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  1. #1
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    Default New year, new workout?

    54 years old, 6' tall, 185 lbs. Started lifting for the first time in my life 3 months ago.

    I think that probably means I'm still very much a newb and will be in newb gains for a while.

    I started off with the 4 week beginner program from Muscle and Fitness, Then switched to a similar program that one of the guys I work with helped me put together. Basically I'm doing 3 workouts, 4 days a week. A is Back and Biceps, B is Legs and shoulders and C is Chest and triceps. Big muscle groups first, then fill in with dumbbell and cable work. Typical reps are 15/12/10, although for the last few weeks I've been just doing 5X5 on the big lifts. Workouts have been taking about 45 minutes, then I go back and repeat exercises to complete a full hour so I'm good and tired by the time I crawl out of the gym.

    I've definitely made a lot of progress already increasing my bench from about 60 to 115 lbs, squat similar, and DL just hit 225 (only 1 set of 5 though) from about 135 the first time I did it. Also just a couple weeks ago I did the first pull-up I've been able to do in over 40 years so I'm kind of stoked about that and want to do a lot of those this year. Chin-ups too... I'm up to a solid two reps, lol.

    Goals have changed since I've started though, and now I want to focus more on strength. Seems like half the time when I'm sweating through my sets of 100 pound squats, some small girl will start next to me (different girls, mind you!), do a couple warmup sets, do a few sets at about the weight I'm doing, then keep doing squats while I'm doing dead lifts, leg curls and leg extensions, and she might still be there when I get back to that side of the gym to start shoulder work with the dumbbells! I'm sure it's because I'm an old guy who neglected to do any kind of physical activity for several decades, and they're young and fit, but these petite girls outperforming me by so many miles still messes with my mind! I'm thinking the goal I want to shoot for is at least 225lbs on bench and squat this year. I think when I can do two plates per side I'll feel like I'm actually doing man weights. I can start doing more reps once I can handle a respectable amount of weight to start building some size, which was my original goal.

    Wondering if I should just keep on the program I've been doing so far, or if I should switch to a stronglifts type of program. Or something completely different. I have no problem with pushing hard and being sore, but sometimes I find myself doing squats still sore from the squats I did 4 days earlier so I might be pushing a bit harder than I should.

  2. #2
    Just joined M&S ManFactory's Avatar
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    Hi OldNewb!

    Thanks for your post and questions. Sounds like you're eager to get stronger. Your goal of 225 on bench and squat is perfectly attainable with the right training approach. As a strength coach, here are my thoughts on your training:

    I suggest changing your current routine. Training based on body parts is fine for bodybuilders, but if your main goal is strength, a better approach is to train based on the four main lifts: squat, deadlift, overhead press and bench press, plus some carefully chosen assistance exercises. Training four days per week, with one of these lifts as the focal point of each workout is a great way to get way stronger, and build plenty of muscle too, as long as your diet and lifestyle support your training. When it comes to strength programs, there's no need for complication. I've found a simple, old-school approach works best for myself and my clients. Here's a link to my website detailing the program I personally use, and recommend to many of my clients, including "newbs":
    Last edited by Doug; 01-15-2018 at 01:16 PM.
    Robert Maxwell
    Strength Coach & Fitness Writer



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