Building muscle at an older age is possible, and studies say it's very beneficial to overall health.

This article covers everything you need to know to build muscle for better health.


Are you over 50 and feel like your body is slowing down? Do you want to stay healthy, strong, and independent as you age? If so, it's time to start building muscle.

While many assume it's too late to gain muscle after 50, there is still time to gain the benefits. Many studies have found strength training to be an excellent method of combatting age-related challenges, including:

  • A decline in muscle mass and function
  • Reduced bone density 
  • Poor balance
  • Obesity
  • And more.

If you want to age gracefully, keep your independence, and maintain a higher quality of life, keep reading!

This guide will cover everything you need to know about increasing strength after 50, including:

  • The challenges you’ll face
  • The many benefits of strength training at an older age
  • How to design your routine
  • Essential nutrition tips
  • And how to recover correctly.

By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to start building muscle and improving your well-being.

The Challenges of Building Muscle After 50

Before explaining how to build muscle after 50, it’s vital to understand the challenges you’ll be facing. As you age, your body changes not conducive to building muscle mass and strength. The better you understand these challenges, the better you'll be able to work around them.

Youth is no longer on your side, but that shouldn’t prevent you from trying!

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Age Related Muscle Loss

Age-Related Muscle Loss

Did you know your muscle mass and strength peak in your 20s and decline after 30? Research shows humans lose an average of three to eight percent of muscle mass after 30 every ten years. This muscle mass loss increases after 60. This loss in muscle mass and function is known as sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia is challenging when building muscle, leading to lower physical function and even disability if untreated. You’re not as strong in older age and may not be able to move as freely.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Slower Recovery

Slower Recovery

A simple fact of life is that our bodies take more time to recover from exercise as we age. Exercise after 50 has a greater impact on our body, requiring more time to bounce back. Slower recovery can be challenging as it limits your training.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Changes in Hormones

Changes in Hormones

Hormonal changes can make it harder to grow muscle. Aging brings lowered hormone levels, specifically in growth and testosterone hormone, which play a crucial role in building muscle.

Testosterone promotes protein synthesis and muscle growth. Growth hormone stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor, which also promotes muscle growth. Both work together to increase muscle strength and growth.

Less production of these hormones can affect your muscle growth. But rest assured, both can be influenced by exercise and nutrition.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Increased Injury Risk

Increased Injury Risk

Older age causes you to be more prone to injury. As your muscles and joints age, they become less agile and more susceptible to injuries. This may limit the types of exercise you can do.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Medical Conditions

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, can make it harder to build muscle. They also might limit the types of exercises you can do.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Weight Gain

Weight Gain

Weight increase tends to be synonymous with older age. Not adjusting your eating habits can lead to weight gain and put you at greater risk of health problems.

Obesity can make strength-building harder. It can make exercises more challenging and increase injury risk. Obesity can also decrease mobility and flexibility, increasing the challenge of performing exercises with proper form. In some cases, losing weight may be the necessary first step before building muscle.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Challenges: Genetics


Aging tends to reveal the effects of our genetics. Your genetics can play heavily into your ability to build muscle. Genetics can determine your:

  • Muscle type distribution
  • Muscle size potential 
  • And recovery time.

Genes also affect how well your body uses nutrients to build and repair muscle tissue. Despite genes playing a role, lifestyle factors such as exercise and nutrition can significantly impact your growth and development.

The Benefits of Building Muscle After 50

“Can you build muscle after 50?”
Yes, you can. And studies have proven you should.

While building muscle after 50 can be challenging, numerous studies show it's well worth it.

A study found strength training after 60 increases muscle mass by “improving the recruitment of motor units, and increasing their firing rate.” The study recommends healthy seniors train three to four times weekly. It also states strength training effectively reduces sarcopenia and retains motor function.

There are many benefits of muscle building for seniors. Keep reading below to learn about each benefit and the studies behind them.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Benefits: Stronger Bones

Stronger Bones (Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis)

Did you know 10.2 million US adults have osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose density. Less density causes bones to lose strength and become more at risk of breaking or fracturing. In severe cases, bones can be at risk of breaking by simply walking.

Building muscle reduces this risk by stimulating bone growth and density. Your body reacts to weight-bearing exercises by building more bone tissue. Increased tissue can help increase bone density and reduce fracture risk.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Benefits: Weight Loss

Weight Loss & Management

We frequently hear that muscle weighs more than fat. This might make you think building muscle is not conducive to weight loss. Surprisingly, it is!

When you build muscle, you increase your muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue. This increases your metabolism and burns more calories, even while resting.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Benefits: Better Independence in Older Age

Better Independence in Older Age

Being more physically able allows you to keep your independence as you age. Building muscle can be a crucial player in helping you age in place. It can allow you to keep your:

  • Strength to do everyday activities such as getting up from chairs
  • Balance and coordination to reduce fall/injury risk
  • And mobility & flexibility to make moving and staying active easier while preventing falls.

Building muscle allows you to be less reliant on the assistance of others. It can allow you to remain independent as you age, making aging in place possible.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Benefits: Improved Management of Health Conditions

Improved Management of Health Conditions

Aging comes with a lot of baggage, health conditions being one of them. As you age, your body becomes susceptible to arthritis, back pain, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Building muscle can be a key to managing these conditions.

Building muscle can:

  • Improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control for diabetes
  • Reduce pain and improve joint function for arthritis 
  • Improve bone density for osteoporosis
  • And increase functional capacity and quality of life for heart failure.
  • It also reduces the risk of developing conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and specific cancer types.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Benefits: Improved Cognitive Function

Increased Cognitive Function

It’s well known that general exercise is good for mental health. But did you know it can significantly improve your cognitive function in older age?

Consider these findings:

  • University of Sydney researchers found resistance training to improve cognitive function and protect the senior brain from decline. The study found strength training had significant biological effects and shielded certain brain areas that aid learning and memory.
  • A cohort study of 8,279 older adults found low muscle mass to be linked with a rapid decline in executive function.

While the reasoning isn’t concrete, it’s thought that building muscle increases blood flow to the brain and promotes hormone production. Numerous studies have found resistance training to improve memory & attention and reduce cognitive decline.

How to Build Muscle

Now it’s time to cover what you came here for: to build muscle.

A key to growth is challenging the muscles to do something they’re not used to doing. Lifting the same weights the same number of times won’t increase strength.

You have to work your muscles harder than you did prior. This involves progressive overload: increasing the weight used. This is the golden rule of building muscle at any age, regardless of the resistance training type.

Should I ask my doctor before trying to build muscle?

You don’t need to consult a doctor unless you have existing conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. If in doubt, seeking a medical expert is always safe.

How to Build Muscle Over 50: Choose Your Type of Workout

Choose Your Type of Workout

The first step in starting your muscle-building journey is to choose a suitable workout type for your needs. Many think of lifting heavy weights when deciding on the best way to build muscle after 50.

You don’t have to lift heavy weights to build muscle.

There are many types of weight training for those over 50. Consider these methods:

  • Body Weight: This involves using your own weight. It's excellent if you're on a budget, as it requires little to no equipment. Common bodyweight exercises include pushups, planks, lunges, and squats.
  • Resistance Bands: Resistance bands involve tubes/bands resistant to being stretched. One end is held in place while you pull on the other. These bands come in many “weights” that increase the strength required to pull.
  • Free Weights: These are the most common method used. Barbells and dumbbells are common, but you can use any item as a free weight. Other options include medicine balls or kettlebells.
  • Weight Machines: These are widely available in most gyms and can be purchased for homes. These machines provide resistance for you to pull.
  • Plyometrics: These exercises use explosive movements to develop power and speed. This can include jump squats and box jumps.

No workout is the same. Your routine should meet your goals and comfort level. Keep these things in mind when choosing:

  • Your comfort level
  • Whether you want to workout at home or in a gym
  • Any preexisting conditions that limit motion
  • Your experience

You can also mix your workout types. Doing bodyweight exercises in unison with other kinds, such as free weights and resistance bands, is common. You’ll also find that compound exercise movements simultaneously work for more than one muscle group.

How to Build Muscle Over 50: Frequency, Intensity, and Repititions

Frequency, Intensity, and Repetitions

When planning your workout routine, frequency, intensity, and repetitions are crucial aspects to consider. This section goes over each term and how they pertain to building muscle in older age.


Frequency refers to how often you work out and the breaks between sessions. Taking breaks is essential to muscle growth, allowing your body to rest and reset.

You should exercise at least three to four times per week to maximize muscle gain. However, giving your muscles time to recover between workouts is essential. This is especially important in older age as you're slower to recover. Aim for one or two days of rest between sessions.


The intensity of your workout refers to how much weight you're lifting. A higher-intensity exercise is one with heavier weights and vice-versa. It's crucial to ease into your workout to prevent injury.

Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the weight. A common misconception is that higher-intensity workouts equate to more significant gains. Despite this conception, studies have found similar results when doing 20 reps of moderate weights compared to eight heavy-weight repetitions. Therefore, it's not necessary to lift heavy weights to see results.


Repetitions refer to how many repetitions per set. Start with one set per workout per target muscle group. As you progress, increase the number of sets per workout. Aim for 10-12 repetitions per set to maximize growth.

Another aspect of repetitions is “lifting to failure.” This means lifting an amount of weight until you can’t anymore. While this may benefit the young, a study found that lifting to failure after 50 is unnecessary. While it's not harmful, lifting to failure can increase recovery time.

How to Build Muscle Over 50: Types of Exercises

Types of Exercises

When choosing an exercise, consider your fitness level and any limitations. You want to avoid any activity that aggravates any condition or is uncomfortable.

Overdoing your limits can cause injury. It’s also essential to maintain proper form and start with a lighter weight before increasing weight. Highlighted below are types of exercises that are effective for building muscle.


Squats are a compound exercise that trains the legs, glutes, adductors, and lower back. Proper form inlcudes:

  • Keeping your knees aligned with your toes
  • And maintaining a straight back.
  • Example workout: 3 sets of 10 reps of barbell squats.

Bench Press

The bench press is a classic compound exercise that trains the chest, front deltoids, and triceps. Use proper form when performing the bench press:

  • Keeping your shoulders back and down
  • Engaging your core
  • And keeping your feet planted on the ground.
  • Example workout: 3 sets of 8 reps of bench press.


The deadlift is a compound exercise that trains the back, glutes, and hamstrings. Proper form is essential when performing the deadlift, which means keeping your:

  • Back straight
  • Shoulders back and down
  • And core engaged.

Example workout: 3 sets of 8 reps of deadlifts

Barbell or Seated Row

The barbell or seated row is an excellent exercise for training the back and biceps. This exercise focuses on keeping your back straight and engaging your core. Example workout: 3 sets of 10 reps of barbell or seated row.

Lat Pulldown

The lat pulldown is another excellent exercise for training the back and biceps. Focus on keeping your shoulders back and down and engaging your core. Example workout: 3 sets of 10 reps of lat pulldowns.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is an excellent exercise for training most of the upper body, primarily the shoulders and triceps. Keep your shoulders back and down and engage your core when performing this exercise.

Example workout: 3 sets of 8 reps of overhead presses.

Nutrition for Building Muscle After 50

Trying to figure out how to build and keep muscle mass after 50? Weight training and nutrition are key parts of the equation.

Nutrition is critical in building muscle, especially when you’re over 50. Building muscle without adequate nutrition won’t get you far. The body may break down existing muscle tissue for energy, hindering muscle growth. Below, we highlight the critical aspects of good nutrition to build muscle.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Nutrition: Protein


Protein is a crucial nutrient for building and maintaining muscle mass. Increasing protein intake is vital to muscle growth because muscle fibers require it to grow. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found increasing protein levels help fight muscle loss in older individuals.

Good protein sources include:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs 
  • Red meat 
  • Beans 
  • Nuts
  • And grains.

After learning the importance of protein, eating an enormous amount of protein in one setting might be tempting. However, doing so doesn't make a difference compared to consuming 30 grams.

A study published in Today's Dietician recommends a daily protein intake for those over 65 of 1-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, older adults may need more protein to maintain muscle mass and function. The suggested daily protein intake is 2 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight.


Calories are critical in building muscle, as the body needs an energy surplus to build new muscle tissue. Consuming more calories than the body burns is essential to create a calorie surplus for muscle growth. Older adults should aim to consume 20-35% of their calories from fats, with less than 10% from saturated fats.

However, it's essential to consider the quality of the calories consumed. A well-rounded diet with healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein can ensure you have the necessary nutrients.

It's also important to consider other factors regarding calorie intake, such as:

  • Physical activity level
  • Metabolism
  • And overall health status.

Older adults may require fewer calories than younger individuals. Working with a healthcare professional to determine appropriate calorie intake can help. A calorie counter is a great way to improve calorie intake without going overboard. Consider the highly-rated calorie counters:

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Nutrition: Fat


When building muscle, a balance of healthy fats is vital to keep you fit. Dietary fat plays several critical roles:

  • Hormone production: Fat is necessary to produce certain hormones, including testosterone, which is crucial in building muscle mass.
  • Energy production: Fat is an energy source used during exercise, especially during longer activities like endurance training.
  • Nutrient absorption: Some vitamins and minerals are only absorbed in the presence of dietary fat, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
  • Joint health: Adequate fat intake is vital for joint health. Fat can be especially beneficial for older adults with joint pain or stiffness.
  • Overall health: Dietary fat is essential for overall health, including brain function, immune function, and cardiovascular health.

It should be noted that not all fats are created equal. There are a few types of fats:

  • Saturated and trans fats: These are found in fried foods, baked goods, and fatty meats. They can be harmful when consumed in excess.
  • Unsaturated fats: These are found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish. These can have a positive impact on your health.

Consume a healthy mix of dietary fat to build muscle and maintain good health. Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Nutrition: Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates are essential in building muscle. They are the primary fuel source for exercise and help muscle recovery and growth. Here are some specific ways that carbohydrates are essential for building muscle:

  • Energy for exercise: Carbohydrates are the body's primary energy source during exercise. You may need more energy to complete your workouts with adequate carbohydrate intake, hindering muscle growth.
  • Muscle recovery: Carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores in the muscles after exercise. Adequate carbohydrate intake can help you recover faster between workouts. This allows you to perform better in ensuing sessions and build muscle over time.
  • Insulin release: Carbohydrates cause an insulin release, which is vital for muscle growth. Insulin transports nutrients that help to promote muscle protein synthesis and repair.
  • Hormone regulation: Carbohydrates can also regulate hormones, such as cortisol, which can break down muscle tissue. By controlling cortisol levels, carbohydrates can prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle growth.

Like all nutrients, your source of carbohydrates is also essential. Try including a healthy mix of complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, grains, rice, potatoes, beans, fruits, berries, and vegetables. Carbohydrates such as sugar can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Nutrition: Supplements


Supplements can boost your nutrient intake if you struggle to get enough dietary nutrients. Supplements should always support a balanced diet or well-designed exercise program. Consider these supplements to build muscle after 50:

  • Protein powder can be a convenient way to increase protein intake. Whey protein is a popular option. Plant-based protein powders, such as pea, rice, or soy protein, are also effective.
  • Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that can help improve muscle strength, power, and recovery. It is safe and effective for most people. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking creatine, especially if you have kidney issues.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, can reduce inflammation and improve joint health. Both are beneficial for building muscle.
  • Vitamin D is vital for muscle function and bone health. Did you know many seniors have low levels of this nutrient? Taking a vitamin D supplement can ensure adequate levels.
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are essential amino acids supporting muscle growth and recovery. These can be specifically helpful if you get very sore after workouts. They can be found in protein-rich foods.

If you are on any medications, consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Some may interact negatively with medicines and have side effects. You should also avoid supplements that have unrealistic claims or aren’t well-studied.

How to Build Muscle Over 50 - Nutrition: Hydration


Keeping yourself hydrated is crucial, especially when building muscle at an older age. Seniors are at an increased risk of dehydration due to age-related changes, such as:

  • Decreased thirst sensation
  • Reduced kidney function
  • And increased medication use.

Hydration is crucial in building muscle by supporting bodily functions. Here are some ways in which hydration helps muscle building:

  • Regulates your body temperature: During exercise, the body generates heat that must be dissipated to prevent overheating. Sweating regulates body temperature but also leads to fluid loss. Adequate hydration helps maintain body temperature within a safe range during exercise.
  • Metabolizes and transports carbs and proteins: Carbohydrates and proteins are essential nutrients for muscle building. They require water to be metabolized and transported to muscle cells. Without sufficient hydration, the body may have difficulty processing these nutrients.
  • Assists in flushing waste through your body: During exercise, the body produces waste products that can cause fatigue. Hydration helps flush these waste products to support muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
  • Absorbs shock in the brain and spinal cord: The brain and spinal cord are protected by a fluid layer that absorbs shock to prevent injury. Hydration is vital for maintaining this protective fluid layer to reduce the risk of brain and spinal cord injuries.
  • Forms saliva: Saliva contains enzymes that help to break down food and aid digestion. Hydration is necessary to produce saliva, supporting nutrient absorption and muscle growth.
  • Lubricates joints: Adequate hydration is essential for joint health, which is crucial for older adults with joint pain or stiffness. Hydration helps lubricate the joints, reducing friction and preventing joint damage.

The amount of water you should consume depends on age, gender, body weight, and activity level. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends men drink about 3.7 liters of water daily and women consume about 2.7 liters. However, this includes water from beverages and foods, and individual needs may vary.

You should regularly consume water or other fluids to maintain hydration when exercising. Start hydrating yourself before, during, and after exercise.

You may also benefit from consuming fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. These are lost during exercise and should be replenished after. You can find electrolytes in sports drinks and coconut water. They can support hydration and muscle function during workouts.

It’s also important to be mindful of the signs of dehydration, which include:

  • Thirst dry mouth
  • Dark yellow urine 
  • Fatigue
  • And dizziness.

If dehydration is suspected, you should stop exercising, move to a cool area, and consume fluids to rehydrate. In severe cases of dehydration, medical attention may be necessary.

Recovery & Injury Prevention

Recovery methods are arguably just as important as the methods of building muscle. Age is not on your side, and you won’t recover as fast. You are more prone to injury and pain, making recovery even more vital. Below, we break down the fundamentals of recovery and injury prevention.

Incorporate a Warm-Up and Cool-Down Routine

What you do before and after your workout can play a crucial role in recovery and injury prevention. A proper warm-up before exercise can increase blood flow, loosen up muscles and joints, and decrease injury risk. Similarly, cooling down after exercise can prevent muscle soreness and reduce the injury risk.

How to Warm Up

  • Begin with low-intensity exercises such as walking for 5-10 minutes to increase your heart rate and blood flow.
  • Incorporate dynamic stretching that mimics the workout movements, such as walking lunges, high knees, or leg swings.
  • Gradually increase the intensity of the warm-up to prepare your body for the workout.

How to Cool Down

  • After completing the workout, gradually decrease the exercise intensity to return your heartbeat to its regular resting rate.
  • Incorporate static stretching that targets the muscles worked during the workout. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
  • Gradually increase the intensity of the warm-up to prepare your body for the workout.
  • Take deep breaths and focus on relaxing the muscles to aid in recovery.

Be Aware of Common Injuries

As we age, we become more susceptible to specific injuries. Because of this, you must know the common injuries you become vulnerable to. These are the most common injuries of older adults:

  • Strains and sprains: Occur when the muscles, tendons, or ligaments are stretched or torn from excessive force or overuse.
  • Tendinitis: Occurs when tendons become inflamed due to repetitive motion or overuse.
  • Rotator cuff injury: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. This injury is common in older age and can be caused by repetitive overhead movements or a traumatic event.
  • Back pain: Can be caused by poor posture, weak core muscles, or a herniated disc.
  • Knee pain: Can be caused by arthritis, overuse, or improper technique when performing exercises such as squats or lunges.
  • Fractures: These can occur from falls or accidents. The risk of fractures increases with age due to the loss of bone density.

These injuries can be prevented with the techniques listed in this section, including proper form, gradual progress, and adequate rest.

Practice Proper Form

Proper form is essential for preventing injuries and maximizing workout effectiveness. Here are some tips for practicing good form when working out:

  • Educate yourself: Before starting a new exercise, learn to perform it correctly. Try watching tutorial videos, reading articles or books, or working with a personal trainer.
  • Start with light weights: Begin with a lighter or no weight to practice proper form before adding weight.
  • Focus on posture: Maintain good posture throughout the exercise. Keep the shoulders back and down, chest lifted, and core engaged.
  • Pay attention to joint alignment: Ensure your joints are correctly aligned throughout the exercise. For example, when performing a squat, ensure the knees are aligned with the toes and not collapsing inward.
  • Use a full range of motion: Perform the exercise through a full range of motion to engage the muscles fully.
  • Breathe properly: Breath deeply and rhythmically throughout the exercise. Inhale during the easier part of the movement and exhale during the more challenging part.
  • Use a mirror: Use a mirror or ask a workout partner to check your form to ensure proper form.

The proper form may vary depending on the exercise and the individual. Consult a personal trainer or fitness professional for guidance if you need additional help.


Going all-in with heavy weights can be tempting if you’re eager to build muscle. However, it’s vital to avoid doing this. Over-exerting yourself can result in injury. In older age, your body is more fragile, making the practice of gradual progression important.

Gradual progression means slowly increasing the intensity and duration of workouts. This allows your body to adapt to the new demands and reduces the chances of injury. Your body needs time to adjust to the new stresses you place on it. By gradually increasing the workload, your body can better adapt to the new demands, improving fitness and performance over time.

Try these tips when practicing gradual progression:

  • Start slowly: Begin with low-intensity workouts and gradually increase the duration and intensity.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after the workout. If you experience pain or discomfort, decrease the intensity or duration until you feel more comfortable.
  • Use a progressive overload approach: Increase the workout's intensity or duration by weekly increments. For example, gradually increase the weight by 5% each week if lifting weights.
  • Allow time for recovery: Allow adequate recovery time between workouts. Rest days are essential for repairing and building muscle tissue. Overtraining can increase injury risk and reduce the workout's effectiveness.
  • Incorporate variety: Vary the exercises, reps, sets, and weights to prevent overuse injuries and ensure all muscle groups are targeted.

It’s important to remember that building muscle is slow, and results may not be immediate. Consistency, patience, and a focus on proper form and recovery will lead to long-term success.


The longer you build muscle, the more likely you’ll experience an injury. And whether it’s minor or significant, rehabilitation is always vital. You should never “push through” your injury, as it will not just disappear. If you feel pain, stop your exercise and remedy it.

When diagnosing your injury, consider your pain level. If it’s intense, consider seeking a medical professional’s care. You may only need to research the pain/location and self-remedy if minor.

Regardless of the injury type, it’s essential to:

  • Take your time recovering: Rushing recovery won’t allow it to heal correctly. If you’re still feeling pain, your body isn’t ready to be active again.
  • Follow your rehabilitation plan: Stick to your plan to ensure a thorough recovery. Your exercises may include methods to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength.
  • Remain positive: Recovering from an injury can be mentally challenging. Staying positive and motivated can help you stay on track and confidently return to your workouts.


Your muscles don’t grow when you actively workout out. They develop when you’re in the rest and recovery phase. One of the critical factors of successful muscle growth is nutrition.

Consider nutrition like the gas you put in your car. It will dictate how far you go and how healthy you remain. We covered nutrition in an earlier section, but we’ll emphasize these recommendations from prior nutrition studies:

  • Consuming 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily can help maximize muscle growth.
  • A calorie surplus of 300-500 calories per day is recommended
  • Aim for a diet that includes complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Aim for healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil
  • Aim for at least 8-10 cups of water daily, and more if you're exercising heavily

Add Cross-Training to Your Routine

You want to avoid overusing a single muscle/body part when building muscle. One method of preventing this is cross-training. Cross-training involves mixing diverse exercises and activities into a workout routine rather than just focusing on one type. This can include strength training, cardio, yoga, and other forms of physical activity.

Cross-training helps to prevent injury by reducing the repetitive strain on specific muscles or joints that can occur with overuse. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found cross-training athletes had a lower incidence of overuse injuries.

How to incorporate cross-training into your workout

Adding cross-training can be simple. Use these tips:

  • Plan your workouts: Plan your workouts in advance to ensure you incorporate various exercises targeting different muscle groups. This can prevent overuse injuries and promote balanced muscle development.
  • Choose complementary activities: Choose cross-training activities that complement your muscle-building workouts. Try combining yoga or pilates to improve flexibility and balance and cycling or swimming to improve cardio.
  • Start small: Including too much cross-training too quickly can be overwhelming and increase injury risk. Start with one or two additional activities and gradually increase over time.
  • Consider working with a trainer: A personal trainer can design a workout routine incorporating cross-training tailored to your goals/abilities. They can also guide proper form and technique to prevent injury.


While building muscle at an older age may seem daunting, it’s possible. And the benefits by far outweigh the challenges. Just remember to practice the tips highlighted in this guide:

  • Choose workouts that meet your needs and abilities
  • Practice proper form and ease in slowly while gradually increasing your weight and intensity
  • Eat a healthy balance of healthy protein, calories, fat, and carbohydrates
  • Stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after workouts
  • Incorporate a warm-up and cool-down routine that includes stretching
  • Listen to your body and rest when needed

The road to building muscle is all about being consistent and patient with your progress. Results are never overnight. The benefits can help your aging process be more comfortable and fulfilling while keeping you mobile and active.

About the Author

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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