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Weight loss and muscle deterioration are natural processes associated with aging. Starting in their 30s, men begin to lose their muscle mass. But it is often only as they reach their 50s that they notice the side-effects that come with muscle loss. These side-effects include loss of flexibility, endurance, balance and strength as well as susceptibility to natural injuries and temperature effects. By bodybuilding after 50, you sculpt your body and fight these adverse side-effects. After a few weeks of following a bodybuilding regimen, you should obtain palpable results, improving your overall quality of life.
Health issues, being one of the primary reasons for starting a bodybuilding routine, should be handled prior to beginning a routine. If you are over 50 and plan to start weightlifting, schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss your plan. Issues concerning cardiovascular health may come up; if your cardiovascular system is not healthy at your age, start a cardio routine focused on building heart strength before beginning a bodybuilding routine.
The main equipment for bodybuilding is in the gym. Prior to going to the gym, you need to have your own set of personal bodybuilding equipment. This does not mean you need to buy free weights or machines for your home; rather, you will need the necessary equipment for working out in a gym. This equipment includes loose-fitting workout clothes, gym-only shoes, a gym bag and a gym towel. Your clothes should be comfortable and loose but not baggy. Your shoes need to provide adequate stability; cross-training or running shoes are two options. Also useful is a notebook in which you record your progress in terms of the type and number of exercises you perform.
Once you hit the gym and begin working out, proper form is key. With proper form, you build a symmetrical, attractive body and reduce your chance of injury. This is especially important for those nearing 60, who are more prone to injury. If you are unfamiliar with a particular exercise, consult a personal trainer or a knowledgeable acquaintance. Read the exercise descriptions posted on gym machines if you have doubts about your form.
An effective bodybuilding schedule incorporates timing and targeting. Timing refers to how often you hit the gym. If your goal is to work out three days per week, schedule them apart from one another, as opposed to in a row. An example would be to work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving Tuesday and Thursday for rest. Targeting refers to what muscles you work on for a given workout. Depending on how often you go to the gym, you could be targeting anywhere from one muscle area to all muscle areas. Space out muscle-area workouts, as this gives those areas a time to rest, recover and grow. For example, if you are working out on a four-day schedule, you may choose to target your shoulders on day one, your chest on day two, your legs on day three and your abs as well as upper arms on day four. By combining timing and targeting, you accelerate your progress and minimize the risk for potential injury.
Proper nutrition is key to sculpting a strong body, regardless of age. If you are over 50, you may have fallen into a eating habits that are not optimal for your bodybuilding blueprint. If you are in the habit of eating processed foods, slowly remove them from your diet, replacing them with healthful sources of protein. Especially healthful sources of protein include lean meat, eggs, white-meat poultry, fish and low-fat milk.