellent health, but his muscle mass is depleting.
Useful Related Post: Should You Exercise In Old Age