T Nation

Starting Over


I am going to be 41 and haven't lifted regularly for 4 years. I am 5ft 9inches and 210 with a small paunch. I lifted 5x a week for 3 years and got to a 400 squat, 400 dead. Never benched more then 250.

Where to begin? I want to develop strength, relieve low back discomfort (non-injury- just old and tight). I use to like playing with the overhead squat and the snatch (135 lbs). My only activity has been basketball one night a week, throwing batting practice to my 4 son's teams and some golf. Any of you guys go through the process of starting over? I will be in my garage without a partner and limited equipment.


I think you'll want to take it a bit easy to start out... you'll remember what you could do and just beat the hell out of yourself if you aren't careful.

Even so, if you make it through a couple of weeks of feeling like crap, then you should be good to go!


Agree with Vroom. Take it slow but be consistent. Start up injuries aren't what you need right now.
The secret is consistency. If you keep at it you will be fine.
Good luck.

Oh and stop with the "feel old" shit.
Positive mental attitude is also a prerequisite for success in any endevour.


Thanks- when I first got into weightlifting I was in excellent shape from running, biking, swimming pull ups, etc. and regular sport participation. Do you think I need to create a baseline of physical fitness befoer I start to lift or can I just start lifing and progress through the soreness I recall all too well. I want to avoid injury, set up to make regular progress and walk without whincing like I have sprained ankles from my toes to my shoulders?


Actually, you can use the weight lifting TO create the baseline. Just start out with light weights and a couple mins between sets. Take it easy the first week or two as there is no reason to subject yourself to a large amount of DOMS. Slowly start upping the weight. Once you are comfy pushing yourself hard, drop your rest intervals between sets to one minute. That will increase your work capacity and get you back into pushing the weights at the same time.




Lots of us have been there.

Take your time - think long term. You'll surprise yourself in no time.

Just take it slow and watch for injuries.

I was out of the gym for 20 yrs, and surpassed every college lift in less than a year with no injury...yet.


as life moves on and more and more responsibilities arrive, the starting over has become more and more frequent for me. Mind you that I have never seen an article on it, but it only makes sense to me that there is a limit to how much remodeling can happen from session to session. With it commonly accepted that the only necessity to create a remodeling is that you do something that is more than the body is used to, it seems to make sense with the life/workout balance that you break into it easy so that a)you don't have DOMS so bad it limits what is most important in your life, work to provide for your kids and the ability to do other responsibilities

b) there is no linear relationship to infinity that applies to workout intensity and volume and the amount of improvement you are going to make, aka bang for your training buck. Start slow, recover and rebuild a foundation and eclipse your previous best with sensible, progressive effort.


Hey, Iron John, sounds like awesome progress when you put it that way!


Stick to good form and stretch carefully before and after. When you feel comfortable with the moves, then you start adding weight.