See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (2022)

I had never read a bodybuilding magazine before I started working at one. It was December 1992, I was a broke-ass graduate student, and out of pure luck landed a part-time copyediting job at Muscle & Fitness.

I knew a few of the biggest names—Arnold and Franco and Lou Ferrigno—but had no sense of the history of the iron game, and how for the past century it had influenced our notion of what a guy could look like.

Related: Build Your Best Body At Home With THE 21-DAY METASHRED—an All-New Fitness and Nutrition Plan From Men’s Health

My ignorance prevented me from understanding that I had arrived at a key moment.

Once I realized how much there was to know, I was hooked. I now have a shelf full of books covering the rich, strange, and often hilarious history of the pursuit of muscle.

Even better, I have friends who’ve seen more and know more, and were happy to share their insights.

Eugen Sandow

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In the beginning, there was Sandow.

Born Friedrich Muller in Prussia in 1867, he hit the strongman circuit in his late teens, saw a world of previously unimagined opportunities, changed his name, and obliterated the idea that massive strength required a massive belly.

This dude had abs long before anyone thought to call them that.

To say he’s the father of modern bodybuilding actually diminishes just how amazing Sandow was. He toured in a Ziegfeld production. He trained the king of England.

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See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (2)

When he staged the first bodybuilding contest in 1891, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the guy who created Sherlock Holmes, was one of the judges. After his stage performances in New York, wealthy women paid for the chance to go backstage and feel his muscles.

But he was, first and foremost, phenomenally strong.

In 1893, at the height of his fame, he agreed to a physical examination by Dr. Dudley Sargent of Harvard, himself a pioneer in exercise science. Sargent measured Sandow at a somewhat ordinary 5-foot-8, 180 pounds. (Like many bodybuilders since, Sandow claimed to be both taller and heavier than he was.)

Perhaps to make up for being smaller than advertised, he knelt down and asked the 175-pound Sargent to step onto his open palm. With little apparent effort, he stood up, keeping his arm straight, and set Sargent down on a table.

Related: What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscle

Sargent declared him “the perfect man” (the anecdote is from a book called Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man, by John F. Kasson), and to this day Sandow’s image is used on the Mr. Olympia trophy.

(Video) Evolution of Bodybuilding | From 1900 To 2017

Charles Atlas

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Sandow at his peak was one of the most famous people in the English-speaking world. Nobody capitalized more on the standard he set than Angelo Siciliano, who, like Sandow, invented a manlier name to advance his career.

Atlas claimed to be a former 97-pound weakling.

After getting sand kicked in his face, he remade his body, using his Dynamic Tension system, and became so big and intimidating that no bully dared mess with him again.

It’s a story every guy growing up in the second half of the twentieth century knew by heart, thanks to the full-page ads in the back of our comic books.

Was any of it true? Nobody knows, and nobody cares. It was the original fitness infomercial, and for generations of skinny boys it was their only hope of a more muscular future.

Related: The Workout All Skinny Guys Have Been Waiting For

Siciliano was a well-known weightlifter by 1922, when he won the title of “America’s most perfectly developed man” and changed his name. That year he went into business selling a routine of body-weight exercises combined with health and lifestyle advice.

Neither the exercises nor the advice were thought to be original at the time, but Atlas, thanks to his charisma and the marketing chops of his business partners, made it his own.

Although he died in 1972, his course is still available at

John Grimek

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The 1936 Olympics are best known for Jesse Owens showing up his host, Adolf Hitler, by winning four gold medals. John Grimek, America’s heavyweight weightlifting champion, was barely a footnote, finishing a distant ninth.

Grimek had no real love for Olympic weightlifting, and little interest in training for it. He also had no interest in gaining the kind of bulk that would’ve made him a world champion—at 195 pounds, he was usually the lightest heavyweight—and when he dieted down to the next-lowest weight class he lost too much strength.

Related: The 6 New Bodybuilding Rules Every Man Should Memorize

What he was good at, and what he apparently loved, was the slower lifts, and the muscle he gained from doing them.

As a bodybuilder he was undefeated, winning six titles between 1939 and 1949.

When he won Mr. America for the second straight time, in 1941 (a day after competing in weightlifting), “he stood so far ahead of the others that a rule was adopted preventing previous winners from entering the contest,” according to John Fair in Muscletown, USA: Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell.

Steve Reeves

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Reeves finished behind Grimek in the 1941 Mr. America and the 1949 Mr. Universe, but became far better known, and much more influential.

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I don’t think it’s controversial to say he was the greatest bodybuilder of the pre-steroid era.

For one thing, at 6-foot-1, he was taller than most, with smaller bone structure.

For another, he looked like a movie star long before he became one.

Related: Is Cardio Necessary For Super-Low Body Fat?

But that’s not to say he wasn’t strong AF. Various reports say that he could deadlift 400 pounds while holding the bar with just his fingertips, and that he once did a barbell clean with 225 pounds from his knees.

He also knew how to push himself.

According to Grimek, Reeves took a year off lifting before the 1950 Mr. Universe, and won the contest after just seven weeks of training. Without steroids.

Larry Scott

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History barely remembers the bitter rivalry between the two great muscle entrepreneurs of the second half of the twentieth century.

Bob Hoffman of York Barbell had the initial advantage. He was the dominant voice of Olympic weightlifting, and some of the greatest lifters in American history were his employees. He also published Strength & Health magazine, which celebrated strength and athleticism above all else.

His rival, Canadian-born Joe Weider, saw the greater potential of bodybuilding, and the potential of exercises like the squat and bench press to build those muscles.

At his height, Weider controlled both the means and the ends of bodybuilding. He published magazines like Muscle & Fitness and Flex, and used them to promote the Mr. Olympia contest, which he and his brother Ben created in 1965.

Enter Larry Scott, who won the first two Mr. Olympia titles.

At 5-foot-7, Scott weighed just over 200 pounds, with 20-inch arms that looked even bigger on his relatively narrow frame.

Perhaps most important, he was among the first champion bodybuilders known to use the newly available anabolic steroids.

Since steroids preferentially pack muscle onto the upper torso—the lats, traps, pecs, deltoids, and upper arms—he was able to overcome his genetic limitations to produce a physique that helped change what we think a well-developed body should look like.

Related: How to Tell If Someone Is Using Steroids

Arnold Schwarzenegger

See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (7)

Arnold wasn’t the biggest or best-conditioned bodybuilder of the late 1960s. Sergio Oliva, a Cuban émigré, was bigger, and guys like Bill Pearl looked leaner and sharper.

But Arnold was the first one that people I knew talked about.

I can remember kids at school describing him in a talk-show appearance. “He looks big and strong when he’s flexing,” someone opined. “But when he sits down, his muscles all sag and he just looks deformed.”

It’s easy to look back at pictures of Schwarzenegger and recognize the features that set him apart, and the skillful ways he displayed them. But his greatest feat was being Arnold.


“Arnold took bodybuilding out of the sideshow category by sheer force of his personality,” says TC Luoma, editor-in-chief of “His charisma and his never-before-seen physique even appealed to the average guy whose only experience with weights was with a Nautilus machine.”

Once we’d seen that physique, and gotten a sense of the showman who built it, it changed our perception of both muscularity and masculinity.

Dorian Yates

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Arnold was 6-foot-2, 235 pounds at his peak. That gave him a body-mass index of 30.2, which means the most iconic bodybuilder in history, a guy known as an enthusiastic steroid user, was slighter than Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, a former pro wrestler.

The fact actors and athletes could look like bodybuilders meant that bodybuilders themselves had to look like something else. By the 1990s, Luoma says, “contests were largely won by whoever dared to make the greatest amount of anabolic steroids.”

And not just steroids.

By the early ’90s bodybuilders were adding insulin and human growth hormone to the mix, giving them “that superhuman ballooned look,” says Bryan Krahn, a writer and physique coach.

If you want an example of how much the standards changed, and how quickly, consider these photos of Dorian Yates, who won Mr. Olympia six straight times, beginning in 1992.

Between the ’92 and ’93 contests, he went from 241 to 257 pounds, which looked like much more than 16 pounds on a guy who’s listed as 5-foot-10. (For what it’s worth, I’m 5-10, and on the one time I saw him at the Weider offices, I thought he was a couple inches shorter than me.)

The difference from one year to the next was paradigm-changing.

See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (9)

To compete with Yates, bodybuilders had to be impossibly huge and impossibly lean.

The polypharmacy required for that look produced a body count of top-level competitors who died in their 20s or 30s, and several others who survived but eventually required kidney transplants.

Yates, fortunately, is not just alive, but also apparently healthy and still in good shape.

Ronnie Coleman

See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (10)

Way back in the 1930s, John Grimek resisted gaining the 20 to 30 pounds he would’ve needed to be an Olympic weightlifting champion. He liked his waistline just the way it was.

Seventy years later, the pursuit of freaky mass led to an epidemic of “GH gut” (growth hormone gut) among top bodybuilders, including eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman.

A police officer in Arlington, Texas, Coleman was by all accounts one of the most genetically gifted individuals in the history of the sport. Whether he was ever truly “natural”—as he claimed he was at the beginning of his bodybuilding career—is open to debate.

Related: Does It Matter How Fast You Lift?

(Video) Evolution of Bodybuilding | From 1900 To 2021

When he started serious training in 1989, he was 5-11, 215. By 1990, when he entered his first amateur contest, he was up to 230. He reportedly competed at 297 in the early 2000s.

That kind of mass, with no visible body fat, should’ve been impossible. He had muscles in places where the rest of us don’t even have places.

Coleman, along with his contemporaries and their successors, “passed from somewhat freakish to otherworldly freakish,” Luoma says. “Their bodies, too, began to resemble each other. Whereas bodybuilders in Arnold’s day were often known for having a body part that was more developed or particularly aesthetic, this new genre all looked the same.”

That opened the door for something different.

Calum von Moger and Steve Cook

See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (11)

Von Moger (shown above) is a 25-year-old Australian who invites comparisons to Schwarzenegger.

Cook (shown below) is a 31-year-old former college football player who invites comparisons to Steve Reeves, aiming for the smallest possible waist and equal circumference of the neck, upper arms, and calves.

Both are popular on social media, and neither has expressed any interest in gaining the kind of size it would take to compete with the mass monsters for the major bodybuilding titles. It’s their physiques that lifters today are more likely to aspire to.

See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders’ Physiques Over the Past 125 Years (12)

“I don’t know any sane person who wants to look like” the top pro bodybuilders, Krahn says.

“They’re too big, too bloated, and chicks don’t dig it. Even the juice monkeys I know want to look ‘aesthetic,’ which is code for a Steve Cook physique—someone with muscle and abs and good teeth and hair who likely gets laid a lot. Hell, I’m old and married, and I want to look like Steve Cook.”

The Future Of Physiques

Luoma thinks today’s young and ambitious gym rats are less inspired by any individual and more influenced by CrossFit, MMA, and even superhero movies.

“All three represent something that the bodybuilders don’t have: functionality,” he says.

If he’s right, it means the world of muscle is returning to its roots, when circus strongmen like Eugen Sandow drew crowds by lifting heavy things, or when John Grimek competed in weightlifting and bodybuilding on consecutive days, or when Steve Reeves’ contemporaries—the stars of the Muscle Beach scene in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s—dazzled audiences with acrobatic displays that simultaneously showed off their strength, agility, athleticism, and, yes, amazing physiques.

Bodybuilding eventually became a static pursuit, with the goal of looking good in still pictures rather than showing what those overbuilt bodies could do.

But today, it appears, muscles are back on the move.

Lou Schuler is an award-winning journalist and contributing editor to Men’s Health. Check out his new book Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life, with coauthor Alwyn Cosgrove.

Lou Schuler, CSCS, is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist and editorial director of the Personal Trainer Development Center. A lifelong gym rat (he joined his first health club in 1980), he’s contributed to Men’s Health for more than 20 years, and is the author or coauthor of many popular books about strength training and nutrition, including the six books in the New Rules of Lifting series, with Alwyn Cosgrove.


What happens to the bodies of bodybuilders when they get old? ›

1) First Things First: They Lose Muscle Mass

Most obvious thing that happens to a bodybuilder is losing a good amount of muscle when they retire. And in most cases it is not because they stop training or eating good amount of protein but due to the fact that they are no longer on gear (anabolic steroids).

Why bodybuilders are so much bigger today? ›

With shorter but more intense workouts and more time for recuperation, they don't overtrain, but give the muscles more time to rest and grow. The result is bodybuilders who are able to achieve their genetic potential for developing maximum lean body mass and shape.

How many years does it take to look like a bodybuilder? ›

If you lift for seven hours per week you can expect to gain eight to 20 pounds annually. After two years this will slow to five to 15 pounds. After five years you can expect to gain three to 10 pounds and after 10 years you can expect between one and four pounds of annual gains.

Why do modern bodybuilders look different? ›

Different “Supplements”

Modern bodybuilders' traps and deltoids also blow up more today, creating a more freakish look. This is due to these muscles having a higher number of androgen receptors, thus are more susceptible to muscle hypertrophy via the use of androgenic steroids.

Do bodybuilders live longer? ›

The inevitable conclusion is that not only do bodybuilders live longer but they look better during their lives, better than people who do not follow a lifestyle that pays attention to health, fitness, and well being.
Bodybuilder Longevity.
John Grimek88
Steve Reeves74
Reg Park79
Vince Gironda80
Zabo Koszewski84
18 more rows
9 Mar 2021

Is bodybuilding healthy long term? ›

Building muscle mass is not only healthy in the short term, but can also have long-lasting health benefits. For example, according to LiveStrong, with age comes a loss of muscle mass and strength attributed to sarcopenia, the natural and normal decline in muscle.

Why are bodybuilders big but not strong? ›

Generally, the bigger the muscle, the more force it can produce. However, some studies have noted that larger muscles do not have an equivalently large improvement in the specific force. This means that as the muscle gets bigger there is not an equal increase in the quality of the muscle.

Why are bodybuilders stomachs so big? ›

Irrespective of protein, carbohydrates or supplements, all bodybuilders follow an extremely high calorie diet, with some consuming over 10,000 calories per day. This high calorie food intake also means a high volume of food which can stay in the stomach for prolonged periods causing gut distension.

Is bodybuilding good for health? ›

Bodybuilding has such great and healthy impact on muscle, bones and joints. Bodybuilding keeps your body and muscle strong and flexible. Bodybuilding and weight training can definitely help you with osteoporosis and arthritis. These health benefits of weight training and aerobic exercise are already well known.

How long till you look like you lift? ›

You'll Notice Muscle Gains From Lifting Weights In About 3 Months. After your first weightlifting session, you may notice that your muscles seem a little bigger. But they're not bigger. Blood and inflammation are simply making them look bigger.

How do bodybuilders get big like? ›

How To Train Like A Bodybuilder
  1. Get a personal trainer. ...
  2. Get enough sleep. ...
  3. Train with lower weights. ...
  4. Focus on multi-joint exercises. ...
  5. Cardio. ...
  6. Track your workouts. ...
  7. Pick up the pace. ...
  8. Switch up your routine.
10 Jul 2019

Why do people become bodybuilders? ›

For the most part many bodybuilders started out because they wanted to be happier with themselves, wanted to become a better version of themselves – one to take pride in. There's no questioning it. For whatever reason a bodybuilder usually starts because of some inferiority or lack of physical gifts.

Does bodybuilding make you stronger? ›

Bodybuilding will make you stronger, but that is not the primary goal of bodybuilding. And when you train for strength, your muscles not only get stronger but also grow in size. In general, a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle. However, the relationship between muscle strength and muscle size is complex.

Why do bodybuilders drink so much water? ›

Water flushes out toxins and other metabolic waste products from the body. Water is especially important when following a "high protein" diet, as it helps remove excess nitrogen, urea (a toxic substance), and ketones. If you're eating big to gain weight, then you need even more water to help your kidneys do their work.

What age do most bodybuilders retire? ›

Most elite bodybuilders have been living the lifestyle, progressively improving, for 15-20 years by the time they hit their mid-30s. Natural testosterone and GH levels peak around 30, but 5-6 extra years allow for more workouts, meals, and drug cycles to further gains.

Why do bodybuilders avoid salt? ›

Too much dietary salt is associated with dangerous health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also result in weakened bone strength since too much sodium can actually result in some calcium being pulled from the bone.

Can you get big naturally without steroids? ›

Building muscle without supplements and steroids takes determination, a good workout routine, and proper eating habits. To build bigger muscles, you must put together a good exercise and meal plan. You can gain lean hard muscle naturally by eating healthy and working out.

Is bodybuilding good for heart? ›

Lifting weights can be good for your heart health. Researchers at Iowa State University found that lifting weights less than an hour per week can reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke by as much as 40 to 70 percent.

Can bodybuilders go back to normal? ›

According to the research of pro bodybuilder Jeff Nippard, the timeframe to get your muscle gains back is typically around half the time you took off. So, if you had a 2-month break from lifting, it might take just a month to get all of your gains back. Took six months off? You'll need three months to gain it all back.

Do bodybuilders use baby oil? ›

Baby oil is used by body builders (especially those in South America) to make muscles appear bigger than they are. The young man sustained serious injuries and it is believed that he may completely lose the use of his arm.

Do big muscles mean more strength? ›

Larger muscle fibers generally produce more force than smaller muscle fibers, which shouldn't be much of a surprise. Bigger muscle fibers tend to be stronger muscle fibers. From Gilliver, 2009. However, while absolute strength of muscle fibers tends to increase with fiber size, relative strength tends to decrease.

Can you build muscle mass at age 70? ›

Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Pressing Iron Our muscle mass decreases at surprising rates as we get older. But researchers found that people older than 50 can not only maintain but actually increase their muscle mass by lifting weights.

Why do bodybuilders stomachs stick out? ›

Palumboism occurs when the muscles on the sides of the abdomen, also known as your oblique muscles, thicken and make it difficult for a bodybuilder to hold in their stomach, or rectus abdominis muscles. Palumboism is also referred to as: steroid or roid gut. human growth hormone or HGH gut.

How do bodybuilders get flat stomachs? ›

The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).

How do bodybuilders avoid gut? ›

If you're a newbie bodybuilder, these tips will help to ward off the HGH Gut and maintain your appearance:
  1. Cut down on carbohydrate intake.
  2. Utilize intermittent fasting.
  3. Taper insulin and HGH dosage.
  4. Ensure correct nutrient intake and correct timing when carb-loading.
6 May 2022

What bodybuilders should not eat? ›

Avoid or limit alcohol, foods with added sugars and deep-fried foods. In addition to your diet, whey protein, creatine and caffeine can be useful supplements.

What foods do bodybuilders eat? ›

Bodybuilders typically have protein at every meal, some consisting of shakes. Full meals will usually consist of a lean animal protein such as a grilled chicken breast or piece of fish, vegetables, and perhaps a starch such as sweet potatoes or rice.

Is bodybuilding good for brain? ›

The long-term study found that strength training led to overall benefits to cognitive performance, benefits linked to protection from degeneration in specific subregions of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a complex structure in the brain with a major role in learning and memory.

How much protein do I need to build muscle a day? ›

To increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, it is recommended that a person that lifts weights regularly or is training for a running or cycling event eat a range of 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.

How long does it take to build a perfect body? ›

And if you exercise regularly, over time you will gain even more fitness benefits. “At 6 to 8 weeks, you can definitely notice some changes,” said Logie, “and in 3 to 4 months you can do a pretty good overhaul to your health and fitness.” Strength-specific results take about the same amount of time.

How do you get big muscles fast? ›

How to Build Muscle (Fast)
  1. Increase Your Training Volume. ...
  2. Focus on the Eccentric Phase. ...
  3. Decrease Between-Set Rest Intervals. ...
  4. To Grow Muscle, Eat More Protein. ...
  5. Focus on Calorie Surpluses, Not Deficits. ...
  6. Snack on Casein Before Bed. ...
  7. Get More Sleep. ...
  8. Try Supplementing With Creatine ...
23 Sept 2019

How do bodybuilders get thicker? ›

“You need to perform exercises that target the largest mass of muscle,” he explains. “Thickness and width boils down to compound lifts: deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, rows, squats.” Squats in particular are one of the best exercises for developing overall size, he says.

How many hours a day do bodybuilders train? ›

Interestingly, they only trained, on average, about 5 days a week, for about an hour (plus or minus a little bit) at a time. Yes, that's right - about 5-7 hours total.

How hard is bodybuilding? ›

Bodybuilding is one of the most gruelling and demanding sports you can take on. What makes it so hard isn't the 2-3 hours of intense training but the rigorous amount of time you have to spend on all the other aspects such as nutrition, recovery, supplement and drug protocols. It is a 24x7 taxing process.

What do bodybuilders need? ›

There are three macronutrients the body needs for energy: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Bodybuilders need all three of these nutrients in varying quantities to support their fitness goals. Proteins and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, while fats contain 9 calories per gram.

What happens to big muscles when you get older? ›

One of the most striking effects of age is the involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength, and function, termed sarcopenia [1–3]. Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60 [4,5].

At what age bodybuilders retire? ›

Most elite bodybuilders have been living the lifestyle, progressively improving, for 15-20 years by the time they hit their mid-30s. Natural testosterone and GH levels peak around 30, but 5-6 extra years allow for more workouts, meals, and drug cycles to further gains.

Why do bodybuilders look old? ›

Extreme workouts can result in fat loss throughout the body as well as the face. This subsequent decrease in facial fat and volume is one of the main reasons why exercise makes you look older, especially for anyone over the age of 35.

Does bodybuilding help in old age? ›

As you age, you lose lean muscle mass. You may have less energy and be less active. Bodybuilding can reverse the process, helping you build muscle mass and have more energy. Boosting your strength has other health benefits.

How many pushups should a 70 year old man do? ›

The national average for 60-year-olds is six pushups for women and 17 for men, so by the age of 70 you may want to aim for three pushups for women and eight to 10 for men.

Should a 60 year old lift heavy weights? ›

If you're in your 60s, you can absolutely lift weights or work on other kinds of strength-training exercises. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults, no matter their age, do muscle-strengthening exercises at least 2 days a week.

How many pushups should a 65 year old man do? ›

Excellent> 56> 30
Above average35-4617-23
3 more rows

What age is a bodybuilders peak? ›

Your muscles are at their strongest when you're 25, although for the next 10 or 15 years they stay almost as hefty — and this is one of the traits that can be most easily improved, thanks to resistance exercise.

Can I start bodybuilding at 70? ›

Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Pressing Iron Our muscle mass decreases at surprising rates as we get older. But researchers found that people older than 50 can not only maintain but actually increase their muscle mass by lifting weights.

At what age do strength gains stop? ›

Based on these data, you may wonder if there's even any evidence at all that age reduces our muscular potential, but there is. A 2020 meta-analysis by Straight et al. concluded that when we look at all available studies, muscle growth from strength training does diminish after age 60.

Does exercise slow aging? ›

Anti-Aging Cardio Workout

The Brigham Young University study found that people who ran 30 to 40 minutes at high intensity five days a week were consistently biologically younger than those who followed more moderate exercise programs, or who led sedentary lifestyles.

Why are bodybuilders stomachs so big? ›

Irrespective of protein, carbohydrates or supplements, all bodybuilders follow an extremely high calorie diet, with some consuming over 10,000 calories per day. This high calorie food intake also means a high volume of food which can stay in the stomach for prolonged periods causing gut distension.

Does bodybuilding change your face? ›

Yes, bodybuilding can change your face. In fact, any type of muscle growth – whether it's from bodybuilding or simply lifting weights – can cause some changes in the appearance of your face.

Should a 70 year old lift weights? ›

So in addition to cardiovascular activities, seniors should consider weight training. The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends weight training for all people over age 50 and tells us even those into their 90s can benefit.

What is the best exercise for a 70 year old man? ›

Get aerobic exercise: Most older adults need about 2½ hours of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, every week. That's about 30 minutes on most days. Endurance exercises like walking, dancing, and playing tennis help your breathing, heart rate, and energy. Stay flexible: Try stretching and yoga.

Can you gain muscle after 60? ›

Retirees, take note and flex that bicep: 2017 can be the year you start building muscle again. Repeated research has shown that, through weight training, men and women in their 60s and beyond can grow muscles as big and strong as an average 40-year-old.


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