You have crossed 50 or 60 and trying to keep trim with as much muscles as possible, which everyone of us should aim for – no matter at what age we are!
Good news is: you can do it. Learn here the 4 best tricks/tips for old age muscle building.
4 Key Issues – Muscle Building For Seniors
We asked many fitness experts – “What are the best ways to build muscle mass in old age?” And then we compiled a basic list of just these top 4 key factors for seniors to help build muscles in old age:
1. Eat To Keep Fit And Build: Here is the major problem. Our diet is usually imbalanced and lacking in the crucial nutrients. That’s why we get fat and out of shape in old age.
2. Move Your Ass: Another menace of the modern lives. The new technologies have restricted the opportunities for moving our bodies. People sit at desks all day.
3. Lift Stuff: Preferably heavy stuff. Make it a daily part of your life.
4. Sleep Soundly: Another casualty of jet-age living is its incursion on your sleep – quantity as well as quality. Your body is not designed for these days stressful-living and the resultant chronic stress impairs the muscle-repair and building abilities of your body.
3 Critical Needs For Muscle Building Older Men
After focusing on the above 4 key areas, we have zeroed on these three critical needs:
(ii) Exercise (both aerobic and anaerobic)
(iii) Managing Stress.
4 Key Steps To Gain Muscle In Old Age
Our muscle begins to decline at roughly 1% a year after 30. After 50, the decline picks up additional speed (yikes!). Building muscle at any age can be a challenging task; it takes time, determination and perseverance. The older you get, the harder it becomes! As you age, your testosterone levels go down, which makes it harder for you to gain muscle. However, harder doesn’t mean impossible. With the right training program, nutrition plan and managing stress, you can still build muscle and look great even after when you have crossed 50, 60 or even 70.
Don’t worry – even if you are old, you can still slow down the muscle mass slide and even gain muscle mass. Here are 4 key steps you need to start taking right now to gain muscles:
Don’t Just Stand There – Weight Training
Weight training is the # 1 way to enhance testosterone levels and gain muscle. To fend off sarcopenia, the age-related muscular deterioration (muscular equivalent of osteoporosis), we suggest two alternative approaches:
(i) For fifty+ novice trainers, best is following a full-body workout performed 3-4 times per week (you can do up to 5-6 times a week). Full-body workouts work better to increase testosterone and growth hormone production than split workouts, where you work out one muscle group one day and another the next day. Full-body workouts also fire up your metabolism more than split workouts do. Concentrate on compound exercises like squats, dead lifts, bench presses and rows. Do 6 exercises per session that work your full body, and do 3-4 sets of 12 to 15 reps for each. Use a weight that is challenging but let you do entire sets with proper form. Begin light, and slowly increase your weights and reps week after week.
(ii) Another approach is a two-pronged workout routine. Resistance training to build and strengthen muscles, along with aerobic exercise to augment blood flow to the capillaries, supplying more oxygen to the muscles and building endurance.
Total Fitness Tips:
(i) If you are new or re-starting after a long gap, consider taking help from a trainer to make a customized program for you and to guide you through your workouts – but better you consult with your doctor first before you start. Also ensure the trainer you select has experience of training the 40+ set, so as to minimize your risk of injury from doing too much, too soon.
(ii) Once you’re looking and feeling fit – don’t give up – this is a life-long allegiance.
Read: Weight Training After 50s-60s
Read: How To Begin Weight Training Safely After 50
Nutrition – Especially Protein, If You’re Getting On In Years
Nutrition is next important key to build muscles. As per Mark Sisson, author of “The Primal Blueprint,” high protein intake is crucial for optimal muscle growth, and essential fats are required for hormone production. Include a portion of protein from lean chicken, fish, eggs or dairy in every meal (for elderly people, whey protein is recommended) along with a healthy fat source, such as avocado, olive oil, peanut butter, coconut or fish oils. For those who look for high-quality protein from non-meat sources can include white beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils and even leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and asparagus into their diet. Vegetables too are needed, so try to include them in every sitting. Also the carbs are essential for recovery and energy, but too much can cause fat gain. So make sure to keep your carb sources to slow-digesting ones, such as brown rice, whole grains, sweet potatoes and certain fruits, and only in meals before and after your workouts.
Fitness Tip: My preferred source of protein for building muscle mass is whey protein. Immediately after my morning intense training, I straight away enjoy one scoop of whey protein chocolate flavor powder mixed with plain water to get 24 grams of protein.
Read: Protein Nutrition For Seniors & Older Adults
Read: How Seniors Can Increase Their Protein Intake
Why, how and what to eat to meet your protein needs – whether you are a non-vegetarian, vegetarian or vegan, man or woman – A most comprehensive Protein Guide!: Protein Synthesis / Myths & Facts
How Much Protein
Though the perfect amount of high-quality protein you need to eat daily in order to maintain long-term muscle mass hasn’t been definitively established, you can roughly find out your daily requirements based on the following equation: Take your body weight in pounds, divide it in half, and subtract 10. The resulting number will give you the approximate amount of protein you should be eating every day. So, for example, if you weigh 160 lbs., then half of that is 80, minus 10 = 70 grams of protein spread over the course a day’s worth of meals. In short, to slow muscle deterioration, particularly for those heading into their 60’s and beyond, high-quality protein is the best weapon. NOTE: If you have renal issues, you should work with your doctor to determine an appropriate daily protein intake for you specific needs.
Read: Why & How Much Protein You Need
Read: Best Protein Source For Breakfast
Supplement Your Muscles And Strength
While we believe one should get the majority of his or her nutrition from fresh, organic, non-GM veggies, meats, organic chicken & eggs, legumes and fruits, but supplementation is a great tactic to build muscle and make good for the nutritional gaps, especially for middle-age and older adults who may not be eating enough nutritious foods. Out of the various supplements that are good in conserving and building muscle mass, leading the list are whey protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, L carnitine; Glutamine and B12/folic acid.
Total Fitness Tip: Consistent workout (weight training) and aerobic exercise, wisely chosen diet and smart dietary choices and vital supplementation – they’re your passport to a strong, muscular, healthy and trim body – so the sooner you hop on the bandwagon, the better!
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Health Coach. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “I am now healthier and fitter at 68 than I was at 28. For me age is just a number!”
Thank you so much for the information in this article. I’ve been asking the trainers at the gym for years and now you’ve nailed it for me. Fantastic, I do need to get the supplementation aspect correct, otherwise, I’m pretty close to what the article describes.
These tips have worked on me. I am sure they will work for you too. Best of luck!
Elderly people can mitigate the degenerative process through proper nutritional intake, and focusing over physical activities such as reps in order to ensure that each muscle groups is worked sufficiently to retain its mass.
Ok, so you’re saying do a short full body workout 3-6 days a week. I’ve been doing a full body workout (I’m a 60 yr old F btw) twice a week, as I found myself getting really worn out doing it 3 times a week, but I’ve been doing 15 different exercises (3 sets X 12 reps or to failure in some cases). I do intervals of 3, upper body – legs – abs. Takes about an hour and a half, give or take, depending on how much umph I have that day.
So, do you think dropping to 6 different exercises 3-7 a week is better than what I’ve been doing? Not being snarky, just want an honest opinion. My experience is I get worn out more than twice a week.
I also do cardio 5-7 days a week (by my fitbit, 400cal per), and yoga kind of sporadically.
Hi Maya: That’s a good idea. You need to surprise your body to get continued results because our bodies respond better with variations.
I used to train at my younger age and want to return to training and I believe through what I read that I am going to kill the belly fat. It can be done.
I am so encouraged that I can’t wait for 17:00 to take my first health walk.
Hi F M:
I am glad that it helped in motivating you. Will appreciate that you share your results here after a month.
Your daily protein recommendation falls short of almost all the data out there for those in a serious weight lifting program. Most recommendations call for .8 to 1.0 gm protein per pound of body weight.