T Nation

Senior Citizen Training

Hey Jim,

My apologies if this has been asked before, but how would you recommend a 70 year old woman train?

In this case, it’s my grandma. Just turned 70, has had both hips replaced, at a not horrible weight (carries body fat, but you don’t look at her and think “Fat”), and is in decent shape. She walks daily, does a lot of gardening, and keeps herself active. Goes to a Nautilus type circuit class 3 days a week.

Been introducing her to some exercise, mainly using these movements:

elevated pushups
inverted rows
DB rows
DB leg curls
reverse hypers
glute bridges
pull aparts

She’s been getting stronger. Pushups are getting lower and lower each week, reverse hypers are making her back feel awesome (her words), and she feels a little more “loose” and strong. Not rushing progress or sacrificing form, but encouraging improvement.

At her age, with zero barbell experience, would you recommend she begins doing any type of weight lifting? Maybe using bars like the trap bar/SSB/football bar? Would you have her follow the 5/3/1 beginners program, or tweak it a bit? Minimize horizontal pressing? (Sorry, I read that in some Dan John article.) I’m assuming jumps wouldn’t be great, but throws?

Any tips you (or anyone else) have would be appreciated

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