T Nation

Workouts/Supps for 50+


I wanted to get some advice from the over 50 crowd.

My father is looking to get back into fighting shape after years of a rather sedentary lifestyle with poor eating habits. He is former military and in the past has been in excellent shape.

He's always been abnormally strong but after the military he's got some bad discs in his back and poor knees. A childhood injury has ruined one of his shoulders so that it doesn't have full range of motion or power. Despite all of this he looks fantastic for his age, younger then his years and still strong.

He's informed on proper diet and what works for his body.

I'm unsure what exercises or training to recommend him because of his prior injuries.

And while he is dedicated to getting back into a healthy lifestyle, a lack of energy and testosterone are fighting against him every step of the way.

At that age what supplements are best to create an optimal environment to increase lean tissue, help fat removal, and provide energy?

He's not looking at unrealistic goals to suddenly transform into the cover of Muscle and Fitness. But 12-15% bodyfat and a toned body don't seem like impossible goals to me at any age. But I know that after 35 or so that your body begins to fight against those kinds of change.

And I don't want him to get swindled by someone saying to buy X or Y and take X amount.

If you've got advice or recommendations please respond to this post or PM me.


Much of the advise you see for younger people applies to older people as well. Start light (lighter than what seems reasonable) and progress gradually but steadily. If it hurts, stop that movement until you understand why. Pay close attention to form. Start with large compound movements for moderate reps. Add isolation movement only when they don't interfere with the compound movements and keep them to a minimum. High reps tend to lead to deteriation of form so stay away from that outdated advice of 12-15 reps. Use multiple sets and again, increase gradually as he build work load tollerance. 3 sets of 5 is usually a good place to start.


As long as he has a clean bill of health from his Doc. and no pre-existing health conditions which would preclude him from supplementation, I would recommend the following.

Flameout, essential fatty acids essential at any age.

REZ-V, great health benefits along with working to keep test levels higher.

Metabolic Drive, quality protein and protein is what builds muscle and also keeps metabolism burning high.

TRIBEX and or Alpha Male, may be just the ticket to give him a nice T boost to help with his energy and drive.

Read up on them in the store.

Take care,



He should concentrate on cardiovascular fitness first. I prefer using a recumbent exercise bike for the comfort and health benefits of not having a narrow seat pressing on your prostate. High Intensity Interval cardio also works well to get your metabolism up which will help with energy and fat loss. It sounds counterintuitive but exercising increases your energy levels. It may be difficult at first, but once he gets into the swing of regular exercise, he will have more energy.

Everyone thinks they know how to eat right but unless he's studied nutrition recently, he doesn't. John Berardi's site is a good place to review his nutrition knowledge.


There's a good chance that he's estrogen dominant and the best way to start fighting that is by losing the excess fat. Fat produces estrogen, even in men and that's not a good thing.

Herbal supplements can help a bit, but if after losing the fat and trying the herbals, he's still not getting morning wood, then he may want to think about Aromatase Inhibitor therapy or full on TRT.


Agreed 1000% with this.

I would also recommend that you pick up Dr. Berardi's book for him, The Metabolism Advantage: An 8-Week Program to Rev Up Your Body's Fat-Burning Machine---At Any Age

Includes diet/nutrition, supplementation, and an exercise program -- basically everything he needs to get going on this project.

It is about $16.00 and would be worth it at 10 times the price.


I will be 53 next month, and I have lifted off and on since I was 12. I pretty much agree with everything stuward said EXCEPT the rep range comments in the last couple of sentences. Depending on the movement and the individual, the ideal rep range varies, but any beginner (or re-starter) would probably benefit from keeping all movements in the 10+ rep range until he develops a certain degree of stamina; and there is no reason using light weights, that you can't keep good form for higher reps, and speed CNS adaptation by doing higher reps.

And I also see no reason, as another poster suggested, that large amounts of cardio are necessary. In fact, the possibilty of joint irritation in someone going from being relatively sedentary to relatively active is pretty high from any highly repetitive activity, so I would add cardio very slowly, if at all.


Some great information.