T Nation

Building The Monolith for Old Guys


Considering starting BTM template. 59 years old with a lifetime of lifting experience. Any older guy run the template? I am concerned about my ability to recover from the volume.


Depends on the volume and the time between workouts.


“If in doubt, there is no doubt.”

Not saying you can’t do it, but generally speaking, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Minimum Strength for Coffinworm

Wise advice Jim. If I am doubting it going in, probably not a good idea. I am sure other older lifters sometimes fight this same battle of the mind thinking the body can still do things it could do at 30 years old.



The thing about getting older is you don’t have to give up or give in. What you have to do is (quoting Tom Araya), adjust the odds so you win. In the case of training, that means adjusting the variables to account for your age. The biggest problem with older lifters is thinking they are still 18 years old.

Think about what kind of girl you went after at 18; now think about what is important at 59 years of age. Your goal is still “happiness” - but it is defined and gone after in a different way. It’s not a 1:1 metaphor but you can understand where I’m going with it.


Just finished the 3rd week of BTM. The increase in weight in week 3 was a big challenge. I really did not think I would be able to get all the reps. Surprised myself and was able to get every rep except the last set of Benches on Wednesday. I took Jim’s advice and adjusted the odds so that I would win by following the program exactly as written except reduced the total number of accessary lifts from 100 to 50. I did 5 sets of dips/pull ups. As I predicted in the beginning, recovery has been a challenge but with going to bed early and eating well I have survived. Strength is up a bit and even more importantly it has been rewarding to really push myself in weight room for the first time in a long time. My last 20 rep squat set was a religious experience! I encourage all older lifters looking for a challenge to give BTM a try. Make the necessary adjustments but don’t sell yourself short either. Thanks for all you do Jim!


did this myself got to week four, then sick, the problems I had was adjusting to the eating and the accessory work, when I do this again like you I will drop down to 50 reps. 52 and still at it. Currently on the Hard Gainers.


Gslayer, thanks for your reply. Seeing you are on hardgainer leads me to guess that we may have similar builds. I am 6’2 and 170. While not wanting to gain a ton of weight due to general health reasons, I have upped the calories a bit during BTM and have gained 3 lbs. I think at least some if it is muscle. The program has really challenged me and it feels good to gain a little muscle and strength. I am finishing up Week 4 today. Let me know if you try BTM again!


Yep 6’1 200 (finally) on 5th cycle 2 weeks to go when first started Hard Gainer a year ago and restarted several times injury, life was at 190, pleased with progress, will let ya know when I do BTM.