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Bodybuilding Over 50
Bodybuilding tips for older men
Hormones & Aging
Testosterone has many important functions. It increases nitrogen retention and promotes positive protein balance. This important hormone increases lean body mass and reduces bodyfat levels as well. It is synthesized from circulating cholesterol by the testicles. There is a one-third decline of testosterone between the ages of twenty and eighty. This is due to the decrease in testosterone-producing cells. This decrease is only one factor. Studies have shown that the more bodyfat you carry, the less testosterone you will produce. Testosterone is also affected by exercise intensity and frequency. Most individuals exercise less as they age and gain bodyfat which contributes to the decline of testosterone production.
Growth hormone (hGH) increases protein synthesis and improves nitrogen balance. This is an anti-catabolic hormone that raises the body's energy expenditure at rest. Growth hormone declines with age but not as much as testosterone. Lowered physical activity and increased bodyfat storage also negatively affects hGH release.
The message seems clear; though the decline of testosterone and growth hormone is inevitable it can be minimized by regular high-intensity training and keeping bodyfat levels low (10-12%).
There is no need to slow down and let yourself get fat as you age. Your strength per unit of cross-sectional muscle area does not decline with age nor does the ability of the number of motor units that respond to messages from the brain to contract decline. Inch for inch your muscles are as strong as they use to be and can produce maximal voluntary contractions as intensely as ever.
So, with aging, the only factor you really have to concern yourself with is recuperation. Since there are less anabolic hormones floating around in your blood stream you must make sure you recuperate sufficiently to avoid injury and promote muscle growth. After a full week of training you may want to rest 2-3 days or increase rest days between training sessions. You still want to train intensely and overload the muscles; you just have to include more time for recovery. Great muscle gains can be made at any age with intelligent training.
We strongly suggest you get the HITMAN High Intensity Training Manual, it has the best bodybuilding workouts for people over 50.