T Nation

Old Guy Frequency

I’m 53, 5’10", 225 lb. Comination meso/endomorph. I’ve been lifting pretty steadily for 2 years after several years of on/off training. Current plan is 3 days/week, 1.5 hours per workout, 4 sets/major body part, 6-10 reps per set. Working in gym with free weights, Nautilus, cables.

Current measurements:

chest 50"
waist 40"
arm - 17"
neck 17.5"
thight - 27"

Current weights:
bench 8x265
db bench 8x100
squat 8x265
incline leg press 8x750
alt db curl 8x45
lying tri extension 8x80
dip - 8xBW+25

I alternate exercies every workout:

chest - flat /incline/decline/db
legs - squat/incline leg press/hack
back - pulldown to front/low row/Hammer row/db row
delt - smith behind neck/lateral/bent lateral
tri - lying ext/pushdown/behind head cable/dip
bi - straight curl/alt db/ex curl/incline db

Supplements - whey protein and ethyl-ester creatine. [AlphaMale seemed not to help much.]

My son (21) has been lifting for several years - placed in top 6 at a fairly large regional bb show. Hardest worker I’ve ever seen in the gym. He says I’m sandbagging - suggests one part/workout - 5 workouts/week. I think that might be overtraining for my age & recovery.

Suggestions/advice? Your help is greatly appreciated. I’d like to break a 300 bench.

First of all congrats on working out. It’s great to see guys 50+ seriously working out.
I’m wondering though why you are concentrating on your bench. From your stats it seems as though your bench is way ahead of your squat numbers.

It’s your diet if you want to look like a bodybuilder.

Smith raises behind the neck are no good, and are you training for any reason other than a 300lb bench?

Didn’t squat until a few months ago. Concentrated on upper body. Big mistake, but squat is coming up. By the way, that’s a whole-body workout I illustrated, three times/week.

Using Smith behind the neck because of a rotator-cuff problem a fe years ago. I go to about upper-ear level, no lower.

Diet is a weak point, admittedly. I’d like the bodybuilder physique (for an old guy). The 300 lb bench is just a goal…a benchmark.

Before you go to a full one body part per session split, you might want to try an upper/lower split 4-6 days a week first. You should be able to get in a good workout in less than 1 hour that way, still hit every muscle group 2-3 times a week and put a lot more focus on your lower body, including some rear chain exercises (deadlift, clean, good morning…).

BTW, I am 52, 5’10", 215 pounds, ~34" waist. I do something like this:
S: squat, calves, abs
M: off
T: chest,back,arms
W: deadlift, calves, abs
Th: shoulders,back,arms
F: leg press, leg extensions, leg curls, calves, abs
S: chest,back arms
Anywhere from 4-12 sets per compound exercise, 1-12 reps
Isolation exercises 2-4 sets of 6-15 reps.

[quote]dswithers wrote:
…put a lot more focus on your lower body, including some rear chain exercises (deadlift, clean, good morning…).

That’s your advice right there. Back off some of the other stuff and do these, and Bulgarian split squats or step-ups (to bench height)as well. I’m 51, only started lifting after a rugby injury, not putting up big numbers, but I found after a while that concentrating on the muscles you cannot see in a mirror is the best possible advice anyone can give you…


Going to try working on diet better - more protein, fewer carbs, more frequent, smaller meals. Lots more water.

Going back to a split - start with 4-day split. See how that works. Thanks for the advice.

My two cents would be to not forget about the forest while looking at the trees. Your body is a system, not a collection of parts and so you’ve got to look at training, recovery and nutrition as an integrated system.

The other thing is to measure everything you can while you’re dialing in. Count every calorie, watch your weight and body fat percentages. Keep track of your resting heart rate as an indicator of overtraining. You can’t know too much and knowing too little means you’re guessing about important issues.