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Building muscle after 40, 50, or even 60 is very possible, however, you should be aware that you will need to train, eat and recover differently than you would have in your 20’s and 30’s. In this video, I walk you through the 5 key principles to building muscle over 50, so use these principles along with our free resources to get started today!

*Use Compound Exercises (1:25)

The 5 key exercises to include in the best workouts for men over 50 are Squats, Deadlifts, Rows, Bench Press, and Military press. You may have done these exercises before, but here at the Fit Father Project, we show you how to tweak them to keep them safe for aging bodies.

Incorporating these exercises into workouts for men over 50 can be done in a couple of ways. Firstly, you could do a full-body workout that has you completing all 5 exercises 2-3 times per week.

You could also do them as an upper/lower body split, where you would do Bench Press, Rows and Military Press on one day and Squats and Deadlifts on another day.

*Understand Your Nutrition Needs (3:31)

As you look to build muscle over 50, it’s more important to consider your nutrition needs than you would have in your 20’s and 30’s. This is because your metabolism lowers as you age and any excess in calories is more likely to be stored as additional body-fat. You need to prioritize a lean bulking nutrition plan to fuel your body for building muscle.

What I mean by lean bulking is to have the optimum number of surplus calories above your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) to aid with building muscle. This should only be between 250 – 500 calories over, so as not to cause too much excess that will mean fat gain.

To calculate your TDEE, here's the Calorie Calculator We Mentioned →

*Use Proper Supplementation (7:12)

The first thing I tell all the guys I train is that supplements are exactly that… supplemental. They are used as a way to optimize the 2 principles above: exercise and nutrition. If you are not following those 2 principles, any amount of supplements will not lead to muscle gain or improved health and wellness. My recommendations are:

Creatine – Increases strength and your ability to push more weight. Also helps preserve muscle, especially in aging guys. 5g to be taken daily.

Protein powder – Supports your protein intake and can be taken as Whey, Whey/Casein Blend, or a plant-based blend. Should be taken post-workout.

Vitamin D3 – Increases testosterone and keeps your immune system strong.

Multivitamin – Ensures you are getting optimal levels of vitamins and minerals.

Fish Oil – Helps with joint care and brain health.

Turmeric/Curcumin – Reduces inflammation, especially in joints.

*Get Enough Rest & Recovery (9:42)

A little R & R is always good for you, right? Well, when it comes to building muscle over 50, it’s incredibly good for you and very important. You need to aim to get an absolute minimum of 7 – 7.5 hours of undisturbed sleep each night.

To help with sleeping well, you can use Melatonin supplements, Herbal teas, and should avoid using screens for at least 1 hour before bed, to blue blocking light that can disturb your sleep patterns by tricking your body into thinking it’s still daylight.

*Optimize Testosterone Naturally (10:30)

Testosterone is the most important hormone when it comes to building muscle, but as you age your testosterone levels decrease by 1% per year after 30-35 years old. This makes it harder to put on muscle, but easier to gain fat. For this reason, you need to optimize your testosterone levels.

I would recommend doing this naturally by following the information in this guide →

I hope this information has been helpful and that you enjoy this holiday workout routine.

Your friends here at the FFP,

-Dr. Balduzzi + The Men's Health Experts @ The Fit Father Project

**Disclaimer: This information on workouts for men over 50 at home is for reference purposes ONLY and cannot replace personal information you can and should discuss with your Doctor. If you have any concerns about your health, you should see your Doctor immediately. Results vary by individual, so we do not guarantee you will get the same results as any shown here or on our website.

    39 replies to "Building Muscle After 50 – The Definitive Guide"

    • Marcus Lovelace

      Good video. Not perfect in my mind, but good. I’m 57 and in the best shape of my life using these same basic principles. One point I’d like to make here is that folks over 50 need to find a sustainable path to fitness that will carry the through their 69’s, 79’s, and into their 80’s. Getting buff is a nice benefit, but setting yourself up for longevity should be the goal.

      • Terry Hill

        Everyone is going to be different in weightlifting and fitness training due to the fact of past injuries and how good a health they are to begin with that’s why it is important to not go too heavy too quick, and listen to their body

      • Terry Hill

        @Raymon Kravagna very true anyone that’s in the best shape of their life in their fifties must have been in bad health in their twenties because there’s no way I can do what I did back when I was in my twenties now at 64 after a spinal fusion due to a broken vertebrae and the fact my testosterone has dropped tremendously as everyone’s does

      • Mayura1

        @Raymon Kravagna It depends on what kind of shape you were in when you were in your 20s. Some people don’t realize how important fitness is until they’re older.

      • Raymon Kravagna

        @Mayura1 I myself was an athlete growing up and I was also a distance runner in high school and college so besides working at a Meatpacking plant and being a professional golfer so I was in the best shape you could probably be

      • SunriseBoy

        Setting yourself up for “effective & healthy” longevity should be the goal.

    • Wayne Lawson

      Kurt, Speaking from my personal experience, I have found starting at an 8 hour eating window is great, but ideally working down to only an eight hour window accompanied by proper clean eating, got me the best results. For the record: I’m a 48 year old man. I hope this was informative. If I could be of any further help let me know.

    • Stephan Davis

      At 58, I have been lifting heavy for 30 years. After all these years I still do not recover quickly enough to bench and shoulder press MWF. If I lift MWF I will do a two-week cycle of push/pull so that I am benching three times over two weeks: MFW. I have had a lot of success with this approach. During the school year I lift W and Sat; I try to do all of the core compound lifts each day, but I will cut the bench weight down a plate-a-side if I am tender (315 > 225 lbs.).

    • Ralph Carpenter

      Sure the compound movements are key, but I wouldn’t rule out the isolation exercises as they will assist in any weak point training of a particular body part. I will say this though, I didn’t start deadlifting until 8 months ago and it’s really improved my overall strength, back density and testosterone…and I’m 48.

      • Greg Tanner

        I’m 55 and totally agree. The basics are a given but iso. lifts done properly also are needed for overall shape, and health of connective tissues.

    • Jersey Paul

      I already do all that stuff. I lift free weights in my basement. Mostly heavy compound exercises and no finishing exercises. I eat right, take supplements and so on. What you didn’t mention is that the older you get the more important stretching is!

      • Eric Darden

        Thanks for sharing.

      • Optimal Readiness

        Hey, buddy. If I could make a suggestion, I would recommend you adjust your current strategy and programming for strength to strength endurance or a hypertrophy type of stimulus (keep reps between 6-8 reps for these movements), add in some stability exercises, and then ADD a finisher that is strictly bodyweight-based and targets your metabolic pathways. Do this for a month and let me know how it works for you. Does this make sense?

      • Michael Fera


      • J Manstein

        Stretching by far the biggest difference going over 45.

    • John Garcia

      Great advice. I follow most of it already by my own trials! I’ve slacked on the DHEA though but use most everything else!

    • Kelvin Owens

      Great stuff. You are spot on with your recommendations. I am 49 and in excellent shape. I workout 3-4 days a week and jog anywhere from 20-30 miles depending how I feel. Working my way up to competing in ultra events. Thanks for your research. I will be incorporating some of your advice in my overall health and well being.

    • Joey Gagliardi

      Thanks for an Awesome no nonsense vid. here Bro. After my accident,and recooping put on some pounds,, like 25 lbs. Got it off in 3 mos. Now am ready to get the rest back in shape, Will be a definite Sub. for me.. I want to be able to say the best has yet to come. I am a very determined Guy, and will do what I have to do to be back in the shape and physique I was in,,,, High 5, and a devoted sub,, have a great day,, here in 2019

    • Randy Sullivan

      Thank you Dr. Anthony! Great information, and well done. I”m 55 and have been having trouble gaining muscle. I”m definitely going to implement these great training suggestions. Thanks again

    • DanielChias67 Chias

      Absolutely great video, great explenation ! The trick over 50 is simply to be patient and do not hasitade. I´m 52 years old and i´m doing exactely what is explained in the video. Over fifty, jogging is for trained people thru many years of activity. Walking is the best comfortable way to exercise. 12´000 steps (about 10 Kilometers, 2 hours walking) are 1100Kcal of burning.

      • T.B.H.

        I’m 51 use to be buff. Want to get rid of this belly I’ve acquired. Thx fer yr info bro👁️👍🏼

    • Istvan Bartha

      Interesting video. I’m 56 now and in better shape than when I was 40. 2 years ago my doctor told me to loose my belly. I started jogging, and thereafter I begun a LCHF diet…I lost 7 kgs…( and gained 8 again over the Xmas). I also took up the weight lifting again, but had a set back which included back surgery. Now I eat a modified LCHF diet, combined with jogging and weight lifting…and I have lost 9 kgs. Who ever said you couldn’t get in shape after 50?

    • tonycornflakes

      I’m 52,and I started training again after NOT training for 20 years! There really isn’t much I can’t do now that I couldn’t do when I was in my mid 20’s and 30’s. The only BIG change is probably my recovery time. When I started training a year ago,I was a soft 220,and now I’m 252,and looking pretty good! So….if you think you are getting up there in years….take it from me….age is only in your mind.

      • Maxxx Modelz

        I agree 100% My situation is very similar to yours. I hadn’t trained seriously in about 15 years, then got back into it. My strength and body composition started to come back much faster than it did in my 20s and 30s. Only difference now, as you mentioned, is I find myself needing a bit more recovery and less volume. However, my intensity is probably around the same as it was back then. I’m not quite as strong as I was in my peak years (when I was around 27 yo), but it’s not that far off either. Plus I’m leaner now than I ever was back then.

      • roger long

        How much protein do you take Tony?

      • tonycornflakes

        @roger long I usually take in about 220 to 250 grams a day. Mostly in the form of protein shakes and fish. I use “Hot Stuff” protein power (Banana Flavor) mixed with skim milk as my go to powder. Some people don’t like it,but it works GREAT for me. I HOPE this helped. Oh…and I currently weigh 225 pounds.

      • roger long

        Many thanks Tony, The problem I have is I’m a vegetarian so a lot of the protein will come from protein shakes.
        Do I go with my bodyweight or lean bodyweight Tony?

      • Teacher Mark

        You on TRT? 32 lbs of muscle gain in just a year is astounding. I suppose you were brand new to weight training. Newbie gains.

    • Mr. Edwards

      Your awesome my guy, I’m 32 and my father 62 this really helped us bond father and son time. Thanks for being the bridge to connect us again.

    • Rob Lewis

      Thank you for the video. I recently lost 45 lbs (228>183) over a period of a year, everybody around me was concerned and did not encourage me at all. Method to my madness; now I’m starting to gain muscle and a lot of definition and I’m 66. It can be done!

    • Tim Heymerdinger

      I’m 56 and struggling to get back the form I had at 30. This is the single best and most helpful video I’ve found to help me recover that. Awesome. Very grateful for this. 🙂

      • Michael Fera

        I’m 56, and have been powerlifting for about 7 years. It took me a while to dial in what works for me, but it’s very (very) close to what this guy is saying. It’s rare to see a young man give good advice for aging lifters, but his is really good. The only thing I disagree with is the 2700-3000 calories. My maintenance calories are about 2200-2400 (6′ 190).

    • Chris Oakes

      Good an accurate info! You definitely can build muscle at any age! Adjustments, common sense an listen to your body. When your not building any because your body doesn’t have to adapt anymore you still should never stop because as long as you continue you give your body reason to keep the muscle you have and slow aging! An yes forget isolation movements an do compound exercises!

    • Darren Lloyd

      I really enjoyed this. Simple and effective. Thank you

    • Jack Shumate

      Thank you. I’m 58 and 5’ 11 and I have learned a lot from your videos. I’ve gone from 220 pounds to 193. From a size 36 to a size 32. Working towards the weight goal of 185. Im healthier now than 25 years ago.

      • Fit Father Project - Fitness For Busy Fathers

        We’re damn proud of you Jack. Keep pushing my brother! 💪

    • DM Lifestyle

      Good day, started watching your videos and your content is great. I have been working out since I’ve been 15 and I am 68 today, my working out and nutrition was based on old school. Some of the things that you covered in this video is excellent. Could you recommend a book on compound and comprised of the four major strength exercises. I am trying to increase my strength and create a routine that will do this. I really appreciate this video in the content that you have and I have subscribed and will continue watching thanks again.

      • Fit Father Project - Fitness For Busy Fathers

        Hey Dave, thanks for writing in and we appreciate you watching! I will do you one better than a book and will link to you our Playlist page full of all the best/our favorite compound lifts. Check them out here:
        -The FFP Team

    • Icelandlover

      Thank you for this video. I am 55, without a strict structure to my training and diet. Very inspiring.

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