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Old Forum How do you guys over 50 feel?

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Level 6 Valued Member
This is is very much of a subjective question.  When I was younger, I could push myself to my limit and actually enjoy it.  Now, as I push myself, I feel sluggish and sort of run down.  I expected my overall strength and stamina to be somewhat less as I aged, but I expected to still get that overall good feeling as I pushed myself, even if it was at a slower pace or with less load.  I keep telling myself that in just a few workouts I am going to be feeling great and hitting on all 8 turbocharged cylinders again.  But I keep on feeling like a 4 cylinder that needs a change of spark plugs.  Since most of the general population is sedentary and feels like crap their entire lives, it doesn't matter to me what they think.  But most of the people on this forum are pretty high performing machines.  Your's are the perspectives I would like to know.  Apart from the total load maybe reducing a bit as you age, how do you actually feel now as you workout compared to when you were younger?




Level 6 Valued Member
I can relate with this Jeffrey.  Having been a very big HIT advocate, as more responsibilities came my way, I just couldn't keep up with what I believed I HAD to do if I was going to train.  My work schedule and sleep patterns are not regular so I'm sure that plays a role in this.  I had good luck on hitting some basic compound lifts and calling it good.  But I haven't felt as good as I do now in years doing S&S.  I know that my strength is becoming more balanced and I move better.  Where my bench, squat, and deadlift has gone is a question to be unanswered.  But I don't plan on powerlifting so really what do I need a big bench for?  If I can continue with the same results with S&S I plan on continuing on it so that I can be healthy and continue to take care of my other responsibilities.



Mike E

Level 5 Valued Member
I'll be 66 in a month.  Yesterday walked about 2 miles in a half hour at nearly 90 degrees.  Did S&S after work w/ the 16Kg for both, got the swings done in 5 1/2 minutes (two hand), TGU's in 10.  I do the goblet squats w/ the 16Kg as well.  When I get the swings to 5 minutes I'll start adding in the one handers.  I hope to eventually get to the 24Kg with both.  I slept 8 hours, got up at 5 had my bulletproof coffee and off to work (32 mile commute).  I feel just fine this morning and I'll do it all again.  This is my second time around with S&S, did it in Jan-Feb, was up to 20Kg for both, but aggravated a left shoulder injury doing most of the swings one handed. I don't think I was maintaining the stiffness required to keep it healthy for my shoulder or my back.  I'm taking it slower this time around.  Appreciate "there's always another day" philosophy recently espoused on this site.  I'm taking the SF KB course next month in Danville, I'm very much looking forward to cleaning up my technique on everything and finally doing everything right.  I'll be doing this stuff until they put me in the ground, whether that's tomorrow or decades from now.  I don't feel anything like when I was younger, much slower start in the mornings.  I can still hike for a couple hours in the hills with a pack and I'm still strong enough to do 2-3 pull-ups with the 24Kg bell and I dl'd 250 a couple of weeks ago and it wasn't particularly difficult.  I weigh about 155 at 5'8".  I can one arm press the 24K 4-5 times with my right.  The left doesn't like to go over 20K but I'm working on it.  I love this forum, I get a LOT of motivation reading these threads, young and old, men and women, warriors to office workers, awesome group.  Proud to be here.


Level 6 Valued Member
I am 64 and to my experience, it is a complex combination of long term diet, training, and rest/sleep habits and their cumulative effect as well as disease history (some can really take some juice out of your deep reserves), and current health status (hormones, adrenal function...), and current stress level and how much rest/sleep you are getting.

Also, I have found that is I don't train for awhile for some reason and get out of shape, it is like my body forgets it has more than 1st and maybe 2nd gear. In that state, if I push hard I get wasted and have trouble recovering. The solution for me has been to gently push against the limits of my top gear, a little bit, frequently and consistently, and then all of sudden the next gear appears and becomes available. Repeat till you can get to overdrive range and enjoy the journey as much as you can. In this scenario, patience really is a big virtue!


Level 6 Valued Member

I know what you mean.  It seems like I used to be able to neglect my conditioning for months, and then get it all back in a couple of weeks.  It is so much important now to remain disciplined day in and day out.


Level 6 Valued Member
I turned 50 a few months ago and in general feel great. i had thought that with age, wisdom would follow but I was wrong about that. I still have a tendency to want to do too much too soon and ignore the signals my body is telling me, a constant battle with my rational self and my inner 17 year old teenager. i jumped up on the kitchen worktop the other day and blasted out a super tight L sit. My daughter, 17 herself, commented that her friend can do that and was totally unimpressed with her old man's embarrassing behaviour. Her friend however is a scottish gymnast competing in the commonwealth games which I said that I hoped she could otherwise she'd be pretty rubbish. She then said that not one of her other friends, male and female, can do an L sit. Not one of her male friends can do a measly single pull up. Ok, this is scotland, everyone is fat with very poor diets but it struck me that as fit and strongish 50 year old I'm doing alright even if I can't get a muscle up or press half my body weight, yet.  I can only see a future where I'm going to get stronger, move better and run faster.  Age is no barrier. Again, I may be wrong about that too!


Level 2 Valued Member
I'm approaching 57.My energy and enthusiasm is excellent.It takes longer to recover than it used to so I listen to my body;back-off,stop with pain,take an extra day off.I find that doing less equals more--Pavel's no distraction template with a tension day;several walks,a few short sprints work very well.Its more about showing up consistently and staying healthy than how much I can lift and push myself.

Gary Music

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor

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I am 55 in a month I feel good but somewhat jacked up.  Lot of wear and tear I have to be careful chasing the strength bug to hard.  Have been doing FMS feeling better.  As you get older you have to balance things better and you also find out some of the bullets you thought you dodged when you were younger  had some later effect.


Level 6 Valued Member
I'm 53 and a happily recovered endurance athlete.

Currently, I'm working with the 32kg for the swing and get-up on the S&S program.  My eyes are on the RoP, but I still have work to do on cleaning up some niggles with S&S.  I also have an interest in karate (though I've taken it up too late in life), grip strength, and hiking.

These days, I train with sustainability and longetivity in mind.  Like all of us, I have mileage on my chassis that I need to be mindful of.  Gray Cook's work has had a major influence on me in that regard.

Beside my kettlebells, I have box full of soft tissue tools ('beastie balls', 'bakballs', 'voodoo bands', etc) and a yoga mat.  Yin and Yang, and all that stuff seems to be the way to go.

Jim Lauerman

Level 6 Valued Member
I am an avid reader of this board but seldom post because I feel I have little to contribute. This thread might be in my wheelhouse, however, as I turned 65 early last month.

I was an OK athlete in school but really just recreational. Unlike most of you I simply ate and drank to excess until my mid-30's. Then came an obsession with running; got fat and tore up my knees. I took up cycling and got fatter still. One simply can't out run bad diet. Took up HIT strength training in my 50's and was constantly burned out and injured.

Found Pavel's writings and KB's about 5 years ago and haven't looked back. Slowly learned patience in programming and expectations. Today I am stronger than I have ever been and will soon be using the 24 Kg bell for both swings and get-ups. S&S has been the breakthrough program for me.

Because of my past, I am just now achieving real strength and power.  Have a few nagging structural problems but really feel as though achieving at least the Simple standards of S&S is possible. Learning patience and realistic expectations (without selling myself short) has been key. The other is spending time with an SFG to clean up technique.


Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
What I've found over the years (I'm 59):

I don't absorb nutrients from food as well as I used to - I take a few vitamins every day now.

I need to be mindful of recovery.  I find that I can still do just about any published program but I might have to stretch out the overall time frame a little to allow myself to recover enough between workouts.   E.g., I just did a 7-week DL singles cycle that's been discussed on this forum a few times - it was given to Dave Whitley by Pavel and he wrote it up in an article on the DD site.  I did fine for the first 5 weeks, but I added an extra recovery day in the 6th week, 2 extra recovery days in the 7th week, and I skipped the very last workout altogether.  The result - my best pull in 8 years, so I'd say the program and my approach to the program worked pretty well. :)

It's harder to keep and/or add muscle the older you get.  That means how much hypertrophy you're going to get from a hypertrophy-focused program will probably be less than advertised.  It also means that someone like me, trying to avoid hypertrophy, might actually have to alter their training towards what would have put muscle on them a decade or two earlier - it won't now, but training in a manner that puts muscle on a younger person might be just the ticket to _keeping_ muscle on an older one.


the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm not even 50 yet, only 44,  but I'm really struggling. I let myself go during a period of depression and have been trying to recover for a couple of years now. Despite working out consistently, it's been really hard to get back into shape. My work capacity and general vitality have dropped. I can't push myself the way I used to and any kind of explosive movements are really hard. Also fuzzy headed, it's like my brain is lethargic.

I've been to the doctor more than once and they haven't identified anything obvious. If anyone has suggestions for becoming more alert and energized, I'd love to hear it.


Level 6 Valued Member
Chris, there are many possible reasons for this. Depression will cause fatigue and lack of energy despite anything else you may do so that MUST be addressed directly. Could be simple lack of rest/stress. Could be diet. Hormones. Environmental impacts/exposures. Allergies. You can't get proper help on the internet, you need a local professional, a Sherlock Holmes on the ground


Level 2 Valued Member
For me, age 64, it varys. A year and a half ago I was detrained and obese. Kettlebell training burned away 70 lbs, got me feeling better and off the BP and cholesterol drugs. But I still had weak links; pushups and pullups. So I'm now doing bodyweight exercise to address my personal issues. At the moment it had me a bit ground down but once I get used to taking care of the neglected parts on me I have no doubt that I will regain the feeling of vigor obtained through kettlebell training.
Dan John's "Intervention" motivated me to stop neglecting some of the basic 5+movements/areas that I was neglecting (pulling down & pushing forward).


In general, over the long term, exercise and eating like an adult make me feel better. Fat loss programs worked for fat loss, but in many ways tore me down. Recovery is an issue that it is foolhardy to neglect when you become a senior citizen. I've still got the (faded) tattoo, but I'm not a young jarhead any more.



Level 1 Valued Member
I feel great. I turned 52 a couple months ago. I feel very fortunate, I don't have any health problems, my knees and shoulders have no chronic issues. And I continue to see my body respond well to training.

I'm not blessed with the best genetics for strength, yet I continue to make steady progress in both strength and conditioning with bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, and sandbags.  I am a long-time practitioner of Chinese martial arts (xinyi, taiji,  and some bagua more recently) and continue to improve there as well.

Training smart has become more important, so has eating more healthy, so frankly has fighting a sedentary lifestyle inherited from my family, but the bottom line is that I see many more years of movement toward ambitious fitness goals.




Level 1 Valued Member
I turned 50 in May and feel  great.  This year I have tended to move towards the school of thought that doing a bit every day is a better approach than trying to max out a couple of times a week, which I have had to reconcile with my chronic personal tendency to overdo things.  My overall workout plan is (1) lots of strength work, right now I do EES 5x per week, S&S 2x per week; (2) lots of walking, I walk 1.5 miles to work as my "commute," and then back home, each day rain snow or shine; and (3) 2-3 intense workouts each week, my favorites modes are boxing, running, or skiing.  "Intense" does not mean "to the death."  My focus this summer has been to try and set reasonable limits on what I do, leave something in the tank each day.  I like it a lot so far.

Jason Ginsberg

Level 4 Valued Member
I'm still a long way from 50, but here are some of the people I know that are over 50:

a) one of my music teachers, approaching 60, who recently completed a triathlon

b) a friend of mine who started training bjj in his 50's, and is now a competitive purple belt

c) a few judoka I know who started in their 60s that now compete at the national level

d) my old judo teacher, in his late 70's, who can still toss me like a rag doll

e) a patient of mine who recently turned 88, still a practicing MD, and a competitive ballroom dancer

I'm looking forward to feeling like them when I'm 50.




Level 6 Valued Member
Great comments gentlemen, very inspirational.  Thanks for sharing, we are all in this together.  Everyone has something to add.  Interesting how many of us are using S&S.  Wish I'd found it 30 years ago, but I'm sure back then I wouldn't have used it.  I would have convinced myself that it wasn't enough.    Oh how experience is such a good teacher.  Best to all of you.
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