Workout Routines for Men Over 50: Get the Perfect Male Body Even at 50 Plus

Tip: Stay tuned until the end of the article for an awesome routine you can get started with today!


At 50 and above, certain hormonal changes take place that changes the way your body needs to be treated.

Not only is your body more delicate as you age, any strength training program you follow needs to be tailored around your body’s needs.

Most designed workout programs are not focused on workout routines men over 50 will be great even for men at any age really – it’s all a matter of how you train to prevent injury.

Training, just like anything else, is a skill and common-sense must be employed at all costs under all circumstances to prevent injury and debilitation.

It’s important to prevent injury, but it’s also important to keep your body strong. Keep reading to find out how to strike a balance.


WHY IS WORKING OUT SO IMPORTANT AT 50 AND BEYOND?


As our bodies age, we become more prone to injury and illness, and doing everything in our power to prevent that is a wise decision.

Working out happens to be one of the best ways known to man to just live a better life overall and prevent many of the ailments those who don’t exercise may suffer from.

I completely understand that it’s not for everyone. However, since you’re here, all who commit themselves to the improvement of their bodies reap greater rewards than those who let themselves wither away.

And that’s a fact! Take charge of your health and live a stronger, healthier, happier and more energetic life.


Pro-Tip: Here’s an awesome video by Elliott Hulse from Strength Camp on the many benefits of working out.


I would even go on to argue that you wouldn’t be living life to the fullest unless your body and mind are as healthy as they can be.


IT’S IMPORTANT TO EXERCISE CORRECTLY TO PREVENT INJURY AND INCREASE NATURAL TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION


Working out at any age makes you stronger and less prone to injury and an early death. But not just any workout will boost your testosterone and give you all the other benefits you could be getting.

It’s important to consistently become stronger over time – but you definitely don’t have to become the next Mr. Olympia in the process.

USING PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD TO BECOME STRONGER OVER TIME

One of the most important factors for getting stronger and preventing injury is lifting more weight over a given time period. This is what’s known as progressive overload.

For example, you can check out my before and after transformation if you want to see my own personal story and what program I personally follow.

Progressively becoming stronger over a given period of time is what will make your testosterone increase its production. You just have to also ensure that you don’t burn out your CNS (central nervous system) in the process.

Related Post: Bodyweight Training (Calisthenics) vs. Weight Lifting: Which One Prevails?

DON’T OVERDO IT AND BURN OUT YOUR CNS

Everything depends on finding the right balance. Ensuring that you’re not working out too frequently will help to keep vital hormones high in production and will protect your CNS.

Burning out your CNS will make it more difficult to progress in the gym, will make you tired, fatigued, stressed out and will give you the feeling of just being run down.

Your T-levels can also take a hit therefore compounding the negative effects.

Related Post: The Best Beginner Workout Routine You Can Start Right Now

So, keep a close watch on how you feel and make sure not to overdo your gym sessions.

USE YOUR TIME WISELY AND GET THE MOST BENEFIT

In my opinion, and in that of the fitness community at large, crafting a workout routine of your own as a beginner is not fundamentally a great idea.

You may lack some necessary experience to really get the most benefit from your time in the gym, and having a plan for you created by an expert is the way to go.

I personally follow ThinkEatLift’s ShredSmart Program as it is expertly designed to maximize my gym time without overdoing it and burning out.

If you’re interested, pop over to our review of the ShredSmart program and have a look to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Related Post: Review of ThinkEatLift’s ShredSmart Program


DESPITE BEING 40, 50 or BEYOND, YOU STILL DESERVE TO BE IN GREAT SHAPE


It’s true that getting and staying in amazing shape after 40 and 50 is a little more challenging than it was before.

But I truly believe we mostly play a mental game with ourselves which is usually the deciding factor on whether we can or can’t do something. Just like Henry Ford said.

Now, I am not saying that someone who is poor in their 80s can become a millionaire or that you can circumvent physical limitations, but you can certainly push through mental blockades.

The guy below is a perfect example of this. Marcus Bondi is a mid-50s gentleman in insane shape, and he puts most of the 20-something dudes at my gym to shame!


Pro-Tip: Here’s Marcus’ video. Check it out for yourself!

Marcus is known to use some awesome calisthenics (body weight) movements to stay in excellent shape – probably better shape than anyone I know personally.


If you want to learn more about using your own bodyweight to train at home, head over to my review of the Bar Brothers’ The System calisthenics program.

It’ll teach you how to use your own bodyweight to get in insane shape right in the comfort of your livingroom.

Related Post: Bar Brother’s “The System” Review: Our Favourite Calisthenics Workout Program


GET STARTED RIGHT NOW WITH THIS AWESOME 4-DAY ROUTINE


We might be taking some of the conventional wisdom you have and flipping it upside down, but that is probably a good thing.

So many people believe crazy things, but this routine will give you everything you need to get started working out.

What you will do is workout for 2 days, take one rest day do 2 more workout days, and then take 2 days off (7 days total).

This might look like this for you (or any other way you can work it into your week):

  • Monday: Body Part #1
  • Tuesday: Body Part #2
  • Wednesday: OFF
  • Thursday: Body Part #3
  • Friday Body Part #1 & #2 Again
  • Saturday/Sunday: OFF

There are a host of exercises you can choose from, but for the sake of simplicity and doing only what you really need to do, this is the program you can follow and make some good progress:

Related: Benefits of sleeping well to muscle recovery

DAY 1: MONDAY – CHEST & TRICEPS

On Monday, you’ll hit a combination of chest, triceps pushdowns and delts through pushing movements.

Here’s the exercises, sets & reps you’ll do (followed by the corresponding rest periods between sets):

  1. Dips: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (2-3 minutes between sets)
  2. Flat Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 4-6 reps (5 minutes rest between sets)
  3. Seated Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
  4. Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 12 reps (1 minute rest between sets)
  5. For #5, you have a choice: 
    1. Either 3 sets of pushups to failure to hit the chest and triceps together again (2-3 minutes rest between sets)
    2. Or you can hit some seated cable flys for 3 sets of 12 reps to isolate the chest and keep the triceps out of the equation (1-2 minutes rest between sets)

DAY 2: TUESDAY – BACK & BICEPS

Tuesday is a good day, but it’s difficult. This is where you’ll pack on some mass so don’t delay!

  1. Pull Ups, Chin Ups or Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets of 4-6 reps (4 minutes of rest between sets)
  2. Dumbbell One-Arm Bent Over Rows: 4 sets of 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest between sets)
  3. Any type of bicep curls (preferably standing barbell or incline dumbbell): 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
  4. Bent Over Rear Delt Flys: 3 sets of 12 reps (2 minute rest between sets)
  5. T-Bar Rows or Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest between sets)

DAY 3: THURSDAY – LEGS

So, for me, legs are more lenient than other body parts because they’re not the focal point of my physique.

If you like to place more emphasis on your legs, you can add more sets/exercises in as you wish, but this is what I recommend:

  1. Bulgarian Split Squats with Dummbells or Barbell Squats: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (5-7 minutes rest between sets)
  2. Traditional Deadlifts or Romanian Deadlifts: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (4 minutes rest between sets)
  3. Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 reps (1 minute rest between sets)
  4. Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 12 reps (1 minute rest between sets)
  5. Leg Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps (1 minute rest between sets)
  6. Calf Raises (Seated or Standing): 3 sets of 12 reps (1 minute rest between sets)

DAY 4: FRIDAY – UPPER BODY

Personally, this is my favorite day. You can play around here as it’s not exceptionally strict.

  1. Standing Overhead Press: 4 sets of 4-6 reps (5 minutes of rest between sets)
  2. Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
  3. Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
  4. Some form of medial delt exercise. You can do any of the following:
    1. Machine Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
    2. Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
    3. Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
    4. Leaning Dumbbell Lateral Raises (1 arm): 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
  5. Any type of tricep isolation exercise you like for 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest)
  6. Any type of bicep isolation exercise you like for 3 sets of 10 reps (2 minutes rest)

Related: Best bodyweight workouts for both men and women

OTHER IMPORTANT INDICATIONS & CONSIDERATIONS

Remember, take Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday off (or any other combination of days such as Thursday, Sunday & Monday) to allow for recovery.

If you want to periodise your training and make it easier to keep progressing, ThinkEatLift has an awesome blog post about that which you can check out.

Add 2.5 – 5lbs on the bar when you can do all the reps, and make sure to take one week off from training every 3-5 weeks to allow for sufficient recovery.

This workout routine was taken from the ShredSmart Program written by Radu Antoniu from ThinkEatLift.

It’s outside of the scope of this article to cover this program in full since it’s quite a few pages, but you can try it risk-free for 30 days to see if it works for you.

Related: How to get rid of DOMS


WRAP-UP AND FINAL THOUGHTS


The fitness industry is built on lies, deception, wrong information and perpetuation of misinformation and you have to weed through the rubble.

Lucky for you, this website is dedicated to dispelling much of the bullshit in the fitness community and getting people set up with the right fitness information.

If you haven’t already, take this opportunity to head over to our plethora of other workout, dieting and nutrition articles.

We also feature product reviews and guides on the best fitness gear you can buy.

You’ll be able to build some solid muscle naturally, avoid injury and feel a million times better about your body if you follow the right advice and listen to your body’s needs.


Alright gentlemen and ladies, thank you so much for stopping by today.

Don’t let your age determine whether you can have physical excellence or not as it’s mostly a mental game.

Read about the ThinkEatLift ShredSmar Program and the Rusty Moore Visual Impact Muscle Building Program for the best ways to workout at 50 and even beyond.

Also, let me know in the comments below if you have any specific concerns about working out after 50.

Have you tried anything so far, and what were your results like?


Related: Three foods that will help you build muscles fast.

Compound Exercises vs Isolation Exercises – Why You Need to Focus on COMPOUND Lifts!

Compound Exercises vs isolation exercises

Hey guys, I would like to touch on a highly important issue today – and that is Compound Exercises vs Isolation Exercises.

So many people want to focus on all the small “bull-shit” things in the gym that makes their life easier (they believe) yet severely stalls their progress or even hinders it altogether.

This debate has been going on for a long time – and we need to put a rest to it today.

Quite frankly, there isn’t even a debate to be had – compound lifts have their time and place, and so do isolation lifts.

However, in terms of the scope of this article, we’re going to be focusing on Compound Movements because as a beginner, and, unless you’re on steroids, you do not need to do any isolation work. 

They key to fitness, in general, and life actually, in general, is progressive overload. That means tackling just a little bit more today than you were comfortable with today in order to prevent stagnation and getting nowhere fast.

There’s a Time and Place for Isolation Work


Once you have advanced significantly in the realm of bodybuilding you may choose to look at certain isolation exercises.

These could be used to:

  • correct muscle imbalances
  • add more volume to a specific muscle group that is lagging behind
  • pump training if you’re using anabolic steroids
  • hit a particular muscle group from a slightly different approach than a compound equivalent would
  • squeeze every little bit of performance out of your muscle (the more advanced you are, the more important this could be)

Compound Exercises vs Isolation Exercises: When to Choose Which?


Firstly, compound lifts need to dominate your gym life otherwise get out of the gym because you’re wasting your time and everyone else’s that’s trying to use the equipment you’re using.

If you want to become stronger, you need to focus on compound lifts.

Not only are compound lifts a fantastic indicator of relative strength (strength vs body weight), they are the most well-suited for consistent, near-linear progress in the gym.

You’re never going to consistently get stronger every time you go to the gym, but compound movements will ensure that, over a period of time, your key lifts will go up.

Another issue with adding isolation work is that most times people add it at the end of their workout which generally adds too much volume – unless you are extremely advanced or on drugs, adding volume screws up your central nervous system’s ability to recuperate and has been shown to actually reverse any muscle gains in the gym.

Adding volume by adding isolation work may not be the best approach for you. 

Combining heavy compound movements with accessory work has been proven to be the most effective way to train – and world-class trainers all over the world have bee employing these two methodologies in tandem to yield the most incredible athletic results.

Related: Renegade Rolls and its benefits

Other Benefits of Compound Movements


Now don’t take this the wrong way. As outlined above, there are some fantastic reasons to look at isolation training but I’m assuming if you’re reading this then you’re not too sure why that is. So go read above.

As described, stick to compound movements to build relative strength. Muscles can’t get bigger unless they’re stronger, and if you’re babying them they can’t get stronger and therefore can’t get bigger. It’s paradoxical – so, stick to the big lifts.

One very big factor people overlook when thinking about compound movements is the fact that they recruit other muscle groups as well and utilize stabilizing muscles as well.

When you focus on compound lifts, you are literally effectively strengthening complimentary muscle groups without hitting them directly. Isolation work? Nope. Not the same.

Most Popular Compound Lifts/Muscle Groups to Choose From:


  • Pull Ups
  • Australian Rows
  • Reverse Grip Australian Rows
  • Chin Ups
  • Close Grip Variation Pull Ups and Chin Ups
  • Bent Over Dumbbell Flys
  • Superman on the Floor
  • Rear Lever Pulls (very advanced!)
  • Roman Chair Sit Ups (equipment required)

Bodyweight Workout Pull Ups

Related: Overhead press for full body development

CHEST (secondary muscle group: TRICEP)

  • Push Ups
  • Close Grip Push Ups
  • One Arm Push Ups
  • Side-to-Side Push Ups
  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Incline Bar Bell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Bench Press

LEGS (secondary muscle group: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS)

  • Squats (obviously. . . )
  • Pistol Squats (one legged squats)
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Weighted Box Squats
  • Squat Jumps
  • Weighted Lunges
  • Walking Lunges
  • Weighted Walking Lunges

What Do Squats Do - Woman Squatting in Gym

Related: Weighted Squats – Benefits for full functional strength

ARMS (secondary muscle group: CHEST, SHOULDERS)

  • See above BACK section (minus the bent over flys)
  • Barbell Bicep Curls
  • Body Weight Skull Crushers
  • Reverse Grip Australian Rows
  • Body Weight Tricep Extensions
  • Push Ups
  • Close Grip Push Ups

SHOULDERS (secondary muscle group: CHEST, TRICEPS)

  • Pike Push Ups
  • Pike Push Ups with Feet Up on a Platform
  • Handstand Wall Push Ups with Feet Against the Wall
  • Free-Standing Hand Stand Push Up
  • Back Bridging

Related: Building triceps with cable pressdowns

ABS AND CORE STABILITY – This one’s going to be huge but bear with me.

Sub-Category: FLOOR

  • Crunches (NOT RECOMMENDED!)
  • Planking
  • Push Ups
  • L-Sit Hold (If you’re strong enough)
  • Tucked-In L-Sit Hold

Sub-Category: PARALLEL DIP-BARS

  • Knee Raises
  • Leg Raises
  • L-Sit Hold
  • Tucked-In L-Sit Hold
  • Dips Themselves

Sub-Category: PULL UP BAR

  • Knee Raises
  • Leg Raises
  • Front Lever Pulls
  • Side-to-Side Knee Raises (boxer work out)
  • L-Sit Hold
  • Any Pull Ups or Chin Ups will also work your core.

Related: Strength training with what you have at home

Summary:


When you go to the gym your muscles must get stronger in order to get bigger. I am assuming most people’s reasoning behind going to the gym is to get stronger and look better.

Therefore, check the ego at the door and discard isolation work (for now). Compound lifts get you stronger, offer a steady rate of progress, and are the golden ticket to your dream physique.

Isolation work is great to prevent imbalances, correct them, fix lagging muscle groups or for pump training in athletes that have been enhanced by androgenic anabolic steroids use.

Keep it simple – focus on the main lifts, compound movements, get stronger, grow bigger and go home to enjoy the life that you have outside of the gym.

Related: Workout routine for men over 50


Thanks for stopping by guys and let me know what you think in the comments below!


Related: Shoulder Impingement Injuries – Exercises that help prevent them