T Nation

Workout For The Late 30's?


I been working out for the longest. I like to make a really good push to get in great shape. I also want to be strong. I am into martial arts and sports, I like to be able to keep it up and get worried about getting older, losing strenght, etc......

I came across the below artical, I thought it looked cool and it is something I never tried. I always did the typical workout you get from a magazine. Well take a look at the below and any advice would be great.


My strength advice (from an ex-powerlifter)

The following are some suggestions and thoughts on an a strength building routine.
It may be a little wordy, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything.
I practiced and studied bodybuilding and powerlifting for about 10 years,
and most of this information is real world stuff, or the methods that work
for non drug-using lifters. I hope it helps.

1) Nutrition
Nutrition is just as important as a proper strength training plan. Without the proper amount of complex carb and protein intake, your efforts will often plateau, or creep slowly forward. It is best to get about 3 quality servings of complex carbs during each day (rice and pasta are my favorites). Complex carb intake should be spaced out evenly during the day. One serving early in the day, one serving midday, and one around dinner time.

The next most important issue is protein intake. Your body needs protein to rebuild the torn muscle tissue from a hard workout. Generally, a body can only assimilate 28-35 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours, so it is best to spread out your
protein 'meals'. I recommend a minimum of 120 grams of protein a day, up to 200 grams if you really want to pack on extra muscle tissue as well. Eat protein 4-6 times a day, spread apart by 2.5 to 3 hour intervals.

The rest of your caloric intake should depend on your physique and your nutritional needs. Don't cut your fat intake to 0 grams, as your body needs a marginal amount of fat to function. Also, drink plenty of water. Water helps the body recover faster between workouts.

The following are some protein foods I used during my 10 years of training:

Eggs: 7 grams of protein ea. 75 calories ea.
Protein powder in powdered milk, w/20 ounces of water: Mix to 30 grams protein, 200 calories
Can of tuna packed in water: 28 grams of protein, 180-ish calories, no fat
Met-Rx bars: 28-ish grams of protein, 200-ish calories. Good nutritionally.
Chicken breast: 30 grams of ptotein, low calories.
...and when I didn't have access to these foods, I would grab a huge stick of beef jerky from a quick-mart...alot of them have 25+ grams of protein and are low calorie.

2) Sleep
Try to get 7-8 hours a night, or an amount that keeps you feeling good when you wake up. Nuff said.

3) Training frequency.
Do not train each bodypart 2-3 times a week. This seems like the macho approach, but it does not works for a non drug-using lifter. Look at all the guys in your gym that have trained with this program for 5-10 years...they make little or no progress.

Train each bodypart once every 5, 6 or 7 days. Each muscle needs at least 72 hours of proper recuperation to grow stronger, and the most growth in strength will occur at 72-100 hours after training. For the five years before my daughter was born, I trained each bodypart once a week. Which is best? Once every 5-6-7 days?

Play around and see which pattern yields you with the biggest improvement in strength from the last workout. Each body is different.

4) Training Intensity
Fewer sets, and far greater intensity. Push each set to failure. Use strict technique and heavy weight. Nuke your body. Life heavy and use heavy compound movements. Do not do more than 10 sets for any bodypart. More than this is a waste, and actually breaks down tissue negatively, as well as over-taxes joints.

5) My recommended workout: (Go heavy, and keep trying to go heavier each workout)

Monday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Bench Press 4 sets to failure. 10-12 reps, 7-9 reps, 7-9 reps, 4-6 reps
Dumbbell bench press 4 sets to failure. Same rep pattern as above
Overhead dumbbell press or overhead barbell press (alternate each workout) 6 sets. 10-12, 7-9, 7-9, 7-9, 7-9, 4-6
Closegrip Bench press (hands together or close together) 4 sets. 10-12, 7-9, 7-9, 4-6

This workout when used with maximum weight and intensity will nuke your shoulders, chest and triceps. It includes basic compound movements which are the key to strength training.
Pec decs, flyes, and other movements are not needed. To Get strong you must life big, no exceptions.

Wednesday: Back/Biceps/Calves

Dumbell Rows, or Low pulley rows (alternate each workout) 4 sets, same rep pattern
Half deadlifts, (or complete deadlifts if no access to a squat rack) Bar should
rest about 4 inches below your knees at the bottom of the movement. 4 sets, same rep pattern.
Dumbell or barbell curls (alternate each woorkout) 4 sets, same rep pattern
Favorite calve movement 4 sets, same rep pattern

This workout pre-exhausts the back muscle with the rows, and frys the back with the deadlifts. Again, basic compound movements which will work all back muscles, traps, biceps, obliques, and lower back.

Friday: Legs

Squats 6 sets, 10-12, 10-12, 7-9, 7-9, 7-9, 4-6, maximum weight. Use strict form and no bouncing!
Favorite hamstring movement, 4 sets. I like alternating machine hamstring work with good mornings, (or straight leg deadlifts).

6) Notes
-Heavy compound movements are the best natural anabolic, as they force the body to release massive amounts of testosterone. Max weight to failure always. Squatting, deadlifting, and the other heavy weight movements make your entire body stronger, as they put you in an anabolic state.
-never do more sets. If you have the extra energy, use it elsewhere in life. Strength training is not endurance training. Lift big and get out of the gym.
-once every month and a half to 2 months, shock a bodypart, or do something different. For example, instead of your normal chest workout, do pushups until your arms fall off, or do
no resting between sets, with a partner peeling weight off of the barbell, etc. Get creative, but nuke and shock your body every couple of months. This helps break strength plateaus. ANother good plateau breaker is super slow motion sets. 5 seconds lifting up, 5 seconds coming down for each movement.
-Lifting without proper nutrition and protein intake is useless. They must go hand in hand.
-Once every 6-7 days is plenty. Rest.
-The monsters in the bodybuilding/strength magazines feature insane routines, which can only be
beneficial under the influence of roids, hormones, and more.