T Nation

Please Comment on My Lifting Plan

I am a 54 year old male and would like my lifting plan reviewed and commented on. I am 5’10” and weight 180 lb. I have been lifting casually for about 2 years to maintain muscle tone with a high rep approach similar to the plan I have listed. Fitness level about average for my age, I’m guessing. But now I am shooting for 4-6 reps with heavier weights to build muscle. My goals are to bulk up some and lose fat, with losing the belly fat as a priority. I estimate my body fat at about 22%.

The exercises I have listed are selected based on the equipment available at my gym. I do know that I should have a dead lift in there somewhere, but my last attempt at adding the dead lift resulted in a back injury that left me out of work for 2 weeks, so for now, I am working on core work indicated to eventually be able to do dead lifts.

I plan on two rest days between workouts. I am doing one 10 rep set at 50% weight for warmup then following with the 3 work sets at a weight to end up with failure at the 6th rep. I’m resting 2 minutes between reps.

I am using machines out of necessity at this point for all exercises except the bicep curl. I know the free weights are the way to go, but for now, machines are going to have to do.

So for the exercises listed:

  1. Is there an exercise that I should change from this list? I do not want to add another exercise, I am doing this at lunchtime during work and have limited time. This workout is taking me about 1 hour.
  2. Is the order of the exercises appropriate?
  3. Any other suggestions/tips?

Squat- Smith Machine
Bench Press- Smith Machine
Ab Crunch- Machine
Overhead Shoulder Press- Machine
Lat Pulldown- Machine
Knee Raise on Dip Station
Seated Row- Machine
Bicep Curl- Dumbbell

I also plan to fit in a twice a week ab program on the rest days, something like the George Bush AB40 program on youtube, I like the simplicity, just 4 exercises. I will admit I have failed to reliably do ab workouts in the past, but hey, it’s a new year, we’ll see what happens.

As far as diet, I’m currently on a moderately strict Atkins diet (about 30 carbs per day) to lose about 10 lbs. One concern is not having the energy to lift hard due to the diet, but I’m following this plan now for 2 weeks and have not run out of gas during the work outs. If I do, I’m thinking about adding some breakfast carbs on lift days such as ½ cup of black beans.

I know the value of protein supplementation, but I have had problems losing weight when consuming a scoop of whey protein, so am currently postponing heavy supplementation. I have started using BlueBonnet at ½ scoop post workout for about 13g. I have also been taking Collagen Hydrolysate in my coffee every morning now for a number of years (Great Lakes brand), which provides another 11g.

I am getting good protein from my meals, though. I am eating an egg and meat (usually a single slice of bacon or sausage patty) for breakfast, salad and about a 1/3 lb beef burger for lunch, and usually a chicken breast or 8oz steak for dinner with a vegetable side.

Anyway, any comments or observations on what I’m doing are welcome and appreciated.

I mean, gotta do what you gotta I guess. If you have dumbbells why don’t you do any of your pressing or rows with them?
As far as the smith machine, alot of people find front squats and incline bench to feel better than back squat and flat bench. Also, why do overhead press on a machine instead of the smith or dumbbells

Thanks for the comments. I have checked out some form videos for the front squat and will give them a shot, I have never done them before. Will probably work better for me, as the arm position for the standard squat is somewhat uncomfortable due to some tricep tendon inflammation. This issue is why I have shied away from heavy dumbbells for the chest press and why I do overhead press machine with the palms facing each other (palms forward seems to put more strain on the elbows).

The smith machine for the overhead press would have palms facing forward, but dumbbells would allow the palms to face each other, so I will probably look at trying them out instead of the machine. I am figuring that I can build some strength with the machines and progress to dumbbells with more confidence. Right now, I am afraid of aggravating this elbow issue and cutting my training short altogether. I have been doing some stretching and since heavy lifting this elbow issue has improved some. I believe this injury is due to the use of statins my doctor talked me into taking, I discontinued after a year when muscle and joint pain was becoming unbearable.