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  1. #1
    texas.grok's Avatar
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    Need help from the gym rats

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    Ok all you testosterone filled gym rats, I need some advice. (Advice from non-testosterone filled female gym rats also welcome).

    As some background, I'm 58 years old, in fair physical condition with the exception of both knees have had multiple surgeries (ACL tears, etc). Strength training has not been my long suit with the exception of using my TRX and doing some basic body weight exercises. I have no medical problems beyond my knees which ache and pop but otherwise get me around pretty good.

    I'm heading home in a week (to the USA from Egypt) and have a 4 week opportunity to get myself into a gym routine that I can maintain once I back to Egypt (Hotel here has a gym with basic machines and a Smith machine, very few free weights beyond dumbbells).

    After my 4 weeks vacation, I'll be going to Texas A&M for 3 weeks of fire school (yea, I know, fire school, 58 years old, seemed like a good idea at the time).

    I will have full gym access while home (free weights, etc) along with a 17 year old son who power lifts and is willing to help coach me.

    So my request is, help me design a 4 week starter program to work on at home that:

    a) Won't kill me or permanently disable me (very important)
    b) Will give me the most bang for my buck in the gym during these 4 weeks
    c) And I can maintain once back in Egypt using mainly machines and dumbbells

    Now some is going likely going to say the whole body weight exercise only thing, just don't start with me!

    I'm looking for gains that I likely can't get with bodyweight exercises only but I can maintain short-term with bodyweight exercises if a gym is not available. Besides, when I'm in Egypt the only thing to do around here is to play golf (and I suck at golf, better off flushing my money), drink (not conducive to my goals) or hit the gym.

    Thanks for any and all input!
    Randal
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    OldSchhool's Avatar
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    Any muscle you can build( which will be tough at 58......sorry buddy ) will be acquired according to demands imposed placed upon them greater than they are at present....thus the need for adaptation. Once those demands diminish due to going back to bodyweight exercises the need will no longer be there for such muscular size and they will slowly revert back to what is needed to perform your present workout.

    Regarding the routine it is how you perform the exercises that is most important. You can pick a routine consisting of some awesome exercises but if you perform them poorly then your gains will be nil and the chance of injury will be high.

    Have a read of this article as I think it clearly explains how to lift weights for optimal gains.....Yeah you would think this is obvious but from what I see in the gym it clearly isn't !

    How To Correctly Use A Barbell, And How NOT To | High Intensity Training by Drew Baye

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    Ok all you testosterone filled gym rats, I need some advice. (Advice from non-testosterone filled female gym rats also welcome).

    As some background, I'm 58 years old, in fair physical condition with the exception of both knees have had multiple surgeries (ACL tears, etc). Strength training has not been my long suit with the exception of using my TRX and doing some basic body weight exercises. I have no medical problems beyond my knees which ache and pop but otherwise get me around pretty good.

    I'm heading home in a week (to the USA from Egypt) and have a 4 week opportunity to get myself into a gym routine that I can maintain once I back to Egypt (Hotel here has a gym with basic machines and a Smith machine, very few free weights beyond dumbbells).

    After my 4 weeks vacation, I'll be going to Texas A&M for 3 weeks of fire school (yea, I know, fire school, 58 years old, seemed like a good idea at the time).

    I will have full gym access while home (free weights, etc) along with a 17 year old son who power lifts and is willing to help coach me.

    So my request is, help me design a 4 week starter program to work on at home that:

    a) Won't kill me or permanently disable me (very important)
    b) Will give me the most bang for my buck in the gym during these 4 weeks
    c) And I can maintain once back in Egypt using mainly machines and dumbbells

    Now some is going likely going to say the whole body weight exercise only thing, just don't start with me!

    I'm looking for gains that I likely can't get with bodyweight exercises only but I can maintain short-term with bodyweight exercises if a gym is not available. Besides, when I'm in Egypt the only thing to do around here is to play golf (and I suck at golf, better off flushing my money), drink (not conducive to my goals) or hit the gym.

    Thanks for any and all input!
    There's no barbells? Find a different gym.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    Iron Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    Ok all you testosterone filled gym rats, I need some advice. (Advice from non-testosterone filled female gym rats also welcome).

    As some background, I'm 58 years old, in fair physical condition with the exception of both knees have had multiple surgeries (ACL tears, etc). Strength training has not been my long suit with the exception of using my TRX and doing some basic body weight exercises. I have no medical problems beyond my knees which ache and pop but otherwise get me around pretty good.

    I'm heading home in a week (to the USA from Egypt) and have a 4 week opportunity to get myself into a gym routine that I can maintain once I back to Egypt (Hotel here has a gym with basic machines and a Smith machine, very few free weights beyond dumbbells).

    After my 4 weeks vacation, I'll be going to Texas A&M for 3 weeks of fire school (yea, I know, fire school, 58 years old, seemed like a good idea at the time).

    I will have full gym access while home (free weights, etc) along with a 17 year old son who power lifts and is willing to help coach me.

    So my request is, help me design a 4 week starter program to work on at home that:

    a) Won't kill me or permanently disable me (very important)
    b) Will give me the most bang for my buck in the gym during these 4 weeks
    c) And I can maintain once back in Egypt using mainly machines and dumbbells

    Now some is going likely going to say the whole body weight exercise only thing, just don't start with me!

    I'm looking for gains that I likely can't get with bodyweight exercises only but I can maintain short-term with bodyweight exercises if a gym is not available. Besides, when I'm in Egypt the only thing to do around here is to play golf (and I suck at golf, better off flushing my money), drink (not conducive to my goals) or hit the gym.

    Thanks for any and all input!
    What kind of a program are you looking for? Upper lower split? Full body? 3 day? Conjugate? How heavy do the dumb bells go? Heavy enough to use 1 or will you need to use 2?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    After my 4 weeks vacation, I'll be going to Texas A&M for 3 weeks of fire school (yea, I know, fire school, 58 years old, seemed like a good idea at the time).
    Hey, you'll be in my neck of the woods, then. Let me know if you need help with anything. I've driven by that fire school a few times, and it looks pretty extensive. At the beginning of each fall semester, we always have freshmen going on Facebook to say, "Guys, be careful. There's a lot of smoke to the west of town, so it could be a big fire!" They figure out what it is sooner or later .

    I'd say do the best routine based on what you have at the time. If you're able to use barbells, definitely emphasize them. So that would be squats, deadlifts, overhead and bench presses, and then maybe some pullups and rows. I don't know what the situation is like in Egypt, but try to find a gym there with barbells. They are definitely the best bang for your buck when exercising.

    If you can't find a gym like that, I guess you'll need to stick to bodyweight stuff and some dumbbell exercises.
    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

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    Why not do one of those bodyweight things people recommend like convict conditioning or you are your own gym? And when you are home with the barbells, do starting strength or stronglifts for as long as you are home. You won't get hurt. Just don't do it 3x a week at your age. 2x will be enough.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    texas.grok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    There's no barbells? Find a different gym.
    I'm in the desert in Egypt. The gym at the hotel here is the only one I have available with in a 2 hours drive. While larger than most hotel gyms, it is still a hotel gym.
    Randal
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    texas.grok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    What kind of a program are you looking for? Upper lower split? Full body? 3 day? Conjugate? How heavy do the dumb bells go? Heavy enough to use 1 or will you need to use 2?
    Um, I guess my complete lack of weight lifting terms is showing here but I have no idea what a upper lower split is or conjugate. As to the dumbbells weight, the heaviest I saw was 22.5 kilos, or 50 lbs. At this point, I would say that one would be plenty.
    Randal
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
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    texas.grok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchhool View Post
    Any muscle you can build( which will be tough at 58......sorry buddy ) will be acquired according to demands imposed placed upon them greater than they are at present....thus the need for adaptation. Once those demands diminish due to going back to bodyweight exercises the need will no longer be there for such muscular size and they will slowly revert back to what is needed to perform your present workout.

    Regarding the routine it is how you perform the exercises that is most important. You can pick a routine consisting of some awesome exercises but if you perform them poorly then your gains will be nil and the chance of injury will be high.

    Have a read of this article as I think it clearly explains how to lift weights for optimal gains.....Yeah you would think this is obvious but from what I see in the gym it clearly isn't !

    How To Correctly Use A Barbell, And How NOT To | High Intensity Training by Drew Baye
    What do you mean tough at 58???? I'm a full believer in that saying, "your only as old as the woman you feel", what, that's not right...

    Thanks for the link and thoughts. I'm planning on staying with the gym once I get back to Egypt. The almost total lack of barbells is something I'll have to work around. Once we get ready for our site fire department building, I'll be planning out a department gym and will have to find a source for free weights here in Egypt. They have to have them someplace in Cairo, it is just a matter of digging deep enough there to find them.

    While I'll have some type of gym available to me either here in Egypt or while in the US, when I do travel (not much but several times a year), I'll be stuck with either bodyweight exercises or the hotel gyms and I have yet to see a hotel gym with much more than a few machines, treadmills and exercise bikes.
    Randal
    AKA: Texas Grok

    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
    http://hardcoremind.com/

  10. #10
    Iron Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    Um, I guess my complete lack of weight lifting terms is showing here but I have no idea what a upper lower split is or conjugate. As to the dumbbells weight, the heaviest I saw was 22.5 kilos, or 50 lbs. At this point, I would say that one would be plenty.
    Thanks for the reply. Depending on your goals I can suggest different programs for you but one style that I typically put my MMA guys through are conditioning weighted circuits. They're challenging, use weights and will increase your strength and your anaerobic ability.

    The main goal is to work the whole body and move through the circuits as quickly as possible with little to no rest between exercises.

    Because I've never seen how you move I can't give you any specific exercises for any imbalances that you most likely have (everyone does) so this program would is going to be pretty generic.

    So there are 4 exercises for each circuit and I'll give you two different circuits to work on. Do each circuit in the order I've written as there is a reason for the order. Run through each circuit doing each exercise back to back (Number 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 for 1st set then repeat for 2nd set) for reps of 12 and do each circuit 5 times. I'm going to make these fairly easy because I don't know your power level

    You may need to good the movement to know what it is
    Circuit 1.

    1. Goblet squat
    2. Hanging knee raises or roman chair
    3. Floor press elbows close to the body and palms facing each other
    4. Skipping (150 times)

    Circuit 2.

    Dumb bell snatch (12 each side)
    Single leg dead lift (12 each side)
    Renegade row (12 on each side)
    Skipping (150 times)

    Use a weight you would be comfortable with. I would recommend going lighter than heavier at first because his is going to be quite challenging. If you don't have a skipping rope, do jumping jacks for the same volume. A good way to know when it's time to switch things up is when your actually using the skipping as your cool down. That should be your goal.

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