T Nation

Gaining Muscle for Over 70s


#1

Any over 70s here? What is your experience in gaining muscularity and strength? I just seem to maintain what I've got after over 50 years of training.
Secondly on nutrition any foods you avoid so as not to expand the waistline. I still follow a balanced diet but not as strict as when I was younger (time is running out for us old folks ha ha!)
Thanks


#2

Just saw your question. I’m 73 1/2 and still lifting hard. I have to make some concessions to age but I can live with them. Living in a huge retirement community near Orlando, our nearby gym doesn’t have a power rack so I have to use a Smith Machine for Squats and Rack Deads. I also use it for my BP and Close Grip BPs because of a problem with tremors in my right hand. I can still use a decline bench however. I rotate months of low weight/high rep/short rest with high weight/low rep(1-5)/longer rest for my training.

If you are still at your 50 year old level you are doing fantastic. Not many guys lift seriously into their 50’s and very, very few into their 70’s. Most simply lose the drive and commitment needed to stay so strong, much less continue to grow. I find doing my 3 X 5s or sometimes 5 X 5s and alternating the next week with 5’s for warm-up and singles up to my max to be a way to still sneak in increases of say 5 lbs. on the big lifts. A key element in my strength and growth is rest. I need longer now to recover between sets and between splits so I/we (my Dutchess is in fantastic shape for 70 something herself) lift on an 8 day week with 4 splits spaced every other day. Hence we get a full week to recover from heavy workouts. We need it LOL. This past week eg. I singled at 310 on the BP and yesterday did 5 reps @ 370 and 3 @ 420 in my Rack Deads after just 2 months of being back into training heavy. My goal and IMO an achievable one, is to hit 330 in the BP and 530 in RDs within 6 months. I simply can’t push faster than that or I would risk almost certain injury. Those are my concessions to age, but they are livable because I can still have that great physically strong feeling and catch a lot of attention at the pool etc. Just more motivation.

We eat a pretty clean diet but IMO it is our supplement regime that allows us to keep training and even growing despite our ages. For example I take megadoses of vitamins such as


#3

Sorry for the error posting before I was finished.

For example I take megadoses of vitamins such as 5 gms each of Creatine, AAKG, Taurine, Stinging Nettle Root and 7 gms of Beta-Alanine daily or about 1 1/2 hrs before I hit the gym. Together they are key to my recovery and reps as I lift, and pump me up so I feel strong. My drive and my confidence are bolstered and that helps me to still go after it.


#4

[quote]Dutchman1405 wrote:
Sorry for the error posting before I was finished.

For example I take megadoses of vitamins such as 5 gms each of Creatine, AAKG, Taurine, Stinging Nettle Root and 7 gms of Beta-Alanine daily or about 1 1/2 hrs before I hit the gym. Together they are key to my recovery and reps as I lift, and pump me up so I feel strong. My drive and my confidence are bolstered and that helps me to still go after it. [/quote]

Hi and thanks a lot for taking the time to reply! I guess I misled you a bit as I don’t lift as heavy as I did due to old injuries (not all caused by lifting, used to ride a motorcycle!!!). I lift medium (for me) weight with more reps and do a lot of mobility training. I dropped weight which is much better for the joints. My hat’s off to you for your great poundages, well done. As I said I am just looking to maintain with my body fat kept quite low. I only have a four pack those pesky lower abbs are a pain.
On another note I used to live in South Africa and picked up some old Dutch (Afrikaans) so thanks and totseins.


#5

Sorry to hijack but Dutchman1405 I live in or near Orlando. Dutchman 1405 where do you live because I have a power rack in my garage,where I train, and you know things can be worked out. Visit me on my thread in here on the over 35s Dutchman and we can chat.


#6

Inspiring. I want to be just like her when I grow up.


#7

Update. Been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which has caused Atrial fibrillation all due to genetic problems. Actually should have been dead long ago. ;<) Can still exercise very moderately which will hopefully keep the clots away (have anti-clot meds and eat a good diet). 50+ years of training but in the end it is the genes which make us all.


#8

I agree that genetics play a huge role in health and lifespan. But the decision to eat well and exercise certainly contributes.

My coach and sometimes training partner will be 76 in December. He has been competing in PLing for many years. He has had so many health setbacks over the years. He is the most amazing example to me that attitude plays the biggest role in where you end up.


#9

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
I agree that genetics play a huge role in health and lifespan. But the decision to eat well and exercise certainly contributes.

My coach and sometimes training partner will be 76 in December. He has been competing in PLing for many years. He has had so many health setbacks over the years. He is the most amazing example to me that attitude plays the biggest role in where you end up.[/quote]

You are right about attitude but the great thing about healthy life style is that it becomes a habit. Just cannot eat garbage and have to exercise as they are now ingrained habits and way of life for me. However, the years do take their toll. ;<(