T Nation

Training Comeback!


I weightlifted for 21 years and was into the powerlifting game for a short while back then. Decided to quit with the weights so I can concentrate more on my Aikido martial arts (8 years). And after 3 years without touching a single weight I'm back in again (and taking a break from Aikido) with gusto and working into my 3rd months making (recouping) my gains with tremendous jumps.

However, the difference here is that I've gained an additional 25lbs with weight gainers and now weigh close to 180. Prior to quiting more than 3 years ago I weighed about 152-154, and was able to bench 330lbs for a single rep, simple military press of 180lbs, two handed barbell curl of 135lbs for 6x.

Right now I can bench 295 (last week), military press at 195lbs, barbell curls at 135 x 4 and the leg presses (single sled for each leg) are coming up fast and will get into squatting soon. The rest of the body is catching up (despite being 39 years old) when it comes to strength gains from doing some high reps - rarely on certain exercises, but mostly do low to moderate reps).

When I first started on June 14, 2005 I could only bench 185 for 2 reps, at a bodyweight of 152lbs. But with 21 years of weight training I simply had "muscle memory" and was able to make the rapid strength and muscle mass gains. The extra pounds in weight gain helped, too. So did my waistline. :slightly_smiling:

I have about another 15lbs to go in bodyweight. My intensity has gone up for the next two months. And will finally get into the grove in the 5th and 6th months and go from there. I am gearing to try and compete in one of the strongman games (175 - 200lbs class) and thinking that perhaps in about 12 months from now, I can try it for the first time. Why not? You can only live once. Will need to acquire some equipments sometime next year for my back yard.

Has anybody ever experienced a good comeback after a very long hiatus (years...not a few months) from weight training?



I took almost 3 years off weights while studying Aikido in Japan. Only took a few months to be back where I was before I left. Go slow, avoid injurys because you will be surprised at how fast you come back. Enjoy.


Twice I took time off, first time for 2 or so years and second time for almost a year. Both times I recovered within 3 months. And I wasn't very active in those rest periods. I was over 10 yrs younger than you, but I bet give it a couple more months and you'll rebound nicely.


I figured it would take me about 4 months til I recover to where I was before. Which is why my intensity and weights will increase gradually over time. The first 3 or 4 weeks I took it easy and allow the weights to break my muscles in slowly. Good thing, slight strain in my right leg, so my legs will take a little longer to get up to speed.

However, I'm already showing signs that I'll surpass much of my former best benches, presses, curls, triceps,..etc. because of the added 25 lbs of bodyweight.

I'm figuring 350lbs for bench press 3 months from now but even that I have a sneaking suspicion I'll go beyond that.


Don't you find a paradox between Aikido and powerlifting? Aikido is not forcing, but flowing with the energy.

Seriously, welcome back to powerlifting, just take it easy. I took 12 years off and it was hard getting back into competitive shape.
I also use taichi in my training. Has taught me to focus and meet the demands I place on my body.


No. No paradox. I just keep them separate. :slightly_smiling: Just maintain my center and enter (irimninage). It's all about the path of least resistance (not forcing) just as flowing water would do. I train to try and use the least number of muscles or the amount of contraction involved to move a heavy object. Rather than be tense at the beginning.

Yeah, I just want to add some bulk and increase my strength even more than ever. Plan to get back to Aikido in about 2 or 3 months...maybe sooner depends on how things go with my training. Target bodyweight: 190-195lbs. I've got 12 pounds to go leading up to 190 and will continue to increase my training intensity but not with countless sets.