T Nation

Striking a Balance

Ok, time to start a log here as well.

To give a brief bit of background, I have trained in a gym, this time around since 2017. Mostly machines with a little free weights as well. I had a setback due to an impinged shoulder, which in spring 2019 made me take a long break and in the early autumn start over with more focus on correct form. I was using the 8-12-8 progression method and started with low weights.

When Covid-19 hit the world, I was working myself back towards reasonable weights.
Since then I have quit the gym and purchased various bits of equipment for training at home.

I have a couple of dumbbells and a body-pump bar, I only ended up getting because everything was sold out everywhere.
Unfortunately the bar is only rated for 60 kilos so that is my limit for now. But as advice seems to be, that guys my age should focus on getting stronger in the high rep range anyway, that is probably a blessing in disguise at this point.
I also use some bands for assist and finishing work.

Recently I installed a pull-up bar and my new sub-goal is to be able to actually do a few wide grip pull-ups.

I train 3 times a week, with a chest/core and a back/shoulder day and an all-round day on Sundays. (Not much leg work at the moment as I am currently battling a funky knee, are but doing some therapist advised knee strengthening exercises every day.)

My overall long-term aim is to keep healthy and not become too weak as I move towards the second half of life. And keeping it fun - this should be a hobby that makes life better, not something that takes over my life - thus the balance part of the title.

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Knee recovery A set:
Stability Lunge: 1x20
Bird dogs: 2x20
Band hip exercise: 2 sets of 15x variants

Band Pull apart: 1x50-purple
V-crunch: 2x20
Ax face pull with arm raise: 2x15-red
Band overhead jack-hammers: 3x10-blue
Pull-ups, band-assisted: 3x5
Barbell rows: 1x10x22,1x10x52, 3x10x62
Supinated band pull-downs: 3x10-purpleD+blueD
Seated high row: 3x10-greenD
Triceps one arm pull-down: 3x10-yellow
Overhead press: 1x5x22, 1x5x32, 3x10x42

(The colours are the various bands I use)

Sundays with no plans, means time for the full session.

It’s supposed to be an all round session with a main exercise and and finisher/assist exercise for the major muscle groups, but for the moment no leg work while I wait for the knee to get better.

Knee recovery B:
Stability Lunge, Bird dogs,1 leg glute bridges, Eccentric back exercise, Eccentric quad band exercise

Warm up:
Band Pull apart, Shoulder mobility set, V-crunch, Band Face pulls, Band good mornings, Hang knee raises

Main set:

Overhead press:
32x5
42x5
52x5
54.5x5 (PR)
54.5x5
42x5
42x5

Floor press:
32x10
42x10
52x10
62x15
62x15
62x10

Barbell row:
32x10
42x10
52x10
62x12
62x12
62x12

Finishers:
Band 1 hand crossover chest press: 3x10 - purple
Band straight arm pull downs, two-hand: 3x10 yellow&green
Angels and Devils: 2x10 - 1.25kg

Tuesday, so chest & core day.

Warmup:
Band pull-aparts, Band external rotator set

Core:
Sit-ups 3x20
Reverse hypers 3x20
Floor corkscrews 1x20
Band corkscrews 1x20
Band sledgehammer 1x20
Sideplank w/twist 1x20

Chest:
Push-ups:
20, 18, 15, 17 (alternating between floor and handles)

One arm band crossover flye (Low to high) :
12, 12, 12 - blue band

Band pull-overs:
20, 20, 20 - purple band

Finishers:
Chin-up, assisted:
5, 5, 5
(Replacing biceps curls.)

Side shoulder raise:
7,3kg x 15
7,3kg x 15
7,3kg x 15

Farmers walk:
50kg - 70 steps

Not too bad. Woefully bad at pull-ups though. (Too fat & too weak - but something to work at for sure.) Struggled a bit on the push-ups, but still, up by 5 from last week and 20 more than 2 weeks ago.


Workout tunes: Dirty Grave: Evil Desire

I am 48. I do not believe this advice at all in any way. You can get better at that range, but not stronger anyway. Your 1RM can actually progrees into you mid 40’s naturally before falling off, it’s cardio conditioning that takes a hit at 35. Really, just don’t anything stupid that could get you hurt, but don’t be afraid to up the weights.

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I am 52. I 100% agree with @hardartery. Go as heavy as you can without dropping a weight on your face.

Hmm… not sure about it either tbh - but some knowledgeable people seems to recommend it. It makes sense from the viewpoint that as recovery becomes less efficient, lighter workouts will allow higher frequency. But probably it is also a matter of fitness/training level.

But right now, I think it makes sense to me to build up a solid base with focus on getting the form correct and assisting muscles ready for higher loads, before going for focussed strength training. (Much of my shoulder troubles last year was from handling higher weights than I was ready for form wise.)

That said, When I get a better bar - and my knee allows throwing in some squats, I am thinking of trying something like 5/3/1 to build some strength. (everybody and his mom seems to recommend it.) - But that is probably a few months in the future at this point.

Heh - yeah. Am trying to avoid that as a general rule actually :slight_smile:

But training alone with out proper racks, makes being sure I can handle a given weight an added consideration.

But thanks both for the feedback, stuff for thought.

Today was a shitty workout - did not feel “it” - felt tired and not well recovered.

I did consider to postpone till tomorrow, but decided to go easy instead.

Knee recovery
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, 1-leg glutes bridges, Eccentric lower back exercise, Eccentric quad band excercise, Ankle mobility stretches

Warmup
Band pull-aparts, V-crunches, Ax face pull with overhead press, Band overhead jackhammers

Main sets

Pull-ups, band-assisted:
3,2,2,3

Barbell rows:
32x10
62x12
62x12
62x12

Seated high row - green band doubled:
10, 10, 10

Overhead press:
After a couple of warmup sets (5x22 & 5x32kg) I pulled something - got a persistent pain in the upper back.
Nothing serious, but one of those annoying things that hampers whatever you try to do.

So that was the last set - apart from

Triceps one arm pulldown - yellow band:
10, 10, 10


Workout tunes: Pale Divine: Cemetary Earth

Knee recovery A:
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, Band hip exercise, Eccentric ham band exercise

Warm up:
Band pull-aparts, Shoulder mobility set, V-crunch, Band Face pulls, Band good mornings, Hang knee raises

Main set:

Barbell floor press:
32x10
42x10
52x10
62x10
62x15
62x15
62x15
62x10

Overhead press:
32x5
42x5
52x5
54.5x4
54.5x3
52x5
52x4

This was fewer reps at top weight than last week, so not a success. But struggled getting it up.
Press has been a weak point for ever - it is only this year I actually started doing standing presses. (When corona hit, I was doing 30kg, so have come a bit of way since - mostly by learning proper form I think.)

Barbell row:
52x12
62x12
62x12
62x12
62x12

Finishers:
Band 1 hand crossover chest press: 3x10 - purple
Band straight arm pull downs, two-hand: 3x10 yellow&green
Angels and Devils: 2x10 - 1.25kg


Workout tunes: Smoulder: Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring, Internal Void: Matricide

Knee recovery A:
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, Band hip exercise, Band ham exercise

Warmup:
Band pull-aparts, Band external rotator set

Core:
Sit-ups 20,20,30
Reverse hypers 3x20
Floor corkscrews 1x20
Band corkscrews 1x20
Band sledgehammer 1x20
Sideplank w/twist 1x20

Chest:
Push-ups:
10, 20, 20, 20

One arm band crossover flye (Low to high) :
12, 12, 12 - blue band

Band pull-overs:
On reflection, I am not sure this adds much, so I will drop this

Finishers:
Chin-up, assisted:
5, 5, 5

Side shoulder raise:
7,3kg x 15
7,3kg x 15
7,3kg x 15

Farmers walk:
50kg - 80 steps

Knee recovery A:
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, Band hip exercise, Band ham exercise

Warmup
Band pull-aparts, V-crunches, Ax face pull with overhead press, Band overhead jackhammers

Main sets

Pull-ups, band-assisted:
3,3,3,3,3

Not entirely full rom’s perhaps, but have to crawl before I can walk.

Barbell overhead press:
32x8
42x8
42x8
42x8
42x8
42x8

Barbell row:
42x10
62x12
62x12
62x12
62x12

This is too light really, but am limited by equipment right now.

Seated high row - green band doubled:
10, 10, 10

Finishers:
Triceps one arm pulldown - yellow band:
10, 10, 10


Workout tunes: Ironflame: Blood Red Victory

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Knee recovery B:
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, 1-leg glutes bridges, Eccentric quad band excercise,

Warm-up:
Band pull-aparts, Shoulder mobility set, V-crunch, Band Face pulls, Band good mornings, Hang knee raises

Main set:

Barbell floor press:
32x10
42x10
52x10
62x10
62x15
62x12
62x8
52x10

Overhead press:
52x5
52x5
52x4
42x5
42x5
42x5
42x5
42x5

Barbell row:
52x10
62x12
62x12
62x12

Another day where I struggled and did not reach goals.

Plenty of reasons, alcohol yesterday, experiments with shorter rest times probably play a role - but most important is developing pains in forearms, which by experience is a warning sign to dial it back a bit the next few days.

Looking back, I realize that in the past few weeks, I have steadily been adding sets, reps and/or resistance to most exercises I do. On top of that I have started to train for pull-ups, with in-between workouts exercises, so plenty of grip/pull related strain.

Still, reasonable amount of work on the main sets, but dropped the finishers.


Workout tunes: Battleroar: To Death and Beyond

Right, an extra day of recovery, has helped a lot on the foreams/elbows thingie, so better get back to it then…

Knee recovery A:
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, Band hip exercises, Band ham exercise

Warmup
Band pull-aparts, V-crunches

Main sets

Push-ups:
10,20,20,20,10

(Read somewhere that a flat pushup is roughly 65% of bodyweight. So around 74kgs effort for pushups, if that is true.)

Chin-ups, assisted
5, 5, 5, 5

Dumbbell lateral raises:
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 10
7,3 x 10

Finishers:

One-arm band flye - low to high:
12, 12, 12

One-arm band crossover press - high to low:
12, 12, 15


Workout tunes: Solstice: Death’s Crown Is Victory

1 Like

I am another older bloke (46) and agree with @hardartery and @Polar-Bear
I have been making consistent strength gains in my 40’s and do plenty of heavier work in the 1-5 rep range.

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Mmh… I’m not sure that it is not about not being able to push for low rep heavy weigth PRs but more a matter of it being wiser to focus more on quality reps with weights at lower numbers - for joint health and longevity.

But point taken - and thanks for all your feedback. Truth told, I am toying with the idea of trying my hand at something like 5/3/1 later this year, to try to build a little bit of strength.

Certainly wasn’t saying it was the way to go just offering a different point of view. I think the one thing that is important as you get a little older is just being patient and consistent. If you program correctly you can still use lower reps and shouldn’t have issues with joint pain. Actually for me high rep work especially on shoulders and triceps tends to give me elbow issues.
Which ever way you decide to go, just don’t rush it and you should be fine.

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Knee recovery B:
Stability lunge, Bird dogs, 1-leg glutes bridges,

Core:
Sit-ups 20,20,30
Reverse hypers: 20,20,20
Floor corkscrews: 20 (total)
Band corkscrews: 20 (for each side)
Band sledgehammer: 20 (for each side)
Sideplank w/twist: 20 (for each side)
Band hip hinge - kneeling: 35

Farmers walk: 50kg - 90 steps

No more knee exercises for a while - doing a series of static stretches instead.

Warm up:
Band pull-apart, V-crunch, Band Face pulls, Band good mornings

Main set:

Floor press:
42x10
52x10
62x10
62x15
62x10
62x8
52x10

Pull-ups, band-assisted
4,4,3,3,3

(Varying grip widths - from wide to shoulderwidth)

Overhead press:
32x8
42x8
52x3
52x3
52x5
42x8
42x8
42x6

Barbell row:
42x12
62x12
62x12
62x12
62x12

Finishers:
Band 1 hand crossover chest press: 3x10 - purple
Band straight arm pull downs, two-hand: 3x10 yellow&green


Workout tunes: Visigoth: Conqueror’s Oath

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Warm up:
Band pull-apart, V-crunch, static stretches for knee

Main sets:

Push-ups:
10, 20, 20, 20, 10

Chin-ups, band-assisted:
5, 5, 5, 5

Dumbbell lateral raises:
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 15
7,3 x 15

Finishers:

One-arm band flye - low to high:
12, 12, 17

One-arm band crossover press - high to low:
15, 15, 15