Any Gym Queens here?

I started lifting weights over three years ago (I'm age 50 in a few months); just a couple of times a week; strength training to support ultra marathon running. But over time it went to three-times-a-week, and since November, hacked off with long runs in the cold and wet, I've developed into a gym-rat and I'm in there five-to-six times a week.

My squat has went from 50 kg to 125 kg (2 rep max) and my bench press has went from 50 kg to 105 kg (2 rep max). I weigh around 80 kg and I'm probably at around a lardy 20% body fat (which I'm working on reducing).

I've just started Michael Matthews 5-day-split (it's a bit like a bro split) from Bigger, Stronger, Leaner, which has an emphasis on heavy compound exercises, with a 4 to 6 rep range, but every time you hit six reps, you add a little weight, bringing you back down to the lower end of the 4 - 6 rep range and when you hit 6 reps, you add weight. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

His more advanced program includes periodisation, but that's too advanced for me at the mo.

I have a few reservations about the 5-day-split; for example, it feels too easy. Today is just shoulders. It's four exercises and three sets of each. So 12 sets only. I'll do some skipping and bag work to make it feel like I've done some exercise after (I boxed at regimental level in my yoof).

Are there any other gym queens here? How do you do it?
 
I started lifting weights over three years ago (I'm age 50 in a few months); just a couple of times a week; strength training to support ultra marathon running. But over time it went to three-times-a-week, and since November, hacked off with long runs in the cold and wet, I've developed into a gym-rat and I'm in there five-to-six times a week.

My squat has went from 50 kg to 125 kg (2 rep max) and my bench press has went from 50 kg to 105 kg (2 rep max). I weigh around 80 kg and I'm probably at around a lardy 20% body fat (which I'm working on reducing).

I've just started Michael Matthews 5-day-split (it's a bit like a bro split) from Bigger, Stronger, Leaner, which has an emphasis on heavy compound exercises, with a 4 to 6 rep range, but every time you hit six reps, you add a little weight, bringing you back down to the lower end of the 4 - 6 rep range and when you hit 6 reps, you add weight. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

His more advanced program includes periodisation, but that's too advanced for me at the mo.

I have a few reservations about the 5-day-split; for example, it feels too easy. Today is just shoulders. It's four exercises and three sets of each. So 12 sets only. I'll do some skipping and bag work to make it feel like I've done some exercise after (I boxed at regimental level in my yoof).

Are there any other gym queens here? How do you do it?
Easy, brylcream your hair back and sport shorts three times too small for you.
 
As Jim Wendler points out in 5-3-1, it’s about the long game and letting your body rest.

If it’s easy now, slowly add weight (he recommends 2.5kg per month) and it’ll get there. You’ve not mentioned injuries, and if you’re free from them, I’d recommend that as the single biggest thing to maintain.

If you really do need to do more, do yoga or Pilates.
 
They all drowned when someone put a mirror at the bottom of the swimming pool
 

W P

LE
I started lifting weights over three years ago (I'm age 50 in a few months); just a couple of times a week; strength training to support ultra marathon running. But over time it went to three-times-a-week, and since November, hacked off with long runs in the cold and wet, I've developed into a gym-rat and I'm in there five-to-six times a week.

My squat has went from 50 kg to 125 kg (2 rep max) and my bench press has went from 50 kg to 105 kg (2 rep max). I weigh around 80 kg and I'm probably at around a lardy 20% body fat (which I'm working on reducing).

I've just started Michael Matthews 5-day-split (it's a bit like a bro split) from Bigger, Stronger, Leaner, which has an emphasis on heavy compound exercises, with a 4 to 6 rep range, but every time you hit six reps, you add a little weight, bringing you back down to the lower end of the 4 - 6 rep range and when you hit 6 reps, you add weight. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

His more advanced program includes periodisation, but that's too advanced for me at the mo.

I have a few reservations about the 5-day-split; for example, it feels too easy. Today is just shoulders. It's four exercises and three sets of each. So 12 sets only. I'll do some skipping and bag work to make it feel like I've done some exercise after (I boxed at regimental level in my yoof).

Are there any other gym queens here? How do you do it?
I've done weight training (with several regretted intervals) since my mid-20s. I do it a lot, but I've never taken it very seriously. That probably sounds like a contradiction, but I don't do it for competitive sport or to look like - as Clive James would say - a condom full of walnuts. The dietary requirements for that are a bugger anyway. I just like doing it (plus cardio) as a way of maintaining a reasonable level of fitness. Well, that plus the mid-life crisis, obviously.

I don't go to a gym. I buy my own equipment so that I can do an exercise session whenever's convenient, the activity consumes much less time than it would otherwise, there's less distraction &, crucially, it's a lot harder to make excuses to skip it. (The downside is that there's a smaller range of equipment & it takes up space in my house.)

Before I started I read several hundred articles on the subject by fitness trainers, bodybuilders & sportsmen. One of the many things I learned is that one person's orthodoxy is another's heresy. 2 people built like the Hulk can disagree intensely on how to achieve that physique even though their opposing methods clearly worked in both cases. I continually experiment with different routines. At the moment I'm trying one in which the exercises are divided between 6 sessions: 2 sessions (several hours apart) on alternate days, with cardio between the weight training days.

Bodybuilding.com (which, despite the name, isn't specific to fake tanned lump-judging parades) is an excellent resource for ideas for selecting exercises & routines. It is easy to get distracted by some of the discussion threads though.



Did I mention the mid-life crisis?
 
If you're looking for a good weights website, T-Nation is cracking. Wendler and Chris Thibeaudeau contribute and answer questions! The forum is less horrible than BB.com and less drugs obsessed than some. I am on CT's Built for Battle program - it's a hybrid of the big compound power lifts and a circuit, with a weekly wave loading pattern:

Built For Battle | T Nation
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Are there any other gym queens here? How do you do it?
It's been a while, but I went through an extended period of low rep strength training previously. The weights you're on at 5 reps should be relatively close to your max so if you're at the right weight then it should be pretty hard graft to get the final set pushed out. It won't feel quite as much of a full body destruction as perhaps you're used to but the body part you've been training should feel sore at least the next day.

You talk about doing cardio as well to make it feel like you've done some work, but what you're on isn't a cardio programme so you shouldn't expect to feel exhausted afterwards in quite the same way. There are ways to boost strength and cardio simultaneously (think CrossFit) but you're on a pure strength programme. If you want to do cardio as well then that's great for you, but maybe treat it as a separate session.

If it makes you feel better about the programme, serious Olympic lifters will push out sessions with very few total reps involved. I know an oly lifter who works a 12 x 1 rep session every now and again. That's all he does that day - 12 lifts and a warmup/cooldown.
 
You talk about doing cardio as well to make it feel like you've done some work, but what you're on isn't a cardio programme so you shouldn't expect to feel exhausted afterwards in quite the same way. There are ways to boost strength and cardio simultaneously (think CrossFit) but you're on a pure strength programme. If you want to do cardio as well then that's great for you, but maybe treat it as a separate session.
Thanks Caecilius, and this is exactly the advice given by the author of the program. No more than 3 cardio sessions a week if bulking (I'm not really; I've a little bit of timber to lose) and to try to put a few hours between the cardio and lifting; ideally lifting in the morning and cardio in the evening.

You obviously know your stuff.
 
I've been mucking about with weights for years.
10 x3
12 x3
5x5 etc etc
I'm currently following Terry Crews advice and doing sets of
12 10 8 6 4 with slightly increasing weight every set.
To be fair I'm not lifting huge stuff but have noticed results in body shape and how much I can lift.
I mainly stick to compound lifts roughly 5or 6 different exercises.
Pull ups
Back squats
Bench press
Dead lifts
Shoulder press
Bent over rows.
I'm thinking of having a cutting phase and seeing how ripped and tasty I can get but it's a ball ache .
Also i probably need to do a wider range of exercises.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
ideally lifting in the morning and cardio in the evening.
I think this is sound advice in general, but I believe there's a higher injury risk from lifting heavy in the morning.

I use the phrase 'I believe' because I've never seen any sports science saying this, but I was in a high performance sports team (with a load of international athletes) at uni and one year we changed from doing weights in the morning to doing weights in the afternoon and our injury rate halved. Obviously this is anecdata, but the rate was pretty steady on both sides of the change so I'm pretty confident it makes a difference. My guess is it has something to do with how 'awake' your body is in the morning - I know I don't really function properly until 11am at best.
 
T-nation is a great site.
 
@Whey_Aye_Banzai,
Have a look at the athleanx program from Jeff Cavaliere, I found his stuff very helpful.
 
I’m doing his ATHLEAN-X at the moment. Just getting to the end of the first month. Bit disappointed with it to be honest. Hope the second month is better.
I guess you are on the AX-1 program. It does get harder, I promise :strong:
 
Are there any other gym queens here? How do you do it?
Late to the party, though:

I started doing barbell training again after leaving the army in 2016. Bought a few hundred quid's worth of equipment for my garage (squat rack, bench, several hundred kilos of olympic plates etc). I started with Starting Strength's 'Novice Linear Progression' for a few months to acquire strength in the muscle mass I had, then switched to HLM/ DUP style programming following this (post-novice, undulating programming is key to maintaining gains, such as your 4-6 rep Hepburn-style training or the 8/5/2 range I was using). I've also ran 4-day splits as well, such as:

Monday: squat, bench, accessories
Tuesday: pulls, press, accessories
Thurs: squat, bench, accessories
Fri: pulls, presses, accessories

My current a1rms are 200kg squat, 210kg deadlift and 135kg bench (currently chasing a 3-wheel bench through guided programming).

I'm quite big on the theory and recommend podcasts and following guys such as Mike Tuchscherer, Sebastian Oreb, Mike Israetel, Greg Nuckols etc. (They're the current personalities producing numerous top athletes across various strength-based sports through the RTS and RP brands).

Right now there's a lot of discussion concerning 'stimulating' or 'effective' reps for both hypertrophy and strength (such as numerous 5-rep sets using your 8-12 RM load), and 'not training to failure' by keeping 'reps in reserve' (RIR) or 'rate of perceived exertion' (RPE). I'm on a (predominantly American) website called exodus-strength.com where a lot of this theory is discussed and has a very active Logs section.
 
Late to the party, though:

I started doing barbell training again after leaving the army in 2016. Bought a few hundred quid's worth of equipment for my garage (squat rack, bench, several hundred kilos of olympic plates etc). I started with Starting Strength's 'Novice Linear Progression' for a few months to acquire strength in the muscle mass I had, then switched to HLM/ DUP style programming following this (post-novice, undulating programming is key to maintaining gains, such as your 4-6 rep Hepburn-style training or the 8/5/2 range I was using). I've also ran 4-day splits as well, such as:

Monday: squat, bench, accessories
Tuesday: pulls, press, accessories
Thurs: squat, bench, accessories
Fri: pulls, presses, accessories

My current a1rms are 200kg squat, 210kg deadlift and 135kg bench (currently chasing a 3-wheel bench through guided programming).

I'm quite big on the theory and recommend podcasts and following guys such as Mike Tuchscherer, Sebastian Oreb, Mike Israetel, Greg Nuckols etc. (They're the current personalities producing numerous top athletes across various strength-based sports through the RTS and RP brands).

Right now there's a lot of discussion concerning 'stimulating' or 'effective' reps for both hypertrophy and strength (such as numerous 5-rep sets using your 8-12 RM load), and 'not training to failure' by keeping 'reps in reserve' (RIR) or 'rate of perceived exertion' (RPE). I'm on a (predominantly American) website called exodus-strength.com where a lot of this theory is discussed and has a very active Logs section.
Great post and I like all that heavy compound lifting stuff. And I'll take a look at some of the names and websites you've mentioned. I've a day-off today; perfect.

Another to add to your list is Mark Rippetoe; he's funny to listen to as well, if you can cope with his 'sets of fahvs' accent. In his day he was into strength, rather than being a 'preening bodybuilder' and he puts loads of emphasis on the squat and deadlift as the foundation of strength training. His instructional stuff is excellent; for example I thought I knew how to 'military press' until I watched him give a lesson on how to do it.

I'm quite far off your aims (200 kg squat, etc), but it's my favourite day today - chest day - so if there's someone about I can trust, I might go for a 1 rep max on the bench press. Hopefully 110 kg.
 
Another to add to your list is Mark Rippetoe; he's funny to listen to as well, if you can cope with his 'sets of fahvs' accent. In his day he was into strength, rather than being a 'preening bodybuilder' and he puts loads of emphasis on the squat and deadlift as the foundation of strength training. His instructional stuff is excellent; for example I thought I knew how to 'military press' until I watched him give a lesson on how to do it.

...my favourite day today - chest day - so if there's someone about I can trust, I might go for a 1 rep max on the bench press. Hopefully 110 kg.
Yea Mark Rippetoe is the bloke who came up with Starting Strength's Novice Linear Progression (my re-introduction to barbells). On the forum I linked, there is almost a 24'000 post thread detailing his considerable shortcomings as over the last two years he has been involved in a lot of drama due to the manner he was interacted and dissociated with previous SSCs, business partners etc (The Barbell Medicine and Barbell Logic crews used to be former employees of his).

As my knowledge and awareness has increased, I would opine that his methods are less than optimal and feel that Alan Thrall's 'Untamed Strength' youtube clips, tutorials etc are much better for techniques on the compound movements.

If your gym has a power or squat rack I'd suggest attempting your bench 1RM in that as you can set the safeties should you miss your attempt :smile:
 
Yea Mark Rippetoe is the bloke who came up with Starting Strength's Novice Linear Progression (my re-introduction to barbells). On the forum I linked, there is almost a 24'000 post thread detailing his considerable shortcomings as over the last two years he has been involved in a lot of drama due to the manner he was interacted and dissociated with previous SSCs, business partners etc (The Barbell Medicine and Barbell Logic crews used to be former employees of his).

As my knowledge and awareness has increased, I would opine that his methods are less than optimal and feel that Alan Thrall's 'Untamed Strength' youtube clips, tutorials etc are much better for techniques on the compound movements.

If your gym has a power or squat rack I'd suggest attempting your bench 1RM in that as you can set the safeties should you miss your attempt :smile:
Cheers; that's useful.

I do set the safety pins when I squat and bench, but don't like going to true failure and having to use them. It's embarrassing having to shuffle out from underneath the bar.

Off to google Alan Thrall...
 
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