T Nation

Where to Reduce Volume First?


#1

I have been working with a 61 year old recently whose routine looks like this:

Monday

Squat - 5’s PRO, 2x5-8 FSL
Bench - 5’s PRO, 2x5-8 FSL
Barbell Rows – 3x10

Thursday

Deadlift - 3’s PRO, 3x5 FSL
Press - 5’s PRO, 2x5-8 FSL
Pulldowns - 3x10

The volume seems to be too much for him. I suggested something like the Triumvirate so he would only be doing one main lift at a time, but because of his work and schedule. He can really only commit to 2 days a week for lifting.

So looking at his routine where would you reduce it first?

Do away with FSLs and keep 5 PRO
Do 5/3/1 prescribed reps only and keep FSLs.

Other possible solutions welcomed.

Thanks


#2

Can you move the Wednesday to Thursday or Friday or some other combination (eg Tuesday and Friday or Wedneday and Sunday) so he can have more than 48 hours between sessions.


#3

I accidentally put Wednesday. His second day of training is Thursday. thanks for pointing that out.


#4

Hmm. What makes you think volume is too much for him?

Timewise/Session
Too much lifting per session
Excessively sore come next session
Numbers not going up?
Overreaching/Overtraining Symptoms?

Could it be possible he is under recovering for the fatigue generated? Perhaps a look at his fatigue management would be helpful.


#5

He says he is constantly sore beyond the normal that goes with lifting especially his knees and lower back.

I already dropped his jumps from 10 to 5 lbs for squat and dead lifts and 5 to 2 for his press and bench.

He claims he is getting 7 to 8 hrs sleep and is eating correctly but I can only take his word for that.

Thanks


#6

I’ll give my 2 cents for this.

TM should be low, bar speed should be good.That’s a given.
How many cycles have he done?
Is he in a good condition… if not, bring it up.

I am 53 years old.
I have tried the 5’s pro, and well I don’t like it.
I love rep PR’s so 531 OG for me.
And I love FSL PR’s too.

I like your setup. Simple and would make him strong.
The only thing I would change is the DL, that thing just kills me.
I would go for just the main lift and maybe 1 set of FSL, if any at all…
The rest seems OK, if he likes it.

BTW Barbell Rows kills my lower back. One arm DB row is great for me. (so that was two things)

Or try OG give him the spreadsheet for the whole cycle, then he is able to see what weight to hit, and how many reps for a PR.

Good luck :slight_smile:


#7

Training history/experience?

Eating correctly can mean a number of things: Healthy/Clean, to manage existing health conditions, to the point of satiety or a bit more than usual some days.

How much and enough is more pertinent. Maybe suggest eating/drinking a bit more. Maybe a glass or milk in the morning and before bed. It looks like this program puts him nowhere near Maximum Recoverable Volume where it’s so much literally nothing you do will allow you to fully recover so his muscles should be able to recover at least.

Sounds like he is concerned about joint issues from his training as opposed to muscle soreness. Sounds like his joints are getting hammered by the heavy weights. Reducing volume may improve how things are going but maybe some other changes could be made.

Due to his age you’d expect degenerative changes in his joints such as knee osteoarthritis
and in the spine: disk herniation or degeneration or spine osteoarthritis. As above poster mentioned given the high rep BB Rows maybe spinal erector soreness or strain could be an issue.

Exercises are great for the general population but maybe consider how you are loading joints, the pros and cons and the sustainability of such. If there is already degenerative processes going on lifting at best won’t make it worse however that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In the Squat shear and compressive forces load up the spine and obviously the knees have their share of load. OHP stresses the spine. Same with DL and BB row. Almost all movements in the program stress are taxing on the joints. Sometimes it’s needed e.g. the squat being such a useful movement but are all the exercises absolutely necessary?

Is substitution of exercises possible? If not maybe lower volume on the most stressful of movements e.g. DL or BB Row. I’d take the decreased training stimulus over not being able to sustain training long term ez.


#8

Mon:
Squat - 5s Pro
Bench - 3 x 5-8 FSL
DB Rows - 3 x 10

Thu:
Deadlift - 3s Pro
Press - 3 x 5-8 FSL
Pulldown - 3 x 10

Mon:
Bench - 5s Pro
Squat - 3 x 5-8 FSL
DB Rows - 3 x 10

Thu:
Press - 5s Pro
Deadlift - 3 x 5-8 FSL
Pulldown - 3 x 10


#9

I was going to suggest something along these lines, and invoke your name in doing so, because I recall you and Jim having a discussion about setting up something similar to this for you.


#10

Mon:
Squat - 5s Pro
Bench - 3 x 5-8 FSL
DB Rows - 3 x 10

Thu:
Deadlift - 3s Pro
Press - 3 x 5-8 FSL
Pulldown - 3 x 10

Mon:
Bench - 5s Pro
Squat - 3 x 5-8 FSL
DB Rows - 3 x 10

Thu:
Press - 5s Pro
Deadlift - 3 x 5-8 FSL
Pulldown - 3 x 10

Thanks. I will have him give it a try


#11

That looks okay.
Remember to include som conditioning and mobility.


#12

I am 57 and follow a program similar to this, and it works well for me. When I am able to get a lot of sleep, etc., I fit the four workouts into 3 per week, so it takes me a little more than one week to get the cycle in. If I am traveling for business, tight for time, etc., I do two per week as it shows here. Both work for me.