T Nation

Advice From Vets for Young Bucks

What’s up guys, I thought this might be a good topic (sorry if it’s been posted already).

For all you older guys out there still training, what advice would you give the younger guys such as myself (age 20) to help things such as my joints, muscles and just overall body feeling good for down the road in 20, 30 or however many years?

I am only 32, but my advice is - take care of your shoulders! Don’t feel you have to do military press and bench in the same workout twice a week. Do external rotator work. Do upper back work. Strengthen the shoulder rotator cuff.

Some advice for young guys?

I’m 47 years old, been doing this since I was 15 years old, and I have a few things to tell you about taking care of your joints for the long haul, and lifting in general.

  1. Stick to compound movements, I know this is said over and over again on this site but it is the most basic truth for any lifter at any age. Compound movements exercise the largest number of muscles in the least amount of time.

  2. If it hurts to do an excersise STOP don’t do it, no matter how much someone tells you that you need a specific movement to develop muscles in a specific area, you aren’t going to develop any muscle in a given area if you injure it and can’t train!!!

  3. Perfect Form in excercises. Put your ego aside and forget about how much weight you lift in any given movement. USE PERFECT FORM!!! What good is it if you manage to cheat a 400 lbs. bench up and hurt yourself in the process and can’t lift for weeks after. Sure go heavy, but NEVER let the form go to get the weight!!

  4. Forget about any magic bullet type supplements, I’ve seen hundreds of supplements come and go on the market, each claiming to be the end all in muscle gains. Pure BS!!

Eat a clean diet and get a gram of protein per pound of body weight use your BCAAs during and after you lifts. Maybe some vitamins and as you get older, digestive enzymes. But don’t ever feel like you are missing anything if you haven’t got the money for the latest greatest supplement out there. Don’t worry it will pass and there will be another on the way to replace it.

  1. Keep your workouts simple and achievable. If you plan a workout that takes you 3 hours but can only find the time to get it in once a week what good is it? Plan lifts that you can complete in a reasonble amount of time and can do them successfully everytime you get in the gym.

  2. Warm up and stretch before you start and do your least favorite exercises first. Even if you don’t think that you need the stretching now, just make it part of your routine and get used to doing it, you’ll thank me in 20 years from now if you do.

Also I use my least favorite exercises as a follow up to my warm up, and get them done first and save my favorite exercises for last. Reason is that I’ll blow off the exercises I don’t like (calves and abs) if I leave them until the end of the workout.

  1. Read T-Nation and anyother sources of information about what you are doing (lifting weights), no matter how much you learn there is always more to learn and apply. AND if you don’t understand something then ask, there are plenty of really good people on this and other sites that will help you if you ask!!

That’s about it, good luck and happy lifting.

[quote]starsil9 wrote:
Some advice for young guys?

I’m 47 years old, been doing this since I was 15 years old, and I have a few things to tell you about taking care of your joints for the long haul, and lifting in general.

  1. Stick to compound movements, I know this is said over and over again on this site but it is the most basic truth for any lifter at any age. Compound movements exercise the largest number of muscles in the least amount of time.

  2. If it hurts to do an excersise STOP don’t do it, no matter how much someone tells you that you need a specific movement to develop muscles in a specific area, you aren’t going to develop any muscle in a given area if you injure it and can’t train!!!

  3. Perfect Form in excercises. Put your ego aside and forget about how much weight you lift in any given movement. USE PERFECT FORM!!! What good is it if you manage to cheat a 400 lbs. bench up and hurt yourself in the process and can’t lift for weeks after. Sure go heavy, but NEVER let the form go to get the weight!!

  4. Forget about any magic bullet type supplements, I’ve seen hundreds of supplements come and go on the market, each claiming to be the end all in muscle gains. Pure BS!!

Eat a clean diet and get a gram of protein per pound of body weight use your BCAAs during and after you lifts. Maybe some vitamins and as you get older, digestive enzymes. But don’t ever feel like you are missing anything if you haven’t got the money for the latest greatest supplement out there. Don’t worry it will pass and there will be another on the way to replace it.

  1. Keep your workouts simple and achievable. If you plan a workout that takes you 3 hours but can only find the time to get it in once a week what good is it? Plan lifts that you can complete in a reasonble amount of time and can do them successfully everytime you get in the gym.

  2. Warm up and stretch before you start and do your least favorite exercises first. Even if you don’t think that you need the stretching now, just make it part of your routine and get used to doing it, you’ll thank me in 20 years from now if you do.

Also I use my least favorite exercises as a follow up to my warm up, and get them done first and save my favorite exercises for last. Reason is that I’ll blow off the exercises I don’t like (calves and abs) if I leave them until the end of the workout.

  1. Read T-Nation and anyother sources of information about what you are doing (lifting weights), no matter how much you learn there is always more to learn and apply. AND if you don’t understand something then ask, there are plenty of really good people on this and other sites that will help you if you ask!!

That’s about it, good luck and happy lifting.[/quote]

this is a great post, simple, logical,
“especially the supplement part”.

Only 32 here as well but lifting on/off for 16 years. 100% agreement with post above about taking care of your shoulders. As a general rule, do just one hard compound pressing movement per workout and any remaining shoulder work should be prehab-type stuff (external rotations, overhead squat-type movements, etc…).

Your delts will grow just fine without hammering them.

Also, dedicate one workout a week to yoga, pilates or Davies’ Seasoned Warrior-type stuff. You’ll not only recover better in the short term but you WILL stay healthier long term as well.

Funny how as I age, the makeup of my lifting volume has slowly shifted away from pure heavy stuff to about 50% heavy/fast lifts and 50% prehab/addressing strength imbalances.

[quote]starsil9 wrote:
Some advice for young guys?

I’m 47 years old, been doing this since I was 15 years old, and I have a few things to tell you about taking care of your joints for the long haul, and lifting in general.

  1. Stick to compound movements, I know this is said over and over again on this site but it is the most basic truth for any lifter at any age. Compound movements exercise the largest number of muscles in the least amount of time.

  2. If it hurts to do an excersise STOP don’t do it, no matter how much someone tells you that you need a specific movement to develop muscles in a specific area, you aren’t going to develop any muscle in a given area if you injure it and can’t train!!!

  3. Perfect Form in excercises. Put your ego aside and forget about how much weight you lift in any given movement. USE PERFECT FORM!!! What good is it if you manage to cheat a 400 lbs. bench up and hurt yourself in the process and can’t lift for weeks after. Sure go heavy, but NEVER let the form go to get the weight!!

  4. Forget about any magic bullet type supplements, I’ve seen hundreds of supplements come and go on the market, each claiming to be the end all in muscle gains. Pure BS!!

Eat a clean diet and get a gram of protein per pound of body weight use your BCAAs during and after you lifts. Maybe some vitamins and as you get older, digestive enzymes. But don’t ever feel like you are missing anything if you haven’t got the money for the latest greatest supplement out there. Don’t worry it will pass and there will be another on the way to replace it.

  1. Keep your workouts simple and achievable. If you plan a workout that takes you 3 hours but can only find the time to get it in once a week what good is it? Plan lifts that you can complete in a reasonble amount of time and can do them successfully everytime you get in the gym.

  2. Warm up and stretch before you start and do your least favorite exercises first. Even if you don’t think that you need the stretching now, just make it part of your routine and get used to doing it, you’ll thank me in 20 years from now if you do.

Also I use my least favorite exercises as a follow up to my warm up, and get them done first and save my favorite exercises for last. Reason is that I’ll blow off the exercises I don’t like (calves and abs) if I leave them until the end of the workout.

  1. Read T-Nation and anyother sources of information about what you are doing (lifting weights), no matter how much you learn there is always more to learn and apply. AND if you don’t understand something then ask, there are plenty of really good people on this and other sites that will help you if you ask!!

That’s about it, good luck and happy lifting.[/quote]

As previously stated, this really is a very good post. This sums it up very well.

OP, put this into practice and you’ll be ahead of the game.

great input so far.

Excellent points by Starsil9. It’s rare to see as a young pup as him so wise. :slight_smile:

The only thing I would add is to not neglect doing a week or two in every cycle of high rep work (15 reps) to assist your joints and connective tissues. That will help you stay injury free.

Oh yeah. As you progress, you will need to add isos to balance your body out.

Only 31 here… training for 14 years, but have a couple of points to add.
Dont be afraid to take a week off here and there, learn as much as you can about nutrition and be extremely cautious not to overtrain. There is no reason at all the spend the time in the gym that 80 of guys typically do.
See Ya

Morning Guys,

Just for the supps:

I find the fish-oil increasingly important, and adding the PWD?s has probably been the most important adjustment to my training ever.
(shames me to admit it?s only been 1 yr)

Other than that 1 hour 3 times a week has been fine for me (time spent ogling cks is x-tra)

lift hard

Hello

Broadly agree with everything thats been said.

Some of my own words of wisdom (age 48, trained plus other sports since 16)

  1. Enjoy your workouts

  2. Look after your joints: don’t do exercises that cause joint discomfort just because someone says “this is the best exercise”.

  3. Walk away: if you feel a pull or niggle during your workout leave it for the day. I’ll guarantee you that if you try to push on you’ll end up with an injury.

4.Train for you: ignore what the other guys are lifting, battle only with yourself.

  1. Don’t get brainwashed into one training dogma (HIT, HVT, whole body, splits), mix it up: They all work for some of the people, some of the time.

  2. Role models: don’t look at the mags, these are not “real” people.

  3. Remember most modern day muscle mags are registered as “catalogues”. They want to sell you something: beware.

  4. Don’t specialize: you’ll end up with muscle imbalances = injuries.

  5. Plan for 10 years not 10 days.

  6. Eat properly: You’re a formula 1 car: don’t expect to able to run on economy unleaded.

I’ll probably think of some others as soon as I press “submit”, but there you go, at my age the memory’s not so good.

Gazz

[quote]Gazz wrote:
3. Walk away: if you feel a pull or niggle during your workout leave it for the day. I’ll guarantee you that if you try to push on you’ll end up with an injury. [/quote]

I’m just now learning this one. I wish someone would have told me this a few years ago.

[quote]
8. Don’t specialize: you’ll end up with muscle imbalances = injuries.[/quote]

And I wish I would have known this 10 years earlier when I thought that bench was the most important exercise ever. Now I’m trying to build my back, and I’d have serious problems if I hadn’t been doing the OL’s the whole time.

This is also one that I wish someone would have hammered into my skull when I was a student athlete. If I would have been eating right the whole time I wouldn’t be cutting right now.

Here lately I’ve been asking a couple of older lifters what they would be doing if they were me, so I’m enjoying this thread. So far its mostly stuff that I’ve already corrected, but its still interesting.

[quote]Deinabolic wrote:
Only 32 here as well but lifting on/off for 16 years. 100% agreement with post above about taking care of your shoulders. As a general rule, do just one hard compound pressing movement per workout and any remaining shoulder work should be prehab-type stuff (external rotations, overhead squat-type movements, etc…).

Your delts will grow just fine without hammering them.

Also, dedicate one workout a week to yoga, pilates or Davies’ Seasoned Warrior-type stuff. You’ll not only recover better in the short term but you WILL stay healthier long term as well.

Funny how as I age, the makeup of my lifting volume has slowly shifted away from pure heavy stuff to about 50% heavy/fast lifts and 50% prehab/addressing strength imbalances.[/quote]

I’ve got to ask, what is “avies’ Seasoned Warrior-type stuff?”

I’m learning about the stretching. I used to do karate, and got all my stretching in by accident, so to speak. Lifting without the karate has suddenly taught me about the need to stretch.

While I generally agree with the “don’t count on supplements to much”, I’d like to make an exception for fish-oil and glucosamine (in combination with chondroitin and MSM).

[quote]starsil9 wrote:
2) If it hurts to do an excersise STOP don’t do it, no matter how much someone tells you that you need a specific movement to develop muscles in a specific area, you aren’t going to develop any muscle in a given area if you injure it and can’t train!!!

[/quote]

I’m 42 and been training seriously since 19. I emphasize this point above most strongly. When your young you can train through an injury and it will get better anyway. This sets you up for the injury that never goes away because you learned you can train through it. Eventually you run into the injury that NEEDS you to stop and it doesn’t get that break it become chronic.

I didn’t learn from my first over-training injury so now I have two chronic training injuries.

44 years old. Been training since I was 13.

Shorter workouts, less then 1 hr. More of them.

Don’t flat bench unless your a lineman. Incline bench for development and growth. All my injuries were due to flat benching. Most shoulder related.

Don’t be afraid to miss a workout or take a week off to do something equally as fun. In the long run it doesn’t matter…and you’ll miss out doing something fun.

Don’t stop completely. Always train a little if you can’t train as much as you want to.

Squat and deadlift from day 1. They are great lifts. If you do them right you won’t have back problems later in life and if you take up golf you will hit the ball a mile. Many of my cohorts have back problems and should tee off from the ladies tee. They wouldn’t think of squatting or deadlifting. I never stopped. A weak back and legs will contribute to other injuries.

Do cardio. 3X per week. If the heart isn’t healthy nothing else will be either.

These are all good/great responses!

All I can add is:

Love yourself - if you don’t no one else will.

Don’t give up!

Keep pumpin the iron brother!

Don’t get too greedy with poundages. As long as you’re improving, it’s good. A simple plan, executed consistently over the long term, will pay off in lifting, as in every other area of your life.

And don’t focus on one thing to the exclusion of others. Career, relationships, lifting, other hobbies… Everything you do can be a source of satisfaction.

“Specialization is for insects” - Robert Heinlein.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Great idea for a thread, thanks guys. Lots of good info getting passed around here.

As to what Push mentioned about being cautious taking advice from vets in the gym, I once worked at a place where one older gent (maybe in his late 60’s) said how he and his training partner used to warm up back in the day by tossing a 10-pound plate back and forth, then move up to the 25-pound, then a minute or so with a 45. Sounds like fun, sure, but…I just don’t know.

Anyway…thanks for the tips.