T Nation

Retired & Over 50 - Back in the Game!

I have retired on Feb 28, 2009 - I am 52 years of age and have committed to getting back into shape. Many say I am too old to be lifting heavy and should be taking it easy at my age.

I have started hitting the gym daily, walking daily, I have upped my protein, dropped my carbs and logging my workouts. I can not do barbells since I have had 5 surgeries to rebuild my right arm after I was ran over by a drunk and that combined with a surgeon butchered me trying to fix a broken wrist. My right radial head has been removed, both wrists have been crushed, my wrist literally breaks every time I twist it as if opening a door knob. I have to wear gloves with wrist wraps - they serve as my wrists.

I am currently pressing on a hammer machine, using free weights - 505lbs… I squat 520lbs, leg press 1100lbs… my focus is getting back into shape and then I will focus on my stomach. This should start around the first of April after 30 days working on getting back in the gym.

I am 5’6 and weigh 225lbs - I turn 53 this coming August and my goal is to have a 6 pack with some quads and pecs to accent it!

I have never read a book that tells me I have to lay down and play dead at 50… you will find me either on a bench press or squat rack!

I hope to find more guys my age that are dedicated to make another run at an older age - someone needs to be there to show the gym weenies the real way to respect others in a gym and that squat racks are not curling areas!!

The sexiest 52 year old i know!

I detect a spousal relationship…I hope.

Danged strong, sir. Lots of 52 y.o. and higher here. Welcome.

Welcome. I am looking forward to following your thread

Yeah, Skidmark, Roxi is my wife… she just HAD to remark!
I look forward to seeing others 50+ in here… wife just showed me this site so guess you could say I am getting my rebirth! LOL…

No one here is waiting around to die. We’re all getting in shape to go the distance with the grim reaper. He’s in for a serious ass kicking. Welcome to the forum!

[quote]masterrebel wrote:
I have retired on Feb 28, 2009 - I am 52 years of age and have committed to getting back into shape. Many say I am too old to be lifting heavy and should be taking it easy at my age.

I hope to find more guys my age that are dedicated to make another run at an older age -

It seems the fitness industry is geared towards younger people.

In reality who is more impressive a buffed 20 year old or 60 yr. old?

The 60 yr, old hands down. If the young ones only realized how easy it is.

Ignore the naysayers ,don’t look back.

Stay healthy - like they say, as long as you have your health.

nice avatar husband!

OK, here we go… I threw together a workout that includes working out with my wife and heavy days in between. The focus is to concentrate on diet/cardio to drop the fat; yet, keep the muscle. Monday, Thursday and Saturdays are with wife and cardio. Tuesday, Friday and a day on the weekend are for me to lift heavy with no cardio. Wednesday and a weekend day are my rest days…

Monday, 3/23/09
Back
Wide grip pulldown -
warm up 1x15@80lbs
workout - 3x10@140lbs

go do 10 minutes of cross trainer cardio

Barbell Shrugs -
warm up 1x15@65lbs
workout - 3x15@135lbs

go do 10 minutes of cross trainer cardio

Straight Arm Pressdown -
warm up 1x15@40lbs
workout - 3x15@70

go do 10 minutes of cross trainer cardio

ARMS

Tricep Pressdown - on seated Hammer machine using free weights
warm up - 1x15@90lbs
workout -
2x15@180lbs
1x10@230lbs

go do 10 minutes of cross trainer cardio

Bicep Curls - on seated nautilus machine
warm up - 1x15@
workout - 3x10@40lbs

Note: since my right arm is butchered I cannot rotate my right wrist to face me so doing curls is extremely painful and almost impossible to do. I am hoping that by doing these I will be able to strenthen the forearm to support and control dumbells soon. As of now the only support for my wrists are the wrist wraps! I am a disabled vet that is trying to rehabilitate himself or atleast attempt to retain my love for lifting!

I find that I get fine bicep strength and size development from rows and chinups. I like to do hammer curls too, which keeps the wrist in a neutral position. Can you do those without pain?

It’s also possible to do curls using the cable machine and one of those ankle cuffs around the forearm just above the wrist. You’ll have to use more weight, though, since you’ll have better leverage than a regular curl…:wink:

Tuesday, 3/24/09, was my heavy day for chest, hamstrings, and delts.
CHEST
Wide grip Chest Press - using a Hammer machine using free weights. I only count the weight of the plates I put on - no account for the machine as they all vary so for my own accurate count - I only count the weight of the plates on it.
warmup - 1x15@90 (one 45lb plate each side)
workout -
1x15@180lbs (two 45 plates each side - catching on?)
1x10@270lbs
1x10@360lbs
1x6@450lbs (five 45lbs plates each side)
2x2@500lbs (added a 25lb plate each side)
1x4@450lbs
1x10@360lbs
1x10@270lbs
1x12@180lbs

Decline press - using the Hammer machine
no warm ups
2x12@270lbs
1x10@360lbs
4x5@450lbs
–triceps and chest are pumped at this point!

Flat bench Flyes
These are sporadic since I have to tighten the wrist straps really tight so I can use dumbells… so I go until the right hand loses feelings/almost loses control of weights. So dependant upon the grip, angles I try to spread them out, rest in between sets and grace of god is the variance in reps.
1x8@40lbs
1x11@40lbs
1x3@65lbs
1x5@65lbs

Delts
Shoulder Press -
1x15@120lbs
1x10@200lbs
3x10@250lbs

Military press - using Hammer machine/free weights
1x12@90lbs
1x10@180lbs
2x8@270lbs

Hamstrings
Laying Hamstring Curls - using nautilaus
1x15@40lbs
1x10@100lbs
3x8@140lbs

Seated Hamstring Curls - using nautilaus
1x15@80lbs
2x10@120lbs

no cardio on this day - heavy days are for me! LOL… I do cardio with the wife…
This routine wears me out - totally depletes all glycogens!

[quote]skidmark wrote:
I find that I get fine bicep strength and size development from rows and chinups. I like to do hammer curls too, which keeps the wrist in a neutral position. Can you do those without pain?

It’s also possible to do curls using the cable machine and one of those ankle cuffs around the forearm just above the wrist. You’ll have to use more weight, though, since you’ll have better leverage than a regular curl…;)[/quote]

Hey, thats an awesome idea… I never thought of using an ankle cuff… Thanx! you will see that added to my next bicep workout!

Yes, I can do hammer curls - with those I like to vary it at times to cross pecs - raise them to opposite pec and actually hit the pec with the weight to ensure I get full contraction.

Have you tried just wrist wraps without the gloves? There are a couple of sites such as APT that sell wrist wraps in various lengths.

yeah, I have tried those but found that I need to keep the hand and wrist wrapped together - I get less pain that way… dont ask me how, all I know is what hurts and what HURTS!!
I have seen several surgeons and they all suggest fusing the wrist/forearm/hand areas together as one unit… no more bending or twisting of the wrist - they would all move as one part…

Sorry, but a surgeon put me in this condition! I sure as hell aint trusting another one with guess work nor do I want to lose the use of my right hand altogether!

I use straps on back days and several pain meds for the next two days because the pull workouts tend to separate the wrist from my forearm… so the nerves go crazy! Its a long story, but, I refuse to stop lifting! I am looking forward to figuring out how to proceed ahead and obtain my goals.

I am not looking to become a pro bodybuilder - I am all natural anyway, but to build up and cut up to maybe compete in a body sculpting contest would be possible.
anyway, time to hit the gym,

chat at ya all later with my updates logs…

If getting lean is your major goal, then it really is more about nutrition than anything else. You want to keep lifting because it is the best way to keep muscle wasting at a minimum, and while there will always be people that say you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, I have never had any success with that approach.

I’m 57 and I find that to stay lean, I have to keep my calories low, and the only carbs I can tolerate are fruits and yellow/green veggies. I have had to eliminate starchy carbs altogether.

Once you hit your fat loss goals, then you can dial it up a bit and focus more on adding muscle. But if you’re like me at all, you will always have to watch the scale and the mirror carefully all the time. One extra banana can put me over the edge from maintaining to getting fat.

Happydog48,
yeah, I am focusing on losing the weight but keeping the muscle… that is why I hit the gym and do cardio with the wife but in between those days I hit the gym to pound heavy to keep what I already have.
I have heard and seen throughout the years, people that try to gain muscle while losing fat… I havent seen anyone accomplish it yet!!

At 52 I am not inclined to try to put on new muscle - I just dont want to lose what I have got.
On my heavy days I keep my carbs and protein heavy during the day but after 6pm no carbs.
During the other days I maintain a low count on carbs; yet, keep my protein near 250g.
I have always had a fast metabolism so losing the fat isnt as much my worry as losing the muscle.

My wife seems to match your characteristics - she can walk down an aisle at the supermarket and gain weight.
Thanks for your post!

Thursday, 3/26/09
My wife had class so I had her drop me off at the gym so I could pound quads before she got there to do cardio and her tone workout.

QUADS

Squat
1x10@135 - 2 plates on Olympic bar
3x10@315 - 6 plates on Olympic bar

Hack Squat
1x10@90lbs (2 45lb plates)
1x10@180lbs (4 45lb plates)
3x10@270lbs (6 45lb plates)

Leg Press
1x12@270lbs (6 45lb plates)
1x10@450lbs (10 45lb plates)
1x10@630lbs (14 45lb plates)
3x8@810lbs (18 45lb plates)
1x10@630lbs
1x10@450lbs
3x6@90lbs - these are single leg presses

CALVES
seated calf machine
5x15@250lbs

took a 20minute walk and drank a protein drink

wife arrived so we did her routine together

CHEST
Machine Chest Press
3x20@140lbs

10minutes on crosstrainer

Dumbell Fly (incline)
3x15@40lbs

10 minutes on crosstrainer

Hammer Machine Decline Press
3x15@180lbs

10 minutes on crosstrainer

HAMSTRINGS
Laying Hamstring Curl Machine
3x10@100lbs

CALVES - I didnt know she had these on her list; otherwise I wouldnt have done them before. Calves werent real sore so I did them again with her.
3x15@250lbs

Came home and had a chicken salad and a protein drink.

Those are some impressive barbell hack squats there MR.

Thanx Joe,
believe me any positive feedback is welcome… as well as any meaningful/helpful critiques!
I lifted back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, then broke my wrist and had several surgeries/butcher jobs is you ask me - but am now retired and aiming to get back into shape!

Not so worried about poundage/weight as I am losing the excess belly fat - yet keeping the muscle - even toning the muscle up would make me happy…
I have cut carbs on non lifting days and monitored them on lifting days to make sure only get carbs in mornings and none after the gym - except whats in the post workout shake.
calories are maintained around 2000 - 2500 level…
I dont mind stayin around 225lbs as long as it is from muscle not excess fat! so using a scale means little to me… its the mirrors and tape measure that matters.

Friday, 3/27/09, I focused on walking today. Walked 2.5 miles quickly - well, as quick as a 52 year old can… LOL… no jogging yet, just a brisk walk. Saturday will be back - heavy, and more cardio… That will round out my first week back into a system.