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Building Muscle After 50: The Essential Guide

0 2 years ago

Building muscle after 50 is not only important for a great-looking physique, it’s also essential if you look forward to a long life of healthy aging in a strong body.

Contrary to popular belief, age is not an obstacle to gaining muscle. Strength training is both effective and safe for older adults.

In this article, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know to start building muscle past the age of 50.

Remember:

It’s never too late.

Your Muscles After 50

As you get older, starting as early as your thirties, you begin to lose muscle. At first, it happens so slowly that you don’t notice it. However, as the years pass, the loss of muscle mass accelerates.

As if that wasn’t enough, you start losing strength even faster than you lose muscle, and fat begins to infiltrate your muscles.

Sounds bad?

It is.

This process leads to reduced physical function and a lower quality of life, maybe even disability and early death if unchecked.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sit by and watch this decline take place. On the contrary, you can and should do something about it.

The cure is called strength training.

Strength training is the best way to not only prevent the decline from happening for many decades, but you can also reverse the process and gain muscle mass and strength instead. Best of all, it’s not a bitter pill to swallow, but fun, time-efficient, and effective – all at once.

I’m Past 50. Is It Too Late for Me to Start Training?

No.

I could end this paragraph there, but let’s see what science says.

Not only can you build muscle and get stronger by lifting weights after 50, but you also get the health benefits associated with physical activity.3 Some of these are unique to strength training.

Both men and women 50 and above experience gains in strength and muscle mass from lifting weights. In fact, both men and women respond equally well to strength training. Of course, men usually have more muscle mass to begin with, meaning they build more muscle from training in absolute terms. However, women can build just as much muscle as men in relative terms, based on the amount of muscle mass they have.

In just a few months, you can expect to increase your muscle mass dramatically and lose fat simultaneously. In one study, male participants with a mean age of 60 gained 2 kg of fat-free mass while simultaneously losing 2 kg of fat mass during 16 weeks of training.


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