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Recovery for the master age lifter

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  • Recovery for the master age lifter

    Anyone have any tips on how to improve the recovery process? I'm not talking about the supplement route or pharmaceuticals, ideas on training frequency/stretching/anything else that comes to mind...
    I'm 53 (training since I was a kid) and want to be as strong as possible without killing myself
    I'm thinking there are probably more than a few master age lifters on here...

  • #2
    "Action cures fear"


    • #3
      I'm 50 and have been training since I was 14. Here are a few things I've changed over the last couple years that seem to have helped. 1) I've lightened the weights and increased the reps so I feel it more in the muscles and less in the joints. After years of heavy, low rep training for powerlifting, my body was aching most of the time, particularly my hips. Now, instead of 4-6 reps, I generally do 8-12. Sometimes more.
      2) I switched from wide stance, flat footed (wrestling shoes) squat stance to a more narrow stance, rock bottom (weightlifting shoes but they ain't cheap) squat. There's less weight on my spine and my hips no longer bother me. My knees feel much better too but it took a little time to find the right foot spacing. I also replaced deadlifts with power cleans.
      3) I focus more on perfect form than throwing heavy weight around.
      4) I only work out twice a week I've actually been doing this for about 25 years (probably wasn't the best idea when I competed but works great now that I'm older). I do a full body workout both times with one compound exercise per bodypart. I alternate some of the exercises, though (front squats one day, regular squats the next). Also, I have bad shoulders so I'll do overhead presses one day and benches the other. If I do both in the same workout, it's just too much. Besides, it too time consuming to do both.
      I'm not as strong as I used to be but that's due to various injuries. I still look pretty much the same as always and feel better than I have in years. Just a little food for thought. Good luck.


      • #4
        Thanks Craig, that's the type of advice/discussion i was looking to generate...I have Brooks K's books but wanted to see what other lifters were doing.

        My current workout schedule is pretty much the same as yours-twice a week workouts, closer stance high bar squats,I still deadlift then some overhead presses (no benches), barbell pullover, bent over rows and some curls. I do the squats one day, deadlift the next and also rotate the rows and pullovers on different days-I press on both days.

        On squats I work up to a couple of low rep sets of pause squats-sink slow into the hole, 2 -3 sec pause then up...this seems to take a lot of stress off knees and hips. After that I do one set of regular squats for 10 reps.

        How are you doing with progression? With the higher reps are you able to make increases in weight or do you concentrate on adding reps?? For example on my regular squats I seem to be hitting a wall at 300x10...if I go 5 pounds higher I barely get 5 or 6 reps. Seems like I should maybe drop below 300 and shoot for higher than 10?

        BTW does my memory serve me correct-did you have a pic in Milo years ago of your wife or girlfriend deadlifting a heavy dumbbell??




        • #5
          First, your memory does NOT serve you correctly. My wife's picture has never been in MILO. For some odd reason, she doesn't seem to appreciate the fine art of lifting like I do. Go figure.

          Second, I generally push the reps until I reach a certain number and then add weight when I reach that number. For example, If I try to do 8-12 reps, when I reach the 12 reps, I'll do that for a few weeks and then add the weight. I still push myself but not as hard or as often as I used to. I had the same problem with my deadlift that you have with your squat. A small 5 lb. increase brought my rep count way down. When that happens I just stick with the heavier weight and take as long as necessary to get used to it until I'm able to adds reps again.

          Do you do any cardio? If not overdone, that can help recuperation a lot.


          • #6
            Haha sorry about that Craig I obviously was thinking of someone else, I'll have to dig that old issue out and get the name straight

            Regarding progression I think the key thing you mentioned is to not push as hard or as often....being a master age lifter you have to be really instinctive in how you feel and then train-push it when you can, lay back otherwise-simple but its probably the only way.I was looking at Doc Ken Leistner's video where he squatted 20+ reps with 407 at 50 something-very awesome and it got me interested in his training ideas. I came across an old newsletter where he described '50% sets"-you take a weight and do say a 10 rep max, rest 1 minute then half the reps (5) on the next set. That would be it for that movement and then you move on to the next. I'm trying that now once a week, see how it goes. My thinking is that just two sets working that hard would force increases without dipping into the recovery ability too much. I'm doing it on all the lifts I do but I'm going to keep the reps to 15 minimum on the first set to keep the total poundage down.

            I actually just started cardio, hitting the heavy bag and speed bag along with some calisthenics twice a week.

            Thanks for the ideas


            • #7
              Invest in soft tissue work. Active Release Technique, Rolfing, F.A.T. tool, etc. even just massage therapy.

              Use higher reps at the end of workouts, or the next day. Not at max weight, or reps, but just to flush the tissue with blood and therefore nutrients.

              Try to spend more time standing! We stand less and less, I'm convinced this negatively affects our conditioning.


              • #8
                Epsom salts baths and hot rock sauna's too.


                • #9
                  Todd/Peter-thanks for the feedback!

                  Is anyone doing a training cycle (with the goal of raising numbers) that is built around recovery? I was thinking something along the lines of an 8 week cycle with built in periods of heavy/light days...heavier weight/lower reps mixed with lighter weight/ higher reps?