T Nation

Today's Article: "Lifters Over 30 Need to Get Real" is Pretty Silly


#1

Since we no longer have livespills or article discussion forums (because those were very much an inferior way to communicate) I figured this was worth discussing.

For those that didn’t view it

One of the earliest sections

The Monster Lifts are for Guys in their 20’s

“In the case of strongmen, powerlifters and Olympic lifters, it’s easy to forget their age because their physical size is often so imposing that we just assume they’re older than they are.”

I’m willing to grant weightlifters on this one, but Strongman has a long running history of 30+ athletes doing well. For the most part, you need to GROW into the sport of strongman over many many years of training. The 20 year olds are the freaks, and they tend to not last as long. Meanwhile, Mark Felix found the fountain of youth, and Big Z is able to win WSM AND Masters in the same year if he so chooses.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t some good tips in the article, but the mentality behind it is seriously just wimpy. The whole “once you turn 30 it’s a death sentence” thing is so ridiculously overplayed.

Just my thoughts. How do others feel?


#2

Funnily enough as I was walking back to the car after a gruelling squat session today I though I should be able do this into my 60s but I wonder if I’ll be able to get a respectable number of plates on the bar into my 70s?


#3

I agree with you. It seems like most powerlifters are usually at their peak in their early to late 30’s too.


#4

For sure. Really seems like one of those sports that you need a few decades of volume to get the most out of.


#5

I think it’s overplayed as well. I feel like the 30s are the new 20s in the modern era. I think the human body is a machine that can adapt to any stimulus. Are some stimuli more optimal than others? Of course. Are there limits? Of course. But I’ve seen enough sports to clearly see that people can perform well (or even at a world class/high level) as they age. I agree that as one ages you have to adjust training, but that doesn’t mean one can’t train hard and with big weights.

I’m typing this as I’m watching American Ninja Warrior. The guy on right now is 55 killing it. Can’t no one tell me this guy doesn’t train hard lol.


#6

If oder guys can’t be strong as an ox then where did the phrase “Old Man Strength” come from? I thought the article was silly too.

I used to train at Shawn Frankl’s Big Iron Gym when I was in college. He’s out of his powerlifting prime, but at 40 he could step on any 198 Raw powerlifting stage and mop the floor.

I’ve watched him in a calorie deficit, getting ready for a bodybuilding show pump out 400+ Bench reps like it was the bar. And do deadlifts with 600+ for sets of 10 after a complete back workout.

Old Man Strength is highly relevant in my opinion.


#7

Pretty disappointed. I understand the point he was trying to make with lifters needing to be more aware as they age but overall seemed fairly useless as well as untrue. I have thought Lee has had some good articles in the past but not this time.

Ask anyone who’s 60 if they would like to have the body of a 36 year old again… Must not be that bad…


#8

Lee’s stuff is drifting more and more towards the average crowd. Those of us here are not average. And I’m not just talking about strength or size; our brains work differently than the average adult when it comes to this stuff.

Think of the average mid 30s guy at your job… I’m a cop and average is about 40 lbs overweight and weak AF. No shoulder or chest size, no football strength covered in fat, nothing.

If one of those guys takes up lifting and gets hooked on 5/3/1 then I think the article is very relevant. Those guys don’t need to be tearing up their body with constant max attempts. They’re already behind in terms of fitness so they should focus on self-improvement and training smart.

I’m 33 and I can’t disagree with the article. It’s all about risk vs reward. What will I gain by doing _______? What are the risks? I have to train smarter as I get older or I’m going to crash.


#9

To clarify, my specific critique is in regards to the misrepresentation of the lifters on strongman and powerlifting. It seemed like he stepped way outside his wheelhouse there.


#10

I remember Frankl! Dude was a total freak. I remember being upset when he beat Kroc’s 220 total, since I am such a Kroc fanboy, haha.


#11

He’s most definitely still a freak. Hence the nickname “Freakshow.” Dude would sometimes bench what I was deadlifting faster and with more reps.


#12

Even champs drop the tonnage as they get older. That’s why they have different records for age divisions.
I think a lot of you guys complaining about the article are still relatively young. Some guys can be incredibly strong, in old age. Casey Viator was still pushing 500lbs on the bench in his late 50’s, but then again he died of heart disease only at 62. Most guys are not in the same category for strength as Casey even when they are young. He is one of the few exceptions.


#13

I respect Lee Boyce but I have questioned some of his previous articles. For example, he wrote about Vince Gironda’s training system and it didn’t tally from what I have read about him. I also questioned a piece he did about tempo in heavy lifting, where he advocated time under tension with low reps by using a ‘3122’ cadence. For me, heavy squats, deads, etc, start to become dangerous when you are doing that type of stuff. But perhaps I’m just not adventurous?

In regard to his current article, I think if he had extended the age range to ‘40s’ it would have been closer to the mark. As someone else said, ‘30s are the new 20s’.


#14

I agree about pushing it back to 40’s, but you should also be aware about these issues in your 30’s as the wall hits some people earlier, especially if they are hardcore. Most guys don’t consider backing off a bit, until they get a chronic injury.
PED’s can help a lot but eventually you won’t be able to train as hardcore as you did when you are young. You can still train hard, but you may have to modify how you do things. Think Branch warren, numerous ruptured patella tendons, triceps.


#15

Questionable Articles

As you noted, sometime he provides good information and sometimes inaccurate.

In a Deadlift article, years ago, he provide misinformation.

How Not To Deadlift

His article was How to Deadlift; it should have been on “How Not To Deadlift”. The article was flawed with inaccurate information.

Mixed Bag

Lee’s article are mixed; some provide good information and other don’t.

Lifter Over 30

Fortunately, no one like Lee told Dr Fred Hatfield how to train after 30.

Hatfield (one of many past 30) in 1987 became the lightest man to Squat over 1,000 lbs.

Hatfield preformed a fairly easy 1,014 lb.

Kenny Croxdale


#16

@76now Thoughts?


#17

I read it and thought it made sense for guys that just want to be fit for life (guys like me). Not guys that are serious about being competitive and push themselves to that end (@T3hPwnisher & @flipcollar for example).


#18

Who said they had to be heavy? In the article we’re discussing he posted a video of himself doing 315 for 3 reps at slower than usual tempos and stated that his current 3RM was 440. I’d say dropping the weight by 125 lbs makes it fall into a category other than “heavy”.

PEDs can help but they can also be part of the problem. TRT is one thing but if you’re using to expand your potential then you’re probably growing faster than your tendons and ligaments would like. I think that’d actually put you on the fast track to hitting the wall (aka joint injury).

You can’t apply general advice or principles to elite people. It just doesn’t work. And with today’s information and medical world I’m hoping to live well into my 80’s or 90’s. I’d call 74 average at best but it’s still not the goal…and I’d like to be lifting at 74.

The article you linked doesn’t list a cause of death but a Google search said it was congestive heart failure…I’m not sure if that’s reliable though. I did find it on the internet.

Lastly, don’t forget that the article didn’t say to abandon hard work or heavy lifting. It just suggested not killing yourself day in and day out. It didn’t say to about maxing out, but it did suggest that you don’t do it every six weeks. I think a lot (aka most) people could benefit from a smarter training approach. It will be better on the joints to follow Lee’s advice and you can still get stronger by doing so. CT even advocates improving strength by changing tempos and increasing time under tension as opposed to simply throwing more weight on the bar.

I also just remembered that the authors do not pick the titles of their articles here. CT has said that several times in the forums. It’s possible Lee did not pick a title that calls people out like this one does… or appears to do.


#19

I think Boyce’s 3rd point, Diversify Your Exercise Selection, is pretty good.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to the truly studly, but if you follow the the Logs section, you’ll see several where some busted down 42 year old guy is like, “I’m going to really focus on benching and deadlifting, heavy for low reps.”

In 3 days their back hurts, and in 2 weeks, they disappear.

Edit:
Boyce, not Joyce! Auto correct problem, not an unfair jab to the author.


#20

Article Titles

Bret Contreras speaking at one of the National Strength and Condition Clinics stated that, as you noted, they change the title of articles.

Prior to know that I posted, “Great article, terrible title.”

Contreras reference was his article…

Contreras joked that he feared having retaliation from Deadlifters.

The title was definitely poorly chosen.

Magazines

Magazine often reserve the right to edit sentences and paragraphs in article or simply delete information.

I found that out the hard way after having an article published years ago. The magazine deleted information that bridged information together. I never submitted article to that magazine again.

I wrote and co-wrote articles for Powerlifing USA Magazine who guaranteed there would be no change in the title and no editing of information.

Kenny Croxdale