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  • please help this wimp...

    Hi all - I have been scrawny my whole life, but I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Then I turned 40 and I started to gain weight. Last November I went out to buy pants and I couldn't believe the size I needed to fit me. Then I started to study low carb diets and eventually landed on MDA, and basically, my life changed. Now I walk everywhere, work in the garden as much as possible, and I've lost most of the pounds that I need to to get back to where I was 5 years ago (now I'm 44). the thing i've ignored in the PB until now is strength training. On monday I decided to start, so I did 3 reps of 10 pushups, 15 squats and 15 seconds of planks. the last time I did any kind of weight lifting or strength training was in high school, so I don't really know where to go from here. I was thinking of following Mark's advice in Primal Blueprint Fitness but doing three days a week of strength training instead of two. Pushing out 15 seconds of planks x 3 was really hard and I'm still hurting from that one so tomorrow I think I'll skip it until I recover. What else should I be doing to turn my scrawny self into a respectable specimen of a human of my age?

  • #2
    If the strength training you do is bodyweight stuff, you will probably be able to do 3x a week. If you decide to do barbell training, at your age, you might struggle with recovery at 3x a week after a while.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #3
      I began natural bodybuilding 37 years ago and have tried different workouts. The ones that had the best effect was short, high intensity training (HIT) doing each body part only once per week. I was 47 and got my bench to 365lb. In my 20s I gained the most muscle in the shortest amount of time doing Ellington Darden's HIT program of doing a full body workout 3 times per week. My training partner had the same effect but we both burned out in about 6 weeks. That said, my bodyweight went from 202 to 216 in that 6-8 week period. My partner gained more, probably because he was taller.
      Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
        ...at your age, you might struggle with recovery at 3x a week after a while.
        "at your age..." That's the first time someone uses that phrase to refer to me! Reality sinks in...

        but yes, I plan to do body weight exercises and just see how it goes.

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        • #5
          Check out "convict conditioning". It's normal body weight training, but it has great progressions to help you get from just starting out to really strong. There are two volumes, you should just get the first one, volume 1 for now.
          Prodistat
          Poke it quickly, with a stick.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by prodistat View Post
            Check out "convict conditioning". It's normal body weight training, but it has great progressions to help you get from just starting out to really strong. There are two volumes, you should just get the first one, volume 1 for now.
            That would be this book, I think:
            Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness--Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength: Paul Wade: 9780938045762: Amazon.com: Books

            I also found the book Pushing the Limits!, by Al Kavadlo:
            http://www.dragondoor.com/b69/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0

            Anyone have an opinion about it?

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            • #7
              Yes that's the correct book. My opinion of Al Kavadlo is, you can not go wrong. He wrote the second Convict Conditioning book. Watch any of his videos on his website and you'll see he is the real deal. No BS!

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              • #8
                All solid posts. It really depends on your goals bro. Your NOT that old. With dedication and most of all consistency you could become a powerful, athletic senior (and therefore wiser) Grok and that is simply Bad-ass.

                Body weight is a solid way to go. Make sure you work the pulls evenly, if not more then you work the push's. Eg. pull-ups, Body weight rows.

                Do you want to get a lot stronger? or just more capable/less soft?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mike View Post
                  "at your age..." That's the first time someone uses that phrase to refer to me! Reality sinks in...

                  but yes, I plan to do body weight exercises and just see how it goes.
                  Well, your age is close to my age and that was my experience and seems to be shared among others in the 40+ demographic. Once the weight gets heavy you just need more time to recover. Not an issue probably with the bodyweight stuff but I don't know about that for sure.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #10
                    I would say try 3 times a week, it can work. If you notice issue with recovery, scale back a bit. You can also consider doing a split type of workout 4 times a week, where you focus on fewer exercises per workout.

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                    • #11
                      If you have time/money/inclination give Crossfit a try. A good Crossfit box will provide excellent strength training along with a newbie-friendly encouraging group to train with.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lockstock View Post
                        Do you want to get a lot stronger? or just more capable/less soft?
                        Just more capable, less soft is my goal for now. It took 3 days to fully recover from Monday's little workout so I guess I have a long way to go!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by quikky View Post
                          I would say try 3 times a week, it can work. If you notice issue with recovery, scale back a bit. You can also consider doing a split type of workout 4 times a week, where you focus on fewer exercises per workout.
                          I'll try both ways and see what works for me. I've been waking up with a lot of energy these days and it seems like I have to burn it or I can't sit in my chair during the day and do my work.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mike View Post
                            Just more capable, less soft is my goal for now. It took 3 days to fully recover from Monday's little workout so I guess I have a long way to go!

                            Well then body weight is what I'd do. And this. Shovelglove: The Sledgehammer Workout
                            It's working out with a sledgehammer, mimicking functional human movements such as shoveling, chopping trees etc. It's a phenomenal workout and can be relatively low impact if you take it easy.

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                            • #15
                              If you are going to stick with bodyweight stuff, I also suggest ross enamait's "never gymless" book and jim bathurst's website beastskills.com.

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