T Nation

Advice to 35(+) Lifters


I think this has been done already (but after like 8 pages of searches I got tired of looking), but I'm hoping we can get some good advice for those of us who have reached that time of life where we can't really hope to train as we (or others) did in younger years.

Or should have trained, if we didn't.

You get my point.

Anyway, is there anything you can advice either the younger people or the noobs to the 35y/o+ crowd?

(Disclaimer: I have no real advice to give, at 37, so I'll leave it to the vets to give while I learn from them.)



Read "Mobility for Old Farts" sticky at the top of the forum.

I would say without a doubt that this is the single most important factor to maintain as an older lifter.

I'm 55, and still training with as much intensity as I did when I was 45. The big difference for me is volume. I do less of it now. I know my physical limits, so listen to your body, especially when training your weak points and avoid doing things that may cause an injury.

Never look back and compare yourself to what you did in your younger days, especially if you were a competitive athlete. Concentrate on what you can do now, and work to maintain and improve yourself for tomorrow.


Best advice:

Start earlier.........

Of course, if you're past 35 and are just reading this, you'll need access to a time machine to actually do that...


Aside from maybe a little more rehab/prehab stuff, just go after it and don't make excuses.




At 39 I have been doing this for 25 years. Still going, yeah once in a while I get winy about the aches and pain, but then you gotta say screw it. I can keep going and I am still having the time of my life. And remember it is never to late to start.



Ditto, again. Don't use your age as an excuse.


Does anyone find that they need to eat any differently or get more rest/active recovery than in earlier years?

Thanks for the replies, BTW.


I'm still rockin' at 44 years old and I have found that Steve Maxwell's joint mobility drills are excellent. Also, the systemic enzyme supplement Zymessence that you can get from Dr William Wong on his site is EXCELLENT for rehab and all the aches, pains and inflammation. It also helps with recovery and breaking up scar tissue and fibrin.


YoMamma is right, thank you.

I started the mobility thread to help out. and will continue to pimp it out with stuff,
I cant train like I did at 25 in volume-Im young at 37
and work around a few issues, but I train pretty Damn hard.
Dont use the age as a crutch , like the others said and get in the gym.

I also spend as much time as possible on doing the not so fun but good for you stuff-
so I can keep lifting hard.
contrast showers,
Ice baths yes I buy 2 to 3 bags of ice and take a bath in them
epsom salt baths
active recovery- I don't usually document it,but I a TON
of foam rolling yogic and pilates poses-
that help with low back, hip, and neck tightness
I traded running for swimming and try to swim fast a few times a week.
I became an LMT..massage therapist dont do it for a living but do do massage trades
one or two x a month so that helps too.

As far as diet, I take fish oil
and am looking into glucosamine/msm,
all for joint health.

and I am finding I need more fiber surprise, and more protein for recovery.



I don't do much that's different from a 25 year-old. I just do it maybe less often and perhaps a bit slower. I train, I eat, I sleep and I use rehab/prehab exercises to keep my shoulders healthy.


Those who have been doing this thing we do, forever. Are a different breed and will be working out with a greater intensity than those who are new or coming back to it. A life time of conditioning enables one to recover from intense workouts much more quickly. So reading the logs of veterans can be intimidating and leave one feeling like they are not making the grade.

It should be understood that this is for life. If one does not have that life time commitment they will be constantly struggling to stay conditioned. It never gets easier, if it does you're doing it wrong, but the ability to recover does become greater.

One has to look at this from the proper perspective. It's about the quality and quantity of life and only consistent progress can achieve the highest level of this life style. Working out, diet and rest are very important and all three much be adhered to in order to succeed.

Diet is very important and should be researched and tweaked to fit your genetic makeup. Workouts should progress at a constant rate, and the Ego should always be left at the door. This is not a race and those that treat it as such will consistently have injury set backs.

Any gain is a good gain. Aerobic exercise is as important as anaerobic. The stronger the heart and lungs are the greater the volume of nutrients being delivered to the body will be. Therefore the greater the recovery rate.

Nothing great or worthy happens quickly. If it did everyone would be in great shape. It's hard dedicated work that has a compound interest effect later in life. At 52, with over thirty years of training. I act like I'm twenty because I feel like I'm twenty. If one wishes to enjoy life at ninety, don't wait any longer. The quality of life latter in life it determined by your actions now. Don't wait any longer and NEVER!! stop, THIS IS FOR LIFE!!!!

Don't forget to have fun.


I like to eat clean which is something I did not do when I was younger. Sometimes cheat meals really upset my stomach.


I find what I eat effects me more now the even 5 years ago. An example is if I have pancakes or waffles with syrup for breakfast I want to take a nap soon after and feel poorly. If I have eggs and fruit I feel great.


I dont really have any advice ,other than start lifting before your in your 40's.

I partied my ass off all thru my teens and 20's , slowed down a bit in my 30's . smoked a pack a day into my early 40's . THEN I decided to start lifting , after 4 decades of zero athletic endeavors . what a fucked up plan that turned out to be . I have no fuckin' clue whether I progress at a normal rate ; I was very weak and completely without muscle mass whan I started lifting . and I have no benchmark from a younger age to compare my current results with .

I've read training logs as an attempt to make progress comparisons ; but most guys around here are either much younger than myself , or have been lifting for quite a while ; either way , progress/poundage blow me out of the water . not that I give a rats ass in the long run .

I just gotta keep pluggin' away

so yeah......thats my lame advice ; dont sit on your ass for 40 years


Yo, marlboroman,

It's NEVER too late to start lifting, unless you're dead. So what if you sat on your ass for 40 years, you're off it now. And stop comparing yourself to everyone else. That's a formula for disaster. Consider the logs of the heavy lifters as inspiration, otherwise it can get depressing. Also, comparing what you can do at 55 to what you could do at 25, 35 or even 45 is also not necessary to gauge your present progress. We're all working around injuries or handicaps of some sort, it's all about adaptation.

Standard benchmarks are for competitive lifters. Unless you're going to compete, measure your progress against you and yourself only. Maybe my standards are low, but hell, if I'm doing better than yesterday, it's good.

Keep pluggin' away.


Thank you YO Mamma.




You and I sound very similar for the last 30 years.
I turn 43 next month and other than push ups and 12 oz curls had not worked out regularly since college. I decided it was time to whip myself into shape this year.
I am 5'10" and have dropped from 207 lbs at 26% body fat to 175 lbs at around 12% body fat.
Trying to balance fat loss with muscle and weight gain has been difficult.
I have much more definition visible but my arms seem so small now with all the fat off.

I started off with higher reps and lower weight and am slowly sliding up on the weight and down on the reps.
I have gone from 0 chin-ups to a whopping 3 now but at least making progress :slight_smile:

I am not shooting for the Mr. Olympia look, more like a MMA fighter. If I can put 5 lbs of muscle on this year, I will be very happy.

Really trying to keep up with my 3 kids with a 3 yr old as the youngest.

Like you said, just gotta keep pluggin' away at it.


Been there doing that! started weights for the first time in my life at 46 (on my birthday no less) Still learning how and working up in weights, but I'm progressing steadily.


You're welcome, kmc.

BTW, that's Momma. With an "o" ;^)