how to build muscle over 50

You can.

how to build muscle over 50
This is how to build muscle over 50 just walking around.

Get fit just walking.

But I mean really fit. And build strength too.

You’re skeptical. I Know. It sounds like BS.

How to build muscle over 50 by just walking around

Carry heavy shit. That’s your secret ingredient.

Walk around carrying a heavy load. Like the Farmer’s Walk.

This is why you want to add Farmer’s Walks to your routine. The benefits are numerous:

  • This is as functional as exercise gets. Picking something up and moving it somewhere else.
  • The majority of your muscles are under extreme tension for the duration of the exercise.
  • Forearms for gripping.
  • Biceps and triceps stabilize your arms attached to the load.
  • Upper back and shoulders work to keep your body from crumbling under the load.
  • Core is engaged to keep you upright (when you’re trying to fold in half).
  • Legs take a beating, especially when moving over uneven ground.
  • Cardiovascular system is stoked to the max as so much muscle mass is engaged all at once and continuously.

This is a big time muscle building exercise that also hits many stabilizer muscles due to your dynamic movement through all dimensions.

And fat loss. This is a shredder.

If you want a simple walking program to burn gobs of fat, just add heavy weight.

How to do it

There are three primary ways to use Farmer’s Walks in your training.

  1. Light and long
  2. Heavy and short
  3. Heavy and long (for pain freaks)

If you’re just starting out, go with a light weight for longer distances. You can time your walk or traverse a course or go “out and back” over a given distance.

Light and long works well as part of a full-body workout.

Push, Pull, Hinge Squat & Carry (=Farmer’s Walk)

Take your time. Get used to it. If you’re lifting dumbells off the ground, brace your core and use proper deadlifting form to get into the upright position.

I’ll carry a pair of 16 kg kettlebells down to the local park and then do my workout down there (and then carry them back).

It’s about 300 yards up a slight incline to the park. That’s light and long.

Heavy and short is the natural progression from light and long. You add heavier and heavier weights to your carry sets and your time under tension naturally reduces.

These sets are normally part of your standard routine, again the 5 Human Movements.

Heavy and Long

This is how to build muscle over 50 by just walking.

Heavy and long Farmer’s Walks are typically a workout by themselves. And it doesn’t take long.

Sometimes I’ll set a timer (8 or 10 minutes) and other times I just go until I can’t anymore. Here’s the workout:

  • Pick ’em up and walk till it hurts.
  • Keep walking until it really hurts.
  • Put ’em down.
  • Rest minimally. 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Pick ’em up and go again.
  • Go as long as you’re able.

That’s it. You’re toast. You’ve torn down muscle, cranked up your metabolism and racked your entire body.

The upside? Great sleep is near.

The Equipment

It’s hard (and maybe risky) to do heavy and long training with heavy dumbbells. It’s too difficult to pick them up off the ground. You have to get too low and you won’t be in a strong, mechanically advantaged position (remember, Don’t Get Hurt is Rule #1).

That’s why I like the homemade version of weights that are shown in the photo above.

They’re like a suitcase. The high handles make it simple to pick up and put down safely.

Want to build your own?

Get your instructions on building your own Farmer’s Walk weights4red-arrowgif100

What do you think?

Will you add Farmer’s Walks to your exercise routine? Please comment below.

About the author 

Mark Fickler

Mark aka The Old Spartan and Over-50 Fitness Savior is a 64 year old coffee guzzling father of five wandering the outdoors around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mark helps Active Boomers get lean, healthy and strong so they live rewarding, fun lives using his signature 2 Rule Easy Fat Loss training program.

  • I love your stuff man, I finish every workout with 4 or 5 farmer walks about 50 or 60 yards apiece with a 45 pound plate in each hand. I’m 52 and your stuff is changing my life thanks man keep up the good work

    • I did some pretty heavy ones today with my new set up. The pinch grip on the plates is a very good option. Tim, glad you are getting benefit from the blog.

  • What do you think about using a trap bar in lieu of heavy dumbells? I’ve done 200 lbs Farmer’s walks with mine, but only for about 2 minutes. Grip will fail before the legs do.

    • I love the trap bar. I don’t have one at home where I do outside Farmer’s Walk. It’s hard to maneuver around the all the stuff inside a gym but sometimes I’ll finish a trap bar DL set and just hold the grip for as long as I can. I’ll take a few steps forward and backwards while holding the grip.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    2 Rule Easy Fat Loss

    Get this Simple Fat Loss Plan

    Lose Fat Permanently. Eat Anything You Want. Just Two Rules