Bodybuilding at 50

Hi I'm 45 and started training 3 years ago. Recently I decided to focus doing an amateur bodybuilding competition at 50. I really mean it.

What do you recommend as I start on this long road? I don't know if I'm a ectomorph. Of course I have a hard time building muscle, but I easily gain a pound when I'm eating, mostly fat.


My Answer: Well congratulations on setting a goal for yourself. Five years is plenty of time to prepare for a bodybuilding competition.

If you haven't done so already, then find out what sort of bodybuilding contests you can enter by the time you're 50. They usually have a "masters" competition where contestants 50 and older can enter.

You have five years to gain as much muscle as you can and then get ripped before the contest. So I would suggest educating yourself on all things bodybuilding: training, diet, contest preparation.

Bodybuilding is a process of building, then refining. You build muscle bulk, then you refine the muscle through training and diet. Traditionally bodybuilders start off building muscle bulk through a powerlifting type of workout: several sets of heavy weight on a few select compound exercises (bench press, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups/chin-ups, standing military presses). You eat a lot of protein and calories on this type of training regimen.

Once you've gained some weight, you switch to a bodybuilding type of workout: multiple exercises per muscle group, hitting it from multiple angles with higher reps. You start watching your diet and cut out sugary and starchy carbs.

That is the traditional method of bodybuilding. Building then refining. The problem for you is that you're 45 years old. Starting off with a powerlifting type of program is very tough on an older lifter's joints. You also don't have as much testosterone to recuperate from such heavy training and heavy eating.

You have to start off on a smaller amount of volume and hit each body part more frequently. Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph is built on these principles and will give you a foundation of strength and size. Over time, however, your muscles will crave more variety of training. My first three books will provide you a number of training programs to choose from. Neo-Classical Bodybuilding in particular will teach you how to construct your own bodybuilding programs.

Check out the Strength and Physique E-books

“This book is terrific. It distills years of experience and research into short sections laying out specific, creative programs for the major body parts, using the best science and advanced training techniques. Some of them created by the great 'masters' of bodybuilding like Larry Scott. Almost every section has a 'eureka' idea that I'm craving to try, like the back trifecta! The book is much more useful than subscriptions to all the muscle mags. I only wish I had it when I was a kid."

- Bob Vastine, world record holder in powerlifting

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"Sticking to your principles to the letter has helped me improve immensely. When I started lifting over two years ago I was 125 pounds and now I'm over 170.

"What I'm trying to say is that reading your books helped me understand what I needed to do to gain [muscle]. My dedication plus your expertise really worked out well for me."

- Mike Crothers

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