T Nation

First Competition Coming Up at Age 53


This is my first post so be kind or flame me if you want.

I am a 53 year old liftime lifter who has stayed in pretty good shape all my life, football, cycling, sports blah blah blah. 2 years ago I decided to up my fitness level to get my BF down. Well I'm blessed with good gynetics so after being put on a high protein diet by my trainer and doing splits in my lfiting I increased my muscle by at least 10% and lowered my BF probably 5 %.

Decent improvements but I still wasn't that serious. 6 months ago I decided to up the program again. This time going on a high protein,(325g) low carb (200g) med fat (80g)diet and double my trianing to 6 days a week, hitting each body part twice a week. I blew up in about 4 weeks and lost more body fat. Everyone in the gym wanted to know what drug I was on. I really respond well to lots of volume.

But the truth is and only me and my trainer know this, I bust my ass in the gym everytime I lift a bar. I follow the Dorian Yates philoshpy of warming up properly and giving maxium effort on the last set of every exercise. To give you an idea at 53, I'm 230 lbs with around 10% BF. Chest is 53, waist is 35 and bicep is a legit 19 1/2" cold.

Here comes the problem: Playing football in the 70's I lost my left knee ACL which in turn ruined my right knee and it had to be replaced. So I haven't trained legs in over 10 years! Needless to say, I don't have symetry at all! My trainer has helped ( 6 weeks in)me start training legs starting slowly and pinpointing my hams to strenghten. I don't do any leg extensions to keep the pressure off the knees. I do leg press, hack squats, dead lifts and lots of leg curls.

Ok, now you know me, here's my question: should I enlist some help to quicken the leg development? There is a competition coming up in 12 weeks and I'm in pretty good shape to start focusing on getting lean. Lots of folks have suggested that I try some test to jump start the leg development but I really don't know enough about it to make a judgement.

I asked my doctors about testing for test and after looking at me they just laugh. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have a good trainer and he has given me his advice but now I want to hear from others they my have experence in this. Oh and by the way, my cheolesterol numbers and blood pressure are very good.


Hello and welcome to T-Nation, from my exp. no one EVER gets flamed for no reason regardless of age/gender or any other reason unless they deserve it :slight_smile:

Should you wish to be advised by people closer to your age there is "The Over 35 Lifter" they are a REALLY nice bunch of people.

Happy New Year.




Would it be possible to provide some pictures? that would be great. Welcome to T-Nation my friend.


hey man, nice committment!

ZMA is a really good test booster


Gear is the fastest way to get 'fast' results.

At your age your natural test is on the decline and most HRT docs should take you seriously, although they might think you've been juicing, so what... thats discriminating. I know of a lot of people who have used/abused steroids for 15+ years and when they want to come off they need TRT and most clinics should prescribe them as these are people with low test.

Either way if you choose to go that route read up on it first and look into the steroids forum on this site as there are several stickies there that should answer the majority of your questions.

Other than that there really isn't any other supplement, training method, or diet that will give you results faster than what you may already be doing. Assuming your physique is where you claim it to be.

If you choose to compete in an NPC event or any un-tested show I guarantee most people will be using AAS. I'd never advise somebody to do it because it is their choice, but you will be competing against people on the sauce so..food for thought. lol

My only advice as far as training and diet is:

1.) if you need more size in your legs you cannot do that while cutting, but thats obvious.

2.) if you have decent size but just need some seperation and definition then the diet should take care of most of that but there are a few exercises such as sissy squats, hacks, extensions, etc that can help.

3.) last...the quads/glutes are some of the largest muscles of the body and they require a lot of load on the muscle to induce hypertrophy imo/ime...so heavy weights will be your best bet.

Either way, sorry for the long winded post, and welcome to tnation.

Pics would be cool and I am definitely a fan of having other bodybuilders on this site.



Good info thanks


you have brought out the catch 22 of my problem, 12 weeks out, time to cut, leg size is not there yet so I need to bulk to get them up but that would counterintuitive to the rest of the body

Good advice on the leg training as far as heavy weight I do a pretty intensive leg day twice a week..heavy day I start with leg press starting at 180 lbs and pyrimading up to as heavy as 650 lb which I still get at least 10 strict reps in, then go to hacks, curls and deadlifts

One I will try is going heavier on the deadlifts I usually keep it at a max of 225 and keep the reps around 10-15

I'm going to research the "ASA" since I don't even know what that stands for?!

I will get better educated then make some determinations

As far as pics, I recently was a part of photo shoot with a group as well as a video shot, I will post as soon as I get them uploaded

Thanks again for all the great advice


lol "asa" ???

AAS? = Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids. lol

well your choice seems to skip this contest and throw on some leg size, or just cut up anyways and go into the contest with what your bringing.

Never sacrifice conditioning for size imo.

Going heavier on your deads will add some more beef to your back and glutes/hams.

I always recommend going heavier because heavier weights make bigger muscles. lol



Thanks DG,

That's it in a nutshell, sounds like I'm not ready for my first comp in 12 weeks, I really need to bring my legs up first....I just got to looking at some of the Master's division winners and thinking, hell I already look like that! My legs aren't what most would call small I actually have a good base for ham size it's just the quads I'm going to struggle with becasue of the knee issuses

My Ortho doc has told me not to do any extentions, front squats or lunges

That was funny about the ASA comment...shows you what a virgin I am!


lol no problem man. Many of the masters guys over 50 usually start to lose leg size, I feel in correlation to hormone levels. The guys who don't are using the sauce for the most part.

Good luck in whichever you may decide to do, and if you do compete as you get closer to comp time and need help with prep or posing I'd be glad to offer my .02.



Your profile shot looks like you have some decent development and are lean. How about some pictures? They'll give us a better idea. I think there's a bber here who competes at age 65, you should be able to compare notes.


Heya Hammer, welcome aboard. From your profile pic I'd say you've got a great foundation. You'll get some really good advice on here, but DG's right that there's no way you can bring your legs up in that short amount of time if you're trying to cut everywhere else. Are you definitely decided if you're going to do a 'tested' show or not? I ask because if you do a natty show, and you're legs aren't completely awful, you may turn out alright even with a slight lack of leg size.



It's not a tested show (Panhandle Showdown) and I don't think there are going to be alot of Master's guys there judging by the turnout last year Right now I'm leaning on dieting down but bumping the protein higher and really train legs as intensive as I posssible can just short of breaking them in half and wait unitl April to decide if I enter or not