T Nation

45 Year Old Beginner Doubts

Hi, everyone.

Started lifting in August, without any real fitness background, with the Starting Strength program (well, sort of SS, I do floor presses instead of bench presses, increase weight every other workout or every week, and then only 4.4 lb (2 Kg), no auxiliary work).

I’m still progressing in Squats and DL but I’m beginning to fail too often in floor presses, PC and the press. I’m 5.7 172 lb (up from 165) and squat 212/FP 132/DL 228 Press 100, PC can’t get past 110)

FWIW My goals are:

a) Not to injure myself
b) Achieve a decent strength level, which I think that in my case would be being able to squat 260 lb, DL 330 FP 160)

My doubts are mainly:

a) Are my goals realistic? I know that, as per any strength standard they are nothing to write home about, but I mean realistic for a 45 yo that has never trained.
b) Should I stick to SS or linear progression is over for me in FP, PC and OHP and I should try another program. If, so what would you recommend. I’m going to ask this at SS forums but I think that the answer is going to be SS all the way.
C) Supplements. Are they useful/necessary with this weights at my age?

Any input is highly appreciated.

P.S: Hope this is the right forum, if not please move to beginners or where appropriate

a) Your goals are not high enough to be long term goals. They are short term goals. You can do them. Just keep going.

Oh, and age is irrelevant. Age is like having long levers or being short or tall. Its just another factor but not a limiting one.

b) You/ve been lifting for 3 months. Its not time to change your program. Keep going. Stick to the program. The SS one. Just do it.

c) No. You just need to get your diet nailed first. THEN you can think of supplements. A supplement is something you add to make your diet complete. You don’t need some fancy schmancy pre-peri-post workout supplement regime. If you are eating right, you will have everything you need to grow and progress. If you want guidance with that, post your diet.

Your goals are very reasonable. I weigh what you do, am 6ft, 51 yrs old. You have a better height:weight ratio than I do so I think your goal numbers might even be low, but I guess they would depend on your body comp at your current weight.

Supplements help me, when I remember to take them, but don’t seem to be strictly necessary. I just feel better when I take them.

Fractional plates (.25, .5,.74 and 1lb ) can give your body time to adapt and still do linear progression.

Hopefully, some of the more experienced/successful lifters on the forum will provide some advice for you as well.

[quote]DaCharmingAlbino wrote:

Supplements help me, when I remember to take them, but don’t seem to be strictly necessary. I just feel better when I take them.
[/quote]

This is how the supplement industry works. Like the fashion industry. Heck, like the entire capitalist system works. You convince people they must have something to fix their inner demons. Like a new iPhone, a new pair of shoes, this car, that boat, this supplement. When you find and feed on the insecurity, people will pay anything.

Just post your diet. Its really much simpler than you think.

Based on my experience, it will take several years to reach those goals. You must keep training diligently. Keep with your program. Definitely check on your diet.

I’ve been training for 40 years, concentrating on powerlifting a little over 10 years ago, and I haven’t reached those goals, so it takes time. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

First off welcome - you are in the right place.

You are reading Rippletoe - that’s smart for a beginner. Wish I would have done that. That program will work for several years.

I started at about your age but you are stronger than I was then.

Looking back, I wish I had some good coaching on squat, deadlift, benchpress, and OHP form. Would have helped avoid injuries. Something you might want to look into.

I had similar goals I wrote down - still have them but don’t look at them much anymore.

In terms of supplements since you are strength training they may help whatever may be lacking in your diet. Protein and Creatine seem to help folks. I usually just supplement with some protein after a morning workout because I don’t get enough in my normal diet.

Have fun!

[quote]Triceptaurus wrote:

[quote]DaCharmingAlbino wrote:

Supplements help me, when I remember to take them, but don’t seem to be strictly necessary. I just feel better when I take them.
[/quote]

This is how the supplement industry works. Like the fashion industry. Heck, like the entire capitalist system works. You convince people they must have something to fix their inner demons. Like a new iPhone, a new pair of shoes, this car, that boat, this supplement. When you find and feed on the insecurity, people will pay anything.

Just post your diet. Its really much simpler than you think.[/quote]

I just meant a multivitamin, CalMagZinc and Vitamin D. I forget about those specialty supplements since I don’t use them. And I agree with you, BTW.

I agree with everyone’s advice thus far. No need to change your program.

Definitely agree with OP about making sure your form is good in that it will help prevent injuries. The good news in that category is there is more information than ever available to help you dial in your form if you need, including lots of videos by some of the best lifters and teachers around.

I would agree with Triceptaurus that you don’t need supplements, particularly specialty supplements but if you are looking for some inexpensive options that are foundation supplements, as mentioned a multi-vitamin, creatine and a decent quality protein powder are all good choices.

[quote]cavalier wrote:
Based on my experience, it will take several years to reach those goals. [quote]

Years? Wow, I wasn’t expecting that!

You must keep training diligently. Keep with your program. Definitely check on your diet.

I’ve been training for 40 years, concentrating on powerlifting a little over 10 years ago, and I haven’t reached those goals, so it takes time. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.[/quote]

Thanks everyone for chiming in.

Regarding my diet, on a good day is something like this:

07:00 a banana and a yoghourt (4,4 oz), maybe some nuts
10:00 a ham sandwich
13:00 meat/chicken 100-150g with salad/vegetables
17:00 a protein bar (bought one one day I was ahungry and now I have a stash in my desk)
19:00 a banan and yohgourt after workout (that’s M-W-F)
21:30 100 g of fish and vegetables

Good days are 3-5 per week. The rest I eat less or eat junk.

I do agree with the majority of previous suggestions.
I started at 54 and the difference from young ones is recovering from injuries.

It is costly to correct, accupuncture, time wasted etc…
So i would ( if i was starting in my 40 +) pay for a coach about 2-3 times about 2-3 weeks apart for proper teaching and correcting.
Read and learn. Ask and learn.
Listen, we are not 100% ideally built so some shoulder structure should use neutral grip or even better free joints mouvement options like dumbbells or rings or 2 free rotating handles. Joints are under pressures and by reading and listening you will find they might limit us if we abuse them so some sort of pain with new mouvement is natural but stop when the pain is the bad kind.
All the best !

The most important thing for me was to get a schedule which was set (only an emergency would change it). Don’t make your workout time at 3:00 in the afternoon if you know there will be a number of times you have to miss it for work, kids, etc. Also, again for me, writing down everything I eat has been a huge help.

It has been an eye opener, if I have to write down that I ate a cookie, not much chance of me having it. Intermittent Fasting (16-8) has been incredible for me. At 53 and 6’5" I have four abs showing most of the time for the first time (six pack on the way). Carb cycling has also been great for me; workout days I eat a fair amount of carbs and protein and non-workout days mostly protein and fat.

I try to keep it simple; full body workout three days a week focusing on the primary lifts (deadlift and its variations, bench variations, press, occasionally squats, but mostly leg press) and at least one, sometimes two cardio sessions a week (alternate HIIT and LISS); finally, most nights at home when otherwise wasting time with the TV I do planks, pushups and misc bodyweight exercises.

Start slow with proper form and light weights until you get the movement dialed in or you will get a shit storm of nagging injuries. I wouldn’t worry too much about the amount of weight, slow and steady always wins the race.

Supps: don’t just buy stuff to have it, do the basics first, proper diet, lots of water, flossing your teeth at least daily; if you aren’t doing this nothing else will matter; then add protein (for convenience), fish oil, vit D, a multi. Only after all of this has been in place for a while, look at other things.

Best of luck (not really luck, as much as sweat, preparation and dedication).

[quote]BHappy wrote:
I do agree with the majority of previous suggestions.
I started at 54 and the difference from young ones is recovering from injuries.

It is costly to correct, accupuncture, time wasted etc…
So i would ( if i was starting in my 40 +) pay for a coach about 2-3 times about 2-3 weeks apart for proper teaching and correcting.
Read and learn. Ask and learn.
Listen, we are not 100% ideally built so some shoulder structure should use neutral grip or even better free joints mouvement options like dumbbells or rings or 2 free rotating handles. Joints are under pressures and by reading and listening you will find they might limit us if we abuse them so some sort of pain with new mouvement is natural but stop when the pain is the bad kind.
All the best ![/quote]

Caoching is not an option for me unfortunately. No coaches in my neck of the wood. I bought Starting Strenght Barbell training to get more info on how to properly do the lifts.

The odd thing is that was doing fine pain wise, and since you mentioned my wrists have started to ache and my triceps and forearms are continuously sore.

I’ve switched to low bar in the squats and will be deloading 15-20% in the press and PC and see how it goes.

[quote]gulfcoast wrote:
The most important thing for me was to get a schedule which was set (only an emergency would change it). Don’t make your workout time at 3:00 in the afternoon if you know there will be a number of times you have to miss it for work, kids, etc. Also, again for me, writing down everything I eat has been a huge help.

It has been an eye opener, if I have to write down that I ate a cookie, not much chance of me having it. Intermittent Fasting (16-8) has been incredible for me. At 53 and 6’5" I have four abs showing most of the time for the first time (six pack on the way). Carb cycling has also been great for me; workout days I eat a fair amount of carbs and protein and non-workout days mostly protein and fat.[/quote]

That’s sounds interesting, I’ll give it a try.

That’s probably more than I can currently handle. When I’m stronger I’d like to add some cardio.

Since I’m doing SS, you need to add weight every workout. Having a goal has kept my motivation up until now and haven’t missed a workout in almost 3 months. Now that it’s harder to add weight, I guess I’ll see what I’m made of

[quote] Supps: don’t just buy stuff to have it, do the basics first, proper diet, lots of water, flossing your teeth at least daily; if you aren’t doing this nothing else will matter; then add protein (for convenience), fish oil, vit D, a multi. Only after all of this has been in place for a while, look at other things.

Best of luck (not really luck, as much as sweat, preparation and dedication).[/quote]

What’s flossing got to do with anything, btw?

[quote]oldbgn wrote:
What’s flossing got to do with anything, btw?
[/quote]

I’m kinda curious about this one as well. I know flossing is important, but I’ve never heard of any 500+ lbs. squatters listing flossing as a reason for their strength gains.

[quote]oldbgn wrote:
Hi, everyone.

Started lifting in August, without any real fitness background, with the Starting Strength program (well, sort of SS, I do floor presses instead of bench presses, increase weight every other workout or every week, and then only 4.4 lb (2 Kg), no auxiliary work).

I’m still progressing in Squats and DL but I’m beginning to fail too often in floor presses, PC and the press. I’m 5.7 172 lb (up from 165) and squat 212/FP 132/DL 228 Press 100, PC can’t get past 110)

FWIW My goals are:

a) Not to injure myself
b) Achieve a decent strength level, which I think that in my case would be being able to squat 260 lb, DL 330 FP 160)

My doubts are mainly:

a) Are my goals realistic? I know that, as per any strength standard they are nothing to write home about, but I mean realistic for a 45 yo that has never trained.
b) Should I stick to SS or linear progression is over for me in FP, PC and OHP and I should try another program. If, so what would you recommend. I’m going to ask this at SS forums but I think that the answer is going to be SS all the way.
C) Supplements. Are they useful/necessary with this weights at my age?

Any input is highly appreciated.

P.S: Hope this is the right forum, if not please move to beginners or where appropriate[/quote]

a) are your goals realistic? depends on you as an individual. some people can get much stronger than that, some cant. but thats not the point. the point is to keep on trying.
b) yes, until you feel like a change, then change and do that until you feel like a change etc etc etc.
c)maybe, some need them, some dont, give some a try and see but in any case eat well before using supps

do that for 10 years and no matter whether you reach your goals or not, youll be stronger than if you hadnt lifted for those 10 years

then do it for another 10 years

then do it for another 10 years

you get the gist

[quote]oldbgn wrote:

I’ve switched to low bar in the squats and will be deloading 15-20% in the press and PC and see how it goes.[/quote]

Looks like I will have to deload on the floor press. Last succesful weight was 137lb a week ago, tried 141 several times and failed to complete 3x5. Today tried 139 and couldn’t do one rep, tried 128 , no cigar.

My triceps gave up on me. They’re sore all the time.

Do you guys take aspirin or something like that for muscle soreness?

[quote]oldbgn wrote:
Thanks everyone for chiming in.

Regarding my diet, on a good day is something like this:

07:00 a banana and a yoghourt (4,4 oz), maybe some nuts
10:00 a ham sandwich
13:00 meat/chicken 100-150g with salad/vegetables
17:00 a protein bar (bought one one day I was ahungry and now I have a stash in my desk)
19:00 a banan and yohgourt after workout (that’s M-W-F)
21:30 100 g of fish and vegetables

Good days are 3-5 per week. The rest I eat less or eat junk.

[/quote]

The first thing I would recommend you do at the very east is, take the meals where you eat the banana and yogurt, put them in a blender with 30-40g of whey protein powder and water/milk then drink that instead.

[quote]oldbgn wrote:
Hi, everyone.

Started lifting in August, without any real fitness background, with the Starting Strength program (well, sort of SS, I do floor presses instead of bench presses, increase weight every other workout or every week, and then only 4.4 lb (2 Kg), no auxiliary work).

I’m still progressing in Squats and DL but I’m beginning to fail too often in floor presses, PC and the press. I’m 5.7 172 lb (up from 165) and squat 212/FP 132/DL 228 Press 100, PC can’t get past 110)

FWIW My goals are:

a) Not to injure myself
b) Achieve a decent strength level, which I think that in my case would be being able to squat 260 lb, DL 330 FP 160)

My doubts are mainly:

a) Are my goals realistic? I know that, as per any strength standard they are nothing to write home about, but I mean realistic for a 45 yo that has never trained.
b) Should I stick to SS or linear progression is over for me in FP, PC and OHP and I should try another program. If, so what would you recommend. I’m going to ask this at SS forums but I think that the answer is going to be SS all the way.
C) Supplements. Are they useful/necessary with this weights at my age?

Any input is highly appreciated.

P.S: Hope this is the right forum, if not please move to beginners or where appropriate[/quote]

Next, I would take out the word “can’t” where you used it in this post. I know for a fact that you CAN reach these goals. It’s a fact…It’s science

You’re goals are:

a) Not to injure myself
b) 1st strength goal is to get to: squat 260 lb, DL 330 FP 160)