Finding the Right Mix in Muscle Building at 50


Muscle building is a continuum. There is no “end” to it. You can always build more muscle than you have. What makes this really challenging is that the process by which you efficiently build muscle changes as you move through the continuum. Beginning lifters should use different training parameters than professionals. A further complicating factor is that your body is a variable as well. How do you account for that?

For example your body type makes a huge difference in the type of training you should do. So as you can see finding that right mix becomes very difficult. This is one of the reasons that I struggle with the “Programs” that so many offer. I would never suggest that anybodies program doesn’t work. Of course it did for them. That’s why they offer it up to you. But with all the variables at play will they work for you? Very possibly. Or not.

The point is you have to know how muscle works, how it is built and then given your body type, goals, experience and many other things, try different techniques until you find some that work for you and that you enjoy doing. My guess is that it will be some of this and some of that.

But one of the greatest challenges you will face is the one of age. That is one variable that will stand everything else on its head. You see a professional at 30 will HAVE to train differently at 50, all else equal. Now THAT becomes challenging. When something has been working, possibly for years, doesn’t anymore what are you to do? I am not talking about plateau busting, this isn’t that simple.

No I am talking about the two biggest factors (possibly) in muscle building, your definition of 100% effort for a workout and your recovery time. Granted these variables change gradually but they also change dramatically. At 50 gone are the two a day splits and blasting chest 3 times a week. Actually these have been gone for a while, but you get my point. So how do you teach an old dog new tricks?

Square 1. If you’ve been paying attention, I am not about “programs”. Knowledge is King! As I write this Greg Norman at 53 years old, is leading the British Open Golf Tournament, beating every other player in the world (except Tiger who isn’t playing). This includes the best in the world that’s half his age. You think Norman prepared for this event the same way he did when he was 30(and won it)? You think his routine at the event is the same now as it was then? Now he probably won’t win, but he doesn’t need to. He’s made his point already. At his age, at this point in his career, what he needs to be successful and how he got there are DIFFERENT then when he was 30.

So how do you find the right mix in muscle building at 50? The same way you would at 30. Learn what works for you. Now.