T Nation

Mature Woman Newbie

So glad to have found this site. I am a 64 yr old woman in reasonably good health. I’m 5’ 8” and 154 lbs. I tend to store fat in my abdomen, but don’t really have any other problem areas. I’ve been a runner in the past, but now I would really like to get stronger. Currently I’m doing the following every other day:
All 4 sets of 8 reps
Bench Press
Bent Over Rows
Overhead Barbell Press
Hip Thrusters with barbell
Planks. 4 (40 sec each)
On off days I have been doing hiit on treadmill for 25 min.
I know this is probably a training disaster. I’ve seen various routines to follow on this site, but I’m not sure which would be best to follow for an older beginner.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Welcome aboard! Any injuries, wear and tear issues or other limitations?

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What are your goals? Just staying active or getting physically stronger and fitter?

My right knee is a little tender at times- prob osteoarthritis starting up. Other than that, I have no injuries or limitations.

I want to get stronger and more physically fit - I’m determined to stay as physically strong and active as possible for as long as possible, and would love to have as toned a body as possible. I ain’t dead yet!


Some form of 531 would be great. I wouldn’t go bbb but bodyweight template or any template With lower volume would most likely be good. With the included conditioning scaled to your abilities.

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My advice (which is based on limited knowledge) is start gently.
“531 I ain’t doing jack” is a low volume programme that produces results. And over the course of 3 months you can add in more and more assistance and conditioning work. Until you find the sweet spot. Where the last work out was hard. But does not effect the next work out.
Good luck BTW.


Opps! Posted the wrong link above. Stoooopid phone.

Anyway I like this one because it is completely written out. Just start REALLY light and work your way up.
Most programs have one main lift and then some assistance stuff.
The main thing is consistency. If it’s too much volume then just cut it back. Duh! The widowmakers can kill you if you start too heavy. Break it up in a couple of sets if you have to. It just takes a little common sense to make this work.

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Thanks for the info! Bought the 5/3/1 book to get all background info. Will def be using this program. Today is my first workout on plan. I feel so much better knowing I have a plan!


This looks good!

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Start a log so you can keep track and ask more questions as needed. The people on this forum are awesome!

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Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I am going to agree with the above.
One thing to keep in mind is, whatever program you choose, give it AT LEAST 90 days of committed effort before you consider jumping ship.

Another is, abs and…well…all “gains” are made in the kitchen and in bed, more so than the gym. The gym provides the catalyst for gains, your diet and your body do the rest.

Side note:
As a trainer, I am on a mission to get more women, and specifically more women over the age of 39, under the bar and doing classic, compound strength training movements.

I heartily applaud you for choosing to take this path. Mark my words, best decision…ever.


Welcome, @cp54! I don’t have advice, but wanted to say hello and that I’m excited about the opportunity to follow your progress. Good luck!