T Nation

35+ Daily Squatting


I scanned down through the topics and didn't notice this being discussed yet so I'm making a new thread--I apologize if this has already been done to death.

Long story short. I tore my left biceps tendon, had surgery but the orthopedic doc has me doing no upper body exercises for months.

I managed to get around this slightly by using a Hise Shrug and going heavy on Front Squats. Not a perfect solution by surprisingly effective for now. I also rotate the back squat. Which then got me thinking.

Since I'm basically in a situation where I can only leg press of squat it serves as a perfect time to go on a leg specialization cycle. This of course led me to re-reading all the Bulgarian/Daily Max Squatting articles and forum threads.

I'm 43. Except for the bicep tendon I'm good and I've got many years lifting under my belt, mostly Dino-style.

Anyone here over 40 try the daily max squatting program and, if so, how did you fair?


Hi, I’m 43 too and I tore my right biceps at a powerlifting contest a little over 2 years ago. I began squatting about a week after I tore my biceps tendon. Fortunately, I have a safety squat bar so that made controlling the bar fairly easy, the hard part was getting 45 lbs plates on the bar. I alternated between heavy and light days and usually squatted 3-4 days a week.

My biceps tear was fairly severe and I wasn’t able to do any upper body movements for over a month which really caused a bunch of atrophy in my upper body. I didn’t do left arm exercises because I didn’t want to build an unbalanced strength or have lopsided hypertrophy. Now, I am returning to my former upper body strength, slowly, and my legs and back have remained strong.

I have done the every day squatting but I think I over did it too fast. I was squatting 500 lbs or better after about a month but it got to be too much stress on my body and no matter how much mobility work or stretching I did the every day was not for me. I feel like giving it another try with less weight and a slower progression to a high daily max but it seems like it’s not the most effective way to increase my PR max.


I was actually in the middle of a back specialization routine when this happened and, like you I have no desire to have lopsided hypertrophy.

Taking what you said s a basic theme I’m thinking of 5-6 x week squatting rotating front & back variations. Once I get back to my former top weights maybe I’ll shuffle back down to 4x’s then 3 then 2 as I try and push into new PR country.

As a side note 20 rep Hise Shrugs simply don’t get enough credit and I swear that when done body building style (arms crossed not O-style) that my yoke from upper back to shoulders and down to my abs are screaming.

I’ve always squatted but this focus lately on the front version really opened my eyes and how your body has to respond to the focus of stress.

Thanks for the note.


I don’t recall any bulgarian weightlifter competing much over the age of 30, let alone 40. And if you can name one who competed over the age of 30, i will then be able to name one who was competing dirty. Do you have access to “bulgarian” supplements? Perhaps the orthopedic surgeon can hook ya up. Hey give it a shot, the everyday thing i mean, and hell, hit up the doc too.

But i’d say you will wind up seeing him again for knee surgery. Having had major shoulder surgery, the best advice my surgeon gave me was leave it alone for 6-months and you will be good as new, don’t and you won’t. No squatting, no jogging, no nothing, leave it alone. After reading an article by Louie Simmons I called called my doc and asked “can i go for walks?” and he said sure.

So for 6 fn months i walked 5 miles a day. Then after 6 months eased back into things. Today i clean and jerk 30 Kg more than before the surgery. Just be a bit cautious cause shit don’t heal as fast at our age, i’m 54.



Have to agree about being cautious. My doctor and physical therapist extensively warned me about not doing any lifting after but I didn’t listen and I credit me having a quicker recovery than the protocol by many months. I have a physical job and I work outside.

The medical pro’s told me no physical work for a month after the operation but I have a family and bills so that was out of the question. I took 10 days off after the operation and back to work. So, I added in very progressively small amounts of lifting, being very cautious about not hurting myself and I made incredible progress. I did many exercises to aid recovery in range of motion, self massage, and I payed close attention to how far I could push myself before there was pain.

When there was pain I stopped what I was doing, no questions and chalked it up to being healthy to lift another day. I didn’t take any steroids and I just worked hard and smart. Hope you heal well and get strong.
I’m going to incorporate some Hise Shrugs into my routine after my powerlifting meet next week. I love front squats too. Onwards and Upwards.


I have to agree, I really don’t think I could find a competing Bulgarian over 30. In fact I think the last google I did on Bulgarians after reading Jon Broz was that one recent Olympics the whole team bombed the drug test.

My thinking was people make good progress doing full body routines 3x’s per week. Now legs and glutes and hammies are huge muscles–but not the WHOLE body, so maybe by just hitting that magic man builder; the squat, frequently I would still be within my recovery capabilities.

However it goes without saying that I’m A) not interested in a SECOND injury and B) a 19yo Bulgarian–so good points.

I do think I might get away with a Squat, Front Squat, Leg Press in place of my old training split but I’ll take it slow and for sure now, I think, drop the idea of daily squatting.

Appreciate the feedback.