People say that bodybuilding is a young person’s game. Older people just aren’t up to it anymore. Absolute nonsense. Just look at someone like Robby Robinson. He might be 75 but he’s still looking fantastic. He’s got more muscles than people half his age. And he’s not alone. It’s not uncommon to see dedicated bodybuilders keep going into their 80s or 90s.

Nothing is stopping you from bodybuilding long into your twilight years. Just think carefully about the approach you take. In the gym, work smarter, not harder. But what tips can older bodybuilders use to supercharge their performance and get into jaw-dropping shape?

Supplements can be used to regulate hormones and boost testosterone levels, making it easier to build muscle. Focus on getting the right technique and giving your body plenty of rest. This lowers your risk of injury. Set realistic benchmarks and track progress toward your goals to stay motivated. 

Age is just a number. What really matters is how much passion you have. As long as you have the desire to build and sculpt your muscle, nothing can stop you. Let’s look at how you can leapfrog over the barriers and improve your bodybuilding performance, even into your senior years.

Should Older People Take Up Bodybuilding?

There’s nothing stopping you from taking up bodybuilding. But should you? Is pushing your body so hard at an older age a good idea? After all, you don’t want to risk getting injured. There are certainly some risks to consider.

As we age, it takes longer for our muscles to recover from an injury. Bones become more brittle and easier to break. Balance can be compromised.   Any muscles built throughout your life will start to deteriorate. Aerobic capacity isn’t what it used to be, so you will get out of breath more easily.

Given these risks, you might think that doctors would advise their patients to avoid bodybuilding. But the opposite is true. The older you get; the more important your physical fitness becomes. And bodybuilding can be a great form of exercise.

Pumping iron brings a wealth of benefits. Burning fat reduces your chances of obesity and lowers pressure on your joints. Stronger heart muscles mean less risk of a heart attack. Lifting weights helps you build stronger bones. Perhaps most importantly for older people, though, strength training can help you reduce your risk of falling. Household falls are one of the most common fears among elderly people. With good reason. Even a minor trip can have the potential to break bones in old age.

The benefits aren’t just physical. Exercise gets the blood pumping in your brain. It can protect you from memory loss. Diseases like dementia get more common as you become older. Bodybuilding can also lift your mood. Depression is sadly common among older people.

The Challenges Of Bodybuilding For Older People

Older people face a drop in the amount of testosterone their body produces naturally. As the levels of this hormone decrease it will be harder to build muscle. Supplements or a balanced diet can be used to overcome these problems.

You can start bodybuilding at any age. But, let’s be realistic. Older people might find it harder to sculpt their bodies than younger people would. As we age, our bodies change. More importantly, though, our hormones also change.

The main problem is a drop in testosterone. This hormone plays a vital role in your body. Testosterone is what allows you to build and maintain your muscle mass. Other roles include keeping your energy levels high and determining your sex drive.

For women, this problem can be compounded through menopause. Expect things like mood swings and difficulty getting to sleep. These things will occur. You can’t win a fight against Mother Nature. But you can control what strategies you use to manage your hormonal cycle, as we’ll discuss.

Make Some Lifestyle Changes

Bodybuilding has always required practitioners to make some big lifestyle changes. Even young people have to be conscious about what they eat. This is no different for older people. Through a balanced diet, you might be able to better manage your hormones.

As always, eating healthy is important. In particular, focus on boosting your protein intake. Protein-rich foods can help you boost your testosterone levels and give your body the building blocks it needs to create muscle mass. Try to stick to foods that don’t have a lot of fat.

Alcohol can be a problem. For a few reasons. Alcohol lowers your metabolism levels. You’re more likely to put on weight. Even worse, it can lower your testosterone levels, making it harder to build muscle. You don’t need to give up drinking forever. Just limit it to special occasions. And consume in moderation.

Trying to find a good diet can be tough. Sticking to it can be even harder. Consider turning to a nutritionist. They can help you tailor your diet to suit your needs, giving your body the energy it needs.

Consider Taking Some Supplements

A balanced diet isn’t going to fully solve your hormone problem. You might need to take some supplements. The goal is to get your body to increase the testosterone it produces. Simple equation, more testosterone equals better gym gains.

There are two ways of doing this. First, you can go to the doctor. Explain your bodybuilding situation. Ask if they can prescribe you some drugs to help boost your testosterone. They can then monitor you, to check that the drugs are working properly. Some doctors won’t have a problem with doing this. Others will refuse.

The alternative is taking supplements yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to start taking steroids. These drugs boost your testosterone levels and help you create amazing gym gains. But they have a big dark side. Health problems. Personality changes. Strong chance of getting addicted. It’s not worth taking the risk.

Instead, I recommend trying a safe supplement stack from Crazy Mass. It replicates the effects of steroids. Just without the negative side effects. Strength stacks will help you pack on the muscle when training. Cutting supplements help you lose weight, so you look your best before a competition.

Focus On Your Technique

Getting the right technique is always important. But, for older people, it’s vital. Using the wrong technique will place excess pressure on your body. Recipe for disaster. Expect to be dealing with painful muscle strains. No one wants to spend weeks on the sidelines while they wait for their body to recover from an injury.

If you are new to the world of bodybuilding, it might be a good idea to pop into your local gym. Coaches can talk you through the exercises. They’ll stand by the machines and check your form. Plus, they can help you create a workout plan that helps you achieve your goals.

As you get older, you might need to start substituting exercises, as your body changes. For example, if you have back issues, you might want to switch to front squats, rather than traditional back squats. Ask a trainer to help you come up with an alternative workout to help you compensate for any issues you are facing.

Be Smarter With Your Gym Time

You’ll have to be careful about how you plan your gym sessions. Every exercise should be carefully selected. Maximize the amount of gains you are getting for the amount of effort you are putting in. Reduce the chances that you will be injured.

You might want to lower the amount of weight you are lifting. To compensate, increase the number of reps that you are doing. Less stress on your muscles means a lower risk of getting injured.

Decide where to focus your attention. Bodybuilders split their muscles into a series of groups. Identify which ones are your strongest and which ones need work. Focus your attention on building up the weakest muscles. Well-developed muscles can sit on the back burner.

Another option is to consider how to target your cardio. This is always an important part of the workout. It’s even more important as you get older. Instead of a treadmill, you might want to try an elliptical or bicycle. These place less pressure on your knee joints.

Tips For Designing Your Gym Routine

Ideally, you should be doing two to three sets for each muscle group. If it’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym, you might want to consider starting slow. Aim to go a few weeks performing a single set. Slowly work your way up.

Aim to have three minutes of rest between each set. This will be plenty of time to catch your breath and give your muscles some time to recover. Though this will depend on you. Some people are ready to hit the weights after only a minute or two of rest.

Aim to hit the gym four to five times a week. Space out your sessions so you are varying the muscles that you are targeting each time. Give yourself plenty of time to rest.

Another option is to choose a more intensive routine. This approach comes with pros and cons. Happily, you’ll have to spend less time in the gym. But you’ll have to push yourself harder. Instead of two to three sets, you’ll have to aim for four to five.

The number of reps you’ll require varies. As we mentioned, more reps at a lower weight are best. Aim for between eight to 15 reps per set. Enough weight to challenge your body and build muscle, but not enough to risk causing an injury.

One of the most controversial ideas in bodybuilding is training to failure. This is the point where you can’t perform a rep with good form. Muscles have become overloaded. For a younger person, this isn’t a big issue. It might even be a core part of your training routine. Is it right for older people, though? I’d advise against it. Too much strain on your muscles and you risk giving yourself a painful injury.

What Exercises Should Older Bodybuilders Focus On?

Some of the exercises that are best suited to older bodybuilders include; squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, bench presses, overhead presses, and the lat press. Aim to do four sets of between eight to 15 reps. Pay particular attention to building strength in your weaker muscles.

Of course, this list of exercises is just designed to inspire you. If it doesn’t work for you, feel free to change it up.

Just a word of advice, though. It’s best to focus on isolated exercises, rather than compound ones. Target the muscle groups you want to improve, rather than working on multiple groups at once. It’s easy to figure out your rest periods and stop overstressing your muscles.

Set Realistic Benchmarks

The harsh reality is that it will become harder to improve your physical performance as you age. This can be a depressing thought. But it doesn’t have to be. Pick some measurable attributes like deadlift weight or the amount you can lift with a leg press.

Then, you can monitor how you perform each month. With hard work, you might be able to see improvements. But, at the least, you should be able to maintain your performance at current levels. Monitoring your progress toward your goals is a great way of staying motivated.


Age doesn’t have to be a barrier. Even if you start bodybuilding well into your twilight years, you can still achieve great results. You just have to be realistic. You can’t take the same approach as someone in their 20s.

Create an exercise plan that fits with your lifestyle. This might mean adjusting the exercises performed to compensate for existing problems, like weak knees or a bad back. Then, set your goals and work towards them. Keep track of your progress and commit for the long term. It might take a few months before you start to see results. As long as you put in the effort, nothing is stopping an older bodybuilder from creating the body of their dreams.