T Nation

62 Year Old, Questions After Two Months

I am a 62 year old guy who has been working out for 2 months now. I have been reading reams of your writings on this web site and have a few questions.

I work out 4 days per week, I work out total body using mostly machines because I have been working on getting my core built up before moving to free weights. I am moving more and more to free weights over the past couple of weeks.

I have read what you have to say about recovery time and am wondering if I am taking enough time off from lifting to let my body recover since I am so much older than most beginners. I work out 4 days per week, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. My ‘one goal’ is size, with some strength thrown in. My routine is to use the treadmill for 30 mins, weight training for approximately 2 hours then back on the treadmill for another 45 minutes.

By the way, I am 5’8 tall, lost 31 pounds over the last 3 months and am floating between 148 and 150 over the past couple of weeks, I believe I have leveled out on weight loss. My diet is meats, mostly fish and chicken with beef thrown in on occasion, veggies and fruits.

Question 1: should I be taking more time off for recovery or are Monday, Wednesday and Friday good enough between workouts? Or should I stagger what parts of the body are being worked such as upper body on Tuesday, Lower on Thursday, abs and back on Saturday and back to upper body on Sunday?

Question 2: I have had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders over a year ago and both are very weak when pressing overhead and when using a horizontal press machine. My right shoulder is much weaker than my left and in an overhead press I can get no more than 30 pounds over my head with my right arm, this is getting better as in the beginning I could only get 10 lbs over my head with that arm. Should I forsake press machines and go to free weight exclusively when pressing and work both arms seperately? What I am concerned about is one shoulder being stronger than the other causing inequality in my lifting.

Question 3: I have been using abdominal machines and leg lifts to work out my abbs but I notice no amount of soreness in my abbs. I know I’m not supposed to have a lot of soreness but I believe I should feel something there after using these machines over and over. I think my back is taking the brunt of my abbs exercises and is getting me nowhere. What would be a good abbs exercise to target those muscles MOSTLY? Or maybe I have a gut of iron and just can’t see the 6 pack for that 1/2 inch of fat that’s still hanging around there. :slight_smile: ( that last sentence was actually a joke)

I guess that’s enough for now.


If you only goal is size why did you lose 30lbs and go to 150? You need to get strong to get bigger, free weights work.

Because 30 pounds of fat is not muscle.

Question 1: As you age you do need to increase your recovery time, but body awareness will tell you how much. This is really a function of how hard you are pushing yourself.

Question 2: For the rotator cuff, after you complete PT work, excessive guarding is the real risk, and I recommend the study of Feldenkrais to deal with this.

Question 3: For core I recommend Pilates, which will kick your butt. The core is complex, and is much more than your abs.

I’m a 68-year old Ironman athlete, and I really like to stay fit. It is good to talk to another older fart

Keep up the good work.

-k @FitOldDog aka kevin morgan