T Nation

Lifting for the Long Term


Hello all,

I was just hoping for some tips. I am turning 35 and I notice that more and more things hurt and need to be adjusted. I want to be doing this when I am 70, but I get the feeling that the things I was doing 5 years ago aren't the right thing to do anymore, especially if I want to keep on doing this.

I keep hearing people telling me that lifting kills your joints and that there is nothing you can do about it. An ortho told me that today. But then again, i see people who are 70 and lifting and see people posting here who have been doing it forever. Anyway, whatever advice I can get would be great. Thanks



Listen to your body and remember there's always tomorrow. Since I retired from the military and am now the master of my fate in the realm of physical training I listen to my body a lot more.

When I get tweaked I back off and train around the injury, but never stop. Conversely though I never make an assumption that I'm too old for anything. Just keep a goin.


As another veteran of military inspired bodily abuse, I have to agree with amphibian. Pay attention to your body.

I'm coming up on 40 hard and fast and I hit the gym 6 days most weeks and 7 some. I also do a lot of other physical stuff and do not have a sedentary job. I see a lot of guys my age (and yours as well) who basically have one foot in the grave.

Training keeps me moving relatively pain free despite a lot of previous abuse injuries. I'm also still seeing gains in size, strength and body composition, despite being desperately over the hill and past my "prime".

The best advice I can give for training longevity is to train with good form, don't lift too much too soon, have a good spotter, and know that some days are going to be better than others.

The smarter/wiser you are the more productive your training will be.


Here are somethings from the positive side of weight lifting

It's the only way to keep your bone density and make them denser.

Muscles never grow old, they just get weaker and weaker. Keep them strong or loss them.

Awesome posture, always!

Total self confidence and a clear picture of the future.

You get eat, lots!

Your body is a temple;) Had to!

I'll let the rest of the gang fill in the rest.

Stay strong and live longer!


LOL :slightly_smiling: Thanks for that.

Thanks for all the encouragement! I'm an IT consultant and find that the worst weeks for my body are the weeks I don't make it to the gym and I am sitting in from of a desk. My back kills! Nevermind how much everything else aches.

As far as some practical ideas, here are a few I have heard and would like input.

1) Lift lighter weights at higher reps.
2) Spend more time stretching/foam rolling and less time on the weights. (if you have limited time. Both would be great... but five kids ya know)
3) Lose the extra weight (good for the knees). On a note, I am 20 lbs lighter after 6 weeks of velocity diet :))).
4) Don't be afraid to take some time off and do bodyweight/cardio.
5) Do lots of "prehab" before doing anything new or lifting heavy in an area that you haven't before.

Thnks again all!



  1. Define "lighter" and "higher". I don't think you have to do max effort every lift but everyone I've seen adopt the "lighter for more reps" concept has gone nowhere fast.

  2. Everyone is different... joint mobility is a must. So is resistance.

  3. All weight is not created equal.

  4. Run, skip rope, dips, pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups.

5 "Condition" all your lifts. If your form is flaky there is no benefit to going heavy.


The only thing I would add is vary your weights from time to time. Love the name.