How I stay in shape over 50 – Upper Body (in Detail)

So this is part two of how I stay in shape over 50. The first post, which is the most important one can be found here That post is the centerpiece of how I stay in shape. Squats are the priority for me, it gives me cardio and engages my endocrine system, its critical. That lower body (squat) routine is paramount to my success, however there is a “Workout B” and that’s upper body.

To reiterate the basis for my workouts lets recap:

What I do:

3 Months I do a basic 5×5 split. So what does that mean?

  1. 3 Months start date: Any day you want, but its 3 months so say 6/1/22 – 8/31/22.
  2. 3 workouts per week: Mon-Wed-Fri or Tues-Thurs-Sat

There are only 2 workouts. Workout A is the squat day. Warm up stretch and then get to the free weight squat rack. You start with the bar, if that is to heavy you start with a 25-pound weight. You do 5 sets of 5 reps. That’s the workout. Your next workout day (48 hours later) you do workout B, then next workout you are back to work out A.

Workout B is what we are talking about today. Now this workout has 2 exercise groupings. Meaning each workout B you are doing two movements but each workout B can be different depending on your preference. So let’s get the exercise groupings out of the way first.

  1. Bench Press & Rows
  2. Military Press & Dips

Now you pick one of these groups for the 3-month period paired with Workout A (squats). So if you pick Bench Press & Pull Up’s that’s your workout B for 3 months. The point of the 3-month cycle is to build strength in that specific range of motion, with that specific group. The first set of exercises (bench press and pull ups) will hit every major group in your upper body. You never really need to do Military press or Dips. That exercise group serves a different purpose here but the process is the same.

Men over 50 = Eat right, Lift weights, Sleep.

That process is true for all exercises. 5X5, so for workout B you are doing 10 sets. This is a heavy day, it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be very hard but it’s not nearly the same cardio work you’ll get from workout A and squats. So you stretch warm up do all your prep and then you hit the bench press. Start with 100 pounds, that’s the bar (45 pounds) and 55 pounds on each side.

Rows are the same approach, on this you start with the bar. Here is a good resource on rows as how you position yourself is very important.   These can be substituted with pull ups if you can pull off the rows. The goal with the back exercise if to engage the back as much as possible. This will be harder because you have tired your anterior deltoid (top of shoulder) so you start with the lighter weight.

You do 5 sets, 5 reps each. No, you don’t do a 6th rep if you feel good, you hit the 25 total reps. That is always our goal with these exercises. Once you get to the 25 reps you go up 5-10 pounds, rinse repeat go for the 25 total reps.  You stick with this for the 3 months, along with your work out A squats. Now once the 3 months are over you should have a noticeable gain in strength, muscle tone and confidence. I can’t promise you weight loss but its highly likely depending on what you are consuming.

Remember that somewhere in the middle you will hit a point where you can’t get the 5 sets for 5 reps. This is when you are making your real gains. Remember the weight doesn’t increase until you get that 25 total reps, and it never decreases. This resistance training and progressive load is excellent for men over 50. Your injury risk is lower here because your starting off light allowing your body to acclimate to the movements.

Disclaimer: Please make sure you are physically and medically able to work out before trying. If you exercise regularly you are probably fine but if you don’t consult your physician.

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