If you’re a man over 50 you might be wondering if you can still get six pack abs after 50.
The answer is yes you can!
The same principles apply for a 50-year-old man as a 25-year-old man, you just need to adjust your training and nutrition accordingly.
A 50-year-old man should not try and copy the workout regime of a 25-year-old, he must take a different approach, but losing belly fat and building lean muscle is very important to reveal your abs hiding under that layer of fat.
Here are 6 tips for six pack abs after 50:
1. Focus on Compound Movements
Compound movements are the best exercises for getting a six pack for men over 50. No other exercises work 2-3 muscle groups in one movement, building lean muscle and boost testosterone levels.
If performed properly, they are also very safe for older men, improve co-ordination and save time, perfect for busy men over 50.
The key is to focus on a handful of compound movements that train all the major muscle groups of the body without overtraining.
A man over 50 doesn’t need to be lifting weights anymore than three times per week. In fact, doing more than this won’t provide any better results and will quickly lead to burnout and injury.
Building lean muscle is one of the most important steps you can take to boost metabolism, increase testosterone, and look awesome for your age.
As you add muscle to your body, you will burn more calories even when resting. Also, building a solid looking chest, shoulders, back and getting the V shaped appearance will look awesome.
Even more importantly, from the age of 25 to age 50 or so, studies prove that men lose approximately 2.5kg of muscle tissue if they choose to do nothing – this isn’t good news!
And to make matters worse, the muscle loss will be replaced with FAT, vastly altering body composition; making you look and feel worse.
I can’t stress how important building muscle is as we age. In fact, I would say that men over 50 who aren’t doing some form of resistance training will find it very hard to get ever get abs.
Which brings me onto my next point…
2. Perform Moderate Cardio
Doing moderate amounts of cardio as well as weight training 2-3 times per week is very beneficial when trying to get lean, but a mistake a lot of 50-year-old men (and above) make is going crazy with cardio!
Too many cardio sessions, endless treadmills, endless running outdoors – all of it isn’t the smartest way to get lean. No wonder a lot of men over 50 get frustrated and give up thinking they’re too old!
Too much cardio has been shown to lower testosterone levels and burn away precious muscle tissue. It can also make you ravenous, not the best thing if you’re trying to burn belly fat and reveal those abs!
But if you’re performing moderate amounts of cardio this will help create a bigger calorie deficit and thus burn more belly fat.
The key is not to go crazy and stick to 2 moderate intensity low impact workouts per week, on top of a sound diet plan.
That approach is sustainable and will keep the fat off permanently.
3. Eat in a Slight Calorie Deficit
When it comes to nutrition for abs after 50, the bottom line is you need to be in a slight calorie deficit when trying to lose fat gradually. You should aim to lose 1-1½ pounds of fat per week, that means not eating too few calories and not eating too many either.
A deficit of approximately 300-500 calories less than your BMR per day is the best strategy as losing fat is a relatively slow process.
But the relatively slow process also ends up being the fastest way to losing belly fat permanently. Those who try to rush this process end up starved, frustrated and usually end up back to square one. Take the smarter approach to permanent fat loss.
Each of the macronutrients are important:
From your daily calories you will need lean proteins to satisfy your protein needs and keep you feeling full. 0.8-1g of protein per pound of lean bodyweight per day is more than adequate, forget about chugging down tons of protein shakes that only give you gas, hinder digestion and waste your money!
Protein foods are thermogenic, meaning that your body will expend calories just from eating them, very beneficial when trying to get lean. It also keeps you feeling full.
A mistake a lot of men over 50 make when trying to get lean is vastly cutting down carbs or eliminating them altogether. Carbs provide your body with fuel and keep your testosterone levels high.
I never recommend to clients that they cut out carbs, if they’re eating the right number of calories each day. Complex carbohydrates such as oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, brown pasta, fruits, and vegetables are all excellent choices.
Fat is important especially for men over 50 as it keeps testosterone high, very beneficial for building lean muscle and losing fat.
Some saturated fat is needed, but for the most part, you should be focusing on getting fat calories from poly-unsaturated sources such as avocados, virgin olive oil, eggs, nuts, seeds, coconut oil that have health benefits and limiting fried foods and high heated cooking oils.
Around 20 percent of total calories coming from fat is a good rule of thumb. Intermittent fasting works very well for making sticking to your calories effortless.
This is the nutrition approach I recommend in my course, Ripped Abs Over 40.
4. Give Yourself Enough Time
The bottom line when trying to get a six pack is getting your body fat low enough to see them! For a man your body fat percentage will need to be under 10%, so if today you measure your body fat percentage at 15% that means you have just over 14 pounds of fat to lose to see your abs.
Factor in that it will take you approximately 14 weeks to achieve this goal, so long as you are in a calorie deficit and following a solid weight training program and performing moderate cardio.
Each week you should take your scale weight and body fat percentage at the same time to see whether you are moving in the right direction.
As you drop fat, it’s important to strength train to build or preserve the lean muscle tissue you have. If you aren’t doing any form of resistance training, chances are you will lose muscle and fat OR even worse, MORE muscle than fat.
A loss of muscle will mean a slowed metabolism, making the whole process very hard to achieve.
5. Do the Right Exercises
It’s hard to believe in the picture below that the only direct abs exercises I did were forward, reverse crunches and side bends.
But when it comes to getting abs, as already stated it’s getting your body fat low enough to see them that really counts. Not how many crunches or sit ups you do!
Besides, a hard set of squats or deadlifts will do more for developing your abs than any exercise done on the floor such as crunches.
Compound movements will make your abs contract HARD as your body stabilizes the weights. This done over time will give you a great set of abs when you diet the fat away!
6. Be Consistent
Getting six pack abs after 50 is within your grasp if you focus on today and getting that right. If you can get today right, you can get tomorrow right too.
Success from each day’s work compounds and the same holds true for getting abs.
If you need to lose 20 pounds for example, don’t look at the big picture, instead focus on breaking that goal up into manageable chunks.
Strive on losing that first 1-2 pounds this week and keep doing that again and again. Then you will find that long term progress almost takes care of itself.
I hope you found this article useful and if you would like a step-by-step plan including nutrition using intermittent fasting, strength training no more than 3 x per week designed for men over 50, check out my premium course, Ripped Abs Over 40