T Nation

Asking For A Friend Over 40

So I’ve recently started working out with my boss, who is… 43 I believe? Hes got a moderate level of strength, and used to workout pretty frequently. Work went to shit, and he took like 2 years off.

So, simple question. Would he still benefit from linear progression? Obviously he wouldn’t have newbie gains, but I’m thinking of having him just jump on LP until he starts to slow down, then add him in on 5/3/1 proper with me. Does this sound logical? I just dont know how age would effect LP, if significantly at all.

I would probably just throw him straight into 5/3/1 so he gets to work a number of physical qualities. Especially if he has some strength left in him.

If you do throw him into NLP, I’d keep a very close eye on how he is progressing.

I wouldn’t have him run the death gauntlet of failing squats, failing bench and failing deadlift then having to front up again to try again over and over.

Ideally, you’ll spot when he is about to stall and move him off it before he stalls. I definitely wouldn’t do the 3 fails then deload and go again silliness. Once one lift starts to look dicey, move him off NLP (if bench fails first, look at the barbell medicine bench plug-in for NLP for what to do with bench)

If you don’t have an eye for this, then probably go straight to 5/3/1


43 but used to lift. He’s got muscle memory to help him. You two might see newbie gains. Good luck sounds like you’ve got a great lifting partner.

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Training to fail is stupid. Sorry if that’s blunt. There’s nothing good in failing a rep. Barely getting one, sure, but even that should be rare.Ed Con said that he likes to feel like he always had one more in the tank on each set. I agree completely with that thinking. It allows for much better progress


Hes been going with me for a few weeks now, but he learned initially with his son, who is more on the hypertrophy side of the spectrum, where I’m heavily on the strength side of the spectrum (and that is where his interest lies). So what he was taught doesnt mesh well with the way I like to train. Ie, he knows training to failure, benching flat, 1/4 rep squats, and a shit load of arms. (His son is basically what I hate in gyms, but its semantics at this point)

So for the last 3 weeks I’ve just been teaching him bracing and ROM. While his squat needs… so much work… hes built for deadlift, has a solid bench for someone so completely untrained, and his overhead press is comically better than mine when I started.

So i guess jumping him into 5/3/1 should work fine then. I’m going to work him a little more on squats, and start estimating some maxes soon.

Absolutely, fun fact, I actually failed a widowmaker set last week, first lift I’ve missed in the better part of a year, rep 17 or something, I was so close and my dumbass ego went into overdrive. I didnt stop aching for about 5 days, and mentally fucked me for a couple of days. Definitely got my ass in gear though.

I should specify I was talking about linear progression in a sense of no failure, but a slow steady increase, closely monitoring his bar speed. But 5/3/1 seems to make sense and I’m going to run him through that and see how he reacts.

I just got to get the tucker to stop curling between every set. Making my tendonitis flair up just watching him lol.

My biggest arms size was when I did no direct biceps work at all, of any kind. Too much volume just kills progress - strength or hypertrophy.