T Nation

Next Step? 35 Year Old Wanting to be Athletic


I did the keto diet for a couple months to lean out. I am 35 and getting into BJJ and want to compete so I am looking to be as athletic as possible. I can gain about 9 pounds and be in the weight class I want to remain in. I am thinking I could stand to lose some fat too.

I am thinking of switching to the anabolic diet and doing functional lifts/powerlifting type. The goal would be to remain in the weight class I am in but stronger and leaner.


You’re carrying quite a bit of fat, so it wouldn’t hurt you to lose more, although that doesn’t HAVE to be your priority right now.

I don’t see powerlifting training as being particularly suitable towards your goal of competing in BJJ, assuming what you mean is focusing very specifically on building a maximum squat, deadlift, and bench press. Those are all excellent lifts, and can and should be incorporated into your training to maximize your athletic potential, but you really don’t want to neglect speed and endurance-type training. You need to be a POWERFUL athlete, not just a strong one, to be a successful martial artist. If you want to make the ‘big 3 lifts’ staples, I would also find a program that includes a lot of overhead pressing to go along with it, as well as some dynamic lifting like the olympic varieties (cleans, snatches, stuff like that). If you can, throw in things like battling ropes and tire flips for conditioning. That sort of thing, or a lot of the strongman-type stuff, can be really effective for conditioning AND strength, and doesn’t really get boring. And it will put your body through a good range of motion.

You could always just run a normal strength training program such as some variations of 5/3/1 or maybe even Alpha’s program.

Just FYI left was three months ago right pic is now. I think I’m okay with the bf I have left until I get back up to my weight class max, then start cutting and add muscle.
Left pic was 165 right is 141.