T Nation

Who Says You Can't Be Old & Hardcore

Wed Mar 30 and today is my last day as a 54 yr old young pup. Tomorrow I hit the double nickels.
So squatting was in order. After a warmup of 12 with the bar, and stretching I then did this;
10 with 145
8 with 235, and 285. Then I loaded the bar to 305. I put on the belt and locked it. First rep felt good, so did second rep. the third rep I began to wonder, the fourth rep I figured lets keep going, the 5th rep I reminded myself why I am doing this for a 507 squat. The 6th rep I questioned my sanity, the 7th rep was a fight, but I remembered what my son and the Marines did in Fallujah and it lightened my load, then the 8th rep, I buried my ass down and fought it up and made it with no help. My lungs are on fire and my legs are throbbing like my heart when I see apple pie. So I caught my rest and accepted the congratulations from the kids around me. Remember a kid is anyone under 50 to me. So I did a downset of 8 with 235 and my legs are actually pumped.
Then pause squats holding it for 3 seconds at the bottom and sets of 5 with 145 and 165 and I know I am nuts.
Then out to the big room where I did 3 sets of 10 pull thrus with 150lbs on stack. My butt is feeling like I have been sitting in the bleachers at old County stadium.
Then to finish off with reverse hypers sets of 12 with 115 lbs. My shirt is soaked, and there is not a dry spot on it. Damn what a good workout and under an hour in length.
So now I bid a fond adieu to the age of 54 and look forward to better workouts at the age of 55. Have fun y’all and remember friends don’t let friends eat at McDonalds.


I don’t need your rockin’ chair

That was one of the best damn posts of the week.

Thanks.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
That was one of the best damn posts of the week.

Thanks.[/quote]

Agreed!

Amen brother, I am 53 this year. You are only as “old” as you want to be. One of the people I have a great respect fot is Jack Lalanne, people can laugh at him but at over 90 he looks like he is in his 70’s. At 85 (he may have done it later again at older moment) he swam from Acatraz Island to the Golden gate Bridge. This is a path that over the years killed far younger prisoners trying to escape. At 70 he swam the crossing towing a boat with his teeth. For me I beleive in:

Live right, eat right, work out, use alot of supplements and take what “drugs” are applicable to your goals.

Cheers,

RW

Better living through Chemistry.

[quote]Senseial wrote:
Wed Mar 30 and today is my last day as a 54 yr old young pup. Tomorrow I hit the double nickels.
So squatting was in order. After a warmup of 12 with the bar, and stretching I then did this;
10 with 145
8 with 235, and 285. Then I loaded the bar to 305. I put on the belt and locked it. First rep felt good, so did second rep. the third rep I began to wonder, the fourth rep I figured lets keep going, the 5th rep I reminded myself why I am doing this for a 507 squat. The 6th rep I questioned my sanity, the 7th rep was a fight, but I remembered what my son and the Marines did in Fallujah and it lightened my load, then the 8th rep, I buried my ass down and fought it up and made it with no help. My lungs are on fire and my legs are throbbing like my heart when I see apple pie. So I caught my rest and accepted the congratulations from the kids around me. Remember a kid is anyone under 50 to me. So I did a downset of 8 with 235 and my legs are actually pumped.
Then pause squats holding it for 3 seconds at the bottom and sets of 5 with 145 and 165 and I know I am nuts.
Then out to the big room where I did 3 sets of 10 pull thrus with 150lbs on stack. My butt is feeling like I have been sitting in the bleachers at old County stadium.
Then to finish off with reverse hypers sets of 12 with 115 lbs. My shirt is soaked, and there is not a dry spot on it. Damn what a good workout and under an hour in length.
So now I bid a fond adieu to the age of 54 and look forward to better workouts at the age of 55. Have fun y’all and remember friends don’t let friends eat at McDonalds.


I don’t need your rockin’ chair[/quote]

Senseial:

I want to congratulate you on a great workout, but also on having an even better attitude!

I think if we all started posting our workouts here that some of the under 35 crowd might be surprised!

Keep up the great work.

I’m 45 now, and this post has made me think how cool it will be to get older every year and still hit the gym like a T-Man.

Great post!

Very inspirational for this 41 year old kid!

I’m 21 and I got short of breath reading that…great job, I hope I’m doing that when I’m [almost] 55!

I started a new thread (Dave Draper’s Column) on this very subject - shoulda posted here on this thread. It’s appropriate.

I’ve got mad respect for you old bastards!

The T-Nation moderator asked me to post the Dave Draper column here as well so here goes:

I don’t know if the T-Nation moderator will allow me to cut and paste today’s emailed column from Dave Draper but is a pretty good nugget of wisdom for the “Over 35 Lifter”:

          • Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - - - - -

1 - Draper here… Sunrise Over Bomber Field
2 - Laree here, taking over with online news…

1 - Draper here… Sunrise Over Bomber Field

What I know would loosely fill a tea cup and store conveniently in Aunt
Petunia’s china closet. If knowledge were power, I couldn’t light a match.
School wasn’t my favorite diversion, I did the minimum time and was free.
Mistakes, accidents, curiosity, wandering, risking and testing have been
my haphazard teachers. What they lack in structure they possess in
honesty.

About Draper: “He’s not dim, mind you, but he’s not the brightest dumbbell
on the rack, either.” ~by Alfred E Newman

While boasting about my intellectual development, might I note that
growing older day by day does not add to one’s wisdom so much as it adds
to the gathering of skin around one’s eyes, tris and kneecaps? I don’t
mind, really, though on some days I consider offering a Bomber Makeover
Kit along with the Draper Dungeon. It would include a box cutter, needle
and thread, a bottle of Mercurochrome and assorted Band-Aids. Possibly
instructions.

I couldn’t be happier with the courses provided by daily living. They are
free, abundant and various; you need not stand in line to apply and you
are never refused. The sole university accepts everyone. The lessons are
often tough, especially when you’re dedicated and aspiring. Sadly,
participants have been known to hang out, drop out and fail.

At an early age I chose a Harley over a career in nuclear science,
accounting or city management. When standing at the crossroads of a life
in university classes, dormitories and libraries, I took the sandy path to
Muscle Beach. Hollywood knocked on my door and I furiously persisted to
execute dumbbell curls in a dungeon. Asked to be a corporate achiever, I
turned and positioned myself under the squat bar and knocked out another
set.

Today, 45 years later, I can walk into any gym and with little more than a
10-minute warm-up, proper wrapping and sufficient psychological
preparation, do a workout that will shake the cane right out of my
arthritic hand. Bragging again, but I’ve had years of practice.

Enough personal history; allow me to compose a hasty yet instructive list
of the Things I’ve Learned Lately. Ha! This should be quick. “Lately”
would be, say, since age 60, or the past three years of my life. I’m 63
mid-spring.

A cause for pause: Does that sound old? To teens and the 20-some, the 60s
rouse impressions of bent, broken and bewildered. The 30- and 40-some are
more understanding and sympathetic, and agree 60-plus is not that old. And
the 50-year-olds are starting to quiver in their own shorts and look for
hope and encouragement anywhere they can find it – to the 60-year-old, in
fact. The 60s to the 60-year-old is, at last, a precious stretch time with
many things to do: fix, save, improve, observe and cherish. It’s a
truthful time, life is a keeper. To the man and woman experiencing 70 or
80 years, 60 is young. “Oh, to be a kid again,” they say.

The Things I’ve Learned Lately. The list goes something like this:

~ Life is time. Time is quick. Grab it, hold it and it appears to slow
down as you catch up. Conversely, ease your grip, let it go and it fades
out of sight, as you haplessly sit in regret. Wait for me.

Don’t fall for the lie that you’re over the hill, past your prime, or
worst of all, an old f_ _t (I can’t bear to say the word out loud).
Thinking is believing – I’m 60, I’m old – is an over-statement, but it
certainly contributes to the calamity of old age. Renew your mind and
renew your body has a nicer ring to it, if you’re into adages and cliches.
Instead, be real; 60 is 60, another season, another day, another time for
faithful blasting.

Sometimes – and sometimes only – it does no harm to recall those days
when things were less bright than they are today. Travel back 5, 10 or 20
years. At 40 I was going downhill fast without brakes: no net, no
spotters, no hope, no way. It happens. I know some folks reading these
lines who weighed 350 pounds at 30, sat around and ate garbage. What a
mess. We all know others who thought weights were handy heavy objects used
to hold stacks of paper in place on breezy days and regarded cold, black
cast-iron barbells as grotesque devices from hell.

Get ye behind us, trouble. We observed our plight and pulled on our
bootstraps; we grasped the weights, tossed the junk food, practiced
fortitude and overcame. Today, at every age, stage and time, the iron is
our shield, the workout our fortifier and the gym our refuge and
stronghold.

~ 60, like 50, is stacked with promise. This is becoming evident as my
drive and efforts have not been thwarted with time. I am, if anything,
more capable, and stronger and in better shape in many ways than I was
three years ago, five years ago. Why is this, I wondered, and the answer
has been shaped by theory and guesswork. I’m not way older simply because
I’ve entered a new decade. To suddenly age is to submit to the notion –
the conditioned thought, the commonly accepted belief, ordinary science –
that I’m old. I am, after all…gasp… six-oh.

Thank God, bombers, we’re not the typical product of society. How many of
you over 50 and 60 and 70 feel over 35 going on 25? Yeah, we have our
dings, limitations and aches, our bad days. That’s what you get for being
fully alive and dancing on the face of the planet. Imagine if you didn’t
work out and eat right and think like a kid; what a mess you would be.

~ With careful attention – scrutiny and vigilance and seeking – and
consistent effort, you can and will improve. You step backward one day
only to take two steps forward another. Where you lose a toehold, you gain
a foothold. And so it goes. The arms aren’t as round and full, but they’re
harder and more defined. Curling power is down, but the squats and
deadlifts are up. The pec development shows no improvement, but the rear
deltoids are responding to specialized training. What you didn’t overwork
in the past is ready for action in the present. What you did overwork is
ready for steady and sufficient stimulation and timely rebuilding. Goodbye
heavy bench presses, hello thoughtful dumbbell pressing and cable
crossovers. Focus, invent, discover, improvise, finesse, calculate,
modify, seek and find.

~ About doubt: as usual, don’t. Though we know better, there seems to be
more about which to doubt. There are not more things; there are just
different things. Substitute doubt with tough, uninterrupted pursuit. Be
positive, be realistic and don’t be dumb; you aren’t old, though youth has
left the building.

Doubt is not to be confused with honest, well-meaning caution. A little
caution and wise consideration go a long way. Doubt, however, seizes our
resources, freezes our minds and mortifies our spirits. The body becomes
its final victim, limp and powerless. Calculated risk and daring in
training is interesting, adventuresome and fun… and most constructive.
Recklessness is still reckless, something some of us must recall when
loading up the squat bar and bench press.

~ Continued meticulous practice with high hopes, AKA relentless bomber
training, produces results in more areas than one might expect. Push that
iron, don’t give up, never give in and press on are the maxims we live by.
They’re not trite clusters of words to repeat, but powerful commands to
bravely enact.

I train smarter and apply growing finesse with the passing time; I learn
moment by moment and set by set, exercise by exercise and rep by rep. Due
to the increased savvy gained by the years, my tendonitis is circumvented,
my structural limitations are extended, the maximum muscle exertion
responsible for hypertrophy is enlarged, ability to improvise effective
exercise grooves and exercise substitutes is expanded, and my willingness
to train when down and my craving to train when up has grown like zeal at
a rock concert.

Don’t be a fanatic, but do break the chains that bind. Don’t let your
training desire decrease because you expect your efforts and effectiveness
to decrease. Be strong, stay strong.

~ Giving up the heavy weights for lighter weights to achieve maximum
muscle exertion within the muscle is no big deal. Time and the repeated
impact of lifting weights takes its toll and we make appropriate
compromises and adjustments to accommodate the rules. Recently acquired
injuries, coincidentally accompanied by pain, gain our attention, causing
us to learn and re-learn patience, disciplined movement and compromise.
They’re sharper than us, listen carefully. I’ll grumble for a second on
occasion, only to reprimand myself for my ungracious and vainglorious
attitude.

Being pleased with and thankful for your achievements gained by hard work
and sacrifice is fair pride. Bow inwardly.

Being discouraged and thankless for your compromised ability and slowed
progress is vain and pouting pride. You deserve the pain. Press on.

Arrogance is pride in its most devastating form. Kill it before it kills
you.

Know the difference between the three, draw the line and stay on the right
side where you belong, Captain. Know thyself.

~ Training must be consistent, but training must have freedom. With the
investment of many sound years of exercise, I am able to rely more and
more on my instincts to complement my well-programmed training
methodologies. Knowing when enough is enough in the process of
muscle-loading is increasingly important, as age gathers in your gym bag.
Too much load is more critical as your long-hammered muscles endure work.
I like to take my training to the edge, give it one or two more stunning
reps and pull it back before it goes over.

I am more workout-enthusiastic, workout-energetic and workout-hungry when
I train four days a week than five or six. I train more intensely and
achieve greater muscle overload, which I calculate judiciously, and am,
thus, more productive on those glorious days. Swell!! The throbbing
muscles are relieved and supported by three smartly placed days of rest
and recuperation. Super swell!! I’m getting a pump thinking about it.

Who sez you’re too old to lift weights once you’re outta high school or
college or your mid-40s and 50s? Like kids and bombers, training is
forever.

Grab some air and fly high… God’s speed… DD

OMG!!! This has to be an article. Something this inspiring needs to be shouted and shared.

throttle,

I want to thank you for posting Drapers article. That was simple awe inspiring!

Oh one more thing notice he did say: “Goodbye
heavy bench presses, hello thoughtful dumbbell pressing.” :wink:

Dave’s a smart man!

[quote]ZEB wrote:
throttle,

I want to thank you for posting Drapers article. That was simple awe inspiring!

Oh one more thing notice he did say: “Goodbye
heavy bench presses, hello thoughtful dumbbell pressing.” :wink:

Dave’s a smart man![/quote]

Must be why the “pecs show no signs of improvment”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
ZEB wrote:
throttle,

I want to thank you for posting Drapers article. That was simple awe inspiring!

Oh one more thing notice he did say: “Goodbye
heavy bench presses, hello thoughtful dumbbell pressing.” :wink:

Dave’s a smart man!

Must be why the “pecs show no signs of improvment”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

[/quote]

No, it’s probably the reason that at his 60+ years he is still traing hard. Actually able to move his arms with no shoulder problems!

Regarding the initial post…f-ing awesome.

Congrats,
Tucker

Senseil,
Thanks for the inspiring post. Our body’s will sure rust out before they wear out. Even if I’m not as strong or big as I was before, being under the iron is its own reward.
old dogg

Great workout, just awesome and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I can still remember back to when I was 55 years old. Tose were the good old days. Keep up the good work.

TNT

Happy Birthday!

Lets make this a challenge for all of us reaching 55 - to squat 305 before our 55th birthday.

I have until August to hit that weight and age. I started eight months ago with a 90 pound squat. I have since worked up to 255. I should be able to hit 305 by August - maybe 315.

I’d like to add a little to this thread if I may. I’m 53, have been working out almost 20 years now. I’m 5’ 8" and 207 lbs. Prior to prostate cancer surgery 9 months ago, I was squatting parallel or below 365 for 5 sets of 5 and I would finish off with 20 reps of 225. My goal was to hit 405 which I never reached. Getting back to the prostate surgery, I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks from not working out and felt very weak. When I returned to squating I could hardly squat 225 for 5. During the past 8 months my squat has gone up to 3 sets of 8 for 335 and my body weight is back to 207. I’m not bragging but just wanted to point out that setbacks can be overcome and is not the end of the world.

Rick