T Nation

Older Yet Evidently Not any Wiser


Since I'm at least 10 years past the entry criteria for this forum, I figured this would be the best place to start a workout log.

Background: I've been lifting for about 12 months, having started with a 5x5 program for about 5 months, followed by my current 5/3/1 routine for the past 7. Prior to that I've never really lifted seriously, although I did fool myself into thinking that I was accomplishing something with 90lb. deadlifts.

I've always had strong legs (before my knees started to give out I jogged pretty regularly), a protruding gut, and no discernible upper-body development. After the past year of exercise I now have stronger legs, roughly the same gut, and at least some muscles above the waist.

As I've said to various people before, I'm old enough that I have no illusions that I'll ever be stupid strong, but if I can keep improving a little each month I'm going to be happy with it.

I've just finished the first week of Cycle VIII on the 5/3/1 program, so my next post will be the details of that week. Thanks for reading, and I'm open to whatever advice seems helpful.


You will get plenty of advice here, but there is no guarantee that any of it will be helpful.

Welcome aboard!


Taking up lifting at an age when most people are thinking about winding down is admirable. Don't think because you are older you can't achieve big things, I'm sure you will suprise yourself. Alot of people on here are stronger now in their 40' and 50's than they were in their 20's. Welcome and I'll be checking out your log.


Thanks for the warm welcome.

As I said before, I'm starting the 8th round of my 5/3/1 program, and it's been going generally very well for me. My current working max numbers are as follows:

Overhead Press: 47.5kg/105lb
Deadlift: 142.5kg/313lb
Squat: 138.5kg/304lb
Bench Press: 80kg/176lb

Purely as an accident of history, I have all metric plates, so I keep my log in kilos; I put the pounds here this time by way of reference, but I don't usually think in those terms. Frankly, I think the mental trick of thinking "Hey, this Deadlift is only 140" makes it sound lighter. (I do all my exercising at home, using a power rack in the attic for most of the lifts and deadlifting in the garage.)

Week 1:

10/15: OHP
Warm: 20x5, 25x5, 30x3
32.5 x 5
37.5 x 5
42.5 x 5+ (made 5)
Assist: 25 x 10 x 5

This is by far my worst exercise, and the only one I've had to reset the weights on. If I fail out on this cycle I'm going to be thinking of changing the assistance to something else.

10/16: Deadlift
Warmup: 60 x 5, 75 x 5, 90 x 3
95 x 5
110 x 5
125 x 5+ (made 7) [Rep PR +2]

I've just gotten a set of Elite Fitness knee sleeves in the XL size, and they seem to be way too tight. If I leave them on during my rest periods my circulation is cut off in about a minute, so I'm looking to exchange them for a larger size.

10/18: Bench
Warmup: 32.5 x 5, 40 x 5, 50 x 3
52.5 x 5
60 x 5
70 x 5+ (made 6)
Assist: 47.5 x 10 x 5
Bent-over BB rows: 40 x 10 x 3

10/20: Squat
Warmup: 60 x 5, 70 x 5, 85 x 3
95 x 5
105 x 5
120 x 5+ (made 9) [Rep PR +2]
Assist: 70 x 20

This felt really good. I wimped out and didn't try for the 10th rep on the last set, but was happy with what I did.

Thanks for sticking through this. From now on I'll keep to one day per post so it's a little more manageable.



I started at age 46 and now three years later I'm still going. In better health than before as well.


Ahh, a kilo guy. I like to think of your lifts in pounds. Because, quite frankly, it makes me feel not quite so weak.

I just got knee sleeves a week or so ago and am in love.


Well, having looked around the forum, I'm feeling pretty weak myself. I mean, what's up with a 49-year-old guy deadlifting 405?!? (Soldog, I'm looking at you)

By way of context, I realized I might want to provide some info about my overall size. I'm 5'10, weigh about 215 (fortunately I weigh myself in pounds, not kilos :wink:, and I'd love to lose about 25 pounds.

So, none of my lifts are interesting to anybody but me, yet I'm slightly giddy just to have gotten as far as I have. My upcoming long-term goal is a 300-400-500 bench-squat-dead plateau. I will clearly hit the squat one first unless something unusual happens, and I fear I may never make the bench one, but it gives me something to shoot for.


welcome aboard!!!

goals are done like this- 400/300/500. squat, bench and deads because that's the order of competition. the way you did it makes my eye twitch.

good luck and you already have a great base of strength.

5/3/1??? what's that:)


5-3-1 is my current competition max :wink: Having never actually been in a competition I wasn't thinking of the order, but it makes sense to give your legs a break. I'll think of it that way in the future.


i was just bust'n balls:) we are good at that around here. besides... you have to have a thick skin around the gear whores that reside in this forum.....cough...cough...Pete.


I think you need thicker skin to defend yourself from those who mess with the gear whores.


i myself am rocking the EFS extra-uber-super-pimp-heavy-duty knee sleeves. They are supposed to be like wraps, too tight to wear between sets.

I wear knee socks on deadlift and squat days, because it makes it easier to slide the sleeves up and down. Thanks for doing 5/3/1. Its safer that way


Indeed, bench serves only to rest us between squat and deadlift


Well, based on my bench numbers, I'm clearly treating it like a moment of rest :wink:


I've never tried lifting a seriously. Welcome, do them like this, 45', 140', 48', 28', 105' 83', 505, 16', 405, one o'clock, 540, 330, really mess 'em up. Forget stupid strong and go straight to ugly strong like JW.


My first thought was that this was some seriously profound shit that I just wasn't smart enough to grok. My next thought was that you were drunk. Then, I decided to stop thinking and start lifting...

But thanks, I think.


I think that was some form of hazing for newbies to the forum, perhaps? He didn't pull that shit on me, so I can't be sure. But it's also possible that the gibberish actually means something that I'm simply not smart enough to understand. In fact, very possible.


I fully expected newbie hazing, but in the past when I've been hazed I haven't had to think too hard to get the message :slight_smile: Usually once the bleeding stops I've figured out that it was hazing.

In any case, it's Overhead Press night tonight, so I'll be engaging in a form of self-hazing once I realize that I'm too weak to live.


Welcome. Don't think that just because you're starting in your 40's that you're limited. I started at 42 and am doing okay.

It's interesting that you're posting in kilos since that what we use in competition. We have a couple of kilo conversion charts in the garage so we can convert from lbs to kilos so we know what our attempts will be. The longer I do it, the more I think in kilos. For instance my goal at my next meet is 150, 80, 170.

How did you end up with metric plates? Are they Ivanko? If so, I'm jellyus.


No, these are well-used Weider black-iron plates. I bought them all used from folks on Craigslist. The only thing I can imagine is that these were a common cheap set at some point in the past and thus lots of people ended up with them. (I actually have 2 45-pound plates that are just slightly larger in diameter, so when I put them on first for deadlifts it's pretty easy to get the rest of the weights on without a jack.)

I got them for about 40 cents/pound, compared to nearly $1/pound for essentially the same thing new, and I've ended up with 3 separate sets collected over time.

I also got a fairly cheap power rack from Craigslist, and I have that up in my walk-up attic where I do most of my exercises. However, now that I can deadlift more than I can put back down gracefully, I don't dare do that upstairs. So, I have a second set of plates in the garage with a plywood pad that I put down when I do those. I have to move the car out each time, so putting the entire arrangement in the garage isn't going to happen.