Tips For Older Bodybuilders

Older Body Builders

This is dedicated to all of you who have been told time and time again that you’re “too old” to do something. Does that sound familiar? In reality, using age as an excuse not to do something is just a cop-out. If your heart, mind, and level of determination are in the right place, you can achieve absolutely anything at any age, as all older bodybuilders will tell you.

Let’s focus on bodybuilding. People often think it’s a young man’s or woman’s game, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just like any other skill or craft, you can pick something up and become well-schooled at pretty much any age. Sure, you might have to work a little harder than someone younger, but it doesn’t mean you’re out of the loop.

What happens to your body as you get older?

The sad reality is that your body goes through physiological changes as you get older. Balance starts to become compromised, bones become weaker, muscle starts to deteriorate, and aerobic capacity begins to fade. Now that we’ve got all the negative stuff out of the way, let’s smile and talk about the opposite end of the spectrum.

People who are getting older are constantly advised by their doctors and caregivers to ramp up their workouts, pump some iron, and attend yoga classes. Hello! Not only can this help you age gracefully, but it can all but reverse the ill effects that age can have on your body. Even doing a baseline amount of training will give you benefits.

If you want to take it seriously, bodybuilding is definitely a worthwhile pursuit. If you’ve ever attended a competition, you will have seen that there is a Masters division geared towards older bodybuilders. Why not be one of those people walking proudly onto the stage?


Aside from the physical challenges you might encounter, there’s something else that older bodybuilders need to take into consideration. That is the changes in your body’s chemistry. Testosterone is the master hormone responsible for muscle gain and preservation, energy, sex drive, and mood. As men get older, this hormone starts to tail off, and that’s one of the big reasons why muscle goes away as well.

Women have this hormone as well, but to a lesser degree. The bigger problem they face is menopause, where their hormones start to change in correlation with the end of their menstrual cycles. This can lead to weight gain, lack of energy, sleep disturbances, and mood swings.


Sure, it sounds as though bodybuilding might be an uphill battle, but don’t be fooled. Where there is a problem, there is a solution.

First, let’s look at lifestyle. You can do a ton of justice to yourself by following a healthy diet geared towards boosting your energy levels and balancing your hormones. More specifically, a diet high in quality protein and healthy fats while low in processed carbs can work wonders.

It’s also a good idea to avoid large amounts of alcohol. Not only does excessive alcohol intake contribute to weight gain, but it also blunts testosterone levels and slows down your metabolism. You are best served by leaving the bottle of wine on the shelf.

If you clean up your diet, work hard in the gym and still struggle to get the results you’re looking for, it might be time to talk to a doctor. Find someone specifically trained in age management medicine. They can run tests, see exactly where your hormones might be lacking, and prescribe supplements and lifestyle modifications that will turn things around.


Role model

In case you’re not yet convinced that you can succeed as a bodybuilder at an older age, let’s meet Ernestine Shepherd. At the age of 56 she started training with her sister Velvet, both hoping to get into better shape for bikini season. Shortly afterwards, Velvet tragically passed away, leaving Ernestine to carry on the weightlifting mission on her own.

It became her passion to honor her sister, and she completely changed her life around. Through strict dieting, aligning herself with the right mentors, and spending a metric ton of hours in the gym, she won multiple bodybuilding competitions and schooled many women who were decades younger than her.

Her first victory was at 71 years of age! She’s even listed as the oldest competing female bodybuilder in the Guinness Book of World Records. If she can dominate her field at that age, why can’t you?

Follow your game plan

When all’s said and done, bodybuilding later in life is not out of the question. Just realize that you can’t get away with what you did when you were younger. You absolutely have to honor your diet to a tee and work as hard as you can on a daily basis. But if you follow the game plan, you can achieve the same type of success as Ernestine and feel fantastic while doing it.

Want to be inspired? Read also story about Mike Katz and his bodybuilding career >>

12 responses to “Tips For Older Bodybuilders

  1. Soon 60 in few months and feel pretty good ! Little Tren & Test helps , gym and healthy diet ! Good people surround yourself and by all means go out and buy your Harley get outside and Ride! Great articles

  2. Im 44 now just started weight training again on better scale, plus protein drinks starting to look ok

  3. I’m turning 65 and have all the lingering aches, pains and joint issues that are associated with any athlete that has played college level contact sports. I’ve stayed active in everything from extreme sports to outdoor recreation endeavors that always included a weight training regime. I’m proof you have to kept moving the weights to stay ahead of it all. I taught college anatomy for 30 years and I’m serious about fitness and performance. Although its a rush to get your swole on, even at 65, I rely heavily on strict technique and form during workouts to avoid side lining injury. I’ve tried a multitude of natural supplements over the years and I was pleasantly surprised and elated with my first order of CrazyBulk products. The price point and effectiveness of their supplements the 1st time around made it a no brainer to make a full commitment to the CrazyBulk product line starting with this latest stack reorder.

  4. I trained like crazy when I was young, played all sorts of contact sports as well as martial arts. In my 30s I started to train more with weights but couldn’t ‘bulk’ up, obviously due to a high metabolism. I turned 50 last year and decided get back in to weight training, now I have lumps in the right places and feel the healthiest I have in a long time. No such word as can’t only won’t. Age is no restriction if you are sensible, understand and listen to your body.

  5. Great piece. I’m 47 and have been weight training since I was 15. Your body changes a lot and you won’t recover as fast but you can still look amazing and put on muscle while reducing fat.

  6. I am 76 years young and attend the gym six or seven times per week. I have two training partners, one in his early forties and the other early twenties. My strength is such that I often work the two training buddies to a standstill. I believe that a lot has to do with your psychological attitude. If you convince yourself that you are too old then your body will deteriorate.

  7. I agree ! I have been weight training since I was 28 and I am now 53. I am lifting heavier now than when I was younger. Thanks to Crazy Bulk for inspiring me to continue

  8. Was always working out as a youngster. Just plain stopped at age of 42. By 52 was 368lbs. Realized I was a walking dead-man so I began to work out again, but forgot one important thing. I was 55 years old & tried to do what I previously did. Followed the advice of my Son who has always worked out & played College Foot Ball. It’s a long hard road due to my negligence but I feel soooo much better these days. And CrazyBulk has helped me a great deal.

  9. Great article! I am 58 and feel better and stronger than I was 38. Many the tips you have offered apply to my principle of living. Keep up the good work, us old folks can use all the help we can haha!

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