Muskelaufbau im Alter

How does muscle building work in old age?

Thanks to training & nutrition: building muscle instead of losing it in old age

Älterer Mann mit Kettlebell

Eating delicious food, enjoying life and everyday life, and going on vacation for two weeks every now and then - that's how many people imagine retirement. Specific Muscle building However, very few people over the age of 60 think about retirement. For many, the opposite is more likely to be the case: lack of exercise causes muscles to break down and many people gain weight as they get older. The strain on the body increases and the risk of injuries in everyday life, e.g. due to falls, increases.

Instead of simply accepting muscle loss, muscle building can and should therefore not be neglected,especially in old age. In this article you will learn how you can build your muscles with sports, specific strength training and the right diet even in old age.


Why does the body lose muscle mass in old age?

Basically, it is true that muscle mass in seniors decreases with time. However, the fact that muscle mass decreases with age is not mainly due to age itself, but rather to the fact that many then simply move less. Some people gain weight more quickly in old age, for example, or have more frequent health problems.

Although it ispossible to build muscle againin old age , itdoes not happen as quickly as it does when you are 20 or 30 years old. For an effective and sustainable muscle build-up at the age of 60, for example, it is therefore all the more important to focus on sensible exercises and a healthy diet that supports strength training.

Why is muscle building at the age of 70 or more particularly important?

A strong, healthy musculature is an important prerequisite for health and a livable everyday life, especially with over 60, 70 years. Specific exercises to build up the musculature should be integrated into everyday life as a preventive measure to avoid typical diseases of old age, such as osteoporosis or sarcopenia (muscle atrophy).

Building up muscle mass also increases the body's metabolism and energy requirements. Muscles consume energy even when at rest. Those with stronger muscles therefore automatically burn more calories - and can thus also counteract weight problems in old age.

Strong muscles protect the body from injuries both in younger years and in old age: This is because strong muscles reduce the strain on our ligaments and joints in everyday life.

Another advantage of strong muscles: building muscles on the buttocks or legs, training in the gym or at home naturally also has an optical effect in old age. And let's be honest, who doesn't like to see a healthy, trained body in the mirror?

Exercise & muscle building go hand in hand in old age

If you have sufficiently strong muscles, it is often easier for you to do sports. Exercise, in turn, is the most important prerequisite for preventing muscle loss in old age - in other words, a positive vicious circle.

In addition, regular exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system: Your body is better supplied with nutrients and oxygen and is thus better equipped to fight diseases in old age. Sport, especially strength training, also stimulates the production of testosterone. This hormone provides more energy in everyday life and helps you cope with stress.

Those who integrate more exercise into their daily routine automatically spend more time outdoors, i.e. in the sun. This also reduces the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which often occurs in people as they age.

Conclusion: muscle building and exercise go hand in hand. Specific training to build muscle in old age should therefore also be combined with exercises to promote mobility.

Which exercises are suitable for muscle building in old age?

Älterer Herr macht Dehnübung

For sustainable muscle building in old age, the exercises in strength training should be structured in such a way that the body is trained holistically. This means that not only one muscle group, e.g. only the biceps, but rather the entire musculature of the body should be trained.

Of course, in a training session the focus can be placed on a specific area of the body, but no muscles should be neglected in the training sessions. To avoid injuries, the intensity should also be dosed. Very high intensities, of more than 70 percent of the maximum capacity, are not at all necessary for functional strength training. If you want to build up muscles in old age, you don't necessarily have to lift 100 kg!

It is recommended to work out a training plan with a trainer with specific training units that are adapted to the age and the individual fitness level. Ideal are of course exercises for muscle building without equipment, which can be done regularly in everyday life, outside the gym.

Tips for muscle building in old age

The right exercises are one thing to accelerate muscle building in old age or prevent muscle loss, but other factors also play an important role. In younger years of life, it was probably enough for many to simply exercise two or three times a week and the muscles grew almost by themselves. However, as you get older, there's a little more to it than that.

Your diet is crucial for building muscle

Schüssel mit Gemüse Grafik

Probably the most important factor for building muscle as you age, besides strength training, is a protein-rich diet. After all, proteins have been proven to contribute not only to maintaining healthy bones, but also to maintaining or building muscle mass.[1]

The fact that for a lasting muscle build-up breakfast, lunch and dinner should consist of healthy, protein-rich food should be considered in the menu. Vegetable proteins, e.g. from lentils, beans or other legumes, are particularly recommended. However, low-fat quark and fish are also good, high-quality sources of protein.

On the other hand, unhealthy fats and sugars should be reduced as much as possible. These are reflected more quickly in a higher body weight than in younger years. And those who have problems with their weight are less mobile and do less sport. You can better avoid this cycle with a healthy, balanced diet.

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Healthy lifestyle as a cornerstone for sports & exercise.

Muscle building in old age is only possible if you are healthy and pain or illnesses do not permanently prevent you from doing sports. How fit you are, you can significantly influence through your lifestyle. It is no secret that smoking, alcohol or lack of sleep are not exactly optimal for your health and do not necessarily promote sustainable muscle training.

Excessive ambition in strength training is also unhealthy and can lead to injuries that prevent regular training or exercise.

What has already been briefly touched on before should be emphasized again at this point: Muscles at 65 are not the same as they once were at 25. The muscles need more time to regenerate in old age, for example, which is why the body should be allowed longer breaks from training.

How long does it take to build muscle in old age?

Muscle growth in old age is sometimes dependent on the quality of training, nutrition, but also genetic predisposition. How quickly the muscles can be built up, or how quickly they break down again, therefore varies from person to person.

Accelerate muscle building in old age

As we already know, attention should be paid to sufficient protein in the diet to prevent muscle breakdown or to be able to build up new muscles in old age. However, those who want to accelerate muscle building in old age can also support their body specifically with food supplements.

With a targeted diet to build muscle, the daily requirement of protein can be easily met without eating too many calories and gaining weight.

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Conclusion: Muscle building also possible in old age

With sufficient exercise, a sensibly dosed strength training and a targeted diet you can not only prevent muscle atrophy, but also a sustainable muscle build-up is possible in old age.

Your training sessions should address all muscles in the body in the long term, so that muscle mass is built up holistically and individual muscle groups are not overloaded. When it comes to nutrition, the focus is on proteins - they can prevent muscle atrophy and are also important for building new muscle mass.

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