Advanced programming for an old powerlifter Advanced programming for an old powerlifter

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Thread: Advanced programming for an old powerlifter

  1. #1
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    Default Advanced programming for an old powerlifter

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    I have been lifting 3 times per week for almost 50 years. I started with something similar to the SS NLP for compound movements plus a few accessories. As I got older, my lifting was more along the line of minimum effective dose and my focus on conditioning increased. About 1 1/2 years ago, I decided to start competing and began adjusting my training accordingly. I ran an NLP for a few months and I have been on a modified 3-day TM for almost a year.

    At this point in my training, new PRs are a long time in between which makes it hard to know how well my training is suited to my goals. Due to my age and my general reluctance to make large changes in programming, most of the modifications I test are relatively minor. I have considered an 8-week pyramid model, similar to the one on page 180 of PPST, but I am reluctant to add that much volume during the accumulation stage. Since overtraining and injuries at my age are harder to recover from than when I was younger, I am hoping that one of you who is an older lifter or has coached someone with a similar profile to mine might help me avoid mistakes.

    Sets X Reps below:

    Volume Day: SQ - 4X5, BP - 5X5, DL -3X3

    Recovery Day: SQ - 2-3X5, OHP - 3X5, Chins - 3X8. Limited accessory work

    Intensity Day: SQ - 1X5, BP 1X5 and 1X8 backup set, DL - 1X5. Limited accessory work. I do rotate reps and sets along the lines of 1X5, 2X3, 3X2, 5X1.

    Three days per week: 30 minutes conditioning. Normally, Stairmaster without holding the handles or C2 rowing machine. I am long past the novice stage and no longer adding much (if any) LBM, I have found that it helps reduce soreness. It also helps me keep up with my children when we are hiking or running together.

    Six days per week: stretching after lifting or cardio.

    For many years, I deadlifted 3 times per week, but switched to 2 times as I got older. As long as I am not grinding out last reps on both days, I don't have problems with recovery. Based on my own experience and comments on this forum by SS coaches, I reduced my squat volume to compensate for added deadlift volume. I have AC joint issues that make cleaning and front squats problematic and necessitates the use of a close grip for some of my volume day bench work.

    Although I haven't pulled a heavy deadlift single for a while, my max should be around 450. My goal is to pull 500 in the next year and hopefully maintain that until I turn 70. Unlike the first time I pulled 500 as an inexperienced teenager wearing running shoes, I now wear proper shoes and have reasonably good form.


    3 questions: 1) 5 minutes minimum, 2) 5 pounds per month if lucky 3) roughly 3500 calories and 200 grams of protein per day and 9 hours per night attempted sleep which is interrupted by bathroom breaks

    My weight varies between 190 and 200 and based on the USN body fat calculator my LBM is about 180 pounds and my BF is about 8%.

  2. #2
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    Would Program 7A: two steps forward, one step back discussed in BBRx make sense for an aged powerlifter?

  3. #3
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    You don't say how old you are or how tall, but a claim of 8% body fat might be worth posting a picture.

  4. #4
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    No, don't do that.

  5. #5
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    I am 6'2" and weigh around 195 with a 32'' waist and a 16.5" neck, 7" wrist and 8" ankle. I don't believe age is an input into any calculation of body fat. I never assume that body fat calculators are anything more than a rough estimate.

  6. #6
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    You are quite underweight for a lifter. Unless you are 75.

  7. #7
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    Even before I became old and frail, and in spite of a training style that resulted in large strength gains in a fairly short time, I was never able to put on much more lean mass than I have now. At best, I MIGHT have been 10 to 15 pounds heavier and a few pounds leaner when I was a D1 athlete. Although in reality, like many memories of my youth, what I recall is probably a bit distorted in a positive direction.

    While I have cycled through weight gains and later attempts to reduce fat, at this point a 5 lb increase in weight results in a 1" looser setting on my lifting belt and a 5 lb decrease has the opposite effect. Since therapeutic exemptions for TRT aren't allowed in tested competition, I doubt that I will see much gain in lean body mass going forward. Still, I will keep trying to add strength and muscle as long as I can.

    I appreciate what I have learned from reading your books and articles and look forward to visiting a Starting Strength gym in the future.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan1 View Post
    Since therapeutic exemptions for TRT aren't allowed in tested competition, I doubt that I will see much gain in lean body mass going forward. Still, I will keep trying to add strength and muscle as long as I can.
    Exactly how do you plan on increasing strength without a gain in LBM?

  9. #9
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    I wasn't trying to imply that I anticipated strength gains without an increase in muscle mass. If I didn't expect to gain some muscle, I would have picked a lot easier training option than the 3-day TM. As I said earlier, I believe my potential for increased LBM is limited, which is not the same as saying that I don't believe modest improvements aren't possible. I would be surprised if I have the ability to add more than 10 lbs to my current LBM in the next year or two, unless it was accompanied by a huge gain in fat, but would be ecstatic to be wrong. Just because I don't believe that I can gain a significant amount of muscle at my age doesn't mean that I will stop trying to get stronger and more muscular. I have been filming my work sets for a while, which has helped me translate what strength I have into more weight lifted. If I thought it was hopeless, I wouldn't have read your books and I wouldn't be here asking for advice on how to improve my training.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Why won't you tell us your age? Why are you squatting 3 days a week at your advanced yet unspecified age? Why are you so reluctant to gain weight? I have recommended one-day a week squatting for experienced masters lifters, with an emphasis on intensity, and you surely know this. But the most important thing is that you enjoy your training, so good luck.

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