T Nation

Over 40... Shoot Me

I just read this:

I love Luoma’s articles, but this one had a couple of things that I just couldn’t agree on. Look — I’ve used a bunch of lifting schemes through the years, with 5/3/1 being a prominent member of that group. I am 42, heading to 43 in a couple of months and figure that my body, not my age, will tell me when it’s time to quit lifting in the sub-5 rep range.

I’m in month 3 of the 3-month challenge and don’t believe my next cycle will be something negating 5/3/1 simply because of my age.

Thoughts? Go ahead and kick me square in the nuts if you feel I deserve it. They’re steel on account of my age, so kick strategically.

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I will be 50 next month and agree with you. My body, not my age will dictate when things change. In August I will be finishing my 5th year of using 5/3/1 variations almost exclusively. I have been training pretty consistently since I was 13. I regularly hit sets at or under 5 and don’t ever think it is an issue and on deadlifts I never do more than 5 reps in a set. I even do Joker sets occasionally and compete in the USAPL with a meet planned in 16 weeks. I have found that I need to use the 7th week protocol every 4th week instead of every 7th and using 3/5/1 week programming lets my joints recover. Anytime I read articles about “over 40 lifters” I laugh at it.

Stay N.O.V. regardless of your age.


I tend to assume that any advice in a T Nation article worked for the person who wrote the article, but several parts of his advice wouldn’t serve me very well. As I get older, I have to protect my joints, so walking and swimming are my primary sources of cardio and when doing martial arts I avoid bag work. I also still enjoy doing sets in the 3-5 rep range. In college I could work out 6 days a week, but 4 is my limit now or I don’t have the recovery time I need.

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Good luck with the meet prep, John.

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Quoted because it’s awesome.