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Post-60 Lifters: Diet/Supps/Problems


Hey guys, my new client is 71 wants to gain some functional muscles and get stronger.

This guy is old enough to be my grandfather, so i won't know how it feels like to be 71 and the problems faced.

I need some ideas on how at this age which diet would suit him better and what supplementation would great to use.
Also what problems are commonly faced at this age group?

Any help will be great so that i can establish sometime more concrete to advise him to better gain his goals.



Smoothies loaded with ground seeds and nuts, frozen fruit (rasp. & blueberry) fresh bananas, non-fat yogurt and protein powder.

Fish Oil, can not stress this enough.

Lots of protien powder.

At that age FIBER, FIBER, FIBER, get the point!!!

Warm-ups and cool downs at the start are more important than the workout. Any down time because of injury will set him back months. Without constant stimulus to the muscles there will be muscle loss. At his age muscle loss is a natural occurance and has to be battled daily.

Best of luck and hope this helps.


Protein. Lots of it.

Fish oil. Lots of it.

B vitamins. Lots.

Water - as many older people simply neglect to drink water.

Vitamin E helps with testosterone production which in turn (obviously) helps with building muscle tissue.

MSM and or Glucosamine to get some sulfur into the body for joint lubrication and connective tissue suppleness.

Magnesium and calcium for muscle tension relaxation and the usual sodium and potassium for nerve conduction. People who train need sodium if they sweat copiously regardless of age.


I think we would need a little more information about his current status. Has he been sedentary, what is his current weight and height?

Some of the studies concerning older folks, regarding protein consumption is ambiguous. Does he need 200 grams of protein? I'm not sure his body will even process it.
Of course lots of fish oil for joints and maybe an aspirin if he can handle it.

Many older people suffer hip and leg injuries-for many this in the beginning of the end.

I'm not a personal trainer, but I would be careful with your new client. Slow walking and body wight exercises along with stretching. Then progress to machines and light weights. I like full body routines. How often is he coming to gym,what kind of recovery do you think he has?

Good Luck


Thanks guys for the information!

Thank you for the kind words, he's self employed so i guess its an optimal training frequency of 3 times a week would be what i'm recommending.
He swims and walks everyday for most of his exercises, so i won't say he's sedentary - just chose the wrong exercises to build muscles.

Meeting him on monday for as assessment, so i'll give more details when i see him.

Keep the replies coming, i need alot of help on this one.

I was thinking of a few supplementation that'll help him -
DHEA/Yohimbe to spice up his test. Do you think its a good idea?


Really watch his numbers in his log and his general level of health. Managing recovery is key and if he overdoes, like many of us he'll start getting sick with colds and such.

Actually - Old Navy might be a good resource to tap: He's a competitive bodybuilder in his middle 60's and trains people above below and in his age group. He'd probably have some great advice.


Yes, he's progress and physique is very impressive for a man at that age.

I have pm him and invited him to this thread.

Hope he'll drop by and chime in so that i can pick his brains a little.


Here is a story I wrote and posted some time ago about my own situation. I hope it helps your's.

Does Age Affect Your Training?
Scott "Old Navy" Hults

In a word, yes!  Age does affect your training.  That's the short answer. But how it affects your training is really up to the individual.  If you are 20-something, you can train until you drop, and other than being tired and maybe a little sore, the effects wear off quickly and soon you are ready to hit it again.

It's not that easy if you are in your late middle age or early old age.

I am 65 years-old.  I worked out in the gym at least five days a week for about 15 years.  My training, while vigorous, was never strenuous.  My goal was always to stay fit.  Then, about five years ago I got the outrageous idea that I could train to prepare myself to enter a bodybuilding contest.  Now that's an idea whose time had come.  Imagine my wife's reaction when I told her the news.  But, she was supportive and so I proceeded.

Training for a bodybuilding competition required many hard hours in the gym, a strict diet and a totally different life-style.  Here, age makes a difference and does have an affect.

Lifting heavy weights with "old" muscles can be dangerous if you don't stay focused.  It's easy to pull, rip, tear or stretch a muscle during an exercise that can stop you in your tracks and end your contest preparation on the spot.

I took great care in the gym to make sure I stretched my muscles before and after each set.  I drank plenty of water during my workouts and I never continued a lift or pull if I felt the least twinge.  I stopped the set at that point and didn't continue the exercise.  I also never lifted more than I should, just to lift.  My weight training was purposeful and therefore carefully planned.

To prepare for my first contest, I worked out 45 minutes-a-day, five days-a-week for 10 months prior to the contest date.  During that time, I worked progressively harder each week as I grew stronger and never suffered a single injury nor did I miss a day of training, and my energy level remained very high.  My fellow gym rats frequently gibed, "Old Navy is pumped today."

I entered my first contest ready to compete.  I continued to train vigorously for the next five months and entered a total of six bodybuilding competitions in my first year, winning 11 trophies, including placing third in the world in my age class at an international FAME competition.   In the next three years, I competed 21 more times, winning another 34 trophies and Master Pro Cards in three federations, all without sustaining a single training injury.

Simply put, if you are 20, it's OK to act like you are 20. If you are 65, it's not OK to act like you are 20.

Note: I am training to enter my 28th contest, the 2009 FAME World Championships in Montreal next June. I will compete in the Grand Master Pro Class at age 66.


Old Navy,
May i know more about your dietary intake and what to recommend? supplementation too?

How much was too much and maybe the telling signs of overtraining and the telling signs..

There are not many good information regarding older population and their problems, so its hard for younger trainer to actually get information and learn more.


60 minutes of training, including cardio, five days-a-week is a good training regimen.

I train in the morning, so I start my day with a 35 grams protein shake and 28 grams of carbs, which come from oatmeal, cereal, wheat toast with peanut butter or grapefruit.

I have another 20 grams of protein shake post workout and snack on Special K Meal Replacement bars (two a day). I eat two whole meals of chicken, or fish, or turkey or beef and carbs (rice, sweet potato, pasta) at 11 AM and 3 PM.

I have another 20 grams shake at 1 PM. I don't take any carbs after 4 PM. My dinner is usually fish, chicken, turkey or beef and two cups of green vegetables. I have a final casein shake before bed.

My supplements include Creatine, Glutamine, branch chain amino acids, multi-vitamins and protein shakes. That's it.


My age is 65.

A real eye opener for you would to buy the book, available at Barnes & Noble, "Younger next Year". A radio talk host discovered the book at his 'read' on a vacation 2 years ago.

He made the changes in his training and says he was surprised how well things went at his age. I read the book and made some of the changes also. Really good insight as to a lot of "hows" and "whys" that most of us never thought about.

I am a lot smarter from reading, and 4th time re-reading that book. And I have given it as Christmas presents.


Sorry,this is probably my first post on here after lurking a long time. I have been around forever on BB and AM. I am 67 yr old and have been lifting since '51 when my dad put some poles, paint cans and cement together to make my first bbell. My normal body weight used to be around 175 because of my mountain biking and running (I lived much of my life in EUrope and Asia). I arrived back in the US in '00 a malnourished 149 lber, going through divorce, maximally depressed and completely fallen out of shape.

Today I am 5'10 3/4 ", 215 lb who has recently done 380 on the Hammer Strength BP. I'll try to get a video up of my recent Triceps Pressdown attempt. My path the last 8 years had the advantage of lots of muscle memory and a lifetime of discipline and training. Still I would make some of the following suggestions for your 70 year old newbie.

Slow start and use very, very light machine exercises in a fullbody, 3X per week workout program. Get him started walking on his days off easy and build up slowly. In 6 months or so you should be able with slow increases in each form of exercise, be able to get him into a split routine and maybe start some HIIT cardio approach with him. I recommend the use of machines, no matter how light at first to ease him and guide him through the learning and muscle reactivation phase.

Importantly, IMO for us old farts is to feel a bit tangible accomplishment even if it is going from 25 to 50 lbs on a machine BP eg. It is part of a very necessary feedback loop that reenforces a tangible image of progress which will keep him coming back. And that is every bit as important as getting him started. With a base you will be able to then really guide him into a mixture including some free weights with your knowledge and expertise. By then with your diet and supplmentation advice he should be hooked and cooking on his own motivation.

Apropos the diet portion, consider his health needs and get him to make good use of say oatmeal, olive oil, green veggies heavy with broccoli sprouts etc. This is keeping an eye on the health needs of we elderly while supplementing the typical healthy diet I am sure you know better than I. On the supplement side there are a few that really stand out if he is able to swing it.

Omega 3 fish oils (eg for me 5 gms ED)are extremely helpful for his joints while adding a world of assistance to a wide range of health issues especially important for us such as Alzheimers, Prostate Cancer, Heart and Cholesterol problems etc. Likewise I am a believer in heavy use of Vitamin D3 which has proven benefits again for we oldsters in training while fighting Cancer, Cholesterol etc. Green Tea Extract will give him some energy to work out while addressing some 25+ health situations.

Lastly I believe strongly in having him use Creatine (your choice, I find I react best to CEE but that's just me) and that is not only for strength and recovery issues but its now famous use in preventing Parkinson's disease (Already in 3rd stage testing with HIH).

I stack Beta-Alanine along with my Creatine (it's anothe great old farts supp) because it teams well for recovery and fights off the effect of lactic acid while being arguably the hottest element in eye care as it combines with our Histidine to form Carnosine and fight off Cataracts and ARMD (Age Related Macro Degeneration).

I apologize for my long winded reply, but I needed to introduce myself a bit and perhaps help you understand that I am not a newbie myself but a life long, and I do mean long LOL, iron lover. Get his guy off and running and you may really keep him running for many more years in optimum health. Viel Glueck!


thank you for all your help!

i will take note and update the progress.


Importantly, IMO for us old farts is to feel a bit tangible accomplishment even if it is going from 25 to 50 lbs on a machine BP eg. It is part of a very necessary feedback loop that reenforces a tangible image of progress which will keep him coming back. And that is every bit as important as getting him started.

That is really true. I got terribly deconditioned before my last round with weights. Using machines did two things for me.

First, it was safer for my old body.

Second, it was much easier to make steady, measurable, consistent progress in small increments.

What he really needs from you is setting up a proper progression (weight machines just seem to be slapped in haphazard fashion all over gyms these days), a proper blend of exercises (generally he won't need and shouldn't be using every machine in the place), and guidance for starting 3x a week with single sets and then moving into split routines. Finally, he will need help with proper form.

You can really do him a lot of good, and help him make transitions when he is physically ready for it, things he could not do for himself.