Why do it?

To slow aging.

muscle building after 50
Muscle building after 50 years old will slow your aging due to muscle loss (sarcopenia)

What is effective muscle building after 50?

It is you proactively taking control and not just letting the effects of declining strength control your outcome.

From this study:

Your aging is commonly associated with a loss of muscle mass and strength, resulting in falls, functional decline, and the subjective feeling of weakness.

But most studies on the age-related effects of muscle wasting or sarcopenia use sedentary adults as their subjects.

This leaves the question of whether the changes that are commonly associated with muscle aging reflect the true physiology of getting old or whether they reflect atrophy from disuse.

The study looked at older athletes (ages 40 to 81) who trained religiously and evaluated whether their chronic exercise would prevent the loss of lean muscle mass and strength.

The answer was an emphatic Yes.

The study contradicts the common observation that muscle mass and strength decline as a function of aging alone.

Instead, these declines likely stem from chronic disuse rather than muscle aging due to time alone.


Why do it?

Maintenance of your muscle mass (and strength) will decrease or eliminate falling, functional decline and loss of independence that are commonly seen in sedentary, aging adults.

Your Muscle Building after 50 Strategy

  • Be proactive. Get active. Stay active.
  • Lift weights. Resistance training reigns supreme.
  • Be consistent. Stick with it. Make it a habit, a lifestyle.
  • Don’t overdo it. Rest and recovery are really important to the over 50 athlete (that’s you). Three times a week is a great idea.
  • Be sensible. Good health isn’t obtained just by training hard. Eat and sleep well. De-stress. Live a balanced life.
  • Don’t stop. Don’t act like an old guy. There is no age where “you can’t do this” anymore. Be a role model. Never give up.

How should you do it?

Muscle building after 50 doesn’t have to complicated. Just do something.

Try this program (below) three days a week for 6 to 8 weeks.

You will get results.

The Exercises

Push Up

Inverted Row

Or the Suspended Row

if you have a Suspension Trainer 

Broad Jump

Bodyweight Squat

Rock Carry

Chicken or the Egg?

Is loss of muscle mass due to inactivity a primary driver of aging or does muscle weakness just occur as you get older? Please comment below.


Physician and Sportsmedicine. 2011 Sep;39(3):172-8. doi: 10.3810/psm.2011.09.1933.
Chronic exercise preserves lean muscle mass in masters athletes.

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.

  • Mike Davis says:

    So true. At 48 when I decided enough was enough and I had to get fit for life, I really wondered if weight training would make any difference at my age to my muscular mass. Three and a half years later I have added substantial muscle strength and definition, and as importantly I have made a huge improvement in mobility, flexibility, posture and even mental focus. One result of this is that I have absolutely no fear of getting older. I know I can be at least as physically and mentally capable as I am now for a few decades yet.

    • Mike, love it. Do not go gentle into that good night,
      Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
      Because their words had forked no lightning they
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
      Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
      And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
      Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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