T Nation

When Do Strength Gains Simply Stop?


I am over qualified to be in this forum, by 10 years. I am finding that I needed to correct some form issues in order to get stronger. Weak upper back and weak hips in squat. Core strength. At what age, do you think, that it would be time to say enough is enough and forget the next 100 lb barrier in PRs? I still think at 45 I have about 5-10 years. ????????


Well I think Harry is in his mid-fifties and getter stronger I think.

Some guys in my Fed are still pushingg their numbers deep in their fifties.

In my opinion you've got 10-15 years before you honestly have to change your thinking. You'll have to train smarter and supplement here and there but it can be done from what I've seen.


I can certify 52.... or is it I need to be certified.. I am so confused..


53 and a beginner, but clearly making gains.


depends on many factors. Guys in their 90% can get stronger. That is actually documented. But the context there is they didn't do much previously ok.
now are you talking about maximum strength as opposed to hypertrophy or making mass gains?
Yeah so depends on how well you are trained, whether you don't know much about technique and are not on top of things currently. And of course it depends on genetics too and how athletic
you have been in your life. I am going on 64 shortly and On the bench I am getting strong, its slow i admit but i am getting strong.
I was also getting stronger with the back squat... but again, i have to build up to 1 rm and sometimes my hips get really sore so... Not that i think its important to max out ok..
also in the standing press, again I was making slow progress but the thing there is hip and lower back pain complications..
But to answer your question, yes you can make strength gains but you have to really be smart about your training.


You are not over qualified because you are over 35.

So are you asking when do you need to start to work on your weakness?

Or are you asking when do you stop working on lifting hard and heavy?

Personally I believe it has to do with injuries, if you are always injured or getting surgery it may be time to change your approach. Some Genetics are made for big weights for longer than others.

When you have to decide if pulling or squatting is putting you are your back for a month is it really worth it for quality of life?

Also personally I believe you should always work on your weaknesses, cause if you do not you will plateau on heavy weights anyway.


53 in a few months and every PR is a lifetime PR.

In terms of the next 100lb goal. My bench is around 320 right now and as I consider 400 I don't think its a matter of age, its a matter of moving from 195lbs to around 220+. So it's time and deciding if I really want to weight that much.
Deads - I should hit 400 again soon, I may need to gain a few lbs to reach 500 and will need a few years of focused training - doable.
Squats - Same.

I'm really surprised at the number of people who think once you are over 50 you have to give up or compromise.


OP, I am more amazed at the number of people who think after 25 or 30 you have to give up or compromise. People often ask me in amazement 'you still compete?' like it is just shocking and unthinkable. Granted these are usually work people, who haven't done a thing since high school or college.

Strength can keep on coming. I have training partners closing on huge lifetime PRs at 50 +. A couple of years ago at a meet I helped out a lifter who did a 3 x bodyweight squat at 78. And then he planned to diet down to do a triathalon.

A lot of it is how you manage your injuries. Too much bench time is not good, and pushing it to early is not good. There is a fine line you need to learn to walk, and this line is finer both as you get stronger and older.


41 here and don't ever want to quit gaining on my lifts...it's like anything else in life...some days are better than others.