T Nation

Please Help My Dad

Good afternoon, recently my dad has asked me for advice, he says he doesn’t want anything new, he simply wants to stop losing what muscle he already has due to time. He’s complained about his joints briefly. The last thing I want is to steer him in the wrong direction, so I respectfully ask what specific articles/books have helped you older men specifically.

His age: 57
weight:160

Does not smoke, does not drink. Been in construction/on his feet all his life, no plans of retirement yet. Zero lifting experience except for a pull up bar. Also owns a bench and barbell w/ ~200lbs of weights.

Thank you,
Spy

Edited because I sounded like an ass when I wasn’t trying to. 5/3/1 2nd edition.

[quote]ryno76 wrote:
Edited because I sounded like an ass when I wasn’t trying to. 5/3/1 2nd edition.[/quote]
You are forgiven…

[quote]bulldog9899 wrote:

[quote]ryno76 wrote:
Edited because I sounded like an ass when I wasn’t trying to. 5/3/1 2nd edition.[/quote]
You are forgiven…[/quote]

Thanks, apparently it comes naturally for me, so my wife tells me.

Here’s another good one that’s free:

As a guy with a weightlifting dad close to that age, I am curious if your dad has had his test levels checked recently? Could be worth a trip to the doctor to get some stuff to raise levels, they can get quite low at that age for most guys.

[quote]csulli wrote:
As a guy with a weightlifting dad close to that age, I am curious if your dad has had his test levels checked recently? Could be worth a trip to the doctor to get some stuff to raise levels, they can get quite low at that age for most guys.[/quote]

First thank you for the reply. No he hasnt had them checked; but as an older guy I’d imagine there should be more of an emphasis on boosting his test/GH through his training. Should I then tell him to lift heavier weight for fewer reps to accomplish this, and let higher rep sets take a back seat?

[quote]spyoptic wrote:
Should I then tell him to lift heavier weight for fewer reps to accomplish this, and let higher rep sets take a back seat?[/quote]

The DeFranco program has a good balance of heavy, low-rep training on the big lifts and some higher-rep hypertrophy work. Wendler’s 5/3/1 Boring But Big template would cover this as well.

For some of the experienced guys, spyoptic asked me in a PM about test boosting supplements. I only use whey protein and creatine myself and have not tried anything else.

Can anyone offer some insight on this?

Ha, I recently (about 3 months ago) got my Dad into lifting too. It’s been fun, and, haha, interesting…
Here’s my tips:

Basic diet, meat, fruits, veggies. If he can’t handle low carb, throw some potatoes or rice at him once a day around training.

Training, start with bodyweight movements, a lot of them, progress to barbell movements when he starts feeling bored or like his progress is stagnating. A heavy dose of push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and various conditioning (Sprints, Hill Sprints, Jumps, etc.) will get the results that most people are looking for at that age. If he gets in to it and his joints start feeling better, then by all means start incorporating some pressing, rowing, weighted squatting, etc.

As far as supplementation, Fish Oil is the only real MUST HAVE, at least imo.
If you feel like going further than that, I can’t recommend MAG-10 highly enough, a pulse or two each day has an almost magical effect on muscle growth, fat loss, recovery, energy, hunger, etc.
It’s a great product, and has become a cornerstone of my diet.

As far as the test goes, a diet high in healthy fats and protein should help out, as should training, but at his age it couldn’t hurt to get checked out.

The biggest thing for me and my Dad was he didn’t want to look “weak” in front of me, so he’d be stubborn a lot in the beginning. I just had to hammer it into his head that the only thing I consider “strong” is a consistent dedication to improvement. Now, it’s like every other day I look forward to training my Dad, it’s a really cool experience and I feel like I’m finally getting to actually know him as a person, not just my Dad. Plus he says he feels better than he did in High School, so that’s pretty cool.

Oh!
One last tip, it always jacks my dad up when he thinks he can’t finish.
When he says he can’t keep going, just ask him how long he wants to be able to pick up his grandchildren someday, I guarantee he’ll get going again.

Good luck man, training family can be pretty stressful sometimes, but it’s a great experience when you can get them into it.