Men Over 50 Gain Muscle and Lose Weight

Peter England: Ripped at Age 66

If you’re over 50 and looking to lose weight and gain muscle, Peter England provides an ideal model


Does over 50 mean over the hill?  To Peter England of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, over 60 doesn’t even mean over the hill.

Over 60 bodybuilder

Peter England, 66 year old bodybuilder

In fact, over 60 was just the beginning for Peter.

Peter overcame injury and illness to drop twenty pounds, add lean muscle mass, and hit the bodybuilding stage.  Now 66, Peter boasts a 30” waist, a 40” chest, and hardware from multiple wins on stage.

Peter took time from his busy workouts to talk with

Q: Peter, how did you start your fitness Journey?

A: Shortly after retirement my weight ballooned to 172 lbs. I had never weighed more than 160 in my life. Coupled with health issues including prostate cancer, herniated discs in my lower back, a detached retina and two broken wrists (but not at the same time!) it was time to take control of my health and get into shape.

A close friend had been a competitive bodybuilder in her younger days but maintained a very rigorousworkout schedule even though she no longer competed. It was fall and she introduced me to the gym and the benefits of working out.

In short order I began to see my weight drop and I seemed to easily add muscle to my frame. At the same time a younger member of the gym whom I befriended during workouts together indicated he was going to compete in the Provincial Novice competitions in the spring.

At first I thought the obvious; namely, men do not start competitive bodybuilding at age 60. But never having been one to be content to live “inside the box” and at his urging I decided to give it a try. With the support of fellow members of the gym, I competed in the Novice competition at the Masters Level (40 & over).

To my surprise I won the class, the oldest person in the history of the Provincial competitions to win the Masters Class. After that I was hooked and have since competed in two additional Provincial competitions, finishing second each time.

Q: What do you consider your most Important diet and nutrition factors?

A: In general I like to eat 6 meals a day with an emphasis on high protein content (40%), followed by carbs (40%) and fat (20%). I log all my meals using Tap & Track on my IPhone. It not only gives you a relatively accurate breakdown of your nutritional content but the mere fact of entering the data keeps your choice of menu foremost in your mind . I try to maintain a constant 2,000 calorie daily intake.

The only difference between the “build” diet and the “contest prep” diet is a lowering of the carb intake and replacing it with increased protein.

Meal 1: Upon rising

1/3 cup oatmeal (Rogers breakfast porridge) cooked with water. Add 1/8 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries; 200 ml egg whites scrambled. 1 slice flax bread toasted topped with Becel light margarine.

Meal2: post workout

Breakfast shake consisting of 8 oz. skim milk, 1/3 cup oatmeal, 2 scoops isolate whey protein plus post workout supplements as described below

Meal 3: noon

One of: 1 can tuna with 1tbs fat free mayo, ½ cup fat free cottage cheese or 200 ml egg white omelet with chopped chicken breast meat or 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast with ¼ cous cous. 1 whole banana.

Meal 4: mid afternoon

2 scoops isolate whey protein and 1/8 cup whole almonds or Protein 32 protein bar

Meal 5: dinner

4-6 oz. either chicken breast or lean red meat with either baked potato or long grain brown rice and choice of frozen vegetable.

Meal 6: evening snack

1 scoop BSN Syntha Six whey protein (banana flavor is my favorite) mixed with 8 oz. skim milk, 3 dill pickles and 10 raw baby carrots.

Q: What Supplements do you take?

A: Pre-workout:

1.5 scoop Gaspari Superpump

During workout:

1 scoop Gaspari Sizeon

Post workout:

2 scoop Allmax Isolate whey protein

1 scoop AllMax Japanese Micronized Glutamine

1 scoop Dymatize Complex 5050 BCAA

1 scoop BSN Cell Mass

Q: How do you consider testosterone replacement?

A: I have tried several over the counter test boosters with limited success. My doctor has now prescribed Testum, a daily gel which dispenses 5 mg through skin absorption. This provides for an even distribution with positive results including improved mental functioning, lean muscle development and increased libido.

Q: Do you practice specific motivation techniques?

A: Retirement can be hard on a body in many respects. Given the results noted above, it’s easy to stay motivated. I have too many retired friends who do not work out. Not only are they full of aches and pains but they wile away many hours surfing the net for lack of a more constructive pastime. I am determined that will never be me! And it’s definitely motivating to have people constantly tell me how I don’t look my age and how absolutely fit I look not just for a man in his sixties but that I easily put many a 30 year old to the test. The bar is high and I will continue to work hard to keep it there.

Q: What are your thoughts on prostate cancer prevention?

A: As a prostate cancer survivor,  I can’t offer any aids to prevention. But, I can suggest that you add the PSA test to your yearly medical exam and earlier rather than later. It was my insistence with my doctor based on the fact I had a friend younger than myself diagnosed about the same time, that I had the test and to everyone’s surprise found the cancer, luckily in the very early stages.

Early detection offered an array of treatment options. I chose Brachytherapy, a means of injection radioactive pellets directly into the prostate. This day surgery is minimally invasive with a high success rate if the cancer is detected early enough.

The only real advice I can offer is to remember that cancers can run in families. In my case my father had colon cancer making me a stronger candidate. Now with my prostate cancer added to the family history, my three sons are at a significantly increased risk of cancer. I have lectured them about early PSA testing but more successfully have lobbied their spouses!!

Q: How do you build muscle mass?

A: Protein is the building block of muscle. I strive for 1-1.5 gm. per lb. of body weight per day. I am very careful to focus on building lean muscle as shedding fat becomes more challenging as you age due to a slower metabolic rate. I also maintain protein as the primary element in my diet balanced against a reduced carb intake and minimal fat intake.

Q: And how do you maintain muscle mass?

A: Use it or lose it is a valid comment to live by as we age. And as a part of that you must include resistance training in your workout. Cardio alone is not enough. So to those who think a good workout is walking the mall, even on a regular basis, just remember you need to maintain muscle mass even to walk and the only way to do that is with the use of weights – i.e. resistance training.

Q: What do you consider your best types of workouts?

A: I have two different types of workouts that I do – one during the “build” months of training and another I use during the final stages of competition preparation. The one I’m using right would qualify as my “build” workout as it is still many months before the next competition. In general I work two body parts a day over a three day cycle. I then take a day off or use that as a cardio day.

My favorite is a four-set routine with pyramid weights in the order A – B – C – A and reps of 15-12-10-failure. I will do three to four exercises for each body part being worked that day. The net result is that each body part gets worked twice in an 8 day cycle. This helps to maximize my belief that optimum recovery time is 72-96 hours after a muscle group is worked.

Each workout begins with 5 minutes cardio warm up and concludes with a further 20 minutes of interval cardio with a using a heart rate monitor and a range of 132-160 bpm.

Abs and calves are worked alternately each workout day. For abs and calves do one exercise consisting of 5 sets of 20 reps from the list below:

Abs: rope crunches; hanging leg curls; medicine ball sit-up

Calves: seated calf raises superset with toe extension; standing calf raises

A: How do you achieve life balance and happiness?

Don’t measure your success by how you see yourself as compared to others, but rather set your own personal goals and strive for them regardless of what the competition might look like.

I strongly believe in the mind-body connection. A positive outlook in life has always served me well, even in times of significant health issues. If you believe you are what you eat, then you must also understand that you will be what you believe in.


4 Responses to Peter England: Ripped at Age 66

  • Bruce Groh says:

    I too had prostate cancer, and had it out. I have been training since 1978, and still train. I use a home based workout, using dumbbells and barbell. I have to improvise, since I train at home. I use a board for benching, and a pull-out folding chair for presses. Legs I now do differently. Since I have spinal degeneration (normal for 66) I do plate squats. I use a 10, 20, 25 pound plates when doing squats. Somehow it works!!! I no longer place a bar behind my head. Lots of “old school” training, using what I have available.

    • admin says:

      Awesome, another example of the benefits of resistance training, keep up the great work and keep us posted on your progress!!

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