T Nation

Starting Shotput/Discus, Too Old?


Hey everyone,

don't know if I have the right to post here, since I'm 26, but I'd like the opinion from you all. I'd really like to try the shotput/discus this summer (unfortunately right now I can't), though I've never done this sport before. I've always liked the way throwers train, and to be just as explosive and strong as these guys (and of course to throw like them). However, I know there's quite a learning curve involved (especially spinning), and it will take quite some time practicing form.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to be world champ, but is this sport still fun and doable at a late age?


Go for it. Got back into weight training at 46 after a 20 year lay off. At the same time I decided to start throwing (my HS daughter throws the discus and shot). At 5-7 and 190 pounds I am definitely much too small to be "competitive", but I enjoy the "training for a purpose." Get to talk to other throwers my age at meets. Great group of guys.

I concentrate my lifting on snatches, cleans, jerks, squats, and deadlifts. Lots of farmers walks, med ball and heavy pud throwing, sled drags, core-blaster. Some 20-30 m sprints and jumping. Trying to get powerful. Lost over 20 pounds of useless fat in the past year and added a lot of muscle in the process.

Been concentrating on the shot and weight throw. Some on the discus. Taught myself the jav and hammer well enough to throw at a "Weight Pentathlon" in December.

I'm now 47. If I can make the transition, so can you! Getting to throw heavy things (legally) is fun


Man, take up Strongman training --- might be out there with Marius someday in the older gents category!! :smiley:


I am exactly twice your age and it's still fun as hell and very doable. You do have a lot of ground to make up, though. Don't fall into the mind set of it's all about strenght. Til you learn proprer technique you will get very fustrated with your distances. You used the key word when you said explosive. Bigengineer was dead on with his workout suggestions. The trick for you will be to find as much time to train the throws as lift. Beware, throwing is addictive. This site, www.macthrowvideo.com, has every video there is on past and present throwers and meets. All free but you have to regiter. Also has links to all kind od thrower's websites and equipment distributors.
At your age you'll be throwing the 16lb shot and 2k discus. If you don't already have implements start cheap, especially with the discus. You can upgrade later. Final advise, walk before you run. Start of working you power positions and ease into the full form. If you have questions, ask. Welcome to the insanity.


Agree with BigE & hel320, very rewarding and great comradrie,

here are some sites with material




suggest getting some training videos, the more the merrier.

Also if you can't get regular coaching get some to video you frequently and start critiquing yourself

Also the following place is great although I hang round in the hammer section, it has some great resourses


Finally train the trunk like a newbie trains biceps. Find out all about reactive strength, so you can start converting strength to power and check out long Strong Throwers Journal - buy as many back issues as you can, some great coaching stuff there.

And welcome and good luck, and to hel320 and bige, nice to meet you guys, I was at Boston for the Indoor masters last year what are your plans this year??


Looks like my season will kick off in May. Most of what I've got planned so far this year is in the southeast. Senior Olympic qualifing year (2009 San Fran) so I'll start with that, then we have the Southeast Regional Master's, Alabama Sprorts Festival, and the Southeast Sports Festival in Florida come Aug. Trying to schedule a couple of highland games in there,too. Good luck on your season. I've been doing all right learning the weight but the damn hammer is kickin' my ass.

BTW Arnoud, Not sure where your from but most state have some form of Sports Festival and these are for all ages. Also look for some all comers meets when you get ready to jump in.


26 is still plenty young to start. I attend Masters Meets to cheer on my father-in-law who is in his 70s. You won't meet a nicer group of people than the throwers. Technique is very important and if at all possible, find an accomplished thrower that is willing to train with you. It also helps to have someone videotape your throws. You learn a lot by watching yourself. I was a hammer thrower in college and even still photos taught me something. Olympic lifts and throwing go hand in hand, especially for the shot and discus. Learn and practice these lifts. I suspect you will also want to get involved in a weightlifting meet at some point. Also, Dan John has some excellent discus throwing advice on his web page. Good luck.