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Have You Tried These Essential Workouts For Men Over 50?

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

workouts for men over 50
By incorporating regular workouts for men over 50 into your life, you never have to “get old”. Many people associate aging with negative connotations. You know the usual: achy joints, moving around slower, putting on extra weight.

But, there is a great quote by George Burns that puts this all into perspective:

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”

And really, that’s the truth. Time moves on no matter how hard we would love to slow it down. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be in the best shape of your life at a later age.

The trick is utilizing exercises that are specially designed for men over 50 to stay muscular, toned, and in great cardiovascular shape.

How Can The Fit Father Project Help?

The Fit Father Project was designed for men as they enter the second half of their life. There is the misconception that older age means you have to accept weight gain, muscle loss, and feeling worn down on a daily basis.

workouts for men over 50
*DISCLAIMER: Results vary by individual

In reality, these can be your best years!

The experts at the Fit Father Project have designed programs to help men achieve high levels of health and fitness at any age.

…even if you've never worked out a single day in entire your life.

For example, the free 24-minute workout program is a great place to start if you are looking to boost your metabolism with a new fitness routine.

This program will introduce you to new habits that can turn your body into a calorie and fat-burning machine.

As men get older, sometimes a new approach to fitness is the best way to achieve amazing results, just like these guys!

Increase Lean Body Mass and Metabolic Rate

As men age, lean body mass levels lower (known as sarcopenia) and testosterone levels tend to decline. This means that it is crucial to incorporate specific workouts for men over 50 that will help increase muscle mass and keep your metabolic rate high.

workouts for men over 50Research has shown that resistance training increases skeletal muscle mass and the body’s ability to produce steroid producing hormones as men age (1).

This, in turn, will allow you to increase strength gains and burn fat.

Strength training is important for men over 50 for several other reasons. Obviously, having rippling muscles and a great body is one benefit.

But strength training in men over 50 will also increase your ability to perform everyday activities and decrease your risk of injury.

Strength Workouts for Men Over 50

The 5 strength training moves listed below are exercises that all men over 50 should be doing if they want to see fitness gains.

Each move focuses on a different muscle group. Therefore, together these exercises can be part of a full-body workout for men over 50.

    • Barbell Squats:

Place a barbell on a squat rack at about shoulder height. Let the bar rest on your upper back with your hands grasping the bar at about shoulder width.

Your feet should be at about shoulder-width with your toes turned out slightly. Squat as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.

For some people, this may mean your thighs are parallel to the ground. However, if you can’t go down that far don’t push it!

Having poor form or pushing beyond your limits will only increase your risk for injury.

    • Standard Barbell Bench Press:

Grasp the barbell just outside shoulder width and arch your back slightly so that there is a small space between your lower back and the bench.

Lower the bar to your sternum while bending your elbows to about 45 degrees. After the bar touches your chest, press the bar back up while pushing your feet into the ground.

*The video below shows the dumbbell version, but the movement is the same with barbells.

    • Deadlifts:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and mid-foot under the barbell. Hinge forward at your hips and grasp the bar with your hands just outside of your knees.

Take the slack out of the bar by slightly pulling up on the bar until it makes contact with the weights on the ends.

Then drive your heels into the floor and pull the bar up along your shins by using your legs until you’re standing with your hips fully extended.

Then return the bar to the floor by moving your hips back while bending your legs and lowering the bar.

    • Bent Over Rows:

Hold a barbell with an overhand grip at shoulder width and let it hang in front of your thighs.

Hinge at the hips and bring your torso forward and down until it is nearly parallel to the floor. Bend your knees slightly.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar towards your abdomen, then slowly lower back down.

    • Standing Arnold Press:

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height and turn them so that your palms are facing towards you with the weights in front of your shoulders.

Slowly raise the dumbbells above your head while turning your wrists so that your palms are now facing forward and away from your body.

Once your arms are fully extended begin lowering the dumbbells back down to the starting position – twisting at the wrist until your palms are facing your body once again.

This shoulder exercise is excellent because it hits the anterior, posterior, and lateral parts of your deltoids. Doing this exercise while standing will also force you to engage your core.

However, if you have low back issues you should do this exercise seated on a bench with back support.

Form First

For these workouts for men over 50, it's important to start with lower weights. The goal when you are just beginning is to focus on form and really nail the technique.
proper form - workouts for men over 50
If you have poor form, not only do you increase your risk for injury, but you also don’t get the full muscle-building effect of the exercise.

For example, with the bench press or deadlift, you can just start with the barbell first without any added weight plates.

Once you have perfected the form and feel the full range of motion of the movement, you can then slowly add weight.

Up the Intensity

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise. If you find that you are finishing off the 10 reps without much effort, then you know it is time to increase the weight.

You should feel the burn on the last two reps.

On the other hand, if you feel that you have to compromise form to get those last reps, you need to decrease the weight.

Cardio Workouts For Men Over 50

It’s clear that strength training is crucial for men over 50 to build muscles and burn calories. But that doesn’t mean that cardiovascular training should be ignored.

cardio workouts for men over 50Research has shown that even periods of light physical activity can improve health outcomes in older men (2).

In addition, combining strength and endurance training seems to be more beneficial for optimizing body composition and improving physical fitness (3).

For example, you can try incorporating this fun treadmill workout once a week. Yes, I did put the words treadmill and fun in the same sentence.

While just running can be a monotonous task, this workout alters the intensity and incline throughout to keep you challenged so that you don’t become bored.

    • Treadmill Workouts for Men Over 50

  • Warm-Up: Start with a light walk or slow jog on the treadmill. This will be at about 4-5 mph depending on your current level of fitness.
  • 0-2 minutes: Run at an easy pace, slightly above your warm-up speed, around 6-7 mph and 0% incline.
  • 2-4 minutes: Keep the pace the same, but increase the incline to 2%.
  • 4-6 minutes: Now drop the incline back to 0%, and increase the speed to 7-8 mph.
  • 6-8 minutes: Keep the same speed and increase the incline to 5%.
  • 8-9:30 minutes: Decrease the speed to 6-7 mph and the incline to 2%.
  • Final 30 seconds: Increase speed to your full out sprint and keep the incline at 2%.

After the full out sprint, walk or jog slowly for 60 seconds, then repeat.

Finish up with a five-minute cool-down jog.

This quick treadmill workout will improve your stamina and cardiovascular health.

It will also challenge you and keep you engaged through the different intensities throughout the workout.

    • Beginner HIIT Workouts For Men Over 50

Another great calorie burner is high-intensity interval training. For the beginner, you want to choose moves that aren’t too taxing on the joints.

Here is a great intro HIIT workout that can be added into your weekly schedule:

Warm-Up: 5 minutes of light Jogging

Main Workout:

  • 30 second of jumping jacks, 30 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds of jump squats, 30 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds of high knees, 30 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds jump rope, 30 seconds rest
  • Rest 60 seconds, then repeat the circuit 2 more times
  • Cool down with a light 5-minute jog

Pick What You Enjoy!

Now, remember, these are just a couple of examples of cardio workouts that you can plug into your weekly fitness schedule. Try to incorporate 1-2 days of cardio during the week.

favourite workouts for men over 50This is important for men over 50 to improve and maintain endurance and stamina.

Your workouts should be something you enjoy and that will keep you motivated.

So if you prefer swimming, biking, pilates, or any other type of group class, by all means, do that!

Anything that gets the heart pumping and the body moving for about 30 minutes will do wonders for your fitness.

The Dreaded Plateau

weight loss plateauWhen you first start these workouts for men over 50, you will likely notice some quick returns.

By incorporating strength training, cardiovascular workouts, and a good nutrition plan you will start to shed weight and see improvements in how your body looks and feels.

However, at some point, you will find that it becomes harder and harder to lose weight. This is known as the plateau, and no one is immune to it.

Tips To Overcome Plateau

When you first start losing weight, a lot of this will be fat mass, however, some will be muscle mass as well.

If you are not incorporating enough strength training and your muscle mass is dropping, this will also slow your metabolism.

If you find this is the case, increase your resistance workouts and cut back a bit on the cardio.

You Are What You Eat!

Another thing to look at is your diet. You might be eating more calories than you think!

Nutrition - workouts for men over 50Make sure you are keeping track of the food you eat throughout the day and track your ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

On the other hand, sometimes the opposite is true. As counterintuitive as it sounds, you may not be eating enough!

If your calorie intake is too low to match your activity level, you will lose lean muscle mass. This, as already noted, will lower your metabolic rate and decrease your calorie-burning potential.

A slight tweak in your nutrition plan may be needed if you’ve found you have hit the weight loss plateau.

Something else to consider if you think you have hit the weight loss plateau: Are you at your ideal weight? Maybe you have reached a weight that is healthy for you.

Now the goal is to maintain this weight while continuing to improve your strength and fitness.

Mix It Up!

If you are at your goal weight but feel you have hit a roadblock in terms of achieving better cardiovascular or strength gains, then it may be time to mix up your routine.

Doing the same types of workouts every week can get boring. So try something new!

You may want to join a new class at a gym or start a social running or biking group. Perhaps you do the same workouts with dumbbells and weights every day.

Try using resistance bands or TRX bands to add some variety to your exercises.

It’s Never Too Late To Start

No matter what your age, high levels of health and fitness can always be achieved and maintained.

workouts for men over 50Resistance exercises, endurance training, and a healthy diet are the cornerstones of living your best life after 50.

The Fit Father Project is determined to help men over 50 achieve their fitness goals and to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle.

If you are completely new to working out or are looking to get back into a new routine after taking some time off, our Free 24 Minute Workout Program is a great place to start.

With this program, you will get a great introduction to workouts, diet, and motivational tips.

You will be amazed at the success stories from other men that have turned to the Fit Father Project to turn their lives around.

Using programs from the Fit Father Project, along with the key workouts for men over 50 above, you can begin to transform yourself into the strong, fit, healthy man that you have set out to become.

All it takes is a solid plan and dedication to become that person. So get started today!

Your new friend & health coach,

Holly Smith

Holly Smith M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.


1) Sato K, Iemitsu M, Matsutani K, Kurihara T, Hamaoka T, Fujita S. (2014). Resistance training restores muscle sex steroid hormone steroidogenesis in older men. FASEB J. 28(4):1891-7. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-245480.

2) Jefferis BJ, Parsons TJ, Sartini C, et al objectively measured physical activity, sedentary behaviour and all-cause mortality in older men: does volume of activity matter more than pattern of accumulation? British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 12 February 2018. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098733

3) Sillanpaa E, Häkkinen A, Nyman K, Mattila M, Cheng S, Karavirta L, Laaksonen DE, Huuhka N, Kraemer WJ, Häkkinen K. Body composition and fitness during strength and/or endurance training in older men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 40: 950–958, 2008.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on workouts for men over 50.


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Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team


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