Geezer's Long March Toward the Elite Sneaking Up On the Finish Line
I'm turning 60 next month and just found out about Lon Kilgore's age adjusted strength standards. Looks like all I have to do is show up (80% of success) and keep lifting and I'll amazingly be at elite levels for some of them. Because of some low back issues that are no doubt just a function of age and some old shoulder injuries from competing a little too hard in judo tourneys in college, I dropped some exercises from my lifting over the years.
Deadlifts and back squats hurt at my L4 and bench presses made my right shoulder feel wobbly, so I did stuff like trap bar deadlifts, dips, and added hip belt squats recently. I practice and help teach jujitsu 2-3 days a week, and that taxes my lower back pretty hard. I didn't want to miss sessions because I had taken too much out of my back on the iron.
The last few days I decided to test my confidence in what I could manage with some 1 RM's. I hadn't benched or deadlifted in over 10 years but got 255 and 335 for each respectively. Both have me in Kilgore's elite category for the over 60 crowd. I'm still paying for that deadlift a little, but the shoulders feel good. I'll stay the course with them until or unless they hold me back on the tatami. Then I'll just go back to trap bar deadlifts and dips if necessary.
I'm 59, weigh 232 lbs, and am 5'11". My current best lifts are:
Dip: 75 lbs. Power Clean: 185 lbs.
Hip Belt Squats: 240 lbs. Bench Press: 255 lbs.
Overhead Press: 190 lbs. Deadlift: 335 lbs.
Trap Bar Deadlift: 415 lbs. Pull-Up: 25 lbs.
One Arm Dumbell Row: 145 lbs.
I'm currently doing a stripped down A and B 5/3/1 routine twice a week. The A routine is Press and Dumbbell Row on Sundays followed by Deadlifts later in the week. The B routine is Bench Press and Pull-Ups followed by Hip Belt Squats and Power Cleans. Warmup is 5 minutes on a stationary bike. I do a 15+ minute "hot stretch" after lifting to keep limber.
I get my conditioning from 2 GXP sessions a week with a couple 60% MHR for 20-30 minute session tucked in. Also some of the conditioning comes from the jujitsu I do.
I'm pretty happy with my current lifts, but I'm going to push the envelope and add to them as long as I can. I have no doubts I can add at least 10 more lbs. to most and get the Hip Belt Squats to 300+. I also want to drop a weight class to under 220 lbs. This will undoubtedly be the hardest goal to reach for me.
Weight: 231 (yay!)
15 minute GXP in the morning followed by 16 minutes of foam roller for back and stretches for the rest of the creaky infrastructure.
Lead kid's class in warmups and drills. Two promotions of kids to orange belt 1st degree and blue belt 1st degree. Both good, solid kids who actually pay attention most of the time.
Had to skip breakfall drills for the adult class, my lower back was spasming mildly and intermittently. I've got lifting in the morning and another kids class (with 30 kids, yikes!) followed by an adult class tomorrow, so I'm trying to make sure I don't get hammered up until I get those done. Then I can have a day of recovery doing nothing.
8-18-10 (screwed up yesterday's date entry)
Weight: 230 (yay again)
Hip Belt Squats: 165x3 190x3 215x3
Power Clean: 125x3 140x3 160x3
Pinch Grip: 125 for two 30 second sets I've never been good at this movement. I suspect it's the result of artifact muscle memory hardwiring from bucking and stacking 75 lb. hay bales at age 12 through high school.
Foam Roller and Stretches
New session started with some new kids and some new "adults" (older than 13). Mostly attentive with a few lapses that needed strong eye contact and pointing to get to pay attention to O-Sensei demonstrating. My lower back pops like a huge knuckle every time I do the hamstring stretches in class warmups, but it held up well through the 2 1/2 (total) class and teaching sessions. Got a chance to work on my own brown belt techniques with a purple belt last night, which is becoming increasingly harder to do with the teaching responsibilties I need to master as well to advance. Good session overall with a routine visit to my chiro tomorrow to sort out any lingering misalignments.
Unreal that you benched and deadlifted that much without training 10 years.
How long have you been trainng jiujitsu? I assume it's the Brazilian version?
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
- Bertrand Russell
Yeah, I pretty surprised myself. Especially the deadlift which I approached with great trepidation having screwed myself up with them a time or two in the past.
Re: jujitsu. I've been at Mushin Ryu jujitsu for 6 years. It's not Brazilian but grew out of the Japanese Danzan Ryu. Our O-Sensei, David Bellman 10th Dan, is also a 6th Dan in Kempo and re-introduced many of the strikes, body postures, and foot movements to Danzan so about 80% of what we do is stand-up. In the last year he has worked in a little more ground technique because he figured what with the growth of Brazilian and MMA, we were more likely to encounter those ill-advised to try to take an attack to the ground. We emphasize real world self defense techniques and counters to attacks although a few of the younger primates in our dojo puff and blow about wanting to compete. Been there and done that in judo during college. Lots of injuries from it too that still haunt me.
Today's record of self abuse:
Weight: 230 lbs.
15 minute running GXP
Timed thick bar hold: 175 for 30 seconds. PR!
15 minutes foam roller for lower back and stretching. Always fun to hear the snap, crackle, pop of the spinal processes getting put in their place(s).
Jujitsu: 2 hour workout consisted mainly of me teaching a couple of newly promoted blue belt kids and an adult who shows up mainly for the Okinawa Te class that follows ours. His art is primarily a striking one, but his sensei is also a 6th degree in our art Mushin Ryu, so he and a few others of get some additional insight into a different slant on martial arts and self defense. As I was teaching him he would toss in some theoretical "if I countered this way" questions with some mutually agreed upon actions. Caused me to re-think some of the techniques with preparation for encounters. Good input from him and he learned some new stuff too. Fairly low stress for Mr. Back
30 minutes low intensity cardio later.
115x5, 140x3, 170x1, 192x1. PR!
This was a fairly easy rep, and I tried a second, but failed halfway up. Usual sticking point. I had bombed on an attempt at 191 over a month ago, right after starting the 5/3/1. That surprised me because getting 190 before that was not that hard. I thought maybe variations in actual plate weight might have caused that, so I decided to use some Power Systems bumper plates thereafter. Seemed to work pretty well. I'm still new to the 5/3/1 and max singles so I'm learning my body's response to them as well. I think the deload weeks on 5/3/1 are part of this too. I used 1 lb. wrist weights for the 2 lb. total microload. I just wish they weren't pink.
One Arm Dumbell Row:
90x5, 110x3, 135x1, 150x1 PR!
Attempted 155 but failed. The dumbells stop at 150 lbs. so I loaded up a tricep bar with 25 lb. plates. I think an issue was the longer bar and balancing it properly. I'm going to have to figure out how to load the 150's higher, buy my own adjustable handle and bring it in, or work with the tricep bar.
15 minutes foam roller and stretches after lifting.
20 minutes of low intensity cardio later in the day.
15 GXP on LifeFitness elliptical with handles to engage upper body in the cardio.
17 minutes of foam roller and stretches.
I figured out that I forgot to add the weight of the tricep bar into the total of the plates I put on it Sunday. Doh! So in fact I did a jump from 150 lbs. in the one arm dumbell row to 175 lbs. No wonder I failed. I've made this type of dumb mistake a few times over the years. This is the first public confession of it though.
Weight: 228 (weight loss proceeding nicely here)
Sumo Deadlift: 135x5 (warm up), 225x3(warm up), 285x1, (not too hard, so) 295x1. Iím probably violating some of the Wendler protocol with the second single, the warm-ups, and the attempt at PRís, thatís why I ordered his book yesterday. Right now my slightly homebrewed version of his 5/3/1 consists of an attempt PR on the 5/3/1 week(s). I based this single on Wendlerís recommendation to do for the 1 on a 5/3/1 being 90% of your PR (335) and then 95% of that (285). I want to take this carefully past 335, to avoid hurting my lower back as I have in the past, but the 295 seemed a safe shot so I took it. This also why I am doing sumos, because I have fairly long legs and I keep my lower back more flat with a wide stance. So far Mr. Lumbar feels OK. Oh, he feels like he got worked hard, but not quite as bad as after some of the jujitsu sessions I have limped away from. Keeping my fingers crossed here. Still and all, it allows me to say to the bag boy at the grocery store, ďDo you need help with this, sir?Ē ďWhy, does it weigh over 300 pounds?Ē My daughter hates it when I do that.
Claw Grip: 130x5x2 PR! The grip work is based around the jujitsu style I do. The claw grip (from IronMind) is identical to an open hand grip we call a horse bite. Hurts like hell when you get a handful of torso, armpit, let alone the outer or even worse the inner quadriceps and squeeze. Itís guaranteed to result in momentary distraction to the attacker if he tries to tie you up in a grapple. Since what we do is based around self defense and not MMA in a ring, no rules limit this.
Jujitsu: It must have been the full moon last night with the kids. I got to assist a crusty old 3rd degree who has little patience with adults, let alone kids to teach some brand new white belts; and boy, we could have used a bucket of Ritalin to get some of them to pay attention and focus. Staring all around, eyes vacant, no wonder they couldnít get the techniques right. I think we prevailed on several of them who appeared to get something out of it. The adult session was better. There was more teaching purple belt techniques and sneaking in a little practice of my own brown belt techniques. At least until I got caught at it by Professor Bellman. He doesnít want the lower ranks exposed to more advanced techniques until they get there.
I woke today with a sore lower back. No doubt a combination of the deadlifts coupled with the jujitsu on the same day. So I took three Advil vitamin Iís and seem a little better as the day progresses.
Weight: 226! Utterly astounding. I haven't lost poundage like this since my 30's, a loooong time ago. Although I've cut back a little on the food, I don't feel as hungry as I have in the past.
15 minutes of running GXP. I did some intervals and got the heart rate over 140.
Hit the foam Roller and stretched for 15 minutes. My lower back is still feeling the results of deadlifting, but just fatigued, not wrecked.
I want to thank gzt for referring a link to a Wendler article that explained how he prefers PR's to be pursued. Since I get a shot at a PR every 8 weeks the way I split out the 5/3/1, I think the space between peaks will allow adequate recovery. We'll see, though.
Didn't sleep well last night, or most of this week for that matter. I blame the full moon. The barista at the Starbucks I hit to fortify myself for the morning workout said most them noticed the same thing re: sleep this week. Yep, full moon fever.