T Nation

Over 70 and Recently New


I'm 76 and been working out about 6 months. Anybody else on here same deal. Would like to hear your ideas, stories, how you are progressing, etc. Thanks.


Heres an idea: Thats awesome!


Damn. I'm not old enough to offer any meaningful suggestions, but I'd imagine you'll be offering some inspiration whether you mean to or not.


That is awesome.

How are things going for you? Has it made a big difference in your life, as far as how you feel?


Nah. It's not awesome. That is the problem, not making any real progress. Thought might get to hear experiences of other in my age bracket, but, there aren't any around.


Hmm, I could throw out some guesses in an attempt to be helpful. I'll start off by assuming you are doing this under the supervision of a physician.

Most signficantly, I'd say recovery ability declines over time -- if only because natural test levels slowly fade.

Are you following strategies to maximize your recovery ability: Proper post-workout nutrition? Contrast showers? Good sleep habits? Perhaps key vitamin and mineral supplements? Omega-3's? Etc?

I'd also guess you really don't need to put undue stress on the joints, such as via max lifts or anything like that.

Compared to more youthful lifters, it's possible that eliciting hormonal responses during a workout could be useful. Are you going for a lactic acid burn?

Anyway, don't give up on getting some good adivce too quickly. Now, it may not be coming from me, but I'm sure there will be ideas worth considering.


You've got just a few years on me - I'm 67. Started working out a year ago, when I retired - not lifting weights at first - just (partial) body weight. Gradually worked up to using real weights.

I've lost about 80 pounds net, so far, from 320 (@6'4")and I've grown some muscle - at least I can see it now! My Tanita scale also says I've gained some lean body mass. (I put the weight loss on hold recently, before I push on to my goal - want to let the old skin get used to the new body.)

I feel great now - much, much stronger, more energy, more flexibility, sleep better - but it didn't come quickly, or without considerable effort and some pain (tendonitis at the moment). After a while, tho' I've come to hanker the exercise for it's own feel-good payback.

There's a good deal to be learned from this site, particularly about good nutrition (some surprises for me!). The stuff about training is also probably good, but almost exclusively focused on younger, real muscle/ strength builders rather than folks like me with more modest goals and older bodies (especially joints).

So you have to temper what you see, for the most part, with good judgement. For example, I completed the program for shoulders by Chad Waterbury and Alwyn Cosgrove. It was hard for me, but it worked great. (I was real careful not to get macho about the amount of weight.) I've seen references to other programs that might be appropriate, but I can't point to them at the moment.

BTW, my Dad went back to woodlot clearing by hand - ax and one-man crosscut saw when he was about your age and he loved it.

Hang in there - the rewards are worth the effort!


Welcome to the best site on the web! You have a few years on me, in one months time I hit 61. I've been training for 44 years with a few missed intervals but no more than a month or two.
Without knowing much about you it is difficult to give any specific advice. What are you goals? Loose weight,gain strength, rehab. etc.? Did you ever train previously? Did you smoke?Obviously unlike the youngsters you are not training to win Mr. Olympia!

So here is some general advice. As stated previously the biggest problem for us old'uns is recovery. Therefore nutrition and rest are just as important as training. This site is full of advice on both, and what Dr. Beradi says (on nutrition)for the young also applies to us.

I take Surge as a post workout drink (pwd)not only does it do the job but tastes heavenly! It doesn't matter what you take but a pwd drink is a must. Another tip is your digestion, it's not what you eat but what you "assimilate" that's important. As you grow older digestion can be a problem (might not be in your case, don't know)I take enzymes and HCL it helps particularly on a high protien diet.

As for training always use good form and a reasonable amount of weight. Remember you are not 25 anymore! I lift half the weight I did 30 years ago and tend to do more volume. Two things I do now are cardio and stretching. You should try and do some of those everyday it really pays off.

Last bit of advice don't neglect the mind. I assume you have learned about this over the years so I don't have to explain it. For motivation I read my old BB mags or look at the Classic BB web sites. For real motivation I visit a cemetery occasionally and read the gravestones of all those dead (from heart attacks and other diseases) who are younger than me!!


I can't add much to what's already been said here (I'm 67). I've been training and competing in Olympic lifting for almost 50 years and I can tell you that recovery from your workouts (and injuries!) definitely takes longer than it used to.

The previous posts that mentioned adequate nutritional intake, i.e., enough minerals, enough vitamins, all make worthwhile points. I'll add that as you age, the careless eating habits that you could get away with when you were younger can definitely harm you at your age, and what might have been a bearable slight vitamin or mineral deficiency when you were, say, 40, can cause majors problems when you're 75.

Here's an example:

The newsletters of both Drs. West and Rowan have recently had articles on iodine deficiency. It's very common here in the U.S., and one way you can test for it is to take some regular tincture of iodine from the drug store and paint a 2" square patch on your inner arm near your elbow, or, if you're very dark-skinned and have a hard time seeing the patch at that location, on the heel of your less dominant hand up into the web between your thumb and forefinger.

If the patch disappears in less than 24 hours, it's likely you're iodine deficient.

When I did that test twice, one week apart, the patch disappeared in less than six hours.

I'm using the product called Iodoral in my treatment. If you google "iodoral," you'll get several places where you can get the product. I get it from a gal who's using some of the profits to fight the Codex Alimentarius, which you should also find out about.

Do all the research you can on this topic and then ask your doctor about trying the "iodine sufficiency" (to use Dr. West's term) protocol.

One other thing: Don't worry about trying to compete with the young tigers.
There are so few of us who maintain the strength levels that we had years ago into our old age that (one exception I think of is the American Olympic lifter Norb Shemansky) it's virtually certain that you can't do it, and that's OK. The young guys (and gals, too) will get old and wweak soon enough.

Back to the iodine deficiency -- there are places on the Web where you can find posts from people who've undergone this iodine therapy, and have seen improvements in their sleep patterns, their energy during the day, weight loss, sex (oh, yeah!!), skin condition, hair condition, finger and toe nail condition - and I certainly can't say whether you even have it, but best to get all the information you can before you start talking to your doctor, because he or she may be conventionally minded and want to put you on a precription drug. I try to avoid those things whenever there's an effective, natural substance or food, or supplement, that will work as well as the drug with fewer or no side effects.

Good luck. And check out this site regularly and fequently. It is one of the most literate and clear sites that I know of anywhere on the Web.


Thanks for the replies, especially oldboy46,oldnewbie46 and ragnarthehammer.
I am listing and checking out the info and advice.


Ragnarthehammer, do you mind if I ask what your opinion on things like test and GH when you are that age. Is this something that is neccessary, or is it possible to stay natural and retain strength?


from a 63 year olde,,,,
Just eating clean, and letting go of the not so good stuff is a big help. For me one of the most important things was adding a protien drink into may diet. Protein being the basic building block of muscle. As we put on years it is nice to ease into this. I started off with one 30 gram drink each morning, the next week another in the mid after noon, and now a third about 8:30P each evening. I will be taking on a major atttack on my weight doing aerobics 5 to 6 days a week, and light weights 3 or 4 times.
OH, life plus had something they call Endocryn DHEA that is another product I use, that has really helped.

Good luck to you


I'm only 52, but found this to be a pretty good source for program design:

Title: The New Rules of Lifting
Authors: Lou Schuler & Alwyn Cosgrove
Publisher: Penguin Group; 2006
(got it at Barnes & Noble)

(I've had good results with full body workouts described in this book.)

Keep lifting.


You guys are great


Ditto. This is an inspiring thread.


From someone who is rarely speechless, I'm speechless. 76 and beginning lifting? You, sir, have inspired me this day! Thank you!


Inspirational indeed.

How does your training look like atm?


I just want to add that you guys are an inspiration...Just great. Thanks for being here, working out, and letting all of us young 'uns know that age is no excuse.


gotta agree with HH, inspiring.


At our age(s) we do not have the time to do dumb things, and have to pay attention to what does work. After I got up to taking three 30 gram protein shakes a day, I read a Q&A of Charles Poliquin. Answering a strength question he said that for strength purposes it was best to take a protein shake upom completing exercise, and another 40 minutes later. He said there was so much proof that this worked, that it was not debatable. I have made that change and I believe it is working.

Also, when I can preform a final set for 20 reps, I add five lbs and drop back to 10 reps. After that I increase the last set by one rep, each session until I am up to 20 reps, and add five lbs, and start all over.

A young college kid wanted to work out with me. That day it was a full body warm up, and chest day. A tri set of db pullovers, flyes and press. Three sets, weight increasing with each set. After we finished I went on my way. Two days later I was in the same gym and the kid(25 yrs) walked in. I said it was arm day....."keep away from me old man...I still cannot move my chest muscles without pain"... Oh - that made an old smile. Nice to know ya still got it.