Generation Iron Dexter Jackson Old Muscle

Not old; just older.

There’s no running away from it. That son of a bitch father time catches up to all of us eventually. You’re not going to be young and fresh and strong forever, unless you’ve found the fountain of youth, in which case you’d be a billionaire and have no worries about the subject. For the rest of us mortals, there’s no escaping old age. But that doesn’t mean doom for all your gains. There’s still a way to maintain a decent amount of muscle even in your twilight years. If you’re an older lifter then take some of these tips into account.

Sacrifice Weight for Form

As we get older, the reality of lifting considerable weight starts to take a down shift. In our youth we have a tendency to want to push ourselves past our limits and lift a crazy amount of weight. As you get older, putting your body through that kind of stress gets less and less enjoyable. Your ability to heal from muscle tears and injuries also decrease with age. So rather than focus on heavy weight, you’re better off focusing on form and technique. With the lower weight, you should focus on contracting and really flexing the muscles for optimal results.

Shorter Routines

As with weights, your routines are likely to get shorter with age as well. While some may view an hour to an hour-and-a-half workout to be insufficient, particularly if they’re used to going hard for two hours, the shorter routine can be a blessing in disguise. How so? By making your routine more efficient. By taking out certain exercises or working on one muscle group at a time on different days you’ll be reducing the stress on your body. Your training may not be as overstuffed as it once was, but you’ll be able to focus more on working specific muscles to perfection rather than focusing on multiple muscle groups.

Changing Pace

When you’re young you feel like you can’t do enough work in the gym. You have an unlimited gas tank and try to work yourself hard enough to deplete it and push past your exhaustion. Short of some great genetics, you’re likely not going to able to push yourself at 50 years old as you would when you were 20. It’s time to slow down a bit. Now when we say slow down we’re talking about the specific movements your perform. If you’re doing a dumbbell bench press then you’re going to want bring the weights down slow. Even if you explode upward with the movement, releasing the tension slowly and carefully will ensure that you avoid injury.


Dexter Jackson was able to turn back the clock with his latest Arnold Classic win. That being said, he is the exception to the rule due to his gifted genetics. Some may disagree with the process we prescribe, but it’s advise that some older lifters should at least take under consideration. Let us know your thoughts on these tips in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.