Maintenance: When to Stop Trying to Train | Mark Rippetoe Maintenance: When to Stop Trying to Train | Mark Rippetoe

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Thread: Maintenance: When to Stop Trying to Train | Mark Rippetoe

  1. #1
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    Default Maintenance: When to Stop Trying to Train | Mark Rippetoe

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    There may be 8 or 10 of us who have been training as long as I have. I started when I was 18, and I just turned 65. Most of that time under the bar has been spent trying to get stronger than I am now – whenever “now” happened to be.

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    Good article. I've seen it here a time or two when someone has said, "Why train if not to get stronger?" This article answers that. While that sentiment is true for a most of the people here, nobody gets stronger indefinitely. At some point, you will not only not get stronger, you will get weaker and you will have injuries. There will be a day for everyone when your best days are behind you and now you're just holding on the best you can in whatever way you can, trying to slow the decline down as much as you can.

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    That’s prompted lots of questions about potential, age and length of time lifting.

    What about lifters that started around 60 years old, clearly they reach their potential far sooner ? How do you judge that ? I’ve hurt myself twice with limit deadlifts. Not enough to put me out for any length of time, but enough to make me cautious of pushing beyond where I am.

    Is a 172.5K deadlift for a 61 year old that ended NLP at 120K likely to be close to the limit of what you might expect for the average, untrained, weak, sedentary lifter after 4 years of lifting ? I knew when I was at 120K that eventually I would manage 140K, but, now I’m North of 170K I have serious doubts of going beyond 180K.

    You have said “not you” , but how do you know when it is you ? I remember you saying in a recent podcast that you thought you had 450 in you and possibly 500 and after years of training competitively those a clearly realistic numbers, but what if you had started training at 58 having never lifted in your life, where would you think you might be. Do all those years of being strong count towards a bigger number compared to those who have never lifted ?

    I would love to get a 500 deadlift -could there be that potential, or is that pie in the sky having begun so late ?

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    Good article. Gives me both a lot of hope (because I'm not in "maintenance phase" yet at age 43), but also leaves me with a question:

    Regarding surgery, you write, "They heal to about 75% of normal capacity in 2-4 months, depending on the injury, but can take 2-3 years to heal as completely as they're going to."

    I'm 9 weeks post-op on some elbow repair work, and feeling great. Not back at full capacity (nor even back at 75% of gross load on any of the four lifts yet), but progressing excellently.

    Q: Is "2 to 3 years" really an expectation I need to keep in mind for full recovery, or is that just ballparking for the sake of making a point?

    Blessings and thanks;

    Geoff

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    The next time I read this article I will be 30 years older. It is a reminder of the inevitable, and it reminds me of an excerpt from the "Old Man and the Sea"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    That’s prompted lots of questions about potential, age and length of time lifting.

    What about lifters that started around 60 years old, clearly they reach their potential far sooner ? How do you judge that ? I’ve hurt myself twice with limit deadlifts. Not enough to put me out for any length of time, but enough to make me cautious of pushing beyond where I am.

    Is a 172.5K deadlift for a 61 year old that ended NLP at 120K likely to be close to the limit of what you might expect for the average, untrained, weak, sedentary lifter after 4 years of lifting ? I knew when I was at 120K that eventually I would manage 140K, but, now I’m North of 170K I have serious doubts of going beyond 180K.

    You have said “not you” , but how do you know when it is you ? I remember you saying in a recent podcast that you thought you had 450 in you and possibly 500 and after years of training competitively those a clearly realistic numbers, but what if you had started training at 58 having never lifted in your life, where would you think you might be. Do all those years of being strong count towards a bigger number compared to those who have never lifted ?

    I would love to get a 500 deadlift -could there be that potential, or is that pie in the sky having begun so late ?
    Apologies for speaking when you didn't ask me but this subject is unfortunately near and dear to me. In my experience, you'll know simply because you'll know. It won't be like one day you say to yourself, "Well, that's it. I'm done getting stronger." It happens over a long period of time until one day you realize your current one rep max used to be your eight (or 10 or 12) rep max. Even then you won't believe it. You'll say things like, "I could get back there, I just need to refocus on my training." And you'll try. And try. And try. Possibly for years but it just doesn't seem to want to happen. Throw a couple decent injuries in there, maybe a surgery or two just to muck things up even more, and you slowly start to realize you aren't what you were. When you do realize it that's when you know. If you're still getting stronger, you aren't there yet. At least, that's how it went for me. Thanks for reading.

  7. #7
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    Outstanding article and very timely for me personally. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Bischoff View Post
    Good article. Gives me both a lot of hope (because I'm not in "maintenance phase" yet at age 43), but also leaves me with a question:

    Regarding surgery, you write, "They heal to about 75% of normal capacity in 2-4 months, depending on the injury, but can take 2-3 years to heal as completely as they're going to."

    I'm 9 weeks post-op on some elbow repair work, and feeling great. Not back at full capacity (nor even back at 75% of gross load on any of the four lifts yet), but progressing excellently.

    Q: Is "2 to 3 years" really an expectation I need to keep in mind for full recovery, or is that just ballparking for the sake of making a point?
    The 2-3 years is the time you expect for the thing to back to as normal a morphology and function as it will have, not the time you will spend in rehab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irontruth901 View Post
    97-year-old uses powerlifting to slow aging - YouTube

    "This is the time to think about using ancillary and assistance exercises in place of the formerly preferable basic barbell exercises. Probably the first thing to stop trying to train is the full deadlift; the damn things are too hard to recover from".

    To stop training a natural human movement pattern which arguably involves more muscles than any other barbell exercise because of age is not wise. Biomechanics and the above phenomenology re. the 90 year old deadlifting 3 x 405lbs renders this advice unsound.
    I get the impression you didn't read this part and may have just skimmed the article:

    "Please understand: this advice is for old people who keep hurting themselves when they push into PR territory – not novice and intermediate trainees, or even advanced trainees who are still making good progress with programming at the appropriate level."

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks for this timely article. Great advice for a geezer like me. 71 and am sure starting to feel it

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