T Nation

Training for a 63 Y.O. Former Naval Officer

I’m writing on behalf of my dad, who is 63 years old but gaining weight and out of shape.

He used to be very healthy, biking, running, and rock climbing a lot. Recently, he’s been gaining weight and I just want him to be healthy and reduce his risk of disease.

I wanted him to seek professional help, but he wants me to design a program for him. Trying to force him to get a trainer will not be successful, so I obliged.

That’s enough background: Could you please give me some feedback on what I came up with?

Resistance Training:
4 exercises: (total body)

Squat (bodyweight) 10x3
Deadlift (very light) 5x3
Pushups (BW as well) 10x3
Overhead press (also light) 10x3

*My #1 Goal is to get him moving some weights while avoiding any sort of injury or stress on his joints. I looked for resources regarding lifting for older trainers, but all of them were geared towards people who have never been in shape or are otherwise pathetic, which does not apply to my Dad.

I also will have him supplement with fish oil, glucosamine and condroitin, and drink at least half a gallon of water a day.

Bring a cooler to work, filled with nuts, fruits, string cheese (as Nate Green recommended in Built for Show) jerky, meat, etc. He is not allowed to eat anything that is not inside this cooler

Energy systems:
I will have him walk to work (it’s about 1.5 miles) and take evening walks 3-4 times a week with my mom around our neighborhood.

Does this look like a solid start? Any feedback is appreciated.

You might read this thread. A lot of what you might be looking for could be there.

Great you’re helping him. Good lifts to start with. Check out the tread CrazyCrew recommended and take him here for inspiration. http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_senior/getting_my_kicks_on_route_66?pageNo=0#bottom

Okay. Looking at that thread, I noticed that I forgot to add core work and unilateral leg exercises, so I will add them.

I’m gonna have him do front and side planks.

He’s always gone to the gym regularly, but he does a lot of machines, no free weights. I have a suspicion that as muc has he points to his “maxing out” the weighted crunch machine, he has little stability.

When I complained of my knee problems earlier this year, he said he used to have them too, so I might add in some RDL’s to his program for glute and hamstring activiation. I might add some glute/ham raises as well.

I don’t know if I conveyed it earlier, but the challenge is not getting him in the gym, but to use his time productively while minimizing his risk of injury… all he does is machines, and he says it’s because he doesn’t want to get injured. I think he’s short changing himself personally.

He’s a really big guy, but he’s gaining weight and moving more painfully with the day.

Can anyone point me to a respectable and established program, designed for over 60 lifters? I’d appreciate it a lot, I don’t want to rely on just the fact that it worked for another T-Man’s Dad.

That being said, I think the main goal of this regimen is to improve his diet: it sucks. That needs to change, and that’s the thing I’m most worried about.

Okay here’s what I wrote out for him, how does this look?

By the way, many aspects of this program are borrowed from T-Nation articles… and I can’t possible cite each respective author, so in general I’ll just say, thank you T-Nation.

Here it is:


-1000 meters on the rowing machine. Focus on good form, making sure to bend at the ankle and keeping the lower back arched. This is a warm-up, not a race

Resistance Training:

Squat: Body weight
-Count reps until you reach 25. Add 5 reps each session until you
reach 50. Be sure to break parallel, keep the lower back arched.

Pushup: Body weight

-Count reps until you reach 25, resting when necessary. Add 5 reps each session until you reach 50.

Overhead press: 45 lbs (the bar), add 2.5 pounds per session
-Do three sets of five, be sure the bar ends up above your head. What is above your head seems like it is behind your head kinesthetically.

Lunges: Body weight
-Count reps until you reach 10 lunges. Add 5 reps per session until you reach 25.

Video of lunges: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWInSl98Fhk&feature=related

Side and Front Planks:

-Start with a left side plank. Hold for 30 seconds or failure, whichever comes first. Add 2 seconds each session. Progress to opposite side plank, and then front plank.

Video of planks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHQmRINu4jU
Video of side planks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUGifXahES4

Supplementation and Nutrition:


? Mix a Superfood/Metabolic Drive complete shake with about 800 mL of water. Use one to two scoops of MD and two scoops of Superfood. Drink this immediately after waking up (as in, roll out of bed and go straight downstairs to drink it). Wait about an hour and a half before having Mom make breakfast, if at all.

? Every day, have as big a breakfast as possible, this is the most important meal, and if you have a big breakfast you will not overeat later in the day

During the day:

? Never eat anything that does not come out of your cooler at work. Fill it every day with sandwiches, string cheese, nuts, fruits, and vegetables beef jerky, tuna. Concentrate on PROTEIN.

? In the morning, fill your ½ gallon jug with water. Finish it by the time you go to bed. You may drink more water than that if possible.

? Never consume a beverage with more than zero calories.

? Take 6 total capsules of Flameout per day. Try to eat these in the afternoon, you want to start consuming mostly fat and less carbs as the day goes on; Fish oil is fat.

? If you can?t eat a healthy source of food, eat a Metabolic Drive bar instead.

Before bed:

Ideally 45 mintues before bed, take 3 capsules of ZMA. Don?t worry if it?s not exactly 45 minutes before, just take them. Also take the recommended dose of glucosamine/condroitin, if there?s a loading dose abide by it. You may need to take some fish oil at this point as well if you haven?t yet taken 6.


Drink a shake of one shot of olive oil and 1 ½ scoops of LOW CARB Metabolic Drive. This will stave off night-time binging, which is the #1 eating disorder in America. You are affected by it. It must stop.

Energy systems:

? -Walk at least one way to work every day. Mom has agreed that she will accommodate your trips where you don?t have your car.

? -Take walks 3-4 times a night with Mom around the neighborhood, or any other neighborhood. Shoot for about 1-2 miles in these walks.

? -Take the stairs. It?s active recovery for your glutes, hamstring, and calves.


o If you are stalling in the gym, eat more.
o Sleep at least 8 hours a night
o If it hurts, DON?T DO IT.