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  1. #1
    Registered User rusty377's Avatar
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    Beginning To Lift At 40, Without Injury?

    Wanted to start lifting at 30, but couldn't afford home equipment or the gym. (I'm an American in Israel, don't ask). I started doing 60 pushups everyday, until I got probably minor rotator cuff tears and stopped due to shoulder pain. As a kid in the 90s I did endless pushups and never got hurt. So I was a bit like WTF. I now know that your body just can't take the abuse after 30-35.

    After some guy attacked me at the post office I finally started doing push ups on a regular basis about 2 years ago. I have had some rotator cuff pains if I push it too hard, that go away after a several weeks if I take it easy.

    About a year ago I added curls and floor presses with a broom stick and water bottles. The broomstick finally broke throwing up 91 lbs curls, and sprained my wrist pretty bad. I couldn't really adjust the weight that well with packs of water, so I was curling a bit more than I should. I was throwing up 91 lbs every 2-3 days to get 8 reps of 4-5 sets.

    I will be 40 in a few months. After the broom broke, I couldn't take it anymore. I finally got a 100lbs cast iron plate weight set. I also 5 and 6 ft straight bar, ez bar, and dumb bell bars from Decathalon. (It's like this French version of Dick's Sporting Goods that came to Israel). A foldable bench and a squat rack with spotter catch is on the way for delivery.

    I've been watching youtube vids on how to lift. I've seen some gruesome pec and bicep tears. I'm wondering how to be safe and avoid this possiblity as much as possble. At my age I'm not trying to get jacked. I'd like to up my bench press from 100lbs to 250. I'm 6'1, 195 lbs btw.

    After watching copious lifting accident vids, it seems to me that pretty much everyone who almost died from dropping the barbell on their head, or ripped a pec or bicep, was lifting waaaaay too much weight. I'm aiming for 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps on average, of curls and bench press twice a week.

    I am considering doing one day of heavy reps 8-12, and one day of light reps 20-25.

    I don't really know anything about lifting. How can I avoid a serious injury?

    thanks
    Last edited by rusty377; 08-11-2022 at 10:45 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User TimKridel's Avatar
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    I started at 44 and am now 52. The only injury I've had is when a plate fell on my big toe. Thankfully no tears, sprains or anything else. I think it's because I've made good form a priority. For example, if you're doing barbell curls and throwing your shoulders and back around as you lift up, it's probably too much weight. Cut back 5 or 10 pounds/kilos until you can move the weight as gracefully as they do in the videos for however many reps you want.

    After that, it's a matter of increasing reps or weight or both. For example, if I can do four or five sets of 12 or 15 reps, then it's time to add weight until I start to feel taxed at eight or 10 reps. Eventually I can muster that new weight at 12 or 15 reps, so it's time to move up again.

    Hope that helps.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Chut26's Avatar
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    You shouldn't be getting injured if your form is proper. Don't rush to add weight to your lifts. Focus on form.
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  4. #4
    Registered User bearondiet's Avatar
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    When I do shoulder press, I can hear my left shoulder clicking and popping. That scares me, and I try to move slower. (My right shoulder was torn 10 years ago as well. Still torn. No surgery.) I started doing squats with 70lbs weight, but I only do 4 sets of 8 reps. Probably going to increase the reps to at least 12. I don't feel worn out doing squats that much. It is just that my knees also easily make popping noises and that scares me.
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  5. #5
    Registered User dcourson's Avatar
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    You probably too old to lift man. I'd just get a hoverround and one of those Wal-Mart carts to be safe.

    Just kidding, lifting over 40 is no different than lifting at any age. You should do a starting program, like Starting Strength or Stronglifts.
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  6. #6
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I started lifting seriously at 59. My tips… Maintain good form always. Don’t ego lift. Increase weights and reps gradually. Don’t do things that hurt. If you have an ache that persists, go to a medical person. Think twice before following advice from the internet. Maintain mobility, but don’t stress about “full range of motion” if that gives you issues - better to stay active and avoid injury. Don’t try to bench to your limits without a spotter or a safety system.

    Best wishes!
    At age 64, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

    My workout journal is here:
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=176385621
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  7. #7
    Registered User dcourson's Avatar
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    Good advice. I used to lift with this guy in his sixties. He wasn't doing any PRs, as he had been very strong when he was younger, but he was still a tough old guy. At one point he started losing muscle and I figured he was getting old, but then he put it back on and then some. I finally asked him about it, and his response blew me away. He said, "Oh I was going through chemo, but I beat the cancer." I never even knew he had cancer....... Bro is tough.
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  8. #8
    Banned lsiberian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dcourson View Post
    Good advice. I used to lift with this guy in his sixties. He wasn't doing any PRs, as he had been very strong when he was younger, but he was still a tough old guy. At one point he started losing muscle and I figured he was getting old, but then he put it back on and then some. I finally asked him about it, and his response blew me away. He said, "Oh I was going through chemo, but I beat the cancer." I never even knew he had cancer....... Bro is tough.
    I remember losing muscle to cancer too. Was crazy how weak I was.
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  9. #9
    Registered User dcourson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lsiberian View Post
    I remember losing muscle to cancer too. Was crazy how weak I was.
    He was still doing 4 sets of 10 rep squats, albeit with reduced 205 weight. Guy was amazing.
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  10. #10
    Registered User pondman's Avatar
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    Unless you have some debilitating injure and you'd be going against medical advice, I don't see why you can't lift. Ease into it.
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