1. Have you installed the new JSF Mobile app? Check out all the details here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. One account & one avatar for all of JSF. Unified login and profile. Forum alerts on the main site, and more. Check out the details here: Forum & main site unified account feature is live!
    Dismiss Notice

lifting in your 50`s

Discussion in 'Introductions & Advice For Beginners' started by gareth, May 9, 2008.

  1. gareth

    gareth Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    This caucasian fellow (not so many around here) noticed me doing supersets today and his message was that guys over 50 who haven`t built a lot of muscle most likely never will so it`s no use doing fancy `mass building` routines. His advice to me was just to lift to gain strength and muscle might come as a spinoff.

    He must have read M & F forum as he reiterated the idea that just doing bench press, squats, deadlift is enough and `everything else will fall into place`.

    comments please.
     
  2. PlainGreyT

    PlainGreyT Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    2,160
    Likes Received:
    5
    Try telling that to carguy :madpimp:
     
    #2 PlainGreyT, May 9, 2008
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  3. Eagle Tree

    Eagle Tree Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd agree there! Carguy is an excellent example of what a couple of years lifting after 50 can do. I'm following that track too but way behind him. My change over 6 months has been marked and noticeable by all who know me.

    My own experience is that progress is slow and the chance of injury high if you get too aggressive and skirt the necessary rest, but there is continuous progress and it's way more rewarding than subtle changes. There simply has to be an affect from age, but that would be true in an yearly increasing manner for anyone at 30 or over, who hasn't embarked on a program of complete bulking principles (that is to say, who has never undertaken serious diet, rest between workouts and failure lifting methods). At 50, lets say a worst case scenario is a 25% decrease in bulking capability (I think that's a pessimistic view based on my reading). That looks to me like a 75% capability to bulk using the slightly modified versions of methods younger people would use. Works for me, 75% is great and it's probably more like 80%. If the fellow who advised you is say 38, tell him you feel bad that he's lost 8% of his recovery capability, he should consider slowing down a bit ;).

    I am not certain how much my slower progress relates to age and how much it relates to my body type. I didn't exactly slack in exercise and extremely heavy lifting in hard work for the first 52 years, If I'd had the body type many other men do, I would have bulked. For me, it takes meticulous effort to bulk and that was as true at 25 as it is now. I've proven that to myself, age is probably a factor but genetics are much bigger and I've chosen to put that out of my psyche in my goals.

    I would disagree on the exercises mentioned too. I started bulking with many isolation exercises and they had dramatic effect. I am having even better results from compounding exercises in my new routine. I'm now, in the previous two weeks (after sorting my routine a bit more), seeing instant results from mil presses and lying rows by separating them from other upper body workout, shoulders visibly coming outward. Another example is a combo of bb rows and pull-ups. My Lats seem to have nearly doubled in size in the six weeks that I've used these as the foundation of my back workout. Admittedly, deads, squats and BP have been right in there during this cycle so yes, they probably have a major impact on the other gains. From all I read of the folks here, those exercises quoted apply equally in systemic efficacy across all age ranges due to having the greatest impact on chemistry, I'm surprised the Lats were left out though?

    Just saying a complete program is really working for me even at 53 (54 in a couple of weeks). All the principles seem to apply that I see working for the younger people here. That goes for diet and sleep too. I'd like to think I have to work more for every gain I get due to age but I can't say that is actually true. There are young people who are ectomorphs on here that also have to work harder for their gains.

    There are differences in recovery that I'm certain are related to age. I don't experience much soreness now, but it never even starts until about 24 hours after a workout and stays with me for a couple days after that, my assumption being the growth is potentially happening at 72 hours and beyond? I'm not talking about any severe soreness, it's something i have to actually look for carefully and then I watch it as an indicator. That would suggest my recovery cycle is really slow, but that's workable. I would also bet (just a hunch) that some workouts are really inappropriate for this age, for example multiple full-body workouts in a week would probably take me backward really fast in terms of strength or bulking. My hunch says they would be very destructive. With slow recovery, it's a split for best results (I actually proved this by the first month running a 3 and 4 day cycle of muscle groups, strength and bulking did occur but I began to injure myself).

    On strength, I'm the strongest I've ever been in my life and that's following a bulking program. That seems counterintuitive, but I have the progressive increases over this six months to prove it. I've compared the strength levels with the EXRX strength chart (and other strength charts I've seen which cover more exercises) and in every area but one, I've gone from very pathetic sub-untrained to novice, and in two areas the intermediate for my weight (almost, I'm frankly not into finding my true 1RM in Deads and Squats because I don't want to risk injury). Now admittedly, the poundage most boast here doubles and triples what I can push and pull but that was always true throughout my life and comparing against myself, I'm way better than I ever was before. I don't bat an eye or think "I must be too old" when I see someone "complain" about a 270 BP as I saw last week, I compare against myself. The point here though is I've been working at bulking and getting bulk, not working at strength yet at 53, the strength changes are coming right along.

    More than anything, the biggest impediment to getting full benefit from lifting after 50 is the belief that one is too old to do it as younger people do. A good example is the book entitled something like "Resistance training after 50" (can't remember, I borrowed it from a friend). The recommendation is to use machines, i.e., baby yourself because your poor joints hurt, in the process, obviously the benefits become limited (good book BTW, just pointing out it's trying to do a sales job using a slightly easier, less painful path, god forbid we'd pick up a 7 foot olympic bar at 50 ;)). It may not be any different than when someone suggests you should stick to yoga, pilates, or the exercise bike. In doing so, you create your own frailty and destruction of muscle mass, slowdown is guaranteed and self-fulfilling. I think it's really limiting advice and our society seems to enjoy limiting based on age. I realize that is actually the fault of those over 50 making excuses for themselves but it becomes a societal paradigm. The only real limit comes by "not doing" while if you "do" the body will self regulate how you slow down based on you continuing to put out 100%. My thought is, find your own limits, suspect any advice which appears to set them for you.
     
  4. profdlp

    profdlp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen, and amen.

    I would discount any statistics based on an average group of people over age fifty for the following reasons:

    1) What Eagle Tree just mentioned
    2) The fact that if a person hasn't gotten around to trying a serious fitness regimen by age 50 they are far less likely to suddenly get all gung-ho on the subject to begin with.

    To paraphrase, most people who even dare to try an exercise program at that age go into it with the attitude that it probably won't work at all, and even if it does it won't work very well. There is nothing you can do in life - at any age -which is likely to turn out well under those circumstances.

    I would study the ones who buck the trend for both of the above categories and emulate them, i.e., don't feel like you won't be able to do it at all, and don't feel that a halfway effort is going to get it done.
     
  5. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Messages:
    3,449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, try telling that to carguy. Wait, I am carguy. I don't know what got into me at age 51 that made me take up weightlifting. Nothing in my life pointed me towards this. And once I started, I never thought about my age or ever thought that I wouldn't be doing squats, deadlifts, etc. I think I'm the only guy at my gym over 50 that squats in a traditional cage.

    I do think about injury potential but keep my weights moderate and realize that I can't put up numbers like a Big D or John Stone.

    It's just a fun, healthy pastime and it makes you stronger and look better.:nod:
     
  6. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,450
    Likes Received:
    11
    Another one of these blow-hard gym ornaments spewing sweeping generalizations.

    Dumb people think everyone is as dumb as they are.

    Firstly it's genetics.

    As well, there are a number of other important factors involved which will determine the results the individual will get.
    Especially when you are an ""older" lifter.

    But it can be done.
     
  7. gareth

    gareth Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    well probably this fellow was stereotyping - as he hadn`t been very successful he decided everyone else is not likely to be successful.

    But I suppose there is a point - if I try to put on mass but don`t have the right genes I `ll waste my time , but if I go for strength I am quite sure of some success and possibly get some muscle size.

    I think Dr Darden wrote in one of his books that if there aren`t any muscular members in the trainee`s family (extended family) he is not likely to make significant gains.
     
  8. Eagle Tree

    Eagle Tree Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    But you can put on mass without the right genes, you just can't have expectations of being a competitive bodybuilder. You will compete with self and surpass self by an amazing distance. It's definitely not a waste of time. If one tries and it's not working even for their own personal best, it's a good chance something is missing in the workout, diet or sleep methods. It's not genetics or age at that point.

    I could be wrong (and hope someone corrects it if I am) but if one is in the shallow end of the gene pool (as I am) targeting strength will not bring any bulk. People targeting strength get bulk when their chemistry is already working and they tend to easily grow lots of bulk fibers anyway (of course age also has a role in chemistry too and that is what we are working to manipulate by the correct program). On the other hand, I'm persuaded by my own experience that if you target bulk, you will gain strength. There is also a precedence with some noted bodybuilders that a program can be for bulking yet have sets for improving strength tossed in at calculated times in the workout schedule. Those aren't mutually exclusive as would be trying to mix either of those goals with endurance performance goals. This article, quoted on another thread yesterday, discusses mixing strength and bulking (though honestly about two people who swim at the very deepest end of the pool)
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/gastelu10.htm

    On Darden's comment, I'd bet it's the definition of "significant" and the motive behind the statement. My gains are very significant to me and they are nothing compared to someone of hot genetics and born in the latter part of last century. I would imagine the comment must have been about pragmatic expectations rather than outright discouragement. It wouldn't make sense when indeed gains can be had that are way more than satisfactory. I have seen a couple of posts by young ectomorphs who wanted to rise above everyone else in their goals. One wanted the body of a "superhero", we know weight lifting can't add 5 inches to ones stature nor 130 pounds ;). Downplaying that type of goal is smart since it's doomed and the person will give up completely. Maybe that is what Darden was trying to accomplish.
     
  9. steve50

    steve50 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Program for 50 plus

    Guys I am 52 and looking for a new program. I have been lifting 3 x a week for a year. On the current set and rep schedule and want something new. All exercises are. Two sets of 20 to 15 with. 1 minute rest. Full body squat, one arm rows ,dumbbell bench ,lateral raises, tri ext, curls, calf raises . Abs and cardio on tu,th,sat. What suggestions do you have ? I have been training my entire life and am in good shape. I keep the reps high to prevent injury. Thanks for the help.
    Steve
     
  10. steve50

    steve50 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interested in what your program is. Can you send me a link? Thanks Steve
     
  11. macdiver

    macdiver Well-Known Member
    Bronze Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,920
    Likes Received:
    34

    Welcome. There is a lot of good information on this site. Stick around and ask questions.


    You can look at the last few pages if my journal to get an idea of my current routine.

    I have tried strong lifts and variations of it. A lot of people like it but i didnt.

    I have also done push / pull/ leg splits that I liked. I also did a leg, chest & arm, back split that I liked.

    To me, liking the routine means there is a chance I will stay with it long enough to get results.

    Some websites I like for routines are the strength section on this site, a workout routine, and Scooby fitness. I'm sure there are others.

    What equipment do you have access to? Do you belong to a gym or workout at home?
     

Share This Page