T Nation

Starting at Age 50?


Hey guys. I recently gave my brother in law a copy of “The New Rules of Lifting” for his birthday and he loved it. He’s never lifted before despite being pretty active. He plays in an over 50 soccer club. He admitted that he’s thought about spending more time weight training but thought at his age that he’d be spinning his wheels and won’t be able to build any appreciable muscle to make it worth the effort spent int the gym. However, I’ve got him registered on T-Nation, so hopefully he’s reading and learning.

I don’t want to give him false hopes, but I told him that just because he’s 50 does NOT mean he can’t build some muscle. I told him that while it’s easier to build muscle when you’re 20, it’s still possible to make changes that are remarkable even at age 50. He has a surprise anniversary trip planned with his wife this fall and wants to be “a new man” by then. I said he can do it. His current stats, per my bodyfat scale are: 195# / 22% bodyfat, at a height of 6’1".

I hope I’m not giving him false hope so I wanted to check with you guys to see if I made a mistake by telling him this and getting his excited about lifting. He’s one of those guys who follows instruction VERY well (he’s ex military), so he’ll be following the programs in NROL to the letter.

Any advice, tips, suggestions, etc. that you guys can pass along will be appreciated.

Thx all.


I turn 49 in a two weeks, and started back again in the gym 3.5 years ago.

I went from 174, 17% body fat to 208 15.9% body fat (hydrostatic tested, aka dunk tank). So over 30 lbs of muscle while staying in the reasonably lean category (for my age).

Disclaimer: I’m on TRT.

His mileage may vary but if he gets his diet squared away and trains like a savage, he’ll see results.


Old Navy. He didn’t start lifting weights until he was 60, and in a couple years was winning bodybuilding contests. So yes, it is possible.