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
Very interesting! It’s great to know it’s possible to be strong and healthy at any age 🙂
You are right, you are pretty! I am 60+ and I teach the Martial Arts and still spar with the young ones, what I have lost in speed – I have gained in knowledge, experience and expertise and I hit hard
Really those young guys take it easy on you lol. You are old fart..hit hard maybe when you were young not age 60.
I’m right on point!!
All that you said,the trainers at the gym told me.
It’s a GREAT feeling when re checking things and find out your your doing it correctly. THANKS FOR THE RE insurance
Thanks for your feedback and appreciation..
I’m nearly 69, work out 1 to 1.5 hours 3 times a week and have the best physique in the gym. However, I do have to accept I’m never going to be a young Arnie. I aim to be a 69 year old Arnie!
True, no one can beat age. But yes, you can keep yourself fit and healthy at all ages…
Not quite 60 yet…10 years to go…but I am going to use these tips and see what happens.
As you are edging towards 60, you should start taking steps to keep fit in your old age. But the dictum is you are never too old to take up strength training. Read here for strength training and weight lifting in old age: https://justfitnesshub.com/weight-training-seniors/
Super. Age is most instances can only be a count . But to be healthy only answer is exercises.
Helpful tips! I’m 48. I’ve always been thin and now getting thinner.. losing muscle and my fat level is on the low border limit of being healthy. I’d like to gain both a bit of fat and ofcourse gain muscle with exercise (besides my daily walk). When I include whey, what’s the best time to take it?
Read this article. This is answer to your problem: https://justfitnesshub.com/how-to-gain-weight-the-healthy-way-fast/
I’m 63 1/2 (born January of 1954) and lift weights for 2 hours and 30 minutes every other day. I do 2 and sometimes 3 sets of 15 on every machine in a well equipped gym. I always move the pin up one position for each successive set of the same exercise. I’m 5’7 and wear 36″ waist jeans at 215 lbs. I also have an extensive dumbbell, barbell and cable machine routine where I use the same number of sets and progressively heavier weights Lastly, I finish each workout with a brisk 20 minute 3 mph. walk on the treadmill at a 3 degree grade. I started working out on a rudimentary Universal Gym and with a 110 lb. barbell set in 1968 at age 14, but but was only episodically active in the gym between the ages of 25 and 60, as in the usual New Years resolutions that end badly. So I’m living proof that you can train heavy and gain muscle after age 60. That being said, I made some stupid mistakes during my comeback and paid the price with injuries (all healed,) but they cost me some serious discomfort and time away (many months) from the gym. Lastly, I boned up on musclar and skeletal anitomical systems, sports nutrition and supplements. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing without applying the afformentioned knowledge and plenty of rest, plus no alcohol, no cigarettes ever. So in summary, if you’re in my age range, just do it and don’t listen to well meaning people who say “you are too old to be doing that.” Weight training is a true fountain of youth.
I agree with you. I have never been to gym before I retired. I retired from active job at the age of 60. Started going to gym at 63.Since, then I have gained muscles and keeping a very active daily routine. I am full of youth and have never been more happier than what I am today. I do half an hour cardio and about 60-70 minutes workout on machines, weight lifting, strength training 4-5 times a week.
I am right behind you at 63 been lifting since 16. Still lift semi heavy. Retired but still work as a security contractor so like to look and be strong. I turned 57 while doing a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Strongest man on COP. I know now you need to rest more between heavy lifts. Like Deadlift, use Hex bar and only every ten to twelve days. Also use multi grip bar to bench every other workout. Mark Bell slingshot really helps form. Smart training is the secret after 60
I.m 60 now. I was an on/off gym guy. Suddenly in the past year I’ve lost a lot of muscle tone. I used to be XL but NOW even L is loose. I’ve started gymming again. Would there be a particular routine that I can follow ad also what kind supplement would you recommend? I had a cercical disc fusion done about 3 years ago and from then on it was downhill. I t was gradual but suddenly I noticed the loose skin on arms and legs. Do you think its permanent or will it come back?
Don’t worry. Here are very useful tips and ways to build/regain muscle mass even in old age:
I took early retirement and started back at the gym at 59. While working I did go and exercise but was always short on time. Now I can spend more time at the gym and enjoy it. I started off doing low weights and slowly am building up. Doing squats I started off by doing no weight on thd bar – I felt a bit self concious at first but hey I am doing this for me no one else. Progress is slow but I am enjoying it which is thd main thing. Thank you for this article.
good advice thanks ,,,,
I just turned 60 and didn’t start weightlifting until 5 years ago. I’m now stronger and more muscular than I’ve ever been. I’m not as susceptible to colds and flu, I’ve controlled my lipids and blood sugar, and I can do things that my father and oldest brother could not or would not do at this age.
Well done, keep it up!
Is it possible to melt away one to two pounds of stubborn body fat every single day?
It sounds insane, but according to the scientific proof — and the thousands who have already done it themselves using this secret — the answer is YES.
You will never guess how it’s done… (Hint: It’s NOT about taking sketchy pills or killing
yourself at the gym).
That’s right – and it’s important to know that this isn’t about some “magic weight loss shake,” or the “calories out-calories in” model that the medical community has been
trying to brainwash us with for decades.
Not at all.
In general, I agree with the article, wich is full of sound advice.
Only one word of caution: there is NO possible diet to increase your muscles. Everything you eat transform itself into calories. True, you can do a lot of mistakes in your diet, but there´s no magic in it. You should it a balanced diet, which usually means less fat, sugar, salt and alcohol.
All that been said, gym is the only answer to a long healthy life. No shortcuts here, you should sweat!
Some tips for building muscles after 60 includes:
Ensure to take proper nutritional intake
Increase reps instead of increasing weight
Lastly, and most importantly give your body some recovering time.
I do a lot of wanking,it really is the way to fitness at our age.
Hi Peter: Walking is no doubt a good exercise, but it’s not enough. You need to do weight training. Here are some good articles that you must read:
The reason younger people have more lean muscle mass is no secret: the body produces high amounts of HGH, until it begins decreasing around 30. By 60, a body produces very little HGH (which is a group of amino acids plus other naturally-occurring elements) in the body.
Intermittent fasting will bring back the production of HGH in your body at any age and is a good part of the daily routine with gym workouts. Training while in a fasted state is very powerful and brings on good results
Thank you very much your article is very inspiring I come across on searching on internet. I am 66 and always has been fond of exercise but could not have time in my life now you have given me hope and I hope I will get something it’s my dream. – DrPancholi, India.
Yep I’m 60 too I retired ANN got lazy and picked up 15 pounds but now I’m back in the gym lifting weights but I’m focusing more on my core and abbs trying to get my bubble gut down 30 minutes cardio 45 weight lifting
Steven: That’s awesome!
At 63 I have trained with weights since I was around 18. I’ve learned a lot in that time and keep abreast of research. One thing I know for certain is that you can’t out train a poor diet. Also contrary to conventional wisdom, according to the latest research an animal based, rather than a plant based diet is best suited to building and retaining muscle.
Thank you su much for your useful tips!
This site seems to be about advertisements I would like more content about health rather than selling product. If this continues I will cancel my subscription.
Hi Barry: I am working so hard in writing all these useful, informative health n fitness related articles. I am an old retired man, need to get compensated for all this & earn my livelihood. I hope you will understand. Thanks…
I am 62 years old and started some dumbbell workouts after warm exercises from 5 years ago. I am keeping my BMI value according to the factors I need to make my arms and chest bigger
I am Lacto vegetarian man
Shantha: Dumbbell workouts are good. Here’s a youtube channel. You can find on this the correct form & technique to do chest & arms exercises. It’s all FREE. You may like to subscribe (FREE). Press the bell icon while subscribing so that you receive notification whenever a new exercise video is published. https://youtube.com/c/fitnessbuffhq
I’m 70 years old and began lifting at age 13 after major kidney surgery . I was able to bench press 205 lbs at 14 . I began power lifting at 27 and at 136 lbs bench pressed 325 naturally. At33 I started bodybuilding competition and won several NPC shows and AAU. At37 I won the Northeast NPC championship. I stopped competing because of increased steroid use . At 70 I train 5 days a week . It’s a lifestyle and a gift of God to be able 🙏
Hi Ivan: That’s awesome!