It’s Rob Richley, qualified Personal Trainer, Fitness Competitor and founder of Lean Over 40 for Men.
Today I want to answer a popular question I get about men over 50 who are thinking about getting six pack abs…
Can a Man in His 50s Get a Six-Pack?
“As a general rule, if you’re in your 50s and thinking about getting a six pack, some changes to your nutrition and exercise regime will help make it possible.”
Let’s examine some of the main components that will ensure you can get a six-pack in your 50’s…
The Time Factor
The length of time it will take you to get a six-pack will largely depend on your body fat percentage today.
You need to know your starting point; your scale weight and body fat percentage so you can work out how long it will take to get 6 pack abs.
For example, let’s say your body fat percentage is 20%. To see your abs, you will need to get under 10% body fat.
That means you would need to lose 21 pounds of fat to see your abs and reach a goal body fat percentage of 10%.
I recommend losing no more than 1-1½ pounds of fat per week, so give this goal 21 weeks.
I cannot emphasise the importance of strength training! This is one of the most important steps for men over 50 to get 6 pack abs.
When you lift weights, you build a nice layer of muscle that speeds up metabolism even at rest.
You will be burning a lot more calories throughout the day by having more muscle on your body. Men over 50 should focus on compound exercises that train 2-3 large muscle groups in one movement.
Compound exercises are the safest and most joint friendly exercises.
For example, the bench press trains the muscles of chest, shoulders and triceps in one movement and the squat trains the muscles of the quads, glutes and hamstrings in one movement.
Compound movements build the most muscle, increase natural testosterone production, burn the most calories and give you the best bang for your buck.
If you don’t do any strength training exercises, it’s possible to drop weight but half of that weight could be lean muscle!
Men over 50 should lift weights no more than 3 times per week.
By training on non-consecutive days and focus on increasing your strength on the compound movements is your first step to getting a six-pack over 50.
If you want to see your abs, you need to lose fat through a calorie deficit.
We hold onto (or improve) lean muscle tissue by strength training and we burn belly fat through nutrition and cardio training.
To see your abs, you need to be eating slightly less calories than what your body burns per day (approx. 400-500) so that you’re on track to losing 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week.
Most men can lose fat on 11 calories per pound of body weight, so if you weigh 200 pounds, aim for 2200 calories per day.
Set your protein at 0.8 to 1g per pound of lean bodyweight per day, carbs at 40% of total calories and the remainder dietary fat.
Stick to healthy lean protein sources such as fish, chicken breast, ground beef, eggs, nuts and seeds, fibrous carbohydrates such as vegetables, potatoes, oats and healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil etc.
Break up your daily totals into 3 easily digested meals per day and keep a food log every day so you don’t deviate from your plan.
Getting abs is all about consistency, so focus on losing that next pound of fat this week, do everything in your power to make that happen.
Studies prove that getting at least 30 minutes per day of steady state cardio will improve heart health and allow you to burn more calories.
The cardio will help to burn extra fat, tapping into your fat stores and speeding up the fat burning process.
One of the best ways to keep burning fat and create a bigger calorie deficit is through walking.
Walking doesn’t make you feel super hungry, so it’s much easier to stick to a diet without feeling very hungry.
If you can aim to get 6000-10k steps by day as well as your weight training and nutrition, you will be well on your way to seeing your six-pack!
Each week you should be measuring your scale weight and body fat percentage to see if your weight is going down and you have dropped a digit with your body fat percentage.
Get some body fat callipers and measure your body fat each week.
Keep a food diary and write down everything you consume daily.
If you don’t keep tabs on everything, how will you know where to adjust or at what point you went overboard with calories for that day?
Keeping track of everything will make progress that much easier.
Take some photos every week, so you can visually see changes in your body composition.
Getting abs over 50 will take some time, it’s not going to be an over night process. The way men are wired, body fat comes off the lower abs last!
That means you could have lost 10 pounds over all from the last 10 weeks, but that fat has come off the arms, chest and back.
Don’t let that discourage you, it simply means you’re on the right track and need to carry on with what you are doing. The fat will come off your stomach and lower abs eventually.
That’s why you need to be consistent with everything you do.
I hope you found this article really useful, make sure you get my FREE GUIDE HERE before leaving!