T Nation

44 Year Old Looking for Feed Back


I'm 44 years old, 5'7 158lbs bf about 15%. I've been working out for years and tried all sorts of different workouts in the hopes of gaining more muscle. I've tried more reps/less reps, more sets/less sets, more days rest/less day rest and nothing ever seemed to make a difference.

About 4 months ago, becuase of some other issues I was having too, I went to have my T tested. It was around 300 and found a doc that would put me on TRT. I am doing cream now and have got my T up to the mid 600's now, but I am still not seeing much difference in the gym.

Wanted to try to get some feedback to see what others thought. My main goal would be increasing my current muscle size (seeing some results for the effort I put in). Besides weights, I am doing light cardio about 2 twice a week. Not getting my heart rate over 130, for 30 minuites on machines at the gym.

Monday: Back/Biceps

Pull ups 4 sets as many as possible.
Lat Pull Downs 3 sets of 8-10
One armed dumbbell rows 3 sets of 8-10
seated rows 3 sets of 8-10
bicep curls 3 sets of 8-10
hammer curls 3 sets of 8-10

Wed: Chest/Shoulder/Triceps

Bench press 3 sets of 8-10
Dips 3 sets of 10
Shoulder press 3 sets of 8-10
pec deck flyes 3 sets of 12-15
Incline press 3 sets of 8-10
skull crushers 3 sets of 8-10

Fri: Legs
Squats 3 sets of 8-10
Deadlifts 3 sets of 8-10
Leg extensions 3 sets of 8-10
Leg curls 3 sets of 8-10


If you want anyone to make productive suggestions, you need to give an idea of what your eating/supplementation is like. Good workout + bad nutrition = no gains.


What is you diet like? What about your Peri-workout nutrition protocol?


Hi...welcome to the forums...have you ever considered the 5 x 5 workout scheme?


Welcome, TMan. Hmm, I was just over on the Beginner's logs when one guy had exactly the same problem. I gave some advice on diet, another guy suggested 5/3/1 or 5x5, that was about it. Then some other guys chimed in with conflicting advice and the poor guy got completely confused.

Anyway, glad you're making the main lifts your core workout. Deads same day as squat, can you put much effort into that or do you get wiped out?

fortunately, the folks on Over 35 tend to be a bit realistic about things, we'll help you get things straightened out.


Thanks for the feed back sofar. Think I have probably gotten alot of conflicing info over the years and what I am doing now is probably just an accumulation of incomplete information. Don't be afraid to insult me with basics, becuase I am not sure what I have is a good foundation. Here is the diet info.

Typical day would look as follows:
Breakfast : 3 eggs and oatmeal, glass of milk or Protein shake (currently have OhYeah)
Lunch: Sandwich or large salad
Dinner: Lean meat and some sort of green vegetable
Before Bed: Protein Shake.
If you have links to any other post that might be helpful, let me know.


Just chiming in on the nutrition side which i have had to take a serious look at myself recently.

I don't think you are eating enough here to get an anabolic (muscle building effect) usual rule being that you need to be at least 500kcal over maintenance to get any muscle synthesis happening ...as important is that you only have a narrow window of oppurtunity to get some muscle growth via nutrition and that is in the 2 hours post workout.

As a first thought try to have a hit of carbs and protein immediately after your workout.

(posting here as a relative beginner but very into the physiology of it all)


Re diet--Can you provide estimates of your daily macros (cals, protein, carbs, fat)? If your goal is to get bigger/stronger, I suspect you're not eating enough.

Re training, one question and one observation:

Question: How intensely do you train? Are you doing any forced reps, drop sets, pre-exhaustion, etc? How much time passes between sets?

Observation: Your split (pull/push/legs) is fine, but I notice you're only working each bodypart once/week. Is that because of time constraints? In general, how much time (days/week, hours/day) can you spare for lifting?


Cavalier, forgot to ask for a link to the guy over on the Beginner's Forum.


What would you recommend for the post-workout hit?


Not really sure on the daily macros. Probably not consistant enough to try to calculate. Do you know of a model with some sort of structure I could imulate for my weight? I have tried the 6 meals a day at one point and never saw any differnece execpt I got tiered of eating. That was pre TRT, which I have only been on for 4 Months.

As far as training, I am not doing any of the protocals you discuss. I am going to failure on the sets I do. I am usually at 45sec. to min. between sets. I generally would have an hour a day for 6 days a week to workout (to include any cardio). I went to 3 days a week with weights because I was afraid I might be overtraining at 4 days a week. Never have really seen a differnce in gains between 3 or 4 days a week.


Don't really have one right now. What would you recommend? Someone else mentioned post-workout protocal. Whould I want to do both?


What would that protocal look like for a given week?

Thanks for the welcome. Wish I had found this place years ago.


Re diet: I recommend a carb-cycling approach. You can tailor it to your goals (increase muscle, lose fat, etc). I like this article:


Re training: I think you need to train more frequently. Consider a 3 on, 1 off routine with your current bodypart splits; ie, Day 1 pull, Day 2 legs, Day 3 push, Day 4 off, then repeat. (Note I moved your Leg day between the two upper-body days.) This way you're working everything once every 4 days, not every 7 as now. If you find you're not fully recovered, you can throw an extra rest day in there to make it an 'every 5 day' regimen.

I would drop the deadlifts for now, as they don't mesh well with your preferred split.

We can talk about tweaking your exercises (you're doing too much of some things, not enough of others in my opinion). However, moreso than any specific exercises, training intensity is the key to getting bigger. Thus, you need to start adding 1-2 forced reps (the best intensity-increaser IMHO) to the majority of your post-warm-up sets. If no one is available to spot you, do dropped sets, or work on machines that allow you to force-rep yourself.

So, three big changes:
1) proper diet
2) more frequent workouts
3) more intense workouts

Do these, and the results you seek are sure to follow.


I don't think you need to carb cycle or do anything more complicated than simply being consistent with your intake. You make the comment that your daily macros probably aren't consistent enough to calculate. Your first step before you do anything is to get that changed.

Be consistent in your eating. Eating the same thing everyday is boring but works well. It sounds like you need to have your meals planned out ahead of time. Do that. Getting enough calories in is way more important than peri-workout nutrition or timing when you get your carbs. You're simply trying to gain muscle right? Not hit the stage?

How consistent are you with your training? Do you hit the gym routinely and consistently or do you miss days here and there? That's going to make a big difference too. I'm of the opinion that you can use any plan at first whether it's 5*5, 5,3,1, HP Mass, etc.

If you believe in the program then you'll put your all into it and you'll make gains. If you don't believe in it and don't stick to it then you won't. I'd rather have a 70% good plan that is given 100% than a 100% good plan that is stuck to 70% of the time.

No need to make this complicated. You need to be consistent, have a plan, and stick to that plan. Keep your plan simple for now because you want to be able to stick with it. Start a training log and put in your goals, your schedule, and your plan to hit those goals.

Don't change things up all the time. Everyone has an opinion on what works best so it's easy to get lost in it all. You're a beginner (like I am) so all you need to do is keep it simple and be consistent.

Best of luck.



Thanks for the input! Could you give me some more input on the exersices/sets/reps for the Pull/LEGS/Push. Just looking for a starting place.

Thanks for the suggestion on the forced reps.


Thanks for the input. I'm more of a planner. Any input on a consitat meal plan?


Here's a good place to start. You're going to have to do a bit of research on your own though.


You could also try precision nutrition for some ideas. I guess my point is that you simply need to figure out how many calories you need and make sure you eat it. It's going to require some work on your part though and unless you're willing to put that work in (both in research and sticking to it) then you're not going to make any gains.

I would also spend some time reading a few of the logs here for ideas.



My pleasure...I hope you don't get information overload at all. Remember the principle of individual differences. The best 5 x 5 protocol I have found is by going to stronglifts.com or signing up on their Facebook page...you will get a PDF that outlines the workouts.



Welcome aboard! At the risk of reposting, I have found a lot of very good information on nutrition and programs in the stickies at the front of the Beginners Forum:


Your issues seem to be very similar to others who post here, and hopefully that information is helpful. Most of their audience are not beginners, rather people who have hit a wall or for the first time have seen their progress plateau. There is more information here than you can shake a stick at, so do follow as many of the links as time allows. The first five responses to most posts in the beginners section are a variation of, "What EXACTLY did you eat today?"