T Nation

Starting Out Again at 55


#1

Been lurking on this site for awhile and am impressed (usually) with the good info given here. I'm 55 and getting back into lifting after some time away from it. Started out a couple of months ago doing descending pyramid sets (12 - 10 - 8 - 6 and a superset of 12) with dumbells 3x a week, plus 2 - 3 HIIT sessions per week on my road bike. This has been to get used to lifting again, work through some shoulder impingement issues, and getting disciplined enough to use a plan. Also have been trying JB's Precision Nutrition. My BF was at 28% now down to 25%. I'm 5'9' about 220, and have the body type to carry some muscle.

After another month or so of this plan I'd like to start picking up the pace. I've been looking at Waterbury's 10x3 program and continuing Precision Nutrition. My question is, as a 55 year old what issue am I looking at? Certainly BF doesn't drop off as quickly, but what about rest periods, weight progression as I'm lifting, etc. My initial goal is fat loss and some increase in muscle mass as I'm doing this - or at least maintaining current muscle mass. Is this combined goal realistic at this age? There's a guy at work who's nearly 60 and looks like Conan the Barbarian, so I know it is possible to increase muscle mass even at this age. What I'm looking at over time is getting bigger and stronger.

Finding a good gym has been an issue. Looked into one locally but left when the head trainer spent time trying to tell me lifting heavy wasn't something someone my age ought to do. All that muscle is supposed to be useless, and carrying the weight of all that muscle mass was supposed to put a strain on the heart. His recommendation was core work and "moderate" weights combined with cardio. According to this guy being toned was what I should be shooting for. I asked what the hell toned was. Apparently looking like a soccer player is toned. No deadlifts cause they can damage your back, no squats because they're bad for the knees, and so it went. So I'm looking for a good gym.

Any suggestion of info would be appreciated. For supplement I do use Surge, Flameout, an anti-oxidant, multi-vit and extra vit C. Don't know if HOT-ROX would help at this stage or not.


#2

Welcome aboard. I am 56 and compete in powerlifting.
This past training cycle until I got into the gear, I hit personal records in all 3 lifts, for weight and reps.

My approach is this, I train hard, burn the stress from work, eat like a horse, and try to keep up the cardio. Damn that is complicated, but it works for an old goat like me. Supplements all I use are protein drinks, creatine, BCAA's, and glutamine. Also I drink a lot of water.
Good luck and it can be a lot of fun if you try.


#3

At a little bit over 50 I Say WE DON'T STOP LIFTING BECAUSE WE GROW OLD WE GROW OLD IF WE STOP LIFTING. Check out the wabdl.org or sonlightpower.com and see if old means quit. As we get along a little some Tribulus helps with lean, and Chrysin is reputed to help reduce the man jigglers. And some guys like Provelex to help reduce that midnite & 4:am pee wakeup.

Now a contest is some great incentive to keep at the weights. The 12 panel test for anabolic steroids covers:
Boldenone, Epitestosterone, Methandienone (Dianabol), Methyltestosterone, Nandrolone (19-Nortestosterone),
Osandrolone (Anavar), Oxymetholone (Anadrol), Stanozolol, Testosterone, Testosterone/Epitestosteone Ratio,
Probenecide (a Blocking/Masking Agent), Clenbuterol (Anti-Catabolic Agent).

Any of these work but they are not legal , and they do have some undesirable sides. Check out some records if they can do it so can you. There is a reason for age categories 48-55, 56-60, 61-67, 68-74. Being toned is not enough, be part of the 2% that can do. Compete Dead, Bench & Squat. R. Gidcumb in MI a 71 yr old man benched 254, I think he was in the 148lb wt class. And R.Hemenway in MI benched 353lb his weight was in the 198lb at 69yrs old. Got a goal?


#4

First of all I wouldn't take too much notice of the trainer. Sounds like a dick and he'll probably have you on a swiss ball doing squats and reading mens health.
Ever since I added deadlifts to my program 3 years ago I've added pretty good size. Sly Stallone is late 50's and he looks like he's 21.

Anyhow for what it's worth I'm 27 and plan to lift heavy till I'm 40 and then maintain. Good luck and keep us posted.


#5

48 here I agree with most things said here. If you want to lose weight eat a clean diet, Fruits vegetables, protein and fats. And keep sugar, flour and processed food to a minimum.

I love lifting heavy and consider my self very strong. But I do not recover like I did when I was younger so I do other programs as well. The biggest reason I see people quit their work out is they put too much on their plate and can?t keep up with their ideas. I would start easy with the weights fill in the spaces between with cardio. Take your time and recover.
Good luck


#6


I am a 56yr. old soon to be 57 powerlifter. I started 2yrs. ago and have been training at Diablobarbell in Concord. I train Westside. My best contest lifts are 760squat, 584bench, and 600deadlift. I can't recover as well as I did when I was younger, but I'm a lot more disciplined and patient. This allows you to push yourself in a controlled manner. No showing off etc. the bane of youth. I say powerlift, go for it.


#7

F--King Awsome


#8

I agree. Damn man, that's great. To know it can be done at this age is very reassuring.

I appreciate all the support from this board. Problem is finding a local gym where I can get some help with learning to lift big weights. Most of the stuff here is Gold's, World Gym, 24 Hour Fitness kind of stuff. Also have a corporate gym at the company I work for but they only have DB's for freeweights, and those only up to 75 pounds. Also, I had should impingement problems that have eased since I started lifting. Now, however I have a burning sensation in the outer right elbow, right on the point of the elbow bone at the joint. Any ideas what that might be?

It's very motivating to see older (maybe seasoned is better) men who are continuing to improve. Thanks to everyone who's responded so far.


#9

I too when starting out at age 54 experienced a variety of aches and pains. But learned to work around the movements that caused the pain or discomfort. If it's an injury you should probably rest the area. Then you can consentrate on other areas of the body or lifts. That's what I like about the Westside method a great deal of a variety movements but at the same time relevant to the three lifts. I believe in Elite there ways to lift safely at a commercial gym but it is a lot harder but not impossible to do so. Good luck in your quest for strength and health.


#10

I too when starting out at age 54 experienced a variety of aches and pains. But learned to work around the movements that caused the pain or discomfort. If it's an injury you should probably rest the area. Then you can consentrate on other areas of the body or lifts. That's what I like about the Westside method a great deal of a variety movements but at the same time relevant to the three lifts. I believe in Elite there ways to lift safely at a commercial gym but it is a lot harder but not impossible to do so. Good luck in your quest for strength and health.


#11

Anconeus connecting the tricepts brachii.
Have you been mixing golf with lifting? TrP2 (like tennis elbow) It is agrivated with skull crushers, chin ups & incline bench work. Decline bench and reverse wide grip tend to put less pressure & allow some exercise during healing, and are easy on the shoulder! But if youre working through keep your elbows in during Bench work. Try to use a safety squat bar, if the gym doesn't have one think about buying a Top Squat, the position of your hands during a standard squat could agrivate the anconeus injury;}

About a workout You could contact www.sonlightpower.com/index.htm and ask about gyms in your area. Some lifting federatons are good about recomending gyms.
Check out some competitions and ask around, seems a way to get with solid training.