Steve from I Am Devine Walking across the gym in Tunbridge Wels

Muscle Building After 50: Obstacles & Solutions

As we age, building muscle becomes increasingly challenging, but it's far from impossible. For men hitting the 50-year mark, the journey to gaining muscle mass involves navigating through a unique set of obstacles. Understanding these challenges is the first step toward developing effective strategies to overcome them. Here are five common obstacles and their solutions:


  • Decreased Testosterone Levels: Testosterone plays a crucial role in muscle growth. Men experience a natural decline in testosterone levels with age, impacting muscle mass and strength. 
  • Reduced Muscle Recovery: As we age, the body's recovery process slows down. This means longer recovery times from workouts, increasing the risk of injuries.
  • Metabolic Changes: Metabolism slows with age, leading to increased fat accumulation and decreased muscle mass.
  • Loss of Muscle Elasticity: Older muscles are less elastic and can be more susceptible to injuries. This can limit the types of exercises and the intensity of workouts.
  • Chronic Health Conditions: Issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or cardiovascular diseases can limit physical activity, making muscle building more challenging.


  • Regular Health Check-ups: Monitor and manage chronic conditions with your healthcare provider. This means getting blood tests if you feel your Testosterone is low but it’s probably a good idea for general health in any case. Armed with this information you can set about adapting your fitness routine as necessary to accommodate any health limitations.
  • Strength Training with Professional Guidance: Engage in a regular strength training program tailored to your fitness level, focusing on compound movements and working at a challenging yet safe intensity level. Working with a fitness professional can ensure exercises are performed safely and effectively.
  • Optimise Nutrition for Muscle Growth: Increase intake of protein-rich foods and consider eating whole foods, minimally processed as frequently as possible.
  • Adequate Rest and Recovery: Prioritise rest days and ensure you're getting enough sleep. This helps in muscle recovery and reduces injury risk. Sleep trumps everything here but ensure that you’re not pouring from an empty jug!
  • Flexibility and Mobility Work: Incorporate yoga or stretching routines into your weekly schedule to enhance muscle elasticity and prevent injuries. This is there first thing to get culled when we’re under time constraints.

Engage with a Community: Joining a group of like-minded individuals can provide motivation, support, and accountability, which are key components of a successful fitness journey.

Building muscle at 50 may come with its challenges, but with the right approach, it's a highly attainable goal. Remember, it's not about competing with your younger self, trust me this is an unfulfilling path to take.

Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are - Roosevelt

Thoughts? Experiences? I'd love to hear how you or someone you know has navigated these challenges. Let's share insights and keep motivating each other!

About the Author Stephen Devine

Steve not just a skilled Crossfit Coach, but a top-tier CrossFit Competitor who's ranked in the top 1% worldwide in the 2023 Crossfit Open! And this is despite spending six weeks on crutches following surgery to fix a broken ankle just a year ago. He's Qualified as a Crossfit L1 Coach, Crossfit Gymnastics, and is also a qualified Olympic Weightlifting Coach.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: