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  1. #1
    Registered User msrubi47's Avatar
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    Over 50 and Lifting Challenges

    I started working out a year and a half ago with the intent of losing weight. I lost 97 lbs. I started "lifting" about 9 months ago-more as an effort to "fill in some of the loose skin." My trainer has kept me out of squats, DLs etc as he fears injury. I have 2 herniated discs in my back and although no specific knee problems, I know when I have pushed too far. Ortho gave me the all clear with the caveat of "no dead lifts (the reg ones), no military presses and no twisting." Basically nothing where the compression is straight down. I sort of listened.
    I guess my question is, how do those of you over 50 handle some of the weight I have seen you log? My weights are nothing and it's not because I am afraid of them or can't do those numbers. Ex: SM Squats (my hip flexors are so tight I have great difficulty with regular BB squats-I can do front squats/goblet squats but as soon as a bar goes on my back my form crumbles). I do a lot of stretching for the flexors.
    I started doing Stiff Leg DLs on my own and am only at 65 lbs-Leg Press is still only 110. I've been doing all of these 4 months now?
    I also do Leg Extensions and Seated Leg Curls, toss is some DB Step Ups. Started doing hip thrusts and glute bridges (unweighted so far). I do legs twice a week, 4-6 sets, 10-15 reps.
    I tried some single leg stuff like Split squats (not truly single leg), stiff leg deads but they got my back revved up. Lunges are out because they cause knee problems even unweighted.
    I don't want to think I have peaked and maybe I just need to be more patient and stay with lighter weight longer, go for reps and increase weight very gradually?

    As to upper body, I have to watch the shoulders but I have changed my routine so shoulders have their own day and have two days before and after of legs and a cardio/abs days so they aren't over taxed.
    So here are current stats and always, appreciate any feedback:

    Legs-
    SM Squats-70/15/4-6
    SL DLs-65/15/4-6
    Leg Press-110/15-20/6
    Std Leg Curl-80/15/6
    Leg Extension-50/15/6
    Front squats-50/12/4-5

    Chest-
    DB Incl Press-30/8-10/6
    SM Chest Press-60/6/6
    Cables Crossovers-50/6/6
    Various Machines (once every other week maybe) 110/6-8/6
    DB Flyes-30/8/6

    Back-
    BB Rows-80/6/6
    DB B/O Rows-35/6-8/6
    Cable Rows-90/6-8/6

    Tris-(just a few examples)
    Wtd Bench Dips-25/12/6
    OH DB Exten-30/8/6
    B/O Cable Exten-100/6/6
    Skullcrushers-40/6-8/6

    Bis
    Hammer curls-20/6/4-6
    Drag cursl-45/6/6
    BB Curls-50/6-8/6
    DB Inc curls-20/6-8/6
    DB Preacher curls-20/6/6

    Shoulders-
    SM Front presses 50/6-8/6
    Shoulder Press (machine) 60/6/6
    Lat raises ( I only do them half way and use plates alt) 25/10-12/6; 10/25/6
    Standing cable (reverse)-40/15/6 (alt high/low angles, 6 sets of each)
    Last edited by msrubi47; 04-22-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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  2. #2
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    It takes time to build up the numbers. It also takes food. You can increase weights only so long at a deficit. A good bulk would probably do you good.

    I'd skip Smith squats and do zerchers. If you can do Smith, you can do back bb. Given your back, front squats or zerchers are better for you. Not sure why you were told not to do deads. I wouldn't stay at those high reps either. I'd stay in the 8-10 rep range. Working legs 2x week is fine, but it shouldn't be the same thing. You want a heavy day (x5) and a hypertrophy day (8-10) but not the same exercises.
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  3. #3
    Registered User msrubi47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    It takes time to build up the numbers. It also takes food. You can increase weights only so long at a deficit. A good bulk would probably do you good.

    I'd skip Smith squats and do zerchers. If you can do Smith, you can do back bb. Given your back, front squats or zerchers are better for you. Not sure why you were told not to do deads. I wouldn't stay at those high reps either. I'd stay in the 8-10 rep range. Working legs 2x week is fine, but it shouldn't be the same thing. You want a heavy day (x5) and a hypertrophy day (8-10) but not the same exercises.

    I am trying on the eating, to increase. I don't pay attention any more to weight in pounds. My BF is still too high so I have changed my routine around so that I do 2 sessions of ss cardio on nights when I weight train and 2 nights of HIIT by itself. I can't seem to get my calories above 1500 most days. I try but I am not a grain fan and don't like oatmeal. I eat lots of eggs, chicken and veggies which are good but not very calorie dense. I eat fruit, I try to manipulate the macros so I time things rights, I eat more carbs on days when I know I will be training harder/longer.
    I will def try splitting the leg w/outs. Thanks for the advice!
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  4. #4
    Team Ogre penny0527's Avatar
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    I have a ruptured disk in my neck and a herniated disk in my lower back. After the herniated disk in my lower back it was a slow go for me. A lot of it was mental but there were something's that we're too painful. The leg press was one of those things that caused pain when I first started back. I stopped doing it and figured it would just be one of those things I could no longer do. Well I tried again a couple of weeks ago and was able to do a set of 350 lbs. last week I did a set of 360 lbs. I have no idea why it no longer causes me pain. Maybe I have built of enough muscle doing other lifts that I am able to leg press again. That's just a guess though.

    As for straight legged I do them as well. But I was thinking just last night that I'm not sure if I will continue them. I am very afraid that one wrong move will make me worse off than I already am. So far I have not deadlifted more than 150 lbs because i feel it too much in my lower back for comfort. I have read that regular deadlifts (not straight legged) use less of your lower back so I'm thinking about trying those. Of course with it being such a risk of making things worse I might not do any of them.

    I think you just have to figure out what's it worth to you.
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  5. #5
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by msrubi47 View Post
    I am trying on the eating, to increase. I don't pay attention any more to weight in pounds. My BF is still too high so I have changed my routine around so that I do 2 sessions of ss cardio on nights when I weight train and 2 nights of HIIT by itself. I can't seem to get my calories above 1500 most days. I try but I am not a grain fan and don't like oatmeal. I eat lots of eggs, chicken and veggies which are good but not very calorie dense. I eat fruit, I try to manipulate the macros so I time things rights, I eat more carbs on days when I know I will be training harder/longer.
    I will def try splitting the leg w/outs. Thanks for the advice!
    You're going to reach a point where you may be still unhappy with your BF, but, are only getting smaller without looking better. That's when the reality of not having enough muscle mass kicks in. If I were you I'd recomp at this point and do a bulk come fall. You'll need to get your calories up to around 1800. If you have not taken a diet break in awhile I'd eat at maintenance for a few weeks (2000) first.

    You can get more calories in via fats and legumes. Beans are very good for you as are many fats. Like olive oil, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, nut/seed butters, avocado, etc. You can easily get the extra calories in.
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  6. #6
    Registered User msrubi47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by penny0527 View Post
    I have a ruptured disk in my neck and a herniated disk in my lower back. After the herniated disk in my lower back it was a slow go for me. A lot of it was mental but there were something's that we're too painful. The leg press was one of those things that caused pain when I first started back. I stopped doing it and figured it would just be one of those things I could no longer do. Well I tried again a couple of weeks ago and was able to do a set of 350 lbs. last week I did a set of 360 lbs. I have no idea why it no longer causes me pain. Maybe I have built of enough muscle doing other lifts that I am able to leg press again. That's just a guess though.

    As for straight legged I do them as well. But I was thinking just last night that I'm not sure if I will continue them. I am very afraid that one wrong move will make me worse off than I already am. So far I have not deadlifted more than 150 lbs because i feel it too much in my lower back for comfort. I have read that regular deadlifts (not straight legged) use less of your lower back so I'm thinking about trying those. Of course with it being such a risk of making things worse I might not do any of them.

    I think you just have to figure out what's it worth to you.
    It's weird-most people have told me the regular deads are riskier and I tried some with a light BB and they felt weird to me, like it was putting more strain on my back with that initial lift. I like the stiff legged-I tak eit slow, I make sure I have an arch but not too much in my back, and I really keep my core tight. I upped my weight tonight on the leg press to 140 and I think what freebirdmac said is the way to go-less reps all the way around but definitely less on the heavier days (and having a heavier day), doing different exercises on each leg day and I will just keep trying to move up, slowly.
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  7. #7
    Registered User msrubi47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    You're going to reach a point where you may be still unhappy with your BF, but, are only getting smaller without looking better. That's when the reality of not having enough muscle mass kicks in. If I were you I'd recomp at this point and do a bulk come fall. You'll need to get your calories up to around 1800. If you have not taken a diet break in awhile I'd eat at maintenance for a few weeks (2000) first.

    You can get more calories in via fats and legumes. Beans are very good for you as are many fats. Like olive oil, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, nut/seed butters, avocado, etc. You can easily get the extra calories in.
    That sound like so much and I know it's not. I've hit 1800 cal days and there isn't necessarily a lot of food. I eat all of that but can definitely incorporate more, especially the beans, which I love. I eat nuts, avocados, I can utilize more olive oil. I do eat ww pasta once a week now. So you think 1800-2000 cals now? How do you feel about fruit? I know a lot of women shun it or eat very little. I have banana a day, split into two protein shakes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges. I probably have 5 servings of fruit a day.
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  8. #8
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by msrubi47 View Post
    That sound like so much and I know it's not. I've hit 1800 cal days and there isn't necessarily a lot of food. I eat all of that but can definitely incorporate more, especially the beans, which I love. I eat nuts, avocados, I can utilize more olive oil. I do eat ww pasta once a week now. So you think 1800-2000 cals now? How do you feel about fruit? I know a lot of women shun it or eat very little. I have banana a day, split into two protein shakes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges. I probably have 5 servings of fruit a day.
    Fruit is awesome! I wouldn't avoid it. Yes, if you've been at the dieting game for awhile take a break. Give your body a rest and get your metabolism fired back up. There may be some initial bloating, but it should be temporary. After a couple of weeks do a smaller deficit. Come fall, join the bulking thread and do a fall/winter bulk.
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