Exercise and Fitness: Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s

With so many myths about exercise and aging, you may be discouraged to make time for fitness in your 50s.

Some assume exercising is an expensive venture yet others believe it is too late to start.

What is the truth?

It’s never too late to get into the gym. You may get your ideal figure at any age, and you can always work on your summer six-pack.

But we can broadly categorize elderly gym attendees into three groups:

  • Those who have never stopped training
  • Those who have lapsed
  • Those who have never trained at all

The advantages of continuous training, though, are indisputable. Many studies, including this one published in The New England Journal of Medicine, have shown that resistance training can counteract muscle weakness and physical frailty in older people, even though age-related muscle loss, or sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging.

In light of this, we asked a 55-year-old guy who is in excellent physical condition, who preferred to remain anonymous to create a strategy that is ideal for seasoned men.

So, regardless of your experience level or familiarity with the gym, here’s how to create a strategy that will keep your body stronger for longer.

Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s: Strength training for males over 50

To balance off muscle loss in men over 50, strength exercise is essential but use caution. Here, safety needs to come before recovery and regularity. As you become older, it gets tougher to recover from an injury, therefore going slow always pays off. Slow tempos, unilateral work, and isometric motions are your friends. 

Plan to execute four to five sets of exercises during three resistance training sessions per week.

Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s: Beginning weight training for males over 50

Don’t be alarmed if beginning weight training after the age of 50 seems intimidating. Moderation is key; there’s no need to follow the cliches associated with weightlifting and getting ripped.

Bodybuilding-style isolation exercises (like bicep curls) should be incorporated into your routine even though total-body routines have their place. Since the recuperation period is less than with heavier exercises, you can train more frequently.

After 50, you might want to abandon the barbells and concentrate on dumbbells. As you become older, your connective tissues become less elastic, which makes lifting a barbell uncomfortable for your limbs.

Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s: Exercising in a Gym for Men Over 50

Regardless of your past training, your cardiovascular health becomes more crucial than ever as you reach the age of 50. Over time, aerobic exercise relaxes blood vessels and keeps your heart healthy and your blood pressure under control. Regular cardio is essential regardless of what else you exercise, so be sure to schedule a few sessions every week.

You’ll also need to use weights and strength training to maintain your muscles’ strength, but be sure to extend the recuperation period from when you were younger. Spend an hour foam rolling or practicing simple yoga for every half hour spent in the gym.

Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s: Workout Plan for Experienced Men

So you’ve been working out longer than Justin Bieber has existed. You still train as if you are 25 despite being in excellent form. Your body, however, will eventually start to rebel against the punishment. How can your workout be modified to keep you as limber as ever?

Our anonymous guest says, “I would consider the body to be a universal thing. Split sessions are fine in theory, but at our age, you don’t want to strain your muscle type too much.

Practically speaking, training the entire body is more effective. Mobility is prioritized while focusing on functional fitness rather than the regular arm-day, back-day, and leg-day regimen. the trait that younger gym-goers take for granted.

Although there is room in your sessions for a heavier lifting routine, keep the activities diverse and the emphasis on movement. Tonight’s training may be influenced by CrossFit. Tomorrow might be all-movement workouts or speed training with light weights.

Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s: Workout Plan for Men Who Are Out of Practise

Where do you begin after turning 50 if you’ve finished training and are advised to get back on the horse? Our expert says “begin from the beginning.”

There will undoubtedly be some problems as a result of the time out. Most people will initially pick up a weight, demonstrate a movement, and then ask for guidance before continuing since the movement may have changed over the years.

For example, perhaps they sat on their hip for an excessive amount of time or experienced a shoulder injury. The load shouldn’t be the main focus. Put your ego aside and remain positive. Accelerate with more load after muscle memory has returned.

In order to have any chance of getting back to your previous level of fitness once you are 50, you can only stop training for two to three years at a time before your muscle and mobility deteriorate irreparably. It doesn’t mean you won’t get better though; according to an expert, “the only way to determine what someone can or can’t achieve is by looking at them.

Making Time for Fitness in Your 50s: Workout Plan for Men Trying Something Different

First, experts advise encouraging complete beginners, who are already 50 years old, to feel comfortable performing simple movement drills.

A lunge, a side lunge, stepping up, or simply touching their toes. Flexibility, mobility, and safety are crucial because most guys can’t touch their toes by the time they’re in their thirties.

Here is a simple movement exercise that beginners may execute with ease while being closely supervised. 

  • With your right leg, stomp(lunge) as far forward as you can while bending the knee that trails such that it nearly touches the ground.
  • To begin the subsequent lunge, lead with your left leg this time as you push off with the heel of your right foot.
  • Put your left foot on the elevated platform with your right foot, then push up through your heel to raise yourself up.
  • Step back down with your left foot while focusing on flexing your right leg’s hip and knee. On the opposite side, repeat.

Don’t stress about the weights you’re lifting as a beginner. Focus on the appropriate form instead. According to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, older persons were more likely to persist with training if they felt confident in their abilities than if they were motivated by their ability to put on muscle.

Consider working with a physical therapist or enrolling in some lessons if you’re new to lifting. You might spend more time in the weight room as a result.

Six of the Best Exercises for People Over 50 to Try

Not sure where to begin? Andrew Tracey, the fitness editor for Men’s Health, has put together a list of six exercises that can protect your joints while enhancing your strength and self-assurance in the weight room.

The landmine shoulder press

The Landmine Shoulder Press Is Best For People With Nagging Shoulder Pains Or Mobility Issues: “The Landmine creates a semi-fixed range of motion, guiding you upwards and forwards,” explains Tracey. “By activating the shoulders without forcing them directly overhead and into excess flexion.

  • Step back into a lunge position while lifting the loaded end of the barbell that is anchored at one end of the barbell.
  • Brace your midsection and tense up your entire body.
  • Explosively push the barbell away from your shoulder while adhering to the barbell’s natural arc.
  • Return the weight to your shoulder slowly. Repeat.

Trap Bar Deadlifts 

Standing inside of the weight you’re lifting, rather than behind, puts your body, especially your lower back, in a much more beneficial posture’, explains Tracey. “This enables you to maintain an upright posture and use more leg drive, allowing you to increase the weights without increasing the risk of injury.”

  • Hinge down while standing inside your trap bar and grasp the grips with a flat back and neutral spine.
  • Pull in your lats and core, then ‘push the ground away’ with your feet while driving through your legs to stand up straight.

Push-ups on a gymnastics ring

According to Tracey, “Moving your bodyweight through space is a skill you never want to lose, especially pushing yourself up from the floor.”

The gym rings add instability, building healthier, stronger shoulders and a bigger chest without the added weight of the bench press.

  • Stance yourself in a solid plank stance over two gymnastics rings.
  • To separate your shoulder blades, actively push down on the rings while turning your hands slightly outward.
  • Keep the rings close to your body while slowly flexing your elbows and lowering your chest to the ground.
  • Stop when your chest begins to extend.
  • Repeat the controlled press-up to the starting position.

Walking lunges: 

Unilateral or single-leg work is great for loading the legs one at a time, meaning you can use half the load for the same effect, decreasing the stress on the rest of your body and reducing your recovery time.

Walking lunges are the best since they work both your core and the postural muscles in your upper back.

  • While standing erect, take a set of dumbbells and hold them by your sides with your arms straight.
  • Take a long step forward with one leg, bending the front knee till the rear knee contacts the ground while keeping your chest up at all times.
  • Rapidly raise one leg, halt, and repeat with the other while advancing.

Chest supported rows

According to Tracey, “Rows are absolute game-changers for building your upper back and promoting shoulder longevity.” “By using a bench to support your chest, you not only reduce the strain on your lower back and spine, preventing injury, but you also get rid of any extra movement, ensuring that you’re targeting your lats with perfect form.”

  • Raise a flat bench with a box or raise an adjustable bench to a 45-degree angle.
  • Holding a pair of dumbbells with your arms fully extended, lie face down on the pad in this position.
  • Row both dumbbells up to your hips while remaining firmly planted on the bench.
  • Pause, then slowly lower the weights before repeating the movement.

Farmers Carries

Farmers’ carries are a safe, practical, and functional way to lift some seriously heavy weights, keeping you stronger for longer in everyday life.

Studies have revealed that a strong grip corresponds with longevity and is a reliable indicator of general health and the propensity for major illness. Farmers’ carries will do wonders for your grip.

  • Hold a set of heavy dumbbells in your hands, or thread the strap of a gymnastic ring through a set of weight plates, fasten the ring, and pull firmly
  • Add another set and repeat
  • Stand erect, grab the dumbbells or rings, and engage your core
  • Stride ahead with the intention
  • Drop your weights when you reach the halfway point, turn around, re-grip, and continue.

Mistakes to Avoid When Training at 50

There are a few traps to avoid if you want to continue performing at your best when you’re lifting at 50.

Don’t Workout Like You’re Over 50

Ironically, training as if you are over 50 is the main thing to avoid.

Don’t significantly reduce your exercise intensity, and building as much muscle mass as you can is one of the most crucial things we need to do to extend longevity and reduce all markers of mortality.

Don’t switch to cardio or really light weights; instead, concentrate on working out hard in the gym and lifting weights. Work out vigorously and heavily but of course within reason.

Do Not Lift for Maximum Reps

You’re less likely to gain muscle mass that way, and it takes a long time to recover from building up to heavy maximum lifts. The older you are, the longer it will take to heal.

You want to make sure you can train as frequently as possible, so avoid maxing out constantly and avoid falling below three reps too frequently.

You’ll need a lot of time to recover from that, so don’t hit a body part with a lot of volume. In the event that you hit your back and chest with a lot of force, your entire body has been pounded. 

Avoid undertaking really high-volume sessions that concentrate on certain body regions and instead spread out the volume throughout the course of the week.

Full-body workouts of the proper intensity are preferable since we want to get you back in the gym as soon as possible.

Balance Pulling and Pushing

The trick is to perform a lot of pushing exercises at the gym and a few pulling movements. This will keep your shoulders healthy for longer.

Incorporate a good mixture of pushing and pulling—ideally an equal amount.

Try to superset exercises such that you perform each rep-for-rep. Between sets, face pulls or band pull-apart are also excellent for strengthening the postural muscles and the shoulders.

Keep up the cardio

Work your respiratory and cardiovascular systems diligently since they are essential to your longevity. The more fit you are, the longer it will take to deteriorate and lose fitness.

Build the highest peak of strength and fitness you can, so the descent will be slower.

Over-50 Training: Nutrition Tips

Although sound nutritional guidelines are valid at any age, those over 50 can apply a few tricks to prevent the middle-age spread.

Don’t eat until you’re full: The British Medical Journal discovered a link between eating quickly till you’re full and increasing obesity as early as 2008. The target of 80% fullness will help you maintain healthy eating habits while keeping an eye on your waistline. Beyond that, it’s just excellent nutrition: lots of protein, fewer refined carbohydrates, and a tight rein on the alcohol.

Exercise Tips for People Over 50

  • Full-body workouts are preferable to muscle isolation sessions.
  • Vary your activities.
  • Put form before load.
  • Safety, adaptability, and mobility are essential.
  • Think about working with a PT or enrolling in classes.
  • Work on fundamental mobility drills first.
  • Stay consistent

Also read, Workout Plan That Improves Posture in Your 70s

Acha Maoni

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