T Nation

Need Help Getting Back in the Game - at 46!


Background: 46 yr old male, 5' 9" about 200 lbs (pretty soft). Use to lift pretty hard, but that was about 15 yrs ago. Fallen victim to 12 hour work days and 6 day work weeks (yeah, I hate it!) And while soft, I am in pretty good health - great blood pressure, excellent cholesterol numbers, no diabetes, and no heart issues. Informationaly, I am considering T-replacement therapy. I am scheduling a test next week to check my numbers and see if that is necessary. Biggest problems right now are I'm a little sluggish, not a lot of energy, easily winded, lack of strength and did I mention soft?

Goals: I want to increase my stamina, my athleticism, my strength, and my physique. I want to be well rounded, I guess! If I had to categorize what I wanted to look like I would say "athletic", as in lean, strong, quick, and explosive. At my age, I'm not sure how much size I can realize - so I'm aiming for some well defined muscle groups, some moderate size, and that "hard" look. I am wondering maybe olympic style lifting?

My biggest obstacles right now are my schedule, and rest. I have weights in the basement, so I don't have to travel, but lots of times I function on 4 or 5 hours sleep. My schedule is fixing to change here in a few weeks, so hopefully that will no longer be an issue. I eat pretty good, as far as healthy foods, but I am sure that I am not up to date on the latest dietary happenings. I am writing all this to mark the beginning of my re-entry into lifting and make it "real", I guess.

So I ask this: If one would have any advice on one of the workout programs on the site that worked well, offered solid progress and steady gains for a guy of my age, could you share a couple of thoughts, a link, or point me in the general direction?

Here's a good idea of "the look" I would like to get:


I'm willing to bet that the guy in the picture followed a fairly typical bodybuilder lifting routine to look like that. Thats not going to do anything for your goals of stamina and athleticism. So if I had all of your goals in mind. I'd do either one of two things.

Either I'd do

1) 5/3/1 for bodybuilders and 2 days per week of sprinting/carrying/dragging GPP for time and distance. I'd also try to play some sort of sport every weekend.

or I'd do (Jesus I'm going to get kicked out of the forum for this)

2) 5/3/1 for body builders and three days per week of bodyweight Crossfit style metabolic conditioning work.

Whatever you do, good luck.


You're gone, Joe. Yunnerstan? GONE!

You want the "X-Look" and a good set of arms, eh? Even though Joe is gone - GONE, JOE! - he's also pretty right on with what he's saying.

Doing so will have old lardass asking for a date, too, since he's both a 5/3/1 AND an X-fit groupie.


I read all through that post thinking the picture was of you. But I couldn't work out if it was how you were befor or how you are now. I decided "if that's him now at 46 and soft!" I'm gonna quit!


Is that you? If so, ummm . . .


Uh, guys - that is NOT me! Haven't become very proficient at posting and pics. I just searched on google images real quick and that was a that popped up without too much hunting around. I was in a hurry and trying to get the post off before going to work. But you get the idea.

Ok then, I will look into the 5/3/1 and see what it is. I have a sled that I made up a few years ago for my boys to pull to get ready for football season. AND, it happens that I just read a couple of articles on this site about sprinting. And Joe, if anyone asks - I'll tell them you never mentioned crossfit - honest.

Farmer - just finished watching your vids in your blog. No need to quit.

Ummmmm? LOL. I'm in MI, but CO is prolly the prettiest state that I have ever been in. Just sayin.

Here's a better question: I don't think trying to build muscle while trying to improve cardio/burn fat works very well - at least in my past experience. But back then I didn't know about things like cortisol levels and manipulating metabolic rates and such. Burning fat meant long distance running or riding the bike for an hour. Having said that, would I be better off doing a little cardio to lose some of this extra fat, and then start trying to add some mass? OR, can I start to lift for some size right off the git-go if I do things like sprinting,flipping tires and other GPP type work to burn fat, and still get positive results?


Only you can decide if you want or need to get rid of the fat first. Personally I would go straight into the lifting, train for strength (not mass) and keep the cardio to hill sprints, intervals and tyres, prowlers etc. Dedicate yourself to getting stronger and the bodyfat will take care of itself.


Alright then, I've been lifting under my "old" program, just throwing some weight around, getting used to it again, getting sore again, getting ready to put some real effort into lifting without hurting myself! The plan appears to be this:

I found and read the 5/3/1 article, and I think I got a good grasp of how it works. I'll start on it in earnest probably on Monday. Because of my work schedule, I want to see if I can get three real workouts in, and then a couple days of other GPP work - sled pulls, sprints, uphill sprints,maybe some tire flips, etc. Try to get going on the strength as suggested, and general overall fitness/stamina.

As far as fat loss, I'm gonna listen to Farmer, and just let it take care of itself, and help it along with being careful about my calorie intake. Once I get down to an acceptable level (read minus love handles!), I'll start paying extra attention and make sure that I am getting adequate nutrients for energy and progress in both strength and muscle growth.

I'd never heard of 5/3/1 until this thread. I have high hopes and hope that it provides a good platform. I know gains will come fast at first (they always do), and it shouldn't take me long to get back close to where I was. Then hopefully, continue to greater gains after that. I'm anxious to get started - tired of feeling tired, sluggish, out of shape, and so on. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be seeing you around!




I am a Dan John nutswinger, which is entirely different..i hope

and Mo, do 5/3/1 or we'll kill and eat you.