If you’re a man in your fifties you might be wondering if you can still get abs at this age. I am here to tell you yes you can!
Although you might have to adjust your training a little to compensate for being a bit older, the same principles of fat loss and muscle building apply.
In fact, if you used to have a six pack or have never seen your abs, it’s simply a matter of getting your body fat low enough to see them through that layer of fat.
I recommend getting to a healthy 12% bodyfat if you want to be lean, keeping testosterone as high as possible or 10% bodyfat if you want a full set of abs to show.
I don’t believe excessive bodyfat percentages are healthy or sustainable. Me personally, I stay around 10-12 % bodyfat year-round and might get down to a very lean 7 to 9% body fat for a fitness model competition.
But, without question I feel my best around 12% allowing me to be lean but enjoy my life too.
The way to achieve this is to focus on strength training to build and maintain muscle, (permanently elevating the metabolism to burn fat even when sleeping) and nutrition to strip away the fat.
Eating correctly and training correctly (without overtraining) and doing it long enough to really make a huge difference is key.
The saying that abs are made in kitchen has a lot of truth to it…but I am NOT a fan of eating like a rabbit to get lean!
The problem with eating like a rabbit, starving yourself and diets in general is they aren’t sustainable!
They encourage binge eating and because we only have so much willpower are just a horrible way to lean down and see your abs in the first place.
A much better way to lean down and see your abs is by eating in a slight calorie deficit, eating enough protein to build & maintain muscle, adequate carbohydrates to fuel workouts and enough fat to keep testosterone levels high.
The best way to lose fat is to do it gradually…aim for around one pound of fat loss per week, maintaining a slight caloric deficit of 200-500 per day.
Breaking up your daily calories for a split of 40/40/20 works very well. Even higher in carbs if you’re a hard gainer or don’t have problems processing carbohydrates.
The number of meals you eat to achieve your calorie totals each day is up to you, but if you’re finding it hard to stick to eating less calories than what your body burns per day, intermittent fasting is a great option.
Intermittent fasting benefits
The great thing about intermittent fasting is it’s been shown to have numerous health benefits for men over 50.
But when it comes to getting results, it’s very simple and effective to implement. By eating light in the morning such as a piece of fruit & black coffee, you are creating a huge buffer of calories that can be eaten later in the day.
That means it’s more difficult to exceed your daily calorie requirements and have “room” to eat bigger more filling meals.
When you don’t eat for a while and then introduce food into your system, testosterone and growth hormone goes through the roof!
This is exactly the type of environment men over 50 need to create, not to mention it’s much simpler to adhere to. You no longer must prepare all those meals or be chugging down protein shakes every few hours.
For men over 50 I would put strength training above cardio for leaning down. By building the muscles of the legs, back, chest, shoulders, and arms, you are essentially revving up your metabolism on a permanent basis and increasing testosterone.
But you need to choose the best exercises, primarily compound movements, that train 2-3 large muscle groups at once and boost testosterone.
I would argue that it’s very difficult to lose fat and see your abs without some form of resistance training.
One of the mistakes I see men over 50 make when it comes to resistance training though is resorting to light weight and lots of volume with inferior exercises.
This can aggravate the joints more than performing multiple sets of lower reps with a heavier weight that’s better for building muscle and improving co-ordination.
Not to mention that light weights don’t do much for building muscle or increasing metabolism.
That doesn’t mean you need to lift super heavy though, the key is to find a weight that is heavy enough to make the last rep of a set hard to complete, whilst maintaining perfect exercise form.
Then, every week or so, try to improve your previous best by adding a tad of iron to the bar. I am not a fan of going to failure on all exercises especially for men over 40, this can quickly over train you and make you feel really run down.
A much better approach is to stick to straight sets and reps and always try to beat your previous best each week.
In my course, Ripped Abs Over 40, you won’t be strength training more than 3 times per week.
Not only is this super effective, but training more than this will not give you any better results.
Cardio for men over 50
Without cardio it can be very hard to get lean enough to see your abs with nutrition alone. However too much cardio strips away muscle mass and lowers testosterone.
The key is to do moderate amounts of cardio (20-40 minutes steady state) and perhaps one HIIT session in addition to your 3 strength training workouts per week.
It’s this balance that will provide you with superior results…
Moderate cardio will burn more fat and allow you to eat more calories, so you can still maintain a calorie deficit to lean down.
I’m not a huge fan of supplements because I don’t think they’re needed.
The fact is you can still build muscle and lose fat without supplements no matter what your age.
If you’re looking to boost testosterone then simply including testosterone boosting foods such as eggs & avocados, coupled with resistance exercises using compound movements works best.
Save your money and only add them if you’re finding eating whole foods to get your protein requirements every day difficult.
With a solid combination of strength training, nutrition, and cardio, you can get abs in your 50’s and beyond.
The key is to run a sensible program that won’t over train you or burn you out.