T Nation

Help for us Ole Fart bodybuilder


Well, I know this sport is for the young guys, but lets not forget us ole farts. Im 55 and look like I am in my 40’s thanks to good healthy living and body building.
Got a question for the rest of you over 50 guys.

I have noticed I seem to do better by only working out twice per week. Muscle seem to recover slower at this age. Anyone have the same experience

Welcome, Zak -

Only 45, but I’ll weigh in.

I try to keep my sessions to two per week per body section as well. I do splits of upper and lower+arms. Seems to be working pretty well so far although I have done higher frequency in the past. I really have to keep the number of sets or reps down when I do that, though.

From what I’ve read it’s common as we get older to have to reduce the frequency of workouts due to recovery limitations, but I wonder how much of that is because of being less attentive to recovery because of more family and professional responsibilities.

There is a book out called Younger Next Year, written by a 45 yr olde heart doctor, and a 70 yr olde retiree. People following their suggestions are lifting 2@ week, and aerobics 5 or 6 times, and they are doing well. The book is well worth buying. I use their ideas.

The Ironman magazine on the markets now is the annual over 40 yrs edition. A lot of really good information in it. Have a highlighter in hand when reading it.

Welcome gramps. The heavy big lifts, Bench, cleans, press, take me longer to recover but the smaller body part specific lifts,e.g. curls, don’t take as long. I don’t hit the smaller lifts near as hard as the big ones, though. At twice a week I guess you’re doing full body workouts?

heres my routine

Monday…chest and biceps

Wed or Thrusday…lats and tris

where’s the leg work?

Are you doing anything specific for recovery?

In my younger days I never really thought about recovery, but I find that now (56) I need to pay attention to all the details and recovery is definitely one of them.

My recovery strategy is mostly nutrient timing; making sure I get that high glycemic/high protein drink immediately after my workouts. I also go to bed earlier on workout days to make sure I get plenty of sleep.

Don’t neglect the fish oil and make sure your diet is top-notch.

Cardiovascular fitness is also a huge component of my lifting program. I hit the bike on my off days with intensity interval training and I’m convinced the added blood flow by getting my heart rate up helps me tremendously.

Another strategy I do now that I didn’t do when I was younger is high rep training. I train HST style so I do both high rep and low rep work and the combination of the two is very powerful. The high rep work helps build capillaries and improves neurotransmitter response which supports my low rep heavy work.

Welcome to the group and have fun!

How are your joints? Can you squat or deadlift? If you can maybe drop the arm exercises and try to squat or deadlift in their place. Add stuff slowly and see how you do. If you have to try the weight machines.

I’m 53, and I have found that if I do a high volume routine for maore than a week or two, I get very fatigued and a feeling of overtraining. If I stick with a lower volume routine, I find that my recovery seems to be pretty good. I judge this by whether I can lift more weight or more reps on the following workout day. Right now I am doing a HIT-style routine where I work out 4 days a week (split), but don’t repeat any body part until the following week. Seems OK so far. You have to keep experimenting and see what works for you.
Paul

I do my whole body workout 2-3 times a week but also train Karate two days & mountain bike most weekends. After weekends like this last one when I put my bike in the shop, I usually notice a significant improvement in my training. Think maybe I’d learn something from that…

thanks guys…As far as my leg routine…yes, I do squats and have unbeleivalbe leg power…wish the rest of my body was that way. I can leg press over 600 lbs on the recline squat machine. So far, joints have been ok, but find if I push too hard my knees ache.

Thanks for the input. US old farts have to stick together.

I’m 60 and I seem to do best on low-volume, full-body workouts every other day (3-4 times per week). Emphasis is on free weight, multi-joint lifts. On non-lifting days, I do some sort of cardio, anything from 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to long, fast walks (hate jogging). Have recently added a minimum of 15-20 minutes stretching every day which I believe is critical for the older crowd.

Key is to keep the volume low, otherwise recovery is not possible. Also, I supplement with lots of BCAA powder which I believe helps as well.