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My Grandpa Wants to Start Lifting


So my 70 year old grandpa wants to start lifting with me.

He is ridiculously flexible from like 40 years of yoga. He has absolutely no mobility restrictions. When he came to my house last week he did 8 strict pull ups. I was literally shocked lol.

What type of program do I tell him to do or have him do with me?

I actually workout in my in-laws garage now. I just have a squat stand with pull up bar, bumper plates, barbell and one 35lb KB.

I was thinking the 5/3/1 2 day template would probably be perfect. But didn’t know what you guys would suggest.


It sounds like a good place to start, certainly.


First, clarify what his goals are.

Google “Pavel Tsatsouline Dad Deadlift” and click the StrongFirst link that says “My father’s deadlift program” - see if your grandfather likes the idea of trying to join the 70-year-olds-that-can-deadlift-bodyweight-plus club, and ask if that program itself appeals to him.

If it does, I think we’re done here…

If he has the appetite for something more complex, a 5/3/1 2-day template would seem to work, assuming that he likes doing the powerlifts.

If he just vaguely likes the idea of lifting weights but is turned off by heavy barbells, a different path may be required.


I would start out with this below…

Perfect world: I would actually temporarily go to a commercial gym after the bodyweight stage and do 2-3 weeks just machine only training then on to phase 2. Even if he’s very fit for his age you want to reeeally ease into it

Afterwards a dan john program like 40 day workout or complexes where you can get a lot of value from easy sessions. Start very light.

Get some monster mini and light bands for high rep arm work, pullaparts etc

Does he still do yoga?If so great, if not make sure he does some kind of small mobility and stretching/prehab session each week

make sure he’s getting a decent amount of protein and good fats in. Quality fish oil like Flameout a good idea also