You’ve spent your whole life fantasizing about having huge biceps, and you’ve finally made up your mind to do something about it. The only problem is that you’re beyond the age of 50. Is building huge arms over 50 even possible? Continue reading to discover out.
Welcome friend! Building muscle growth on your arms after the age of 50 is a topic that will be covered in this article. Is it possible, what are the prerequisites, what sorts of results can you anticipate, etc.?
Although there is a good likelihood that you are a man and that is the perspective from which I am writing this, the majority of the information presented here is applicable to women as well.
I’m not going to hold you in suspense about this; the reality is that you can still gain muscle in your arms even when you’re in your 50s, 60s, or even 70s. In spite of the passage of time, the essential principles behind increasing muscle mass remain the same. Although you won’t be able to recuperate as quickly from your workouts, the process will still be manageable even though it will be a little bit slower.
On the other hand, the question that is most pressing in my head is, “What exactly do you consider to be big arms?” Are we talking about arms that are obviously powerful but have a little amount of fat on them, or do they have clearly defined muscles and veins? If you are otherwise healthy, you should have no problem accomplishing either of those goals. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if we are talking about somebody like Arnie (you know, Schwarzenegger) in his heyday, then that is probably not going to happen. Sorry about that. A brief discussion on the reason behind this will follow shortly.
The Honest Truth About Building Muscle as You Get Older.
The age factor does not play as big of a role as you might think when it comes to the process of growing muscle. Your activity levels and hormone profile are the only factors that are likely to alter as you get older. Everything else remains the same. That is, of course, presuming that you continue to maintain your general good health.
These are the primary factors that will determine how much muscle mass you carry if you do not engage in any activities that are designed to build and preserve your muscle mass (such as strength training). Your capacity to recuperate properly and maintain a healthy hormonal balance may suffer as a result, which will have a detrimental impact on your muscle-building potential.
However, there appears to be this widespread misunderstanding that adults in their 50s and older have somehow reached a physical state where they are no longer able to progress. People usually lose muscle mass and become frail as they get older for the simple reason that they do not engage in sufficient physical activity, and their hormonal profile and diet do not support the maintenance of muscle mass and physical fitness.
In the event that you are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of increasing one’s strength and muscular mass, I strongly advise that you read the essay that I wrote on strength training for seniors. I am aware that you most likely do not think of yourself as an elderly person, and there is no need for you to do so because the knowledge is relevant to adults of any age.
In a nutshell, the following three factors are necessary for gaining muscle and strength:
- A particular form of strain applied on the muscle. A resistance training session that typically includes a progression over the course of time.
- Recuperation of the muscular fibers. The exertion itself does not cause a growth in muscle size; rather, muscle size increases as a result of the muscle’s ability to recuperate and adapt to the stresses of the workout. This involves taking some time off in between your workouts.
- Sufficient amounts of both calories and protein. Muscles require a significant amount of both energy and the structural components that come in the form of protein in order to recuperate and adapt. These components come from the food you eat.
(I know I just mentioned 3, but this is also very crucial) Being able to successfully repeat this cycle over and over again. One session of exercise will not be sufficient to create obvious results. This indicates that you need to establish a routine.
In order to build muscle, that is all you need. The most challenging aspect is undoubtedly maintaining a consistent routine. If you do not make it a regular part of your routine, you will not notice any difference even if everything else is great. It goes without saying that this is not easy to accomplish; if it were, everybody would be in shape. But it isn’t necessarily the case.
Because gaining muscle demands an energy surplus, one major issue is the fact that most people already have quite a bit of excess body fat. On the other hand, eating more food than you needed is not necessarily a good idea because it might lead to weight gain. If everything else is done correctly and the body has enough energy storage (=bodyfat), then an untrained muscle will still grow even in a caloric deficit. This is because caloric deficits cause the body to burn more calories than it takes in. In a moment, I’d want to go into greater detail regarding that topic. But first, we need to get a better understanding of how the stress-recovery-adaptation cycle is affected by aging.
Hormone Levels As Well As Age.
Changes in your hormonal profile are responsible for the most significant shifts that occur in the process of growing muscle as you get older. Testosterone, estrogen, and growth hormone are the three hormones that contribute the most to the process of adding muscle.
Age is associated with a general drop in these. Around the age of 30, males begin to see a gradual and linear drop in their testosterone levels. On the other hand, women experience a more discernible shift in their hormone levels after menopause, when their ovaries stop releasing estrogen.
Although these hormones do play a vital influence in your capacity to gain muscle and shed fat, your genetics are actually the more crucial aspect in determining whether or not you will be successful. Especially if you are a man in your fifties and you are reading this sentence.
This is due to the fact that the average fall in testosterone levels that occurs in one’s fifties is typically not so severe that it should have a significant influence on one’s capacity to gain muscle. Having said that, experiencing low testosterone levels in your fifties as a result of a poor lifestyle, sickness, or obesity is definitely not out of the question.
But let’s say for the sake of this discussion that you are a typical male, meaning that you have a regular weight and are typically healthy. Your testosterone levels will no longer significantly impact your capacity to generate larger arms. These are the alterations that will take place.
Even if you do have low testosterone levels because you have a high body fat percentage or because you make poor lifestyle choices, the good news is that right exercise, diet, and sleep — the things you need to grow muscle – are pretty much your best shot to improve your testosterone levels naturally. This is because building muscle requires proper exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
If you are concerned about the levels of testosterone in your body, you can always have it tested to exclude the possibility of any underlying medical conditions. It is not safe to make any assumptions, and you should proceed with extreme caution before beginning any form of alternative treatment until you have determined that all other possibilities have been exhausted.
In regards to growth hormone, there is not much that can be done, but as is the case with testosterone, it will not have a significant impact on your capacity to put on muscle until you reach your fifties.
Let’s assume that your testosterone levels are normal or that they will rise as you continue to exercise. That leaves your genetics as the last factor. The truth is that genetics have a significant part in a person’s capacity to increase their strength and muscle mass over time. Because they want to promote the ideal of hard effort and the correct supplements for working everyone, those who make their living in the fitness sector don’t want to recognize this for one simple reason: they want to keep the dream alive.
The fact of the matter is, though, that your genes very much decide how well you will react to strength training and how much muscle mass you will be able to put on. To be quite clear, the vast majority of people are capable of putting on significant muscle, and you shouldn’t make an excuse based on your genetics; yet, it is important to have reasonable expectations.
Check out this fantastic article written by Stronger By Science if you are interested in learning how much the influence of your genetics might have on your capacity to grow muscle.
Simply said, there is a significant amount of individual variation in people’s capacities to gain muscle. If you take a group of people who have never worked out before and control all of the variables, the people who are the poorest at responding will actually lose muscle as a result of working out, while the people who are the best at responding will grow five times more muscle than the average responder.
It is imperative that you are aware of this in order to avoid being let down. If you watch fitness videos on YouTube and read fitness magazines, you will notice that all of the people at the top have outstanding genetics and that many, if not most, of them utilize performance (and muscle) increasing medicines. This indicates that if you are a regular person in your fifties, it is quite unlikely that you will be able to build arms like them.
On the other hand, the only way to know for sure how you will react to training is to try it for yourself. Training is something that will never be wasted, that much is certain. At the very least, it will help you retain your muscular mass, which is something that becomes increasingly vital as you get older.
Definition Vs Strength Vs Size.
Let’s speak about the actual training now that you have a better understanding of how age impacts your capacity to create strong arms. If you care about definition and aesthetics (which the majority of people do), one of the most important things to consider while constructing huge arms is whether or not you just want to be big and strong.
I’m interested in your response because, in general, it’s not hard to get large, powerful, and fat, and it’s also not hard to get slim and “toned” (with a little bit of muscle definition). Why am I asking you this? However, getting slender, powerful, and huge can be rather challenging, especially as one advances in age.
The simple pursuit of size at a more advanced age is typically not conducive to good health since it leads to increased levels of body fat and places a load on the cardiovascular system as a result of extra weight. My advice is to shoot for a healthy weight where you have a moderate bit of fat and a significant amount of muscle mass.
This form of physique is simpler to attain and keep, and it shouldn’t result in any substantial negative effects on one’s health in the long run. In point of fact, having a healthy amount of muscle mass while being slightly overweight may have some positive effects on longevity.
Just so there is no misunderstanding, when we talk about clear muscle definition, we don’t necessarily mean a six-pack. However, there is no wobbly spare tire either. You should make it a priority to maintain a body fat percentage (way) below 25% and a body mass index (BMI) that is far below the obesity threshold of 29.9.
On the other hand, if you have a very low body mass index (BMI), which is achievable given that you want larger arms, you should strive to bring your BMI closer to 25, all the while maintaining a healthy level of body fat.
It is also possible to have a low body fat percentage despite having a very low overall body weight. This condition is really rather prevalent among middle-aged men who do not engage in strength training. When someone has a typical amount of muscular mass but a relatively large amount of body fat, they are said to be skinny fat. In the case of men, a BMI of less than 25 yet more than 20 percent body fat.
How to Get Big Arms After The Age of 50.
To recap what we discussed in the outset, developing large arms requires a consistent exercise regimen, an adequate supply of energy, and adequate downtime for recovery. I’m not going to outline a fitness program for you here, but I will provide links to a few excellent ones.
But before we get to it, here are a few suggestions. To begin, your primary objective should never be to just build up the size and strength of your arms. This is due to the fact that having strong arms while having a weak upper torso is not only non-functional but also nearly difficult to accomplish.
To develop large arms, you will need to concentrate on developing a great deal of strength throughout your entire shoulder girdle. Additionally, you will need to have a robust back, chest, and set of shoulders. Because your upper body won’t be able to hold the rising weights required to stimulate muscle growth, trying to only pump your biceps and triceps will only generate mediocre results and injuries. This is because your goal should be to grow your muscular mass.
A physique that comprises of trained arms but a slender upper body and stick legs will make everybody who lifts weights discreetly giggle, for obvious reasons. The fact of the matter is that you most likely desire large arms in order to impress other people. I can guarantee that having large arms alone is not nearly as impressive as having a well-balanced and athletic body.
Having said that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting more of an emphasis on your arms throughout your workouts; you need just make sure not to neglect the rest of your body. For example, your legs, hips, and lower back are much more crucial to your long-term health than other body parts; but, there is nothing wrong with giving certain body parts greater importance than others.
It is my advise that you begin a novice full body program and incorporate a little bit of extra arm training into each workout OR select a body-building program that emphasizes balance. The Muscle Building Workout Routine is without a doubt one of my most-loved workout routines of all time. It does not cost anything, and I have personally used it several times with excellent results. It is vital to keep in mind that the most important thing is to maintain adding weight or reps, and as a novice, you should be able to achieve this during every session.
Finally, some words of wisdom on your diet. If you are extremely underweight, you have to figure out how to consume sufficient amounts of nutritious food. Consuming an adequate amount of calories and protein is the one and only way to achieve muscular growth. The topic of training nutrition is too extensive to be discussed in depth here; however, a decent rule of thumb is to consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body weight, and the goal should be to gain approximately 1 pound of weight every week if you are lean and trying to grow muscle.
Because you will always gain fat along with muscle, it is not a good idea for someone who is severely overweight to consume a caloric surplus (also known as “bulking,” which simply means increasing weight). If you have a considerable amount of fat, the best way to lose it is to actually start in a calorie deficit and keep working out until you can’t make any more progress. At that point, you need to decide whether you want to continue cutting calories to lose more fat or begin bulking up to acquire more muscle and strength. This is due to the fact that at the beginning stages of a muscle-building program, it is possible to add muscle even while maintaining a calorie deficit. If you have a significant percentage of body fat, your body will just use the energy reserves it already has.
When you first start lifting weights, you will see rapid muscle growth for the first few months; take advantage of this and use it to drive you to keep going. Consistent training over the course of at least a year and a half is required to develop large arms.
How Many Times Per Week Should You Train?
The frequency of training for building big arms as a senior will depend on several factors, including your current fitness level, recovery capacity, and overall health. However, in general, it’s recommended to aim for at least two to three strength training sessions per week to stimulate muscle growth and provide adequate recovery time. Here are a few considerations:
- Recovery: As we age, our bodies may require slightly longer recovery periods between workouts. It’s important to listen to your body and allow enough time for rest and recovery. Overtraining can lead to increased risk of injury and hinder progress. If you’re feeling overly fatigued or experiencing persistent muscle soreness, consider incorporating additional rest days into your training schedule.
- Consistency: Consistency is key when it comes to building muscle. It’s better to train regularly with a moderate frequency than to have sporadic high-intensity workouts. Aim for a balanced training schedule that allows you to consistently challenge your muscles and progress over time.
- Splitting workouts: To give your arms ample attention, you can incorporate dedicated arm workouts into your routine while still working on other major muscle groups. For example, you could structure your training program with two full-body workouts per week that include exercises for the arms and other muscle groups, or you could have one dedicated arm day and one or two additional days where you focus on other muscle groups that indirectly engage the arms.
- Recovery days: In addition to strength training sessions, it’s important to allow for recovery days. On these days, you can engage in low-impact activities like stretching, yoga, or light cardiovascular exercise to promote blood flow, flexibility, and overall recovery.
- Individualization: The ideal frequency of training for you may vary depending on your individual circumstances. Factors such as your fitness goals, training experience, and any pre-existing health conditions should be taken into account. Consulting with a qualified personal trainer or exercise professional can help you design a tailored training program that suits your needs and capabilities.
Remember, building muscle is a gradual process, and results take time. Be patient, focus on proper form and technique, and prioritize consistency and recovery in your training regimen.
Which Exercises Are the Best for Building Muscle After 50?
Building muscle after 50 is definitely possible and beneficial for maintaining strength and overall health. However, it’s important to consider individual fitness levels and any existing health conditions. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program. That being said, here are some exercises that are generally effective for building muscle in individuals over 50:
- Resistance training: Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to stimulate muscle growth. Focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Examples include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, and rows. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves.
- Bodyweight exercises: Bodyweight exercises are excellent for building muscle and improving overall strength. They can be easily modified to suit your fitness level. Push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and pull-ups (assisted if necessary) are great options. They engage multiple muscle groups and can be done at home or in a gym.
- Cardiovascular exercises: While cardiovascular exercises don’t directly build muscle, they are important for overall fitness and supporting muscle development. Engaging in activities like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical machine can improve cardiovascular health and help maintain a healthy body composition.
- Core exercises: Strengthening your core is crucial for stability and balance, which becomes increasingly important with age. Exercises like planks, Russian twists, and bird dogs can help improve core strength and stability.
- Flexibility and mobility exercises: Don’t neglect flexibility and mobility training, as they contribute to maintaining joint health and preventing injuries. Incorporate stretching exercises, yoga, or Pilates into your routine to improve flexibility and range of motion.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to building muscle. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. Additionally, listen to your body, and if any exercise causes pain or discomfort, modify or discontinue it.
How Many Sets Should You Do?
The number of sets you should perform to build big arms after the age of 50 can vary based on individual factors such as fitness level, recovery capacity, and training goals. However, a general guideline is to aim for 3 to 4 sets per exercise. Here are a few considerations:
- Exercise selection: Focus on exercises that target the muscles of the arms, such as bicep curls, hammer curls, tricep dips, tricep pushdowns, and overhead tricep extensions. For each exercise, aim for 3 to 4 sets.
- Repetitions per set: The number of repetitions per set can also vary depending on your goals. For muscle hypertrophy (building size), a range of 8 to 12 repetitions per set is commonly recommended. This range promotes muscle growth by providing an optimal combination of resistance and volume.
- Intensity and weight selection: Select a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions with good form and proper technique. The weight should be challenging enough that you reach muscle fatigue by the end of each set. Gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves to continue stimulating muscle growth.
- Rest periods: Rest periods between sets can also impact your workout intensity and performance. Aim for 1 to 2 minutes of rest between sets to allow for sufficient recovery. Adjust the rest periods based on your personal needs and how your body responds to the workload.
- Progressive overload: To continue building muscle, gradually increase the resistance or repetitions over time. This concept of progressive overload ensures that your muscles are continually challenged and stimulated for growth. However, progress gradually to avoid overexertion or injury.
Remember, the number of sets alone is not the only determining factor for building big arms. It is essential to focus on proper form, progressive overload, and balanced nutrition to support muscle growth. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional or qualified personal trainer who can provide guidance based on your individual needs and capabilities.
Eating to Build Big Arm After 50
To support muscle growth and build big arms after the age of 50, it’s important to focus on a balanced and nutritious diet. Here are some key considerations for your eating plan:
- Sufficient protein intake: Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Aim to include lean sources of protein in your meals such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, eggs, tofu, legumes, and dairy products (if tolerated). Distribute your protein intake evenly throughout the day, including in each meal and snack.
- Calories and macros: Ensure you’re consuming enough calories to support muscle growth. Calculate your daily calorie needs based on factors such as age, gender, weight, activity level, and goals. Adequate calories provide the energy necessary for intense workouts and muscle repair. Pay attention to your macronutrient distribution as well, with a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.
- Nutrient-dense whole foods: Focus on nutrient-dense whole foods to provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats in your meals. These foods contribute to overall health and support optimal muscle growth.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated to support muscle function and overall health. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during workouts. Dehydration can affect performance and recovery.
- Pre- and post-workout nutrition: Fuel your workouts by consuming a balanced meal or snack before exercising. Include a combination of carbohydrates and protein to provide energy and support muscle function. After your workout, consume a post-workout meal or snack within the first hour to aid in muscle recovery and growth. A combination of protein and carbohydrates is recommended at this time.
- Healthy fats: Include sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish. These fats provide energy and support overall health.
- Balanced meals and portion control: Aim for balanced meals that include a variety of nutrients. Fill your plate with lean protein, whole grains, colorful vegetables, and healthy fats. Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating and maintain a balanced calorie intake.
- Consistency and individualization: Consistency is key when it comes to nutrition. Stick to a balanced and sustainable eating plan that you can maintain in the long term. Additionally, individualize your diet based on your specific needs, preferences, and any pre-existing health conditions. Consulting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can provide personalized guidance.
Remember, building big arms requires a combination of proper nutrition, regular strength training, and adequate rest. Focus on nourishing your body with a balanced diet to support muscle growth and overall health.
Now you know how to get huge arms even when you’re older, so congratulations! I apologize for the lengthy and meandering post; there is a lot to cover, and I hope that by the end of it you have a decent basic concept of how to gain muscle after the age of 50. If you have any inquiries, please don’t be reluctant to contact me in the comments section below, and I will respond as soon as I can.
Because gaining muscle is a lengthy process, it is essential to find ways to enjoy the journey; else, you will never get to the end goal. However, one of the best things about working out is that it provides you with a sense of accomplishment as your strength increases from one workout to the next. You quickly find that you are enjoying the procedure, but it will take some time before it can become a routine for you. The most significant component is consistency maintained over a protracted period of time. In terms of the workout, the diet, and the rest.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and if you did find it interesting and/or helpful, I would appreciate it if you would link to it and share it with your friends.