Program: My Osteoarthritic Father

Hello all!

I am putting together a program for my andropausing father.

I feel good about it in theory, but what does the Wisdom of Experience have to say about this plan?

That’s where I need you guys! :smiley:

My father is about 55, 210-220ish pounds, and has worked as a tradesman his entire life. Lots of pounding on the joints + inflammatory “construction site diet”.

He’s gotten osteoarthritis in one knee pretty bad and it’s not that great in the other one, either. Hips too. He wants to start a fitness routine to get his bodyweight down and increase his mobility.

I’ve printed off “18 Tips to Bulletproof Knees” and will be getting him on some glute activation and rectus femoris stretching shortly.

His pain gets really bad close to and past 90-degrees so for the time being I’ll keep him restricted to above-90.

Other injuries include a 30-year-old lumbar disc rupture that pinches a motor nerve. When his lumbar vertebrae [flexes?/extends?] rounds instead of arches it fires off his hamstrings and they can contract pretty painfully.

Also, about 15 years ago he dislocated a shoulder, but has been working with it without too much trouble ever since.

Here’s what I’ve got so far for a rough draft of his first two months…


Glucosamine 1500mg / day
Chondroitin 1200mg / day
Collagen hydrolysate 10g / day
Flameout - suggested serving
ZMA - suggested serving (boost natural Test and IGF-1)

He takes these already but couldn’t recall the amounts:

Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and D.
Flaxseed oil, lecithin, fish oil, glucosamine,
and aspirin.

I have a slough of other supplements I’d have him taking, but I don’t want his days spent consuming more mass in pills than actual whole food. On that note…


Introduce him to the organic section of the supermarket. Switch him to range-fed and organic meat, eggs, and dairy. Incorporating fruits and vegetables at every feeding. Berardi’s supershakes from Precision Nutrition book are a starting point and go from there.


“Cardio”: Cycling @ 60% HRmax, 30-40 mins x 3-4d / week

Ease back into cardio and the new joint stimulus after several
years’ lay-off.


Upper Body - “Pre-hab” movements for the shoulders including scapular depression, elevation, pro-and-retraction, as well as humeral external and internal rotation. 2 x 10-12

Basic vertical push-pull, horizontal push-pull, biceps and triceps. 3 x 10

Core - Basic floor-based exercises to relearn how to activate the lower back, rectus abs, internal and external obliques. Neuro-control exercises such as “Russian ballet thrusts”, etc.

Lower Body - Box squats to 90-degrees, hypers, learn deadlift technique, several stretches for hip and ankle mobility. One-legged training for asymmetrical lower-back stimulation.

Will integrate “third-world squat” stretching after 4-5 months of supplementation if accompanied by increase in joint quality.

Other - Foam rolling of rectus femoris, lateral thigh structures, glutes, lats, pecs, triceps. Tennis-ball-torture-device for entire spine.

A co-worker also has a solid connection for anabolics if anyone has recommendations and/or suggested reading in that regard. Dad has been doing his own reading and expressed interest to me in taking GH. I don’t know enough about it to counsel him, though.

I’m stoked to get my dad into the “iron game” after years of prodding!

Thanks a ton for your feedback!



I’m 54, and have OA in one of my knees due to an old injury (torn medial collateral and partially torn ACL). They removed the medial mensicus at the time of the injury, and after years of running marathons and ultras, I now have essentially no cartilage left. It got so painful, I had trouble walking up/down stairs. I started doing leg extensions with light weights, gradually building it up. That helped a lot. I don’t do them now, just squats and deadlifts, but they sure helped early on. Hopefully, your dad isn’t in that bad of shape, but if he is that might be a good place to start.

Anyway, I’ll be following your thread with interest. Good luck to your dad!


Growth Hormone has gotten a lot of press as an anti-aging treatment. It’s expensive both to purchase and to get it prescribed.

First off, he should get a comprehensive blood test including thyroid, free and total testosterone and estradiol. He’ll probably have to ask specifically for free testosterone and estradiol as many won’t include these unless there is a medical indication or the patient asks for them. It wouldn’t hurt for him to know the symptoms for low testosterone and tell his doctor that he has all of them (true or not).

Once he has an indication of where he’s at, he can decide the best course of action. Post the blood work results here and our TRT guys will check them out and have something to say.

In case I wasn’t clear, if he’s interested in anti-aging, testosterone will give him a lot more bang for his buck than HGH. If he’s still interested in HGH, then IGF-1 is a possible alternative and he should read up on it. I haven’t tried it myself, yet, but don’t forget that bodybuilders aren’t using it for anti-aging and their experiences may not translate well to someone who is.

Math: Seems to make sense. Maybe I’ll start him off on light-weight, limited ROM leg extensions and curls.

Happy: His doc’s on holidays for the time being so getting blood work will have to wait a few weeks.

The same doc has a relative of ours on TRT so getting the Old Man juiced up shouldn’t be an issue.

Thanks to both of you for your feedback!
It is most appreciated! :smiley:


TRT would help with fat loss. You did not post his height, but less weight will reduce the stress on the knees.

With that climate, you both probably require 2000iu of vitamin D per day.