After Age 50

After age 50, working out presents new challenges. Joints can strain easier. The rotaor cuff is more injury. A man in this age group may find he needs more time for recovery. Some experts suggest men over 50 should work out less. Twice a week is often recommended. Some older men prefer three full body workouts a week workouts or more, if they do four to six day splits working separate muscle groups two to three times weekly.

The important think is too keep working out no matter how old you get. Numerous studies support multiple benefits from exercising. :Less risks of debilitating medical conditions, a reduction in depression, and better mobility, to name a few.

I’m 69. I have exercised all my life to some degree. I’m not a ¬†senior bodybuilder. Nor do I look like one. I’m a regular guy, tall and thin, built more like a slightly muscled runner than a massive bodybuilder. But, I’m still making muscle and strength gains. I’m feeling much more alive from my weekly workouts.

I don’t care about how much I can bench press. In fact, after I turned sixty my shoulders hurt when I tried to bench. The rotator cuff vulnerabilities that strike many men in their sixties and seventies. This is a common challenge in many older men. Workarounds include the following:

1. Substituting dumbbells for barbells in bench and overhead presses. A neutral grip, palms facing each other is recommended for less force on the rotator cuffs. This substitute won’t work for everyone. Some will find after awhile their shoulders get sore as they did with barbell bench and military presses..

2. Push ups. This has proven effective for many older men. For more resistance, you can add weight on your back, perhaps with a backpack,  or you can wrap a resistance band across your back anchored to the floor under the palms of your hands.

3. Resistance band Chest Presses. This is one of the substitutes I use. It feels close to bench pressing with a barbell or a machine and it’s easy on the joints and nervous system.

4. It’s a bit soon for me to say this is a good substitute. I just discovered doing sandbag carries with a light weight, say 40 to 60 pounds for as long as I can carry it. 15 minutes or more, pumps up my chest and arms as if I’d done sets of bench presses. Sandbag carries give you a great buzz. The functional strength you achieve is useful in daily activities such as hauling grocery bags into your home or any lifting you might do around your home.

That’s it.