There is no reason to believe that bodybuilding over 50 should be more difficult or less successful than bodybuilding at 20.
There have been countless studies that prove your body can build the same muscle mass now that you could build two decades ago. You may have to make slight routine modifications and use more caution.
However, there is no reason why you cannot get a sculpted, hardbody in your 50s, 60s, or even 70s. If you motivate and educate yourself, you can be virtually unstoppable on your path to fitness.
This may surprise you, but there are plenty of men and women bodybuilders in their 70s and later who regularly win international competitions against younger athletes.
What may surprise you more is that a large portion of those people entered middle age with failing bodies and little to no exercise. However, they found the cure to aging.
They started weight training to increase muscle mass and bone density. Exercise improved their cardiovascular strength and kept their joints in a youthful condition. The increased activity and blood flow improved their cognitive reasoning.
They also saw positive changes in their self-esteem, personal philosophies, and overall happiness. None of these athletes had an easy journey, but with careful study and planning they became fitness champions.
They faced the same challenges you are about to face and they victoriously climbed the same mountains you are about to climb. You can have that success if you create a well researched fitness plan tailored to your unique body and individual goals.
Establish Your Fitness Goals
The intensity and schedule of your plan for weight training over 50 should be based on very personal, fundamental goals.
Whether it is to improve health, guarantee independence later in life, feel better about the person in the mirror, or another pursuit, most successful body builders have built their exercise program by using one core value as their foundation.
After you know what is motivating you, you will have a clearer picture of where you need to go and visualize who you want to be in 5, 10, and 15 years.
Once you know your core value, start making fitness goals that are aligned with it. Most bodybuilders choose how they would like to sculpt their body before designing the components of their bodybuilding plan.
If your main goal is to simply tone your body, then your workout will not be as intense but will probably focus more on certain problem areas.
People who strive for increased strength and non-bulky muscle still exercise their total body, but do not try to greatly build muscle mass.
However, competitive bodybuilders and those who want a “ripped” physique work out each body part in intense training sessions that can last over two hours a day.
Do not be intimidated by the term competitive bodybuilding, these are people who were once like you and faced the same challenges as you to become fitness champions.
The best men and women competitive bodybuilders over 50 often say that they never intended to become competitive, but the competition helped drive them to achieve excellence.
If you know how you would like to sculpt your body, then you are ready to design your actual fitness program and intensity level.
Many competitive bodybuilders design their plan on the principle that every workout should increase the intensity of work done compared to your previous workout. However, this can mislead you into thinking that you must intensely train each body part as often as possible.
In general, this is a mistake.
Experts insist that your body needs rest in order to repair and build muscle.
Men and women over 50, especially beginners, might even find their muscles need more than a day’s rest.
Therefore, rest is a very basic component to any bodybuilding plan.
After you train a specific body part, you will need to give it a break before you can expect a more intense performance.
This idea of deeply training a body part and followed by rest is why most bodybuilders train in cycles with “splits”. A split refers to the segregation of the body into different muscle groups, such as abs and legs.
Throughout a cycle, a bodybuilder will work on one, or no more than two, muscle groups per day. Each day of the cycle they will work on a different group or groups.
No body group is repeated until every body part has been trained and rested at least one day. Common cycles are 3, 4, 5, and 10 day cycles. As you may imagine, the longer cycles provide more rest for each muscle group and shorter cycles train more than one group per day.
Choosing a cycle plan is a very personal decision. You alone will be able to tell how much rest your body needs and if you can adequately train more than one muscle group in a day.
The best way to start is to study the cycles others use. Compare their fitness goals, body style, and results to your own. Incorporate their cycles, schedule, and actual techniques that best suit you.
Always realize that fitness is a learning process and you will probably have to adjust your routine until you find your perfect fit.
Cardio Follow Up
Almost every body builder includes some type of cardio workout to compliment their strength training.
However, the similarities stop there because the cardio component of an over 50 bodybuilding plan is truly unique to every man and woman.
Traditionally, cardio is used to improve cardiovascular health and burn calories. Bodybuilding also strengthens your cardiovascular system, but most competitive bodybuilders still include cardio to keep their heart healthy.
Cardio also burns calories very quickly, making it important that your cardio routine also match your fitness goals.
Competitive bodybuilders typically do enough cardio to counteract the extra calories they have consumed to prevent fat gain. If you have a slower metabolism, your body probably gains unwanted fat more easily.
Therefore you will have to do cardio longer and more often. If you overeat, for example at holidays, you will have to increase your cardio workout accordingly.
On the other hand, many competitive bodybuilders have found that their metabolism increases as the bulk up. This is probably because maintenance of muscle mass requires an average of 40 more calories per pound each day than fat.
Therefore, if you are eating right and your metabolism is easily eliminating your extra calories, then gaining unwanted fat is probably not an issue for you.
So, you will want to make sure you do not perform too much cardio as you will begin to use calories your body needs to create muscle mass. This will actually undo your bodybuilding efforts, especially if you are wishing to bulk up.
Once again, cardio is important and you should never neglect that portion of your workout. However, how much cardio you perform will depend on your personal bodybuilding goals and nutrition plan.
Follow In The Footsteps Of Your Role Models
There is no competitive body builder who reached his or her success alone. Nor did they reach that level of fitness following a one-size-fit-all exercise plan.
Their bodies and needs are all unique as are their individual bodybuilding over 50 plans. Most successful bodybuilders will tell you that they designed their plan based on the experiences of their personal role models.
They studied the success stories of others and used that knowledge to design their own program. Most will tell you that they studied hundreds of cases before they began to create their weight training regiment.
If you use this technique, you will greatly increase your chances of success.
Fit Over 40 is a fantastic e-book that includes the personal testimonies of 52 strength trainers, competitive body builders, and weight training instructors.
Each testimony details the unique exercise programs these people have used to achieve their extraordinary fitness results.
Also, they discuss their nutrition plans and personal motivations that helped them stay on track. Every account is different, but each resulted in improved health and a lean, sculpted body.
You will probably not use every story to build your fitness plan, but you are bound to find several role models within the book whose body, lifestyle, fitness goals, and exercise regiment will help you shape your plan.
If you let these role models prepare you for your journey, there is no reason you won’t achieve the excellent form of a bodybuilder that rivals any 20 year old. Click here to learn more…