Masters flexibility, power cleans, dead lifts and their alternatives Masters flexibility, power cleans, dead lifts and their alternatives

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Thread: Masters flexibility, power cleans, dead lifts and their alternatives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Default Masters flexibility, power cleans, dead lifts and their alternatives

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    Hi all

    60 yrs old
    1.80m / 5'11"
    175.0kg / 198 lbs
    Squat 69.0kg / 152lbs
    DL 118.5kg / 261lbs 5x1
    Press 47.0kg / 103lbs 5x3
    Bench 71.0kg / 156lbs 5x3
    Chin ups 2.0kg / 4.5lbs 5x3 every session

    This is a bit of a mixed post so please bare with me

    I started the programme a week after my 60th, now 4 months on.
    I've managed to spectacularly meet the "YNDTP" standard partly through unavoidable circumstances and partly through an inability to follow simple written instructions, being scared of the deadlift, initial greed etc. etc.

    One example being squats, initial weights took me higher than current stats, (purely greed driven) but with appalling form & inconsistent results. With this particular exercise I restarted from scratch 3 times in a bid to get it right & its taken me this long to figure out correct bar placement and hip drive. Happy to say that its now working as it should

    Overall sanity has prevailed, the programme is being followed as closely as possible and modest gains are being made

    That said I'd appreciate some help with a couple of questions

    Flexibility:
    It turns out I'm as stiff as a board. To get to the squat low bar in position I have to go through several minutes of stretching under the bar every session and its only after the first 26kg warm up set that I'm truly loosened up.

    Will this improve as I progress or is it just a fact of life for an old git?

    Deadlift:
    I'm still doing it every session but wondering what I'll alternate it with when the time comes. Leaving power cleans aside for the moment I'm a little confused as to what exercise I can alternate it with. I believe in one of the publications it offered Pull ups. Have I got this right? And would weighted pull ups (already doing wtd chin ups) be a suitable substitution? I ask because of the disparity of weight between body wt or weighted pull ups & dead lifts

    Power clean:
    I have no concerns over the stresses of this exercise, I'm quite robust and I had really hoped to include it or some thing else equally challenging
    In anticipation of adopting it I've "assumed the position" but I'm so stiff I can't get my elbows any where near where they need to be.
    In order to have my elbows correctly orientated by wrists would have to be behind my neck

    Is this something that I overcome / train through given sufficient time or are power cleans just not going to happen for me?
    What would be suitable alternatives to the power clean?

    Body weight:
    I have in mind a target body weight of 85kg. Is this sufficient / realistic / conducive to strength and health for my age and build?

    Many thanks & merry Christmas

  2. #2
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    Jul 2018
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    Broomfield, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ooops View Post

    This is a bit of a mixed post so please bare with me
    no thanks!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2019
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    Bump

  4. #4
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    Apr 2016
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    Chicago Burbs, IL
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    FLEXIBILITY
    Yes it gets better but also wear full sweats and even a hat. The warmth will help your flexibility.

    DEAD LIFT
    Once a week should have started a while ago.
    Over training is the likely result of two 5RM sets a week... especially at 60.

    Consider micro plates.
    Consider switching to sets of 4 or 3.
    Consider 2 days a week.

    I'd see an SSC. A seminar would be good as well.

    Recovery is key.
    The First Three Questions | Mark Rippetoe
    This is a great resource. At 60, I'd guess focusing on sleep with help a lot.

    This specifically speaks to several of your concerns.
    What Happens When a Lifter Gets Old | Starting Strength Radio #35

    Basic guidance:
    If it is covered in the Blue Book, do that.
    Modifications for aging are covered very well in the Barbell Prescription.
    Searching this site can get you lots of good answers.
    Also Jonathan Sullivan (Greysteel) has lots of videos as well, specific to aging.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Virginia
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    276

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ooops View Post
    Hi all

    60 yrs old
    1.80m / 5'11"
    175.0kg / 198 lbs
    Squat 69.0kg / 152lbs
    DL 118.5kg / 261lbs 5x1
    Press 47.0kg / 103lbs 5x3
    Bench 71.0kg / 156lbs 5x3
    Chin ups 2.0kg / 4.5lbs 5x3 every session

    <snip>

    Deadlift:
    I'm still doing it every session but wondering what I'll alternate it with when the time comes. Leaving power cleans aside for the moment I'm a little confused as to what exercise I can alternate it with. I believe in one of the publications it offered Pull ups. Have I got this right? And would weighted pull ups (already doing wtd chin ups) be a suitable substitution? I ask because of the disparity of weight between body wt or weighted pull ups & dead lifts

    Power clean:
    I have no concerns over the stresses of this exercise, I'm quite robust and I had really hoped to include it or some thing else equally challenging
    In anticipation of adopting it I've "assumed the position" but I'm so stiff I can't get my elbows any where near where they need to be.
    In order to have my elbows correctly orientated by wrists would have to be behind my neck

    Is this something that I overcome / train through given sufficient time or are power cleans just not going to happen for me?
    What would be suitable alternatives to the power clean?
    As I am fairly in the same age/size/weight demographic as yourself, I thought I'd attempt a reasonable reply. Please note that I closely reference what I have read and interpreted from Dr. Sullivan and Mr. Baker in Strength Training for Life After 40.

    From what I have gathered, the Power Clean appears in the novice programme as an exercise alternative to the Deadlift. Sullivan opines that those of us in the "Masters Athlete" (aka old guys) demographic are not well-served by the Power Clean, as it has a costly recovery factor associated with it. That said, he does say that if one truly enjoys and recovers sufficiently from it, there is no reason to avoid it. I had considered adding the PC to my training in the fall, but elected to not do so after consulting with my rowing coach (I started rowing in an 8-shell during the summer for entertainment and friendly competition).

    Your question about the Deadlift referred to "when the time comes", and I suppose you are concerned about the eventual stall in progression. I experienced such a stall about 6 weeks ago, being unable to get much off the ground past 330 pounds. I implemented Rack Pulls, Romanian Deadlifts, and Barbell Shrugs as alternates, cycling through them over the course of the week. I learned that these 3 exercises function to isolate the different components of the Deadlift movement pattern, seeking to determine which component was the challenging element that was holding me back. This website offers some good videos on how to perform these movements and why,

    Further, Andy Baker suggests a 6-week cycle of Deadlifts at different rep x set configurations to help break through stalls. His website (andybaker.com) has a blog article titled "Simple Deadlift Program That Works" that lays that cycle out. I hope it helps you as much as it did me. I finally broke out of my Deadlift stall last week, and am back on making 5-pound incremental jumps for reps across at 345 just yesterday (looking for 350 next week). These are all-time most weights ever for me, so I am still doing a small victory dance.

    Your body-weight question indicates you are thinking about losing weight from your current 198 down to about 188. Since I started SS/NLP in May, my body-weight has gone from 180 to my current 197; I am feeling more solid and I can measure real strength gains associated with the increased mass. So, I would hold to the SS program which asserts that you will achieve your optimum body-weight simply by making sure you eat enough to support the training. That is, I expect to stop gaining weight at the rate I've seen since May as my body finds its new homeostasis level.

    I hope I have given some useful information, and that I will get to read about your continued successes with the programme!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    3

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    Gentlemen,

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply, it's much appreciated.

    Unfortunately coaching and seminars are out due to my geographical location

    Please note I made a mistake on the body weight it should have been "currently 75kg with a target of 85kg"

    Your comments are well taken, the information you've provided is indeed very useful.
    I'll revisit the referenced literature for a refocus and look into new areas that you've suggested

    Thank you both

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Uk
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    It's all quite confusing in our late 50s/60s isn't it ? I'm hoping Rip takes me up on the suggestion to do a podcast specifically for those of us who started much later in life and have dreams of making gains.

    Flexibility-it's always tough to get under the bar for LBS, I've seen that in younger guys, so it's not particular to our demographic, just do those warm ups to lessen the pain.

    DL - once a week, stop doing fives once out of LP. Do singles, doubles and triples for intensity, add in lower weight doubles/triples done for fast eccentrics for up to six sets and RDLs to get the volume.

    Cleans-I don't do them, I won't risk it, but if you can/want to, I see no reason not to, but they have risks which, if you get hurt, mean age will not make recovery as rapid as a young guy, it might put you out of the game until you are healed up, so go careful with the weight on the bar.

    Weight gain-careful with this, it's all very well to put on 10Kg of muscle, but don't make the mistake of trying to eat your way to a 400lb DL. At our age we just don't have the 'hormonal milieu' as Rip puts it, to utilise all that food and turn it into muscle. All that will happen is that you will get some strength increase, but a lot of extra flab that will shoot up the BP and other unhealthy things (ask me how I know :-/ ) Maximise your protein intake, moderate carbs, keep fats low and watch the macros/calories carefully or you will blow up like a balloon. Take Creatine and use whey protein ( the low fat/carb kind) to force in the extra protein-it's not comfortable trying to eat 18oz of chicken breast every day (ask me how I know :-(). Buy The Barbell Prescription and read it.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    I'm learning like you are, two years in. FWIW I'm currently 5'8" and 169lbs and cutting weight -1RMs are S118Kg B85Kg P50Kg DL165Kg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    121

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    starting strength coach development program
    Ooops: How many days a week do you do SS? Can you describe your normal training week progression? i.e. Monday: Squat, Bench, Power clean...etc?

    There have been several good posts lately about "Minimum effective dose". What do you think your MED is? Why try to complicate it and do more than you need? Why not just NLP on the basic program?

    There are different "camps" for flexibility ranging from those who never work on it to those that do yoga exclusively. Much of that depends on your desires and condition. I consider "flexibility" to be the act of demonstrating high range of movement...i.e. "that gymnast is very flexible". I generally hear / use the term "mobility" when discussing lifting... i.e you can't squat to full depth because you need to work on hip mobility. Working on flexibility is a personal thing to do on the side for your own interests, I don't know how useful it really is. You may however need to do mobility work if your lifting form is being compromised or you are having trouble with life activities.

    Here's rip's take:
    The 3 Most Effective Ways to Waste Time in the Gym | Mark Rippetoe

    I prefer to work on flexibility / mobility OUTSIDE the gym on my own time but not right before a workout for several reasons. I prefer a foam rolling / stretching / movement routine in the morning or evening, it helps me stay mobile and recover so when it's time to lift I'm ready to go with a brief warm-up. Stretching is better after you are warm, so if you feel you need to stretch I suggest after your routine (Not before). Mobility can be improved just like strength (to a point given your condition) if you set a goal and consistently and incrementally work towards it, it takes more frequency than 2 x a week.

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