T Nation

The Day Your Age & Wisdom Say Relax

I really had a hard time with this and it was about two years to finally change it up.

My style of training I love for the last 20+ years has been a Blood N Guts…Dorian/Mentzer style training and it served me well, and being clean 16yrs(Natural) I am sure I maxxed out my Genetics (Natural Genetics) we will see what Science entails in the future :stuck_out_tongue:

I will get to my point, I have had alot of injuries in and out of the gym and a training style of HEAVY 3 to 8 Reps is not too good on them…but its what I love, the powering up of Huge steel by my own hand.

After seeing I was not growing anymore and icing sore joints, old injuries, dealing with chronic pain, you think of your mortality and your future, what the Hell am I gonna feel like at 45 at 50 let alone 60.

I seeked council from the wise, old Warriors of the Iron that told me its time to lower the weight, up the reps, don’t train to failure all the time, and these guys are still huge.

Honestly it was so hard to change and was a good year long transition to finally do this and to all honesty I did not get smaller, I did not grow either but my body smiled :slight_smile:

I still F…in hate the lighter weight and higher reps, but every once in a while I still do that Power set Hammer Curling the 100’s just to freak out the Kids and massage my inner Warrior and say the Vikings still got it.

Your age? Strength benchmarks? Body comp? Is that you in your avatar?

I’m 57 and I have come to the same conclusion: It was time to quit trying to get bigger by lifting heavier and heavier weights. In the past I did mostly 5x5 compound lifts about three times per week. As I aged I noticed it was easier to injure myself even as I tried to be smarter about my lifting, ie: proper warm-up, quitting after 40 minutes, foam rolling and stretching. So I’ve backed off the weight and (sometimes) added reps. And I am happy. I don’t think I have lost much absolute strength but I haven’t checked a PR since last summer. Size is still the same, BF% unchanged. Chronic pain issues are better. I enjoy training just as much, maybe more.

I also hired a personal trainer to work on flexibility and mobility. I didn’t pick up a barbell for weeks while I worked on that with her, and then it was fun to start lifting again. Money well spent.

Bear in mind that I’ve been lifting for less than ten years. My stats are on my profile. No one would mistake me for a power lifter. More of an ectomorph.

NB: I still train with intensity but my goals have changed.

Hope this helped.

[quote]Turtello wrote:
Your age? Strength benchmarks? Body comp? Is that you in your avatar?

I’m 57 and I have come to the same conclusion: It was time to quit trying to get bigger by lifting heavier and heavier weights. In the past I did mostly 5x5 compound lifts about three times per week. As I aged I noticed it was easier to injure myself even as I tried to be smarter about my lifting, ie: proper warm-up, quitting after 40 minutes, foam rolling and stretching. So I’ve backed off the weight and (sometimes) added reps. And I am happy. I don’t think I have lost much absolute strength but I haven’t checked a PR since last summer. Size is still the same, BF% unchanged. Chronic pain issues are better. I enjoy training just as much, maybe more.

I also hired a personal trainer to work on flexibility and mobility. I didn’t pick up a barbell for weeks while I worked on that with her, and then it was fun to start lifting again. Money well spent.

Bear in mind that I’ve been lifting for less than ten years. My stats are on my profile. No one would mistake me for a power lifter. More of an ectomorph.

NB: I still train with intensity but my goals have changed.

Hope this helped.

[/quote]

I am 37, and yes that is me in the Avatar, I can’t be mistaken for anything but someone that lifts weights, Don’t Bench over 285 anymore after my Pec Tear, don’t squat at all after my Back injuries but lucky I put the time in to build them before this, Don’t deadlift either, I was lucky to have put the time in my teens and 20’s to build the Bulk of me.

…but what I always had, and many never find is Intensity, true Intensity is a double edged sword, yes you trigger growth but your mind can also go beyond the power of the Tendon and the ligament.

…and then you may hear “Snap Crackle Pop” when you don’t want to"

It was hard to change my training but my body is happy with me.

So you started lifting lighter 2 years ago?

Sounds like you’re wishing for the good old days when you could lift heavy and pain free.

We all have to make compromises with the sports we loved to do at 20. I used to play pick-up basketball games on week nights in my twenties, and I wouldn’t even warm-up - no joint issues, no pain.

Now? I can hardly walk after I play a little ball with my daughter. Embarrassing.

What’s your conclusion after 2 years of training with lower weight and higher volume? Are you pain free now?

Not there yet. I’m 50 and still doing heavy compounds but I’m much more careful than I use to be. A successful workout is one where I leave the gym without injury and I’ve had 9 successful months (knock on wood). My last injury was lower back due to mobility issues. Preparation and Recovery is a much bigger deal than the actual workout.

I’m hitting PR’s every couple months and recently learned strength gains only come with eating gains. You’d think after 10 years of lifting I would have figured that out by now, but 2 months ago I really turned up the clean eating and immediately gained 10lbs without much bodyfat gain. Punched through a 325 bench and 200lb strict military press in the process. At 5’9 198 I’m pretty happy I can still put up some decent numbers.
Kept my log here for a while, but got tired of all the low test threads mixed in with the logs.

[quote]iyaayas wrote:
So you started lifting lighter 2 years ago?

Sounds like you’re wishing for the good old days when you could lift heavy and pain free.

We all have to make compromises with the sports we loved to do at 20. I used to play pick-up basketball games on week nights in my twenties, and I wouldn’t even warm-up - no joint issues, no pain.

Now? I can hardly walk after I play a little ball with my daughter. Embarrassing.

What’s your conclusion after 2 years of training with lower weight and higher volume? Are you pain free now?[/quote]

Result so far, yes less pain and happier, I miss the heavy weight but I look as good as ever so no decline there.

I have a very active life outside the Gym and plan to change my body totally in the next couple years and trim down to a solid 220-225lbs.

I have always strivved for quality of life and want to keep it that way, my injuries are not going to go away so the Wise decision is to care for them now and not when its too late, I have seen this with friends older than me and I have to thank them for voicing there mistakes and me for listening.

I don’t miss the good old days, I make new days that become memories. So far I have not married or had Kids so my freedom is still the same as when I was 25, except now I have a carrier and Money.

I really enjoy watching the young guys in there 20’s I train with make gains and grow from my advice.

Man do I feel for you and I completely understand.

I am in my mid-forties and have been training for quite some time…mostly with maximum weights (for me) in the 4-6 rep ranges. I began to develop the type of joint and tendon aches and pains from the heavy pounding day in and day out and was basically forced to make some adjustments to the way I performed the movement. I still train with maximal weights…but I try and make sure I change up the way I do the movement. This helps me.

Personally, I have discovered 2 types of movement styles that I alternate whenever I begin to feel the joints begin to ache:

  1. The heavy high acceleration positive rep and slow negative
  2. The heavy slow positive rep and slow negative

Obviously the amount of weight numerically differs for the two methods for the same exercise, but this change up still allows me to consistently train at my heaviest weights (numerically).

Over the many many years I have enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) hard training, I have learned how to mentally isolate the target working muscles for my armory of productive excercises. When benching, for example, I am literally able to focus more loading on the pecs or triceps simply by making a mental adjustment. The whole “mind-muscle” link thing is no joke to me. It is literally my main training philosophy developed over time.

Don’t know about others, but I have found that One workout per bodypart per week is key for me. I’m coming back to the iron at 55 after six years of cals, total gym and planned weight loss. Size is down the tubes as a result of planned weight loss nad I’ll probably never be a solid 215 again. In retrospect a dumb move on my part but what’s done is done. Listening to your body is key, but the body talks a lot more clearly to you when it has enough rest, and for me a week is the time I need. Ice, foam rollers, hanging from my inversion table twice daily, and joint mobility exercises are all part of the daily training routine that, believe it or not, become enjoyable.

I think that attitude is the key after 50 as those milestone birthdays can change our thinking if we are not careful. Diet, and proper supplementation-t boosters, aminos, creatine etc- also keep the energy levels high.You’ve got great size and strength already and have trained your body well up to this point. Train your mind as well. You’ve done all the good work over the years you’ve trained and now staying strong, healthy, and retaining some size and strength can be you rewards as you age.

[quote]Vulf wrote:

…but what I always had, and many never find is Intensity, true Intensity is a double edged sword, yes you trigger growth but your mind can also go beyond the power of the Tendon and the ligament.[/quote]

The tendon and the ligament are boundaries.
True Intensity is boundlessness.
It pushes the boundaries - It cannot be contained.

Feeling like a god but for a moment in the body of a mortal man has its prices.

[quote]Alpha F wrote:

[quote]Vulf wrote:

…but what I always had, and many never find is Intensity, true Intensity is a double edged sword, yes you trigger growth but your mind can also go beyond the power of the Tendon and the ligament.[/quote]

The tendon and the ligament are boundaries.
True Intensity is boundlessness.
It pushes the boundaries - It cannot be contained.

Feeling like a god but for a moment in the body of a mortal man has its prices.

[/quote]
Holy Thunder to that.

[quote]Alpha F wrote:

[quote]Vulf wrote:

…but what I always had, and many never find is Intensity, true Intensity is a double edged sword, yes you trigger growth but your mind can also go beyond the power of the Tendon and the ligament.[/quote]

The tendon and the ligament are boundaries.
True Intensity is boundlessness.
It pushes the boundaries - It cannot be contained.

Feeling like a god but for a moment in the body of a mortal man has its prices.

[/quote]
Damn, that’s good. You come up with that?

[quote]hel320 wrote:

[quote]Alpha F wrote:

[quote]Vulf wrote:

…but what I always had, and many never find is Intensity, true Intensity is a double edged sword, yes you trigger growth but your mind can also go beyond the power of the Tendon and the ligament.[/quote]

The tendon and the ligament are boundaries.
True Intensity is boundlessness.
It pushes the boundaries - It cannot be contained.

Feeling like a god but for a moment in the body of a mortal man has its prices.

[/quote]
Damn, that’s good. You come up with that?[/quote]

Yes. But I wouldn’t say I “came up” with it;
I have known it all my life since it is part of my experience.
I would not want to be any other way but the world does not accommodate volcanic people very well and it is a constant struggle to hold back so that it doesn’t overwhelm other people.

The iron room is where I can be fully on. But as it has been said, the ligaments and tendons do set the boundaries. Pushing the outside of the envelope ( the skin ) can only go so far - and I do notice my ‘self’ expanding physically when fully on as my skin looks thinner and I appear fuller. My veins pop out and I can see my vitality, my blood, my life compacted in my veins right before my eyes: I feel powerfully alive.
Best feeling in the world. You truly own your self.

This is why it has been so difficult to “change” and many injuries are/were a price worth paying for.
It is the price of being one’s self; fully. It is my moment of full expression in a society that does not understand self possession ( conversely, it is a world where everyone seems too invested in possessing ‘the other’ ).

The problem of changing my training is right before me now as I speak. I can change my training but I cannot change my nature. However, as my body is not keeping up with me any more
( ageing ) I have no choice but to self surrender.

I do agree completely with Vulf it is a double edged sword and I must yield it with more grace.

But I think I will only relax when I am dead.

And I want to die working.