My Dad Wants to Start Lifting - How to Help?

So my dad, 53 yo, 6’5 tall and at least 230 lbs (he’s a moderately fat, tall beast) asked me to advise him on how to start some weight exercises. I am a beginner myself, but he hasn’t got any clue whatsoever about anything connected with lifting. He basically asked me to help him choose a dumbbell set.

Well, I want to help him and not do any harm in the process, but I know very little about principles of weight training at that age, so I thought you guys may have some guidelines for me/him.

Some background information:

His goals are mostly to stay healthy as he gets older, and to gain some strength and overall body fitness. The thing is my dad has sort of always slacked off in the fitness department - didn’t do any sport most of his adult life (say 23+ ), and leads a sedentary lifestyle (car & office + some walking).

He’s generally healthy and has quite fast metabolism - if not for it my guess is he’d be a lot fatter with his lifestyle. One of those guys who eat almost everything and are almost always hungry. Although I must say he’s been trying to control his carb intake during the last couple of years.

One caveat: he hurt his lower back pretty seriously when he was in college, it’s his major weak spot. So my guess is exercises like deadlifts or barbell rows are out of the question.

So now, how to get him started and not get him injured? How often should he train and what exercises? He believes he should do most of them while lying on his back so that he doesn’t strain his lower back. Going to a gym seems to be not an option, at least for now. Maybe some cardio is also inevitable if he wants to get fitter from level zero?

I know it’s a long way for him but I’m pretty excited that I can help him start doing some sport (finally). Thoughts and advice welcome.

First off - I think it’s great you care that much about your Pop. Very cool.

I’m almost your Dads age and the only advice I have is start slowly and make it enjoyable. Baby steps. Body weight exercises, stretching, mobility work, massage, and brisk long walks or swimming.

If he really wants to start and is committed, have him get a check up first.