Anyone read Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40

Matts

Level 3 Valued Member
@WhiskyTango Have you read it? Or thinking about reading it? What do you think about it? How do you think it compares to Easy Strength or the SFL programs? I'm personally biased against anything that defines limits or appeals to chronological age standards, so I wouldn't look at it, but I imagine this helps them market the book to the group they're trying to reach.
 

WhiskyTango

Level 4 Valued Member
@WhiskyTango Have you read it? Or thinking about reading it? What do you think about it? How do you think it compares to Easy Strength or the SFL programs? I'm personally biased against anything that defines limits or appeals to chronological age standards, so I wouldn't look at it, but I imagine this helps them market the book to the group they're trying to reach.
No I haven't read it. I was just looking for something new to read and was curious. I have read Starting Strength and most of Pavels stuff. I am 50 and have let myself go the last few years. I was in excellent shape up until about 45. If you read my other post you will see that Anna suggested a program for my availability to barbells and a cage. I have started that program and feel good about it. I just love to read motivating stuff even if it does echo tried and true programming such as SS, SF, and S&S.
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
I have read it. It is a good read, and there are a lot of good insights for anybody who trains, or is, in the 40+ population (but especially 60+), and having a medical doctor advocate strength training is refreshing!

There is a huge bias for barbell training and Rip's programming, which is not surprising, as Doc John Sullivan and Andy Baker are Starting strength coaches.

As much a I agree with the training principles they present, I would be less strict on modalities and programming than they are in the book. They give examples that are compliant with their system. Fair enough. We can still see agree on principles and apply StrongFirst approach (with different programming, and less fixed on barbells).

That clarified, most of the conclusion are very consistent with what we preach at StrongFirst: the best thing people of a certain age can do to have a better life is to strength train. You have to be StrongFirst. Then, if you like it, you can also run and do other stuff. But take care of your strength first.
 
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WhiskyTango

Level 4 Valued Member
I have read it. It is a good read, and there are a lot of good insights for anybody who trains, or is, in the 40+ population (but especially 60+), and having a medical doctor advocate strength training is refreshing!

There is a huge bias for barbell training and Rip's programming, which is not surprising, as Doc John Sullivan and Andy Baker are Starting strength coaches.

As much a I agree with the training principles they present, I would be less strict on modalities and programming than they are in the book. They give examples that are compliant with their system. Fair enough. We can still see agree on principles and apply StrongFirst approach (with different programming, and less fixed on barbells).

That clarified, most of the conclusion are very consistent with what we preach at StrongFirst: the best thing people of a certain age can do to have a better life is to strength train. You have to be StrongFirst. Then, if you like it, you can also run and do other stuff. But take care of your strength first.
Thanks for your input. I'm going to give it a read.
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
I've read most of it on my Kindle until deciding it was not a direction I could or would pursue at this time. It's a complement to Starting Strength without the dense technical detail on the lifts. I think it would be very valuable for trainees over 40ish without a lot of barbell experience. There is a lot of valuable discussion on the why's and how's of strength training for older adults. For the OP's situation, it would be a good read.

My two gripes are its fanatical devotion to barbells as the only way to train for strength, and the intense devaluation of aerobic exercise for long term health and longevity. The discussion of their POV is good, but it belabors the point for too long, and it gets tedious. I believe there is a lot of merit in other strength tools, and aerobic training.
 

KIWI5

Level 3 Valued Member
I have read it: their barbell programming advice is excellent. Barbell training is their main focus, they do not discuss kettlebell training. There is some really solid advice in the book, with myriad programming methods taken you from novice through to intermediate and also barbell regressions. They have an out-dated approach to conditioning (they advise HIIT only), but that is not their specialty. For barbell training in the 40+ age bracket, it is a fantastic resource.
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
Another good one in this vein Ageless Athlete from Tactical Barbell. Good discussion of practical training tips for an older crowd. Weaknesses are that it is basically one dude's story, and it assumes familiarity with the Tactical Barbell method. But they're quick reads and often cheap on Kindle.
 

Denny Phillips

Level 5 Valued Member
The Sick Aging Phenotype section was outstanding. My quandary with the programming was mostly with the emphasis on strength at the expense of hypertrophy, at least where set/rep schemes are concerned. The authors point that Masters athletes become increasingly volume-resistant and intensity-dependent is well taken, but I have derived benefit from Dan John's advice that a bit of hypertrophy is a good thing. Dr. Sullivan stated that Masters that aspire to hypertrophy will only realize big guts and increased nose cartilage is a bit overstated in my opinion and experience. I can only echo what others have stated previously regarding the dependence on barbell training and HIIT. Some of my most productive training in my post-30's training has been Easy Strength with swings, goblet squats, and get-ups included in the warm-up and/or body of the workout itself. A 2xBW deadlift and PR in the military press were unexpected but welcomed outcomes, especially at age 60. That being said, there was a period of time when I concentrated on low-intensity, higher-volume work as a base for the more intense work and some hypertrophy. It probably helped that I have been pretty consistent in my training over the decades.
 
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Taranenko74

Level 1 Valued Member
Yep, I've read it. I liked the sick aging phenotype -description and story. Agree on strength training, a bit disagree with cardio recommendations. My opinion is the cardio is no harm, 2-3x week LISS + 1-2 HIIT/power sessions up to 90% HRmax is good for everyone. By smart training plan one of course can combine strength training & cardio needs... Just my thoughts...
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
My opinion is the cardio is no harm, 2-3x week LISS + 1-2 HIIT/power sessions up to 90% HRmax is good for everyone
My personal experience has been that relaxed walking, which get my pulse to around 100, is plenty of cardio. By whatever measures I have - my ability to walk for an hour or more, blood pressure, body composition, blood work/profile, I'm healthy, and although I have lately added a little bit of running to my program, it's truly a little - about 1/4 mile, a few times a week, at a comfortable pace. I enjoy how running seems to "shake out" tightness in my shoulders, encourages my t-spine to loosen up a bit, and the like.

I have no need for any interval/HIIT type of work - my pulse goes up plenty when I do a set of deadlifts, thank you. :)

JMO.

-S-
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
I have no need for any interval/HIIT type of work - my pulse goes up plenty when I do a set of deadlifts, thank you.
If you've read our discussions about Kenneth Jay's Cardio Code then you should know why a high heart rate after strength training is not exactly "cardio."

For $10 on Kindle I think I will buy and read the book for personal knowledge.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
Just reviewed the table of contents and read the introduction on the "free sample" on Kindle and the book looks very interesting. The book does get science-y, which some reviews claimed was boring (there is a chapter on the Krebs cycle, so yeah, it gets down and dirty with the science), but I like this stuff so I'll probably eat it up.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
If you've read our discussions about Kenneth Jay's Cardio Code then you should know why a high heart rate after strength training is not exactly "cardio."
@MikeTheBear, I don't exactly need cardio, either, that I can tell, anyway. All my numbers are good, my resting pulse is low - I'm not sure, other than something needed by a sport that I don't play, more cardio in any form would do me.

-S-
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 7 Valued Member
@Steve Freides obviously what you do works for you, but IIRC you have a long history with endurance based training like cycling and running. And you practice buteyko breathing.
Can we for sure say that those things don't have a big impact on your physiology and that for another person without that background "just" walking wouldn't be enough?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Can we for sure say that those things don't have a big impact on your physiology and that for another person without that background "just" walking wouldn't be enough?
No, we cannot, but I don't think we can say for sure just walking isn't enough. It's definitely something in the way of cardio, just below the MAF threshold but clearly also above a resting pace and, as such, I think it's safe to say it has benefit.

I don't think we can ever quantify what's "enough" but we might be able to plot on a graph how much additional effort - time spent, higher HR, etc. - results in how much additional health.

-S-
 

Taranenko74

Level 1 Valued Member
I have no need for any interval/HIIT type of work - my pulse goes up plenty when I do a set of deadlifts, thank you. :)

JMO.

-S-
Sir, That's exactly what I meant by "smart training". :) I don't like running-type-hiit sessions either but couple of snatches or 1 cln&jerk every minute for 10 min gets my pulse high enough (up to 160-180 bpm depending of intensity). I know this is not "pure cardio hiit" but makes my day anyway.
 

KIWI5

Level 3 Valued Member
Another area 'Barbell Prescription' does not address is the deload technique. 'Tactical Barbell' (a fantastic book- along with 'Ageless Athlete') cover 'deloads' in detail. Many 'older' or masters athletes greatly benefit from deload periods. I was surprised that this area was not covered in Barbell Prescription. Kettlebelephant has great knowledge in all areas of resistance training, perhaps he can comment?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Another area 'Barbell Prescription' does not address is the deload technique. 'Tactical Barbell' (a fantastic book- along with 'Ageless Athlete') cover 'deloads' in detail. Many 'older' or masters athletes greatly benefit from deload periods. I was surprised that this area was not covered in Barbell Prescription.
Yes... this area interests me as well. Deloads are covered nicely in SFL. I've had deloads in every program I've done, except S&S; bike base training, 5/3/1, SFG Prep, A+A... My body often feels refreshed and recovered, as well as stronger, after a deload. I was surprised to see in the SS NLP program that you just keep going up in weight, with no deload periods. I guess I'll find out if that works for me as I carry it out. My understanding of the theory is that a novice doesn't need a deload, but a program designed for an intermediate or advanced would need one because the period of stress within the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle is longer; a week or several weeks to build fatigue before taking a deload and allowing the fatigue to dissipate. For a novice, the S/R/A cycle is just 48-72 hours, so there is no accumulating fatigue over the course of several sessions.
 
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