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I am very excited to share this blogpost with you today as I think you will find it to be very motivating. For some strange reason, I’ve never told you all about my badass client Caren Kilgore. Caren has been training with me online for 7-years now. She has been lifting for 10-years total. What I think is especially interesting about Caren is that she did not even start strength training until she was 48-years old.

strength training after middle age builds lean mass

Caren and Bret at the 2017 Fitness Summit

As you will see in the training highlight reel below, she has a very lean and muscular physique. Her scale weight has remained about the same for the last decade, so that means that she has not only increased her strength levels an appreciable amount (and arguably decelerated the aging process), but she has also packed on a considerable amount of lean mass while simultaneously decreasing body fat.

Most of my regular followers know that I frequently espouse the importance of progressive overload on this blog and on my social media posts. By adhering to these principles, Caren has gradually added muscle to her frame year after year. Her very first set of hip thrusts were with 80-lbs, and as you can see from the data below, she has succeeded at building enviable strength well into her 50’s.

Here’s a look at some of Caren’s PR’s from the last year (weight in lbs x # of reps):

Now check out this kick ass training compilation:

I sincerely hope that Caren’s journey inspires many people to follow suit. Much respect to Caren’s husband Tom who trains with her, pushes her, films her, tracks her progress, re-racks her weights, and supports her week in and week out – you’re good people Tom!

If you aren’t already strength training, it is never too late to start. Don’t ever forget – age ain’t nothin’ but a number.

Click HERE to check out Caren’s IG.


  • Karyn maniscalco says:

    Hey Bret , I have followed you for a number of years now and love this particular post. I am 48 and have been strength training about 7 years. I have considerable strength for my age and size but have noticed the past year some changes in my ability to accrue muscle mass. As estrogen levels drop is there a secret to this as I approach 50. I am not looking to take hormones ever. I have always been natural and keep varied training. I know increase in stress plays a role too so I’ve attributed some muscle loss to that. Any seminars planned on the specifics of training as you age (45 and over) ? So much to consider especially with women. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you in advance!

  • Lisa Jansen says:

    Awesome and so inspiring! At 46, this is what I am working toward. 👍

  • Tracy Sobb says:

    I love this! I’m 44 and love lifting. It’s the only time my confidence soars. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lea says:

    Hi Bret,
    Very inspiring story! Do you have any recommended web sites for women over 50 who want to keep what we’ve spent years building and make gains but are going through menopause?

  • CF says:

    I’ll be 60 this year and have only been training since 2013. I especially appreciate this post, Bret! I am also trying to gain muscle mass and finding it increasingly more difficult the older I get. Like Karyn above, I’d love to know any tips you might have in that regard. I’m quite lean & have tried increasing calories where I should be gaining but am not. No medical issues have been identified, and I log everything. I work out 6 days a week but am wondering if increasing rest days would help? What have you found with your older clients?

  • Twila says:

    Hi Bret,
    Awesome work with your client! I’ve read many of your articles and use your glute article as a reference.
    I’m 60 and started competing in Figure at 55, but now just strength train for golf. I’d love to work with you if you are interested in a postmenopausal female. IG is Twila.ifbbpro

  • Nora Arredondo says:

    Also over 50 and trying to build muscle and not seeing results like id like to. Whata the secret to building muscle over 50?

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