Does Age Matter in Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding has consistently been misinterpreted as a competitive sport that’s practiced by a younger (20s and 30s) demographic.
Its often said that age is a crucial factor for being a successful bodybuilder.
On the other hand, practicing bodybuilding at a young age has often been seen and criticized as being unhealthy.
So, who’s actually telling the truth?
Does this mean that there’s such a thing as being too young or too old to practice bodybuilding?
In this article -that’s titled Bodybuilding: Does Age Really Matter– I’m going to talk about the biggest differences between bodybuilding at an older age and practicing the sport at a later stage in life.
What Is Bodybuilding?
Before we begin, it’s important to know the difference between bodybuilding and competitive bodybuilding – two terms that are often used interchangeably.
Bodybuilding: Discipline that consists of developing the human body’s musculature and strength through diet and exercise.
Competitive Bodybuilding: Activity in which bodybuilders are compared and judged to others by performing a series of poses that display the body’s musculature, proportions, and definition.
Technically speaking, anyone who trains and diets in order to enhance their physical appearance and performance can be considered a bodybuilder – whether they compete or not.
Competitive bodybuilders are individuals that get up on a stage to be compared to other athletes; in hopes of winning a trophy.
Based on the two definitions above, you could make a case and say that anyone who diets and lifts weights is technically a bodybuilder.
With that being said, not everyone can be called a competitive bodybuilder.
Competitive bodybuilding has always been an interesting sight, though.
Over time, we have witnessed iconic athletes -like Arnold Schwarzenegger- shock crowds and introduce the world to the competitive angle of the sport.
Likewise, it has also seen “older” competitors like Dexter Jackson and Robbie Robinson consistently defeat up-and-coming talents.
Considering this, can we really say that age matters at the competitive level? You can definitely say that it doesn’t.
When I first started weight training, I had a ton of people telling me that I was too young to get started – I was 16.
I’m glad I didn’t listen to them because it allowed me to learn a lot about my body while keeping busy.
I also built a decent physique along the way.
Here’s the thing… bodybuilding will not stunt your growth and can do a lot for your overall health and wellbeing.
Weight training can greatly improve the body’s muscularity, bone density, metabolism, and many other aspects that are worth taking care of.
Big biceps and a washboard stomach to impress the ladies won’t hurt either.
Teen Bodybuilding Benefits:
- Builds Muscle
- Increases Strength
- Enhances Endurance
- Improves Energy and Focus
- Reduces Risk of Obesity
- Strengthens the Bones
Benefits aside, is there really such a thing as being too young to bodybuild?
I personally don’t think age matters much in bodybuilding.
As long as someone is doing it for the right reasons and in a positive environment, bodybuilding can be very positive – no matter the age.
If someone is in their early teens and shows a strong interest in weight training; there’s no reason why that person shouldn’t be joining a gym and learning the basics.
Bodybuilding Over 50
Let’s shift our focus to the other side of the spectrum – bodybuilding over 50.
It’s actually fairly common to see people asking online if they’re too old to start bodybuilding.
The truth is that no one is ever too old to bodybuild; regardless if it’s as a hobby or at the competitive level.
Although someone who started training later in life will be at a competitive disadvantage -compared to someone who is younger- because of hormones; age should never be a limiting factor.
Plus, the same bodybuilding benefits that younger people take advantage of can most definitely be experienced by those who are older.
Bodybuilding Over 50 Benefits:
- Increased Muscle Mass
- Enhanced Strength
- Higher Energy Levels and Sex Drive
- Improved Cardiovascular Health
- Improved Bone Density
Even if you don’t want to compete, you should be encouraged to give it your all at the gym because of the benefits, alone.
If bodybuilders like Serge Nubret, Ed Corney and Robby Robinson managed to be competitive at an elite level; you should be more than capable of building a great physique.
There truly isn’t a limit to what the human body can achieve through bodybuilding.
Age will never be a factor and that’s something that everyone needs to understand.
Although age can be an important factor in competitive bodybuilding; anyone has the ability to improve their body through physical training.
There is no such thing as being too young or old – as long as the sport is practiced in a positive environment and under the correct guidance.
Following the wrong advice or doing it for the wrong reasons can ultimately lead to injury and a lack of interest in the sport.
At the end of the day, if you’re passionate about weight training and building your physique, no one should tell you that you can’t do it because of your age.
Bodybuilding can have a ton of benefits that can’t be replicated through any other type of exercise.