Bodybuilding isn’t just for the young or men. You can start bodybuilding at any age and there is no need to feel worried or scared about starting to train your body and muscles, even if you are over 50.
However, knowing where to start can be daunting and you may have many questions.
In this article, we will look at all you need to know about female bodybuilding over 50.
How Bodybuilding Can Help
Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to extend your lifespan and the quality of your life.
As we age, we naturally begin to lose muscle mass and bone density and this can lead to difficulty in moving around and a loss of mobility.
Bodybuilding and strength training counter these losses and can help to reduce your chances of diabetes, back pain, osteoporosis, and obesity as well as keep you moving.
Exercise is also proven to have mental health benefits as it increases endorphins. It can help you sleep better and improve your balance, also.
Concerns When Bodybuilding Over 50
Let’s look at some of the most common concerns for women who are considering bodybuilding over 50.
Many women of all ages avoid bodybuilding because they associate it with the bulky muscles more commonly associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger or the star of the latest superhero movie.
However, it’s very unlikely that bodybuilding will give you these results, and it’s even less likely to happen in women over 50.
It takes more than just lifting weights to get those muscles as it also requires an intense training regime, diet, and supplements designed to enhance recovery time and reduce water weight.
The average woman over the age of 50 that is looking to get fit and lift a few weights is not going to develop this type of muscle. Instead, you will get muscles that are leaner and more toned, such as those of a ballerina or an athlete.
When it comes to exercise of any sort, there is no need to approach your workouts any differently than you would if you were under 50.
Whatever your age, you need to start at a difficulty that matches your own natural fitness level and slowly raise that difficulty as you become more used to it.
This is the same regardless of whether your goal is to run a marathon or to lift heavy weights.
The main concern when exercising over 50 comes from your body’s recovery time. People who exercise in their 20s and 30s can do intense workouts on an almost daily basis. However, this isn’t wise if you are over 50.
In order to get stronger, your body needs to recover and rebuild from your previous workout before you begin a new one and this process takes longer as you get older. If you don’t allow your body that time to recover, you risk injuring yourself.
Ideally, you should take at least one day off after every workout if you’re over 50. Don’t try and overload your workouts either, but try to target every muscle group when you lift weights.
If you are worried about having inactive days between your bodybuilding, then try something that is more gentle on your muscles such as swimming, walking, or dancing.
How To Begin Bodybuilding Over 50
There are many different ways to begin bodybuilding over 50 and the best one for you will depend on your goals and the time you have available.
The best way to begin is to set yourself small and attainable goals, especially if you haven’t done any bodybuilding in the past.
It can take weeks or even months to see any major changes to your body so don’t expect to be flexing your muscles and lifting hundreds of pounds after only a few sessions.
Expect slow but steady progress and don’t get disheartened if the progress is slower than you expected. Even bodybuilders in their 20s take months and years to reach their peak.
Make sure that you dedicate enough time at the beginning of each workout to adequately warm up your muscles.
If you skip this step, you run the risk of injury and your bodybuilding journey will be over before it has even begun.
When you first start bodybuilding, begin with light weights or even resistance-training exercises that use your body weight instead of separate weights to build muscles.
These exercises can be surprisingly effective and will get your body used to regularly working out.
You should also dedicate some time to increasing your cardio and ensure every workout ends with a cool down and some stretching.
Nutrition Is Key
It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re going to commit to any kind of exercise regime then you need to fuel your body appropriately.
This is especially important if you’re looking to build muscle as you will need to eat a diet that is rich in protein.
Thankfully, protein can be found in many common foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, and dairy products. You can also find sources of protein in vegan foods such as nuts, spinach, legumes, and kale.
There are also other options for getting more protein in your diet and these can be especially helpful if you are vegetarian or vegan.
Many bodybuilders of all ages use supplements to increase their protein intake and there are a wide variety of snacks and drinks available that will help you get all of the protein you need.
As their name suggests, supplements are intended to supplement a healthy diet instead of replacing one, so if you eat correctly they may not be necessary at all.
Bodybuilding can be a great way to strengthen your body and improve your quality of life.
If you’re over 50, it’s important to not push your body too hard when you begin strength training and you should always take care of your nutrition.