T Nation

'Expert Advice for the Over-40 Lifter' Article


Thought this was worth checking out for the gang here. A compilation article discussing training, nutrition, and other factors with input from Thibaudeau, Charles Staley, TC, Bret Contreras, Chris Shugart, me, Mike Warren, Amit Sapir, Nick Tumminello, Lee Boyce, Mark Dugdale, Christian Bosse, and Paul Carter:


Thanks, Chris. Some good thoughts.

Many of us find ourselves forced to pull back because of an injury. It’s hard to know where the line is. We don’t have to be doing anything really impressive to get hurt.


Yeah, that’s the tricky part for sure. Balancing the mindset of “I’m not 22 anymore” with “well that doesn’t mean I can’t push a little more.”


This is a topic close to my heart. I’d love to see more training information for masters lifters. For me, the change from early 40’s to early 50’s is significant. I’ll be 53 next week and I’m continually trying to fine tune my cycles to maximize recovery. I haven’t had many injuries but that’s likely due to the fact that I was older when I started and quite aware of my mortality and the fact that I’m not bullet proof.

When I compare my training days to someone younger, my version is pared down and minimal. I find I have to time lifting with other things. eg. if I’m doing much yard work I know I’ll have a killer lower back pump that will affect both squat and deadlift. I can’t do a ton of stuff like that and expect to kill it in the gym.


Lower back pump?
Get excited for Christmas! Yule love that Reverse Hyper.


I know. I can’t wait. I’m hoping it will help with chronic low level lower back pain. I have a difficult time sitting for extended periods because my back hates it.


Thanks for posting… Got to agree that the main issue I have found is recovery is a huge issue along with volume and frequency management.


Lots of thoughts in the T Nation piece.
Frequency,volume and intensity all need to be managed. Making gains vs. maintaining seems to be how to set goals.
I’d like to see more articles for the senior trainer.


Just turned 70, retired 4 years and holding at 180-185 at 5’ 11".
The trap bar has become my friend for DL using hi /low handles (255)
also bent over row , 205
amd farmers walks with 185 -205 -it depends
looking to keep compound lifts that cascade with overlapping muscle group usage

more specific info for the “over 40” could be motivational / directive,

looking to keep lean mass, maybe drop 10 lbs in next 6 months
and: that nap isn’t gonna take itself . . . .


Almost 70 here. I now think mindset is everything in a lifting lifestyle. I’ve noticed a reduction in strength, but not intensity or energy. Though it sucks that 500 deads and 450 squats are behind me, I am reconciled to knowing the best I can do in gym is keep a good body and lift decent weights.

I noticed, today, a Marine looking guy spent 10 minutes stretching and wrapping everything he could wrap, and then he did squats with 315. I did same weight today but no wraps. Honestly, one would have expected him to have lifted at least 450 from all that preparation.