It’s Rob Richley, qualified Personal Trainer, Fitness Competitor and founder of Lean Over 40 for Men and 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 i.e., 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 1-1.5 pounds of fat per week, so give this goal 21 weeks.
I cannot emphasize 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.
Strength training combats muscle loss as we age. The less muscle we have on our bodies, the slower our metabolism runs. Lifting weights keeps you looking younger, stronger and healthier than your peers.
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!
Lean muscle loss is the last thing you want when trying to get lean and reveal your abs!
Men over 50 should lift weights no more than 3 times per week. Don’t complicate this process, one or two main compound exercises for each muscle group are all you really need, then simply focus on increasing your strength and getting enough rest between weight training sessions.
By training on non-consecutive days and focusing on increasing your strength on the compound movements is your first step to getting a six-pack over 50.
Done correctly you’ll sculpt your chest, shoulders, legs and arms and look like a Greek God. This is exactly the type of training I promote here on Lean Over 40 for Men.
Nutrition for Abs Over 50
If you want to see your abs, you need to lose fat through a calorie deficit.
Being in a calorie deficit is the most important thing when it comes to losing fat, playing around with macros i.e., carbohydrates, protein and fat will not make any difference if you aren’t eating in a calorie deficit each day.
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.
A mistake I see men over 50 making when trying to lose fat is going too low on calories. Going too low on calories will make you weak, tired and hungry.
Done correctly you can still feel full when on a fat loss eating plan.
Most men over 50 will lose fat on 11 calories per pound of body weight, so if you weight 200 pounds, aim for 2200 calories per day.
Set your protein at 0.8 to 1 g per pound of lean bodyweight per day, carbs around 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.
Eat organic as much as possible and stick to healthy foods that promote strength, vitality and encourage fat loss. Avoid processed foods and junk foods as much as possible!
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, focus on losing that next pound of fat this week, do everything in your power to make that happen.
Then keep doing that over and over again until you reach your goal.
A mistake I see all the time is men over 50 cutting back drastically on calories AND doing excessive amounts of weight training and cardio. Don’t be one of those guys!!
You need to work with a nutrition plan that’s easy to follow and a strength training plan that’s super simple, such as in my course Ripped Abs Over 40.
Cardio for Men Over 50
I recommend walking on the treadmill on non-weight training days, 2-3 times per week. Steadily increase your pace and put the treadmill on an incline so you burn more fat.
The great thing about walking is it will tap into your fat stores without burning you out, making you hungry or interfering with your strength training workouts.
If you can aim to get 6000-10k steps on non-weight training days, hit your macros and do your 3 strength training sessions per week, you will be well on your way to seeing your abs!
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 calipers 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 everything so you know exactly where you stand.
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 overnight process. But once you have a simple nutrition and training program that makes you feel great, it becomes that much easier.
I hope you found this article helpful, if you would like a full plan to getting a six-pack over 50, without weight training more than 3 times per week and making the nutrition plan a breeze to stick with, check out my popular course Ripped Abs Over 40!
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