Wellness coach Diego Carrete explains how to adapt your training in your 50s and 60s for optimal health and strength.

As we get older, our fitness goals tend to change, so it only makes sense that our training changes as well. Aesthetics might still be on our minds – you still want to look and feel good – but we start focusing more about factors like longevity and overall health.

One constant should be cardiovascular health: being aerobically fit relaxes blood vessels over time and keeps your heart running efficiently, both of which keep your blood pressure low.

But while regular cardio is simple (at least in theory), strength training – which is no less important – requires a more tailored approach.

RELATED: How To Strength Train In Your 20s, 30s & 40s

How To Strength Train In Your 50s & 60s – Men's Fitness UK

How To Strength Train In Your 50s

In our fifties, it’s important for most people to train utilising isometrics, unilateral work and slow tempos – with four to five exercises maximum per workout. Safety is a priority more than ever, alongside recovery and consistency.

Three 30- to 40-minute sessions a week of resistance training is ideal. That way you can stick to a reduced version of the push, pull, legs split mentioned earlier. 

5 Isometric Moves For Your 50s

1. Wall Sit
Muscles worked:
core, hamstrings, glutes

  • Lean your back against a wall, with feet around 2ft in front. 
  • Squat down to a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold this position for 30-60 secs.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

2. Straight-Arm Plank
Muscles worked: core, back, anterior delts

  • Get into a press-up position.
  • Breathe deeply and ‘press’ the floor away from you.
  • Hold this position for 30-60 secs.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

3. Static Lunge
Muscles worked: 
quads

  • This is a unilateral exercise, so both legs have to be worked separately.
  • Take a large step forward.
  • Bend both knees to 90 degrees, but make sure your front knee doesn’t extend beyond your toes.
  • Hold this position for 20-30 secs.
  • Repeat 3-5 times on both legs.

4. Glute Bridge
Muscles worked: glutes, lower back

  • Lie on your back with knees bent.
  • Squeeze your glutes to raise your hips off the floor.
  • Form a straight line from your chest to your knees.
  • Hold this position for 20-30 secs.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

5. Superman Hold
Muscles worked: lower back, mid-back, glutes, hamstrings

  • Lie flat on your stomach.
  • Stretch your arms overhead, with feet pointing straight behind you.
  • Raise your hands and feet off the floor and hold this position.
  • Hold this position for 20-30 secs.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

How To Strength Train In Your 50s & 60s – Men's Fitness UK

How To Strength Train In Your 60s & Beyond

In your sixties and beyond, a certain amount of decreased muscle and fitness is an inevitability, but regular exercise remains crucial to keeping your heart and your health in check.

If you’re willing and able to keep up the resistance work, one or two exercises should be performed for each muscle group, leaving free weights aside and focusing on machines, with controlled range of motion. 

The Over 60s Training Plan

DAY 1 – PUSH

Machine Bench Press 
10-12 reps / 4 sets / 2:2 tempo

Machine Lateral Raise 
10-12 reps / 3 sets / 2:2 tempo

Triceps Rope Push Down 
10-12 reps / 3 sets / 2:2 tempo

DAY 2 – PULL

Lat Pull Down 
10-12 reps / 4 sets / 2:2 tempo

Cable Row (narrow) 
10-12 reps / 4 sets / 2:2 tempo

Preacher Curl
10-12 reps / 3 sets / 2:2 tempo

DAY 3 – LEGS

Leg Press 
10-12 reps / 4 sets / 2:2 tempo

Leg Curl
10-12 reps / 3 sets / 2:2 tempo

Machine Glute Kickback
10-12 reps / 2 sets / 2:2 tempo