If you have been searching for workouts for men over 50 you don't have to look much further than Grant Donovan, founder of mensfitclub.com. He reminds us that remaining fit is a choice no matter your age. At age 60 he is living proof that you can stay fit and have your best body over 50. He also explains, as you get older it is important to customize your workout plan and make adjustments to your changing body. After a certain age, life slows down, and age related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, kicks in. According to research studies you lose roughly 1 to 2 percent of muscle mass per year after you turn 50. So if you think you are too old to workout, you are dead wrong. In fact, it is even more important than ever for you to be active. Most men in their 50's can put in 3 groups - those who never stopped exercising, those who have lapsed from their former exercise routine or those who have never started. No matter which group you fall under you can counteract muscle loss and enjoy the numerous benefits of regular exercise.
Follow his workout guide for men over 50 and ensure you don’t succumb to injury, loss of range of motion or immobility. It will keep the energy alive and help you lead a better quality of life.
Workouts for Men over 50 - Everything You Should Know!
To keep your body strong and flexible for longer, follow Grant's fitness guidance to keep you in shape for the long haul. These tips will keep your fitness level intact, and help you find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Being aware of your body and your level of fitness is a very important factor in achieving your health goals and avoiding injury and other setbacks. Step number one is to keep a journal. This applies to all fitness levels, don't rely on memory alone. You can go old fashion with a pen and pad or use a phone app, however, make sure you keep track of your workout. This will allow you to go back and pinpoint what is effective or what needs some fine tuning and it will help you develop the right workout plan.
Strength Training is Crucial
Strength training is a vital part of all workouts for men over 50. Lifting weights regularly will help keep your weight under control and maintain muscle mass and strength. Exercises like Deadlifts, Squats, Lunges, and Bench Press are some of the weight training basics and are great to implement in your workout. However, instead of performing them Olympic style with a barbell and 45 pound weight plates, you can use dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands. This will help reduce strain on your body and improve the functionality of multiple joints. As an extra bonus these exercises also raise testosterone levels and boost libido.
The bodybuilder style "body part splits" you used to do in your 20 's and 30's like arms day, or legs day are no longer a necessity. Full-body workouts are another known way of delaying aging and maintaining and improving muscle mass. Though it is not necessary for you to perform them everyday, doing strength training two or three times a week is enough. A full body strength workout should focus on the relevant muscle groups including legs, arms, shoulders, chest, back, glutes, and core muscles. You can create your own sets, using two to three exercises for each muscle group. Repeat every exercise for 10-15 times per set for 3-4 sets. Here are some solid exercises to add to your routine if you are looking for inspiration for your strength training program:
- Goblet Squats
- Dumbbell Lunges
- Dumbbell Chest press
- Seated Incline Dumbbell Fly
- Lat Pulldowns
- Dumbbell Rows
- Shoulder Press
- Overhead Cable Pull
- Cable Row Biceps Curls
- Triceps Cable Pushdowns
These exercises will improve your overall strength and not only keep your muscles firm but your heart strong. When performed in high rep low weight sets you will improve muscle mass, stamina and endurance.
Never Skip Core Training
With aging, the core strength is one of the features that vanishes first. Which is unfortunate because core strength is crucial as it assists us in carrying out our daily activities. One common misconception about core training is that it only benefits the rectus abdomis a.k.a. "six pack." After 50 it's easy to give up the beach body dream and think abdominal training isn't important anymore since they will never have achieve six pack abs. Wrong again, along with working your main abdominal muscles, core training also covers the hips and the lower back and forms one of the major muscle groups.
Any difficulty in core movement can lead to further physical ailments into your later years and recovery is much harder when you are in your 70's and beyond. To twist, bend, and to maintain balance, we need the core muscles to function properly. Therefore skipping core training after 50 is not a good idea or you will lose on your strength and range of motion.
We have listed few exercises that you may add to your workout routine that work exceptionally well for your core.
- Dynamic plank front and side movements on elbows and physioball
- Alternate arm/leg lifts lying supine, on knees/hands or physioball
- Reverse snow angels
- Planks (front and side)
- Stability ball Crunches
- Core squeeze
- Stability ball Cobras
These core exercises should not be overlooked as these take a 360-degree approach on the core workout. Count them as few of the best over 50 workout tools to keep your body toned.
Do Not Lift Too Heavy
When you are young, you can brag about your bench max. But as your body ages, even if you have been training for years going super heavy, is only asking for trouble. Instead of going for a one rep max, try doing four to six reps, a few pounds above your normal weight every 3-4 months to give your muscles a shock. As far as your daily regimen do ten to twelve reps with a weight that falls in the safe range. You can adjust up however don't forget to lift below your normal weight also to keep your muscles from getting stagnant. Another pitfall that most don't realize they are over lifting are weight machines. For example, the leg extension machine focuses on your quadriceps and can put unnecessary pressure on your knee caps. To help prevent injury, try out dumbbell squats and lunges (forward and side).
Regain Flexibility with Stretching Exercises
For those thinking you are only flexible when you are young let us dispel that myth. People over the age of 50 can be flexible too by including stretching exercises in their routine. Stretching will reduce joint aches and pains and improve your body posture. Any workout for men over 50 must include stretching as it is vital for muscle recovery after a full-body workout. Consider these stretches to improve your performance and strength:
- Arm Opener
- Chin Drop
- Hippie Stretch
- Side Stretch
- Lying Quadricep Stretch
- Downward Dog
- Pyramid Pose
No Cardio Like Cycling
All workouts for men over 50 need to include cardio in some form. Cycling is an amazing exercise for every age group, especially for men over 50. This aerobic activity is one of the hardest to beat cardio exercises that gives impressive results. For senior athletes, it is a great way to stick to a good training regimen. Cycling burns roughly the same amount of calories as running or jogging without the extra strain on your hips and joints. While it comes up with a lot of potential for improving health, it adds the right dosage of fun too. It will keep you in shape after 50 and give you the enjoyment of a tough workout while rocking to the beat.
With aging, the body’s capacity to recover from intense exercise lowers. However, cycling can help in bringing down the progression of aging and preserves strength in men. For senior men who cycle every day, the few benefits they can enjoy include:
- No drop in testosterone levels. The levels remain stable
- The body fat level remains constant
- The cholesterol level significantly improves with the aerobic exercise
- Improved immune system
- Good physique with better strength and stamina
- Effective in battling mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or high stress
Resistance Training For Aging Bodies
Resistance Training can fuel your fitness regimen and is suitable for aging bodies. For anyone with diminished mobility, resistance training, along with aerobic activity, is the best workout strategy. But, instead of solely focusing on cardio, resistance training takes the spotlight. After 50, men can see a drop in bone density and muscle mass. Adding resistance training to your exercise program you can get a jump start on adding muscle mass and improving your metabolism. This training also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 40 to 70 percent.
With resistance training, you can surprisingly build muscle and bone strength that will prevent future falls and fractures. The goal of this kind of training is to help you achieve muscular fitness and develop endurance and strength. The great thing about resistance training is the simplicity and the lack of equipment needed. You can use resistance bands, TRX straps, or other readily available household items. Top resistance training exercises include push-ups, planks, lunges, and sit-ups that bring your bodyweight into play. With these, you can easily carry out this workout at home.
Grant strongly believes that workouts for men over 50 must focus on strength, flexibility, and quick muscle recovery. The exercises in this plan can fuel your body towards fitness if you follow a consistent routine. And, if you struggle doing them alone, find a workout partner to make the routine more fun.