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Old 03-14-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
Bigbri
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Default 41 years old and looking to better myself

Hello everyone.

This is my first time posting but I have been lurking on this excellent site for about a month now. I appreciate all of the advice that you may give me.

So, here I am, 41 years old and I have decided that, before I die I want to become strong. I'd like to look myself in the mirror and say that I was able to accomplish some of the things that I have admired powerlifters for. I'm not looking to get to a 1,000 lb deadlift or anything but I would like to reach a 300+ ib bench press, 500+ lb squat and 500+ lb deadlift.

My background: I played football in high school (fullback). I'm in the Navy, 2 years from retirement. I have lifted on and off all of my life. I'm 6' tall and weigh 235-245 lbs.

I have been using the Stronglifts 5x5 program but from what I have read on these forums, this may not be the best program for a not-quite-beginner. My current 1RMs are 205 lb bench, 320 lb squat and 350 lb deadlift.

Is there a program that might fit my experience level and goals?

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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I used stronglifts when i first started out and then again when i made my comeback, it worked well. If you are making gains then I'd stick with it then progress on to 3x5 when you stall.
The madcow 5x5 intermediate program worked well for me too, similar to stronglifts but ramping sets rather then straight sets and you make weekly increases rather than each session.
531 is quite popular but it didn't work for me and therefore i don't like it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:14 PM   #3
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I wish you all the best on your journey Bigbri. It can most definitely be done, as I just turned 50 and I fairly recently got my 500 deadlift, and I am very, very close to a 300 bench and also very close to a 500 squat, all with good form.

My bets advice is to take care of your diet and health first, and all the lifting will fall into place with hard work and study and learn the form. Form is more crucial for older lifters because our bodies aren't quite a s durable as they once were. I am just as proud of my form at a meet as I am the numbers.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:35 PM   #4
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madcow 5x5 worked well for me, too.

As Squatter says, all the other variables are just as critical.

give your self plenty of time.
you can add an average of 20-50 lbs/year to your lifts and you'll be there in 5 years.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:18 PM   #5
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There are no magical programs. Lift heavy on all three lifts with support lifts on each. Lift to or almost to failure. If you think you're gassed, do a couple more sets with less weight to keep form. Keeping proper form is necessary to prevent injury. Eat good and sleep good and you will get gains. Oh, did I mention proper form? Make sure you have someone that really knows, show you proper form.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:45 PM   #6
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Those are realistic numbers. Lots of programs can help you get to those goals.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:45 PM   #7
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Just pick a program and beat it to death. Couple that with good and rest and you'll hit those numbers
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:50 AM   #8
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I'm a very similar age, haven't been lifting long at all (not even 2 years yet), with no history of resistance training or even sports previously, and I'm aiming for around 400/300/500 this year. Should get there, by the looks of it so far. Not sure how much longer a 500lb squat might take, but it's a start...

While I'm no expert - obviously! - what I have discovered is that diet is absolutely #1. Beyond that, make sure your recovery doesn't suck too badly, and if your routine includes the big lifts - it shouldn't matter too much what kind of programming it has.

ANy of them will work, if you give them your all (without driving yourself into the ground, of course).

As BtB says (more or less), there are no magical routines.


edit: I'm 100% "natty", and always will be. Some guys on here are definitely not, and I'm not sure where you stand on that (not fussed either way, btw). Regardless, some factors might shift this way or that, accordingly. Naturally.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:27 AM   #9
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Welcome to MAB Bigbri ... You are already having some good numbers and very very realistic goals. Whatever program you choose, make sure you do it whole heartedly ... keep rocking ...
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #10
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Welcome, and good luck with your goals! It's great to have you here! We are of similar strengths.

I don't see why 5 x 5 wouldn't benefit you? Sure it is great for beginners but the basics are good for everybody. No need to get fancy! You're already stronger than most of the population, and I wouldn't use numbers as your goal. We all know once you hit those you won't stop, cause that'd be silly to work and grind for years to stop because you hit a number!

Enjoy it, set smaller goals like I want to bench 250 in 2 months, and then keep doing that IMO. None of us will hit a lbs goal and then be happy with it. You'll hit a 500lbs dead and realise you are capable of more, are you going to stop yourself? Just my $0.02.

Lift heavy but not too heavy to compromise your form, eat big and eat well! Good luck dude, i'll be following!
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