Masters Muscle Gain in Men over 50
by: Mark Mason
Muscle gain can be a challenging feat no matter what age you are. A fair amount of it has to do with genetics; some people can put on muscle quicker with the same exercise plan as others. Regardless of this fact, however, gaining muscle as part of a masters fitness routine is similar to any other goal you strive to achieve. In order to achieve it, you need to have fully defined the goal, have a solid plan for getting there and a strong commitment to not stray from the plan.
All that being said, muscle gain becomes even harder after the age of 50. Your metabolism is slower than it used to be, you cannot move as quickly as you used to and your “drive” decreases with age. This, of course, does not mean that gaining muscle is an impossible task after the age of 50. When you are ready to start a new plan or routine, it would be a good idea to consult a fitness expert on how best to proceed. A fitness expert can tailor specific workouts for your body type, age and goals. If you chose to not use a trainer, however, and you can simply research workout routines on the Internet.
Remember when you were 21, walked into the gym, dropped your stuff off at the locker, walked over to the weight bench and started immediately bench pressing 200 pounds? Those days are over, I am afraid; a vital part of your routine now must include a pre-work out stretch of all your muscles. Stretching is a very good idea to avoid injury during workout, which you are now at a higher risk for being over 50. Mixing in some cardiovascular exercise before lifting weight is also a good idea because this will better prepare you for lifting weights by warming you up.
Part of your up-front planning should have included the days of the week you were going to work out and what muscle groups you were going to focus on those days. Some will argue that you should plan to work all your major muscle groups every time you work out, others will tell you to focus exclusively on one or two per session, allowing for more building of those specific muscles. Regardless of which way you go, remember again that you cannot lift weights every single day as you did 30 years ago. Each workout should be spaced out by a minimum of one day, perhaps two, allowing for maximum muscle recovery time and much needed rest.
Finally, before, during and after your workouts, nutrition is essential to both building the muscle you are working on and recovery to prepare for the next session. Immediately after your workout, simple carbs will provide quick energy replacement, but keep in mind that you should defer to the complex carbs and protein with most meals as this will give your body the fuel to push that muscle growth forward. With the right combination of rest, supplements, nutrition and planning, muscle gain over 50 is not only possible, but easily achievable.