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How People 50+ Should Start Strength Training

Written by the Boostcamp staff
Jan 19,2024|11 min| 407
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Don’t let your body go to waste as you age

When it comes to strength training routines, too often do people view it as a young person’s game. However, strength training is beneficial for everyone, even those who are older as well, and yes, even when you are 50 or older, you can get some great benefits from it. A lot of times older people think that exercise for them has to consist of just cardio, and they can no longer hit the weights and perform some of those compound exercises. While hitting one rep maxes and taking sets to muscular failure may not be ideal for people who are 50 and older, that does not mean they should rule out strength training completely.

On an episode of the Boostcamp Podcast, Michael Liu and Cody Lefever (the founder of GZCL) discussed how strength training is for everyone. He uses the examples of some of his clients that are older and strength train, and how it helps them not only do better with their hobbies such as skiing, but also complete daily activities

How do you start strength training when you are older? This is another topic that came up within this episode of the Boostcamp Podcast, and we are here to cover it.

Who is Cody Lefever and What is GZCL?

Before we dive into strength training for people who are 50 and older, let’s discuss who Cody Lefever is. Cody has had a passion fitness throughout his whole life, and while serving with the U.S. Marines Cody started training himself as well as others to achieve a higher level of physical fitness. This path had eventually led Cody to the powerlifting platform, where he competed in multiple state, national, and world level championships, really making a name for himself.

His client base ranges from military service members to athletes to the average person desiring improved physical fitness, whether that be in sports or in daily life. Back in 2022, Cody opened North America’s Highest Gym in Alma, Colorado. By highest, we mean it is quite literally the highest gym, as it sits at 10,361 feet elevation, Alma’s Gym is high up in the Rocky Mountains approximately 2 hours outside of Denver. It is a place for locals and tourists alike to get stronger and develop their bodies.

Cody has also officially partnered with the Boostcamp App to launch the GZCL Program (GZCLP) into an app format for free. The GZCL Program (or GZCLP) is Cody Lefever's famous linear progression program for beginner and novice lifters who want to build both strength and size. It is a highly popular alternative to Starting Strength and Stronglifts due to its effectiveness and flexible structure.

Strength Training Defined

Strength training is an activity that involves the performance of physical exercises, typically lifting weights or bodyweight exercises, that are designed to improve overall strength and endurance. This is extremely crucial for those powerlifters who want to get better on their compound lifts such as the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift, and those Olympic lifters who need a better clean and jerk. Of course it is also crucial for those bodybuilders looking to improve their physiques, but it is not limited to just those few demographics. 

Strength training is something that everyone can benefit from, even those who are older, such as 50+, and Cody goes into how they would have to strength train to get the most out of it. 

Strength Training for Older People (50+)

Michael asks Cody what his advice for strength training for older people is, and Cody gives some solid tips that can really benefit those who are 50 or older and are looking to make some progress.

Start Small

Cody’s first piece of advice for people who are older is to start small. He says that the focus should be on simply moving, not training to failure or hitting crazy one rep maxes. He states that a lot of this demographic does not get enough movement. Sure, they may go on walks and such, but typically their specific muscle groups such as the biceps and triceps or the chest do not get specific attention. 

That being said, going through some exercises to target those parts of the body and put focus on specific muscle groups is key to start strength training for people who are 50+. Cody says that focusing on compound exercises with a full range of motion and good mind-muscle connection is crucial for them to get into it.

Start the Habit of Consistency

One of the parts of the three principles of progress is consistency. This means showing up every day to do what you need to do. Cody lists consistency as one of the ways for people 50 and older to start strength training, meaning they need to develop the habit of physicality. If they stay consistent, then they will notice strength gains or that their body composition is changing, and that can be even more motivational. 

Stay Patient

You can not expect to make gains overnight, especially in old age. Testosterone levels are lower, so you may not see the gains as fast as you would when you are in your twenties. 

Where To Find Programs for Those Who are 50 or Older

That being said, if you are looking to get into strength training as someone who is older, finding a good program will also be of great help. Now to find good programs for some quality strength training, check out the Boostcamp App. You can find tons of different workout routines that will truly push you to the limit, whether that be a push pull legs split, or an upper lower, or you are looking for something that only has you in the gym for a few days a week. The best part is, these programs are made by renowned evidence-based coaches. Boostcamp also lets you create your own custom routines and log your progress, which is great for tracking your progress and making linear progression.

To maximize your gains and simplify your fitness journey, consider using Boostcamp, the last lifting app you'll ever need. Boostcamp helps you track your progress, offers customizable training programs, and provides expert guidance to ensure you get the most out of your chosen workout program whether it's linear push pull legs or upper lower or whatever you choose. There are also plenty of different program styles to choose from to help you start strength training. Start making the most of your workouts and download Boostcamp today!

Wrap Up

Overall, strength training is something that everyone should partake in and can enjoy. No matter how old you are, what your hobbies are, and so on, you can benefit from strength training. That being said, there are certain ways to go about it when someone is older and looking to do some strength training.

Also, be sure to follow Boostcamp on Instagram and subscribe on YouTube!