New to the forum, but not to lifting.

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
Hello. Older guy, 61 yrs. old. I've followed the "Barbell Prescription for the past few months and wanted to know if I could get some feedback.
Here is my routine:
A
Deadlift
3 X 5 140#
Leg Press
3 X 10 260#
Bench Press
3 X 5 90#

B
Squat
3 X 5 75#
Power Clean
3 X 5 60#
Military Press
3 X 5 60#

I try to get to the gym four times a week but, it usually works out to three times a week. The goal is to do 2 of "A" and 2 of "B" each week.
Trying to do something about my weight and want to build up my strength. I'm 6-2 and 250#. Too tonight off tonight because the back said "Need a break" after I did an "A" last night.
Any decent advice appreciated.
 

WhatWouldHulkDo

Level 6 Valued Member
Just some random thoughts :

  • Good on you for what you're doing already.
  • I'm a firm believer that weight loss happens in the kitchen, not the gym.
  • But that said, I do think a little high-intensity work does help. You might consider making A the strength day, and B a conditioning day.
  • To that end, I'd keep deadlift, squat, and military press for strength day. On conditioning day, swing some kettlebells, carry something heavy for a while. Short burst, rest as much as you need in between.
  • Outside of that, walk, make sure you're maintaining aerobic capacity.
With all that said, I am in no way a trainer. These are just my thoughts, and they may in fact be terrible advice.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Welcome, @TimothyMayer

I'll agree with @WhatWouldHulkDo 's first two points.

His other three points are fine advice too, but I'd advise taking a closer look at your current program, before going that route.

If you're doing the Barbell Prescription, I'd expect that you would squat every session, not leg press, probably not power clean at your age unless your deadlift is very strong and you want to work on power. And if you've been doing it for a few months I'd expect to see higher numbers for your working weights. Have you been progressing the weight? If not, why not (missing reps, feeling fatigued, lifts not feeling safe, not recovering, etc...?)

A good strength-building barbell program can provide plenty of work if properly structured and progressed. In other words if you get to working hard enough in your barbell sessions, you will have a lot less need for other high intensity work.

With "want to build up my strength" as the primary goal, I think the Barbell Prescription is a good one for you. Maybe just recalibrate on the actual program as written...
 

Philippe Geoffrion

Level 6 Valued Member
Welcome @TimothyMayer !

Is that the program as written? I agree with @Anna C the leg press seems random. 4 x a week is a lot for a full body routine, unless you are minding the load properly. 3x a week is the standard for Full Body lifting. Cutting it to here so you can be consistent and give your back a break may help. . I also agree with @WhatWouldHulkDo about diet. This is key. Combined with a proper strength training program, you would receive excellent results.

What is your programs' progression over time? Like Anna said, increasing load will get you stronger and build muscle. If you do leg press for certain reasons you find helpful, than keep it. But simply the main movements of squats, presses and deadlifts with a reasonable load progression over time will do you good. Combined with a healthy diet, it's hard to go wrong.
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
Thank you for the advice. As I said, 4X a week is the goal, but it ends up more like 3X. Perhaps I'll go for 3X. Also, maybe I'll drop the leg press and replace it with a squat. This will have me doing a squat at every work-out. Power clean seems to have plateaued in what I can accomplish, might rethink it as well. Even the military press is inching up.
My problem is/was that I haven't been regular enough. Although I've attempted this program for a few years, something in my life happens and I have to stop. The current program I've done regularly for the past two months and intend on keeping it up. I'm at 150# for the deadlift with no back issues.
I'm thinking about adding another routine to each session. I need to figure out which one is the best to do, given my age and plan.
Sometimes it's hard to keep things in perspective. When I did 3X5 at 150# on the deadlift I thought, "Not bad for an old man, heh."
Then I looked at the young guy next to me who was squatting with more than I deadlift....
Anyway, thanks for the advice.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sounds good, @TimothyMayer ... If you're continuing on TBP and missing sessions due to life, just think in terms of an "appropriate dose of stress". It's mostly structured for 3 sessions per week, with recovery in between (remember, recovery is when you actually get stronger). But if you get in 2 sessions -- work a little harder. If you get in 4 sessions -- don't work quite as hard. Ideally you get that correct session dose of stress, but the total weekly dose of stress should be about right, too -- enough to drive a strength gain, but not too much that you aren't recovering well (feeling tired/sore, not getting stronger).
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
OKay, back again.
Here is where I'm at:
A
Deadlift
3 X 5 165#
Squat
3 X 5 120#
Bench Press
3 X 5 110#

B
Squat
3 X 5 120#
Power Clean
3 X 5 70#
Military Press
3 X 5 60#

Three times a week. Alternate ABA, BAB
I had to drop the military press for a bit and go to dumbbells, but a weight lifting belt has eased the lower back pain.
Also am using knee sleeves as I started to get some pain in the knee and groin areas.
I've always used lifting gloves.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
OKay, back again.
Here is where I'm at:
A
Deadlift
3 X 5 165#
Squat
3 X 5 120#
Bench Press
3 X 5 110#

B
Squat
3 X 5 120#
Power Clean
3 X 5 70#
Military Press
3 X 5 60#

Three times a week. Alternate ABA, BAB
I had to drop the military press for a bit and go to dumbbells, but a weight lifting belt has eased the lower back pain.
Also am using knee sleeves as I started to get some pain in the knee and groin areas.
I've always used lifting gloves.
Welcome back. Have you been able to progress the weights you're using?
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
Once more back. A month or so ago my gym reopened on a limited basis from the pandemic. Here is my progress. As you can see, I'm almost back to where I was before the shut-down.
A
Deadlift
3 X 5 155#
Squat
3 X 5 115#
Bench Press
3 X 5 100#

B
Squat
3 X 5 115#
Deadlift
3 X 5 150#
Military Press
3 X 5 70#

A bit more for the military press, slow progress to where I was before the gym closed.
 

Whosonfirst

Level 6 Valued Member
Any progress is still progress! I reckon your program is just fine, add some walking and you are all covered.
Welcome back @TimothyMayer. Have to echo @godjira1 's advice on walking. I think a clean diet and walking is a great combo. Resistance training to get stronger just adds to your progress in that respect. I like your three exercisess ABA BAB program, no need to complicate things. Keep posting.
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
I love walking on the trails around here. However, it can be a problem when the weather is bad. Guess I need to use the indoor machines for walking when the weather is too hot or too cold. My record was 14 miles one day. I like to read (e-reader) as I walk and that helps a lot. However, it's not too good an idea if you have bicyclists zooming down the trail.
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
OK, this is where I'm at as of today:
A
Deadlift
3 X 5 170# (might increase it a bit, but some lower back pain, so not for now)
Squat
3 X 5 130# (Could go up a bit on this one)
Bench Press
3 X 5 110# ( I struggle to get the last rep in, sometimes its more like 2 X 5, 1 X 2)

B
Squat
3 X 5 130#
Deadlift
3 X 5 170#
Military Press (also have a hard time getting the last one in here, but it's improving)
3 X 5 70#

Did this one the last two weeks. First week was ABA, then BAB.
Slight tension in lower back.
I seem to have hit a ceiling of sorts.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
That's progress, @TimothyMayer !

Looks like your working weights have gone up 30 lbs for deadlifts, 50 for squats, 10 for press, and 20 for bench press. Awesome.

In addition to higher working weights, do you feel like your technique has improved? Tolerance for training? Recovery ability? Do you feel stronger in everyday life?

I seem to have hit a ceiling of sorts.
Does this mean you don't seem to be gaining strength? I see you struggle with the last set on bench/MP... I have a few thoughts there. What are you thinking for your next move -- are you looking for ideas?
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
That's progress, @TimothyMayer !

Looks like your working weights have gone up 30 lbs for deadlifts, 50 for squats, 10 for press, and 20 for bench press. Awesome.

In addition to higher working weights, do you feel like your technique has improved? Tolerance for training? Recovery ability? Do you feel stronger in everyday life?



Does this mean you don't seem to be gaining strength? I see you struggle with the last set on bench/MP... I have a few thoughts there. What are you thinking for your next move -- are you looking for ideas?
The technique has most definitely improved. Some days I spend several minutes ensuring my feet are in the proper position. Although I wear knee sleeves, I have no desire to mess up a knee. Likewise my back; one per customer as I've heard.
I would like to hear your thoughts on what to do to break through the glass ceiling. I have to take my age in mind (62) when I lift, but that is no excuse. I see plenty of men my age and older who do better than me.
I feel stronger in my daily life, but my endurance doesn't seem to be up there. Also an age factor, but I don't want to use that as an excuse.
Really, I want to convert that fat around my gut into something useful.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
The technique has most definitely improved. Some days I spend several minutes ensuring my feet are in the proper position. Although I wear knee sleeves, I have no desire to mess up a knee. Likewise my back; one per customer as I've heard.
I would like to hear your thoughts on what to do to break through the glass ceiling. I have to take my age in mind (62) when I lift, but that is no excuse. I see plenty of men my age and older who do better than me.
I feel stronger in my daily life, but my endurance doesn't seem to be up there. Also an age factor, but I don't want to use that as an excuse.
Really, I want to convert that fat around my gut into something useful.
I think my first advice would be to 1) go to more of a Heavy, Light, Moderate template (5x5 on Mondays, 2x5 Wed, 3x5 Fri, something like that) and also 2) decide which upper body lift you want to progress, and put more focus on that one for a while, with just a little maintenance on the other. Can switch those up later.

Also, adding some conditioning will do you good... What do you like (or dislike the least)?
 

TimothyMayer

Level 2 Valued Member
Conditioning? I like to walk. This time of year, it's not so bad to hit the walking trails. I can do 5 miles without much trouble, have done up to fourteen (couldn't move, LOL).
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Damn. 5 X 5 will be difficult. I'll have to back off the loads to do that. Probably for the best.
Maybe... but if it's a good working weight that you can do 3 set of 5 with, even if it's hard, you can probably do 5 sets of 5. You just won't be fully recovered from the effort 48 hrs later like you would be with 3x5. But that's OK. It turns the stress-recovery-adaptation cycle from a 3x/week event to a weekly event. I'm putting it in these terms because you mentioned the Barbell Prescription in your original post, and that's how they describe it.

In any case, yes, use a weight that you can do 5x5 with, getting the sets done, doing quality reps. Yes it will be difficult. That's why it works. : - )
 
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