T Nation

Over 40 - New Training Program looking for advice

Hoping for advice & apologies for the long post. I’m 44, weigh 73kg, and having started training since July 2009 with aim to get fitter (obviously) and build muscle mass. After 6 months of FB training 3 times a week each session was lasting 2 hours so was obviously “over training” & development has not been as good as it may should have been. After discussing my program with various experienced lifters it was suggested that I start a split routine & was suggested the following.

Day 1 - Chest Triceps
DB Flat Chest Press - 4 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest inbetween
DB Flat Flyes - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Incline DB Chest Press - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Dips - 4 sets, to Failure, 60 secs rest
Tricep Pulldown - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Tricep Extension or Cable X over - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 2 - Rest of HIIT (30 mins treadmill)

Day 3 Back & Biceps
Pull ups or Chin ups - 4 sets, to Failure, 60 secs rest
BB or DB Bent over rows - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Reverse Fly - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest (Not sure about this exercise as I thought was for delts not back)
EZ Bar Bicep Curl - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Hammer curl or Bicep Curl or Lat Pull down - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 4 Legs
BB or DB Squats - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB Lunges - 4 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Calf Raises - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Leg Extension - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Leg Curl - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 5 Rest Day

Day 6 Shoulders, Traps & Abs
DB Shoulder press - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Military press - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB SHoulder Shrugs - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB Lateral raises - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB Front raises - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Core Rotation - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 7 - Rest or HIIT (30 mins Treadmill)

I am not very experienced having only started 6 months ago but want to ensure what program I follow is beneficial. I would be grateful of any advice or comments on this program.

many thanks

you have to do 5/3/1 or we’ll kill you

[quote]mjnewland wrote:
you have to do 5/3/1 or we’ll kill you[/quote]

Ummmm… nice welcome. If I knew what it was then maybe I could comment so will do research, and hopefully in the meantime get dome advice on the split routine I posted.

Don’t worry about MJ, that’s a running joke around here. 5-3-1 is a popular program designed by Jim Wendler that a lot of guys are running. You should check it out, alot of people are getting good results on it. Its built around the squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press, with opposing movements for assessory work.

I think as long as you do those 4 lifts, plus a variation of chins, rows, dips, and good mornings, you are good to go. Any other assessory work that you want to do is fine but not essential.

Welcome aboard,

Jack

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Don’t worry about MJ, that’s a running joke around here. 5-3-1 is a popular program designed by Jim Wendler that a lot of guys are running. You should check it out, alot of people are getting good results on it. Its built around the squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press, with opposing movements for assessory work.

I think as long as you do those 4 lifts, plus a variation of chins, rows, dips, and good mornings, you are good to go. Any other assessory work that you want to do is fine but not essential.

Welcome aboard,

Jack[/quote]

Thanks Jack. I will certainly do the research but while doing so the split routine I originally posted does it look ok, and will it provide the results I am aiming for in the meantime?

Please feel free to comment offer suggestions or advice to improve even if it is death threats to do 5/3/1…

Jandy,

Welcome. I did a routine very similiar to yours and had excellent gains for the first several years. Looks like you have a good program lined up. You might consider how you could add deadlifting into your weekly routine. Maybe add it to your back day and move your leg day forward to give yourself time to recover.

[quote]Oldman Powers wrote:
Jandy,

Welcome. I did a routine very similiar to yours and had excellent gains for the first several years. Looks like you have a good program lined up. You might consider how you could add deadlifting into your weekly routine. Maybe add it to your back day and move your leg day forward to give yourself time to recover.[/quote]

On that advice would it be better to replace the Reverse Fly on my back & bicep day with Deadlifts? I have not really understood why reverse fly was added to my Back & Bicep routine as I have always thought it to be a rear delts exercise.

Many thanks

Jandy,

Welcome aboard!

Let me qualify anything I might say with: I am neither a BB or powerlifter and anything I might say is a regurgitation of what I have read (both good and bad) combined with a smidge of personal experience.

I think you are right on the reverse flyes. I do them for rear delts. Their main purpose for me is to serve as an antagonist for bench and military, to keep balance in the shoulder. Given the movement, though, it does hit the upper back as well. Once I started doing them, and face pulls, most of my shoulder pain went away.

The program looks right along the lines of what a BB would do. So, if size and endurance are what you are going for, it should do the trick. That being said, it is very true that the best workout is the one you actually do.

I think Oldman Powers is dead on. Deads (or RDLs or GMs) might be a good addition to target the lower back, as there is nothing in the program that hits its primarily…not to mention the difference you will feel in the glutes and hammies.

And on a personal note, I prefer the using the barbell for bench press and squats. There are already a multitude of DB exercises in the program. The barbell exercises give you the chance to load the bar and add the stress of heavier weights. Also, there is the benefit of coordination from forcing both sides to work as one.

Sorry for the length. My ignorance is, apparently, rather talkative.

Welcome Jandy. Cant say a thing intelligent on your program other than I like working 4 days a week and I like your split. I’m going to file it away for future reference. BTW, I’m a 5-3-1 heathen.

Although I started training 6 months ago I was naive in my attitude to training, and thought that banging out the sets in a routine would achieve the results of muscle mass &, strength & endurance.

I got the program by speaking to “experience”, and what I have seen on this site (as I have been a “watching member” since November) is that there is a lot of experience & knowledge on this forum, and that should be taken notice of.

Many thanks for the comments, and good advice.

[quote]Jandy wrote:
Hoping for advice & apologies for the long post. I’m 44, weigh 73kg, and having started training since July 2009 with aim to get fitter (obviously) and build muscle mass. After 6 months of FB training 3 times a week each session was lasting 2 hours so was obviously “over training” & development has not been as good as it may should have been. After discussing my program with various experienced lifters it was suggested that I start a split routine & was suggested the following.

Day 1 - Chest Triceps
DB Flat Chest Press - 4 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest inbetween
DB Flat Flyes - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Incline DB Chest Press - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Dips - 4 sets, to Failure, 60 secs rest
Tricep Pulldown - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Tricep Extension or Cable X over - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 2 - Rest of HIIT (30 mins treadmill)

Day 3 Back & Biceps
Pull ups or Chin ups - 4 sets, to Failure, 60 secs rest
BB or DB Bent over rows - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Reverse Fly - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest (Not sure about this exercise as I thought was for delts not back)
EZ Bar Bicep Curl - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Hammer curl or Bicep Curl or Lat Pull down - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 4 Legs
BB or DB Squats - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB Lunges - 4 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Calf Raises - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Leg Extension - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Leg Curl - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 5 Rest Day

Day 6 Shoulders, Traps & Abs
DB Shoulder press - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Military press - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB SHoulder Shrugs - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB Lateral raises - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
DB Front raises - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest
Core Rotation - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60 secs rest

Day 7 - Rest or HIIT (30 mins Treadmill)

I am not very experienced having only started 6 months ago but want to ensure what program I follow is beneficial. I would be grateful of any advice or comments on this program.

many thanks

[/quote]

The way you have the muscle groups split is fine. There are a number of ways to do it and they will all work.
Overall, if you goal is muscle mass (the HITT will take car of the cardiovascular aspect)I would say that there are are too many sets, the reps are too high and the rest periods too short.

I’m a point form kinda guy, so;

  • 4 x 8-12 is a long road to building strength and size especially if you are basically using the same weight for each set. Ramp the weight until you get to the one top set where you go all out.
  • example, for incline DB (no idea what your strength level is) it could be (let’s use 6 reps as your target for the top set, I tend to be in the 3-5 range but that’s me) 30lbs x 7, 40 x 5, 50 x 3, 60 x 6.
  • next time you train, try and beat 60 x6
  • after the top set you can back off and do one or two sets for higher reps
    • rest as much as you need to in order to do justice to the next set. If it takes 2 minutes so be it

Chest / tris

  • on your chest / tri day pick 2 main exercise for chest.
    If one of them is dips then you really only need one tri exercise

Back / bis

  • many train rear delts with back so the reverse flyes are fine here

Legs

  • you need more for the posterior (hams and glutes). Leg curls won’t do it
  • I would take out the leg extensions too and do more bang-for-the buck movements
  • deadlift variations are your friend here (conventional, sumo, romanian, stiff-leg
  • some can back squat and DL on the same day, some (like me) need to watch their lower back
  • so, you could do something like sumo DL and leg press
  • or, back squat and single leg DL or walking lunges (long stride)
  • or, you may want to put DL on your back day…if so you will likely not want to do bent over rows

Shoulders

  • you have too many movements here
  • do DB press or military, not both on the same day

Good luck and remember to focus as much effort on the food intake piece of the puzzle. Otherwise, your results won’t be much different than when you were on FB training.

I don’t know that I would change anything, other than doing 5/3/1. Make sure you are getting at least 1g protein per pound bodyweight, and unless you are trying to cut, you’ll probably want to get some good carbs prior to training. It is more volume than I do, but the exercise selection looks fine. make sure you keep track of your performance, wts/reps etc. any program is awesome when its working.

if you stop progressing, its time to mix things up. I like the opposites, so for a month do the excercises you are doing, same number of work sets, but do an extra warmup set, then instead of doing 4-12 reps, do 1-3 at a much heavier weight. you have a lot of volume now. if you hit a plateau, lower volume and increase intestity(weight).

And, switch to 5/3/1, or we’ll kill you. and, you’ll get to know the secret handshake, which we will never show jack because he mocks me.

[quote]mjnewland wrote:

And, switch to 5/3/1, or we’ll kill you. and, you’ll get to know the secret handshake, which we will never show jack because he mocks me.[/quote]

There always has to be some heretics and heathens…

Once again many thanks to all. Part of the reason in getting the advice was since commencing training in July 2009, I have achieved what could only be described as a “mixed bag” of personal bests. Not impressive stats but believe me a big improvement on my achievements when I first started 6 months ago…

DB Bench Press 3 x 8 x 50kg -110lbs (combined wt.of DB)
DB Incline Bench Press 3 x 8 x 40kg - 88lbs (combined wt.of DB)
DB Flat Fly 3 x 12 x 35kg - 77lbs (combined wt.of DB)
DB Shoulder press 3 x 8 x 35kg - 77lbs (combined wt.of DB)
DB Shoulder shrugs 3 x 8 x 50kg - 110lbs (combined wt.of DB)

During FB training I was not paying sufficient attention on legs and this is reflected on my PB’s to date.

BB Squats 3 x 12 x 40kg (2 x 15kg plates, plus bar - 88lbs)
DB lunges 3 x 12 x 30 kg - 66lbs (combined wt.of DB)
DB calf raises 3 x 12 x 50kg - 110lbs (combined wt.of DB)

So in short I am confident that now I have got some great advice I can follow this split routine (until I have researched 5/3/1 more). Mix it up occasionally with less reps and increased weight, measure the PB’s, and hopefully start to see some real gains.

One minute rest just isn’t enough if you’re trying to gain strength and do that amount of work. Bump the rest to two minutes and sometimes more if you need it. With 6 months training under your belt you are still “new”. You don’t even really know what you can lift because your body won’t let you. At one minute your head will tell you you’re ready but at this training age you’re really not. This is not a knock against you. One minute of rest will keep your weights too low and the results will take much longer to achieve, if at all. Who wants that?!? Now go tear this program up for a while (with the 2 minutes rest) and let us know what happens.

Latest results since starting new split routine that I posted 3 weeks ago:

DB Bench Press 3 x 8 x 55kg -121lbs (combined wt.of DB) +5kg
DB Incline Bench Press 3 x 8 x 45kg - 99lbs (combined wt.of DB) +5kg
DB Flat Fly 3 x 12 x 40kg - 88lbs (combined wt.of DB) +5kg
DB Shoulder press 3 x 8 x 35kg - 77lbs (combined wt.of DB) +0kg
DB Shoulder shrugs 3 x 8 x 55kg - 121lbs (combined wt.of DB) +5kg

BB Squats 3 x 12 x 50kg - 110lbs (plates, plus bar) +10kg
DB lunges 3 x 12 x 40 kg - 88lbs (combined wt.of DB) +10kg
DB calf raises 3 x 12 x 55kg - 121lbs (combined wt.of DB) +5kg

Agree results may not seem that impressive to some that post but since starting split routine I have found that rather than feeling completely wasted as I was when doing 3 x 2 hrs Total body workout,I am able to apply significant more effort with lifting in my training, and already noticeable gains in physique.

Week 3 of Split routine and and last night achieved new PB’s with leg training.

BB Squats: 10 x 110 lbs, 10 x 121 lbs, 8 x 132lbs (+22 lbs)
DB lunges: 8 x 66 lbs, 8 x 77lbs, 8 x 77 lbs (+11 lbs)
DB calf raises 10 x 110 lbs, 10 x 110 lbs, 8 x 121 lbs (+11 lbs)

This morning I just have learn how to walk again…

I have way to much time on my hands today. So here’s my 2 cents worth.

Day 1
Squats 3 sets 3-8 reps
squat 5 sets x 10 reps 50%-60% of max weight
abs

Day 2 Cardio (optional)

Day 3
BB Flat Chest Press - 3 sets 3-8 rep range
Dips - 5 sets x 10 reps
Chins- 5 sets x 1-2 shy of failure

Day 4 Cardio (optional)

Day 5
deadlift 3 set 3-8 reps
deadlift 5 setsx10 reps 50-60% of max
abs

Day 6 and 7 are off or cardio

Day 1
MP 3 sets 3-8 reps
Dips 5x10
chin 5 x 1-2 shy of failure

Day 3 squats again. Just rotate the 4 workouts.

Thats my basic version of 5/3/1 (without %s or weekly rotations of weight). Now MJ won’t have to kill you. Don’t go to failure. At 73 kg I would say eat something man. Get the extra potatoe with butter and dessert.