Rules for Fitness Over 50

Fifty! That’s where some folks in today’s society generally sets the bar for the onset of old-manhood. It’s slightly arbitrary, but we can’t deny that athletic ability starts to decline somewhere around the fourth/fifth decade. High-level fitness over 50, well, just gets tougher to maintain.

But you can fight it. Decide that you’re going to do everything you need to keep kicking butt.

Don’t Change Up Your Training Too Much

Assuming you’re an experienced lifter who’s just turned 50+, you don’t have to necessarily start training differently, regardless of your training goals.

In fact, It becomes tiresome of guys asking how they should train now that they’re in their 50s. You don’t have to train lighter or less frequently, let alone join one of those weight-lifting-in-the-pool classes held at your local Y.

Follow the recommendations below and you won’t have to change a thing about your training, except maybe paying a bit more attention to recovery.

Pay Attention to Fluidity of Movement

The ability or inability to move freely and without pain isn’t just a concern for older adults. Lack of mobility often rears its arthritic head in the forties and beyond, but few men bother to do anything about it until they have the fluid motion of a dry stick.

As uncomfortable as it may sound, consider enrolling in yoga classes. Or, you might instead consider Tai Chi, Jiu-Jitsu, stretching and foam rolling. Regardless, pick one, grit your teeth, and start doing it. The true measure of someone’s youthfulness is often how well he moves.

Each protein at every meal

Your goal is to get between .8 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. Now that recommendation isn’t the same one I’d make for someone who’s 25 and wants to put on 40 pounds of muscle; it’s the recommendation for those that want to live long, continually studly lives.

Likewise, avoid meals that are all carbohydrate or carbohydrate and fat. That means those days of a bagel with a dollop of cream cheese are gone. If you insist on a bagel, have it with lox, or turkey, or an egg sandwiched between the sides of the bagel.

If you have a salad at lunch, make sure it comes with plenty of chicken. Dinner should consist of steamed or grilled vegetables tossed with olive oil or coconut oil and accompanied by 4 to 6 ounces of meat (fish, beef, chicken, shrimp, etc.).

You’re likely going to need a quality protein supplement to augment your intake. Opt for a combination of micellar casein and don’t skimp on the price. When it comes to protein powders, you often get what you pay for.

Place a few scoops in water or almond milk and drink as needed to hit your protein goal. Have a serving or two at bedtime to build lean tissue all night long.

Pay Attention to Workout Nutrition

Sip a functional carb/high protein drink before and during your workout.

Amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), supply up to 15% of a muscle’s energy needs during a workout, but use of BCAA can increase by up to five times, depending on the intensity and the duration of exercise. If you don’t supply the protein through diet, your body cannibalizes your muscles. You can halt the cannibalism by ingesting the right type of protein before, during, and after a workout. And, if you spare muscle protein and negate protein degradation, you set the muscle up for regeneration and remodeling, otherwise known as growth.

The best way to do this is to sip a functional carb/high protein drink before and during your workout.

And while most people know the value of consuming another high carb/high protein meal after a workout, it’s important that you do it within the first hour post-workout. 

Get at least 20-30 grams a day from sources like beans, vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, multi-grain bread, etc. If you can’t eat enough fiber through whole foods, consider a source of psyllium husk-like Metamucil.

Avoid Foods That Come In A Box

Before the 18th century, very few people had diabetes. Then came the invention of the high-speed milling wheel. Prior to its advent, flour was coarse. The bread made from it looked like it was filled with wood chips (and it pretty much was). As such, it was slow to digest.

But after the milling wheel rolled into the picture, bread was made from fine flour. It was easy to digest. In fact, it caused a spike in insulin-like you’d get from eating cotton candy. Diabetes eventually started to rear its ugly, serpent-riddled head.

It’s not much different today. A boxed food is generally made of highly-processed carbs, and they’re what cause a good deal of the obesity in this country. Stay away from them. Buy whole, fresh foods if possible.

Categories: FitPro Consulting

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