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  1. #1
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Any other 50+'rs lifting weights (i.e. bench press and other)?

    Any other 50+'rs into lifting weights (i.e. bench press and other)?

    I'm curious as to what weights you are lifting, and in discussing routines.

    I have been into "heavy" weights - by that, I mean pushing my muscles to their absolute max, with low repetitions. I have been doing this for many years. I love the challenge and the feeling.

    My max BP a few years back was 225 lbs. I have dropped off to about 185-195 max, but am working on building back up.

    I have about 10-15 different "exercises" which I do, including full body dips, curls, pulls, rows, very slow crunches (including lateral abdominals), pushups, modified overhead press, etc.

    I currently do no weighted squats and no deadlifts.

    Anyone else, or am I the only really strange person around here.

    What are you into?
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-13-06 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    I used free weights for several years. Had to take some time off from lifting after a non-lifting injury. Came back using a Bowflex for most movements. My joints especially like the first few inches of movement that are somewhat "lighter"...overcoming inertia a little easier...before hitting full resistance. I still use free weights for curls, "good morning" back lifts, etc.

    I find working with resistance very relaxing and a good counterpoint to cycling.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Hi. I've been lurking on the 50+ forum for a while and it's time to post something! I'm 51 and work weights every 4 or 5 days. I used to do 3 times a week, but cut back when I started cycling last year. Didn't want to have too much to carry up the hills in the SF Bay Area where I live.

    I alternate between a high rep, sports conditioning routine and a heavier weight routine. (6-8 reps). I believe that alternating workouts is very effective. The sports conditioning routine are exercises that work multiple muscle groups and incorporates cross-body movements to help with coordination. The routine is also very balanced to make sure I'm working all the different muscle groups and not just the "vanity" muscles. I just love it, and the results are great (11% body fat). I don't do any leg work since cycling does more than enough for the legs (I have a little over 2000 miles this year so far).

    I love the complement between cycling and weight work. I also swim for cardio when I need to rest from the bike. Now I need to do some yoga to improve my flexibility!

    I started working out 3 years ago when my wife was pregnant with our son. I was 48 when he was born and I figured I needed to get in shape so I could keep up with him as he got older. Started working out for the first time in my life and now, if I don't do something every day, I get grumpy! Fortunately, I live in a place where I can walk to the gym, can road and mountain bike from the house. Oh and golf too, right out the front door. I'm a lucky dude.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 10-13-06 at 11:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    So there are at least 3 "crazies."

    I started seriously lifting when I was about 50.

    That gives me 17 years or so.

    Tell us a bit more about your "sports conditioning" routine.

  5. #5
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    I use dumbells for arm & shoulder, weight machines for back, chest, and legs, and flexaball exercises for the core especially in the off-season for all round strength. I alternate two routines every 6 wks or so; they were designed with a trainer. Generally heavier weights @ 8-10 reps. However, I have never been muscular and do not look "buff" in the least. Except for my tendency to be pear-shaped (and pie-addicted), I might have a bike racer's shape! But I have never been athletic and have only gotten into fitness in the past few years. I will never be "studly" but I do not want to be a little stoop-shouldered old man.

    Going to the gym relieves cabin fever, too.

    What I plan more of this year is time on the bike trainer. Even the little bit I did last year in late winter seemed to help my beginning-of-bike-season fitness.

    BTW, I'm building a "man cave" in the basement. It will be primarily a music room (audiophilia is another hobby) but it will be a good home for the bike trainer too. Some motivational music, maestro!
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  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I lift dumbells at work (oops, that didn't sound quite right, since I run an 11-man department ), and I use the Cybex machines at the YMCA. My objective is to maintain what little upper body bone and muscle strength and mass I have. Although I have added a bit of muscle around the shoulders, I have never been able to build much muscle bulk, so I am no threat to California's "Governator." My other major exercise activities, cycling and running/jogging/walking/hiking, give the legs, heart, and lungs a good workout, but neglect the rest.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I lift or use machines during the winter about three times a week. I prefer the free weights, but every now and then I go to the gym at the college I work at. I never lift heavy weights. I'm interested in toning muscles and providing resistance training to keep bones strong. I tend to work on upper body muscles. Myt legs are generally in good shape because I bike, walk, hike, a telemark in the winter. Three times a week is plenty for someone who is 59. Sometimes I only lift twice a week. I enjoy it. It feels good and I always sleep well after I work out. In winter, I follow my lifting with jumping rope to get in some cardiovascular training. I like that too.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member RDW3261's Avatar
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    I lift 2 to 3 times a week. I do not lift max, more into reps. I do bench press, curlls and leg lifts. Since starting 6 months ago I feel my knee has strenthen and no longer have any pain in it. I use to run half marathons and had to give up jogging 6 months ago because of the knee. the curlls seem to help my wrist. I was getting pain in my wrists on long bike rides.

  9. #9
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    I started doing some workouts with weights last winter, it was all upper body using barbells but I incorporate an excersize ball and a resistance band into the routine. I want to do more this winter, increase the weight and do more legs, core, etc.. & will start soon.
    Mind you 30 miles up the road is Buffalo NY and they have about 18" of snow on the ground, so I guess winter is here!

  10. #10
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    between Apr & Nov, I do maybe 1 day, Nov to Mar I do 3-4 days, dependin on the amount of ridin

    I stay away from free weights at the gym, since I usually try to do 2 circuits of the Nautilus machines. The machines seem to help me by supporting the back well, a must for me. I'm not into standin around much, which seems the norm. People do seem to get a workout, but also socialize there a lot - not my thing.
    And I have no patience to trade spotting.
    Usually I do 35-40 min. warmup on the Lifecycle, try to get about 20 miles per the readout. Then stretching on the mats.
    Then the nautilus machines, going from core to upper body to legs, doing 2 sets each, weights set to allow 12-15 reps to completion.
    Then sauna for 12-15 min. - total about 90 min.
    Usually go thru 3 towels, one for the lifecycle, one for the circuits and one for the shower. I tend to perspire a bunch, itz rare when I'm not dripping and the clothes aren't completely soaked. Prolly a good reason why 'social' doesn't happen no biggie...

  11. #11
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Two or three days a week, I raise a few concerns, and lower some expectations. That's about it. Oh yeah, and I do some resistance to change.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  12. #12
    Semper Fidelis
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    been lifting for about 10 years. during the winter it is four days a week, with rides on the week-end depending on weather conditions.

    Summer time I slack off on the weights, only 2 days a week and four days ride time.
    My max on the bench {ex.** was 310#, leg presses 900#. i have dropped the amount of weight by 1/4 and do more reps.
    The two main reasons were to much bulk produced slower rides, and a draggin azz up hills.

    I use to do lunges and squats @ least once a week but @ 54.5 yrs of age it would produce to many problems. so it is leg presses, and leg extensions.
    i alternate every other week between bar-bells and dumb-bells including press {Smith** machines
    EX. of my workouts.

    Chest. all movments 3-4 sets of 15 reps.

    Flat
    incline
    decline
    cables
    chest press
    fly's flat and incline


    legs

    calves sitting
    leg extensions
    hamstrings
    leg presses sitting and smith Machine lieing leg presses on your back to help build your glutes
    tibia
    calves again standing

    shoulders and back
    military press
    lats
    back extensions
    rows front and back
    dead lift
    cables
    dumb bell rows

    Arms
    tris and bicepts on the same day
    curls dumb-bells and barbell
    cables
    press-downs
    close grip press
    dips helps with tricepts and shoulders

    The lifting defiantly helps with riding and the strength for harder and faster rides, but I bulk up pretty fast.
    This winter I plan on dropping another 1/4 # on all areas and do more of higher repitition counts.
    right now I am @ 181 and I am 5'10". I want to get back to about 175 #
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  13. #13
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    I have been lifting weights somewhat regularly for the past 30 years. I have moved away from power lifting or max weight and now do no more weight than I can handle for three sets of fifteen reps. I keep the weight at a level that makes the last 3 or 4 reps of the last set extremely difficult to do with proper form. When I have done 3 sets of 15 easily and correctly for 2 sessions in a row, I will move the weight up starting with next session so that, on the 3rd set, I can only manage 12 reps - even with cheating and bad form.

    I am not concerned with how I look in the mirror of how much weight I can move with one grunt. My goal is to reach and maintain peak strength in the long term. This means that the weight on the bar will go up and down as my body reacts to other stresses over time.

    I lift 2 days one week and 3 days the next... always with at least one rest day between sessions. I will often take up to a 35 mile, low intensity bike ride on a rest day. Before my recent surgery I was rotating between two workouts as follows:

    Day A
    Seated leg curl (machine)
    Seated row (machine)
    Seated press (military)
    Dumbell curl
    Cable pushdown (straight bar)
    Seated leg extension (machine)
    Seated lumbar extension (machine)
    Dumbell bench press (alternate between flat, incline and decline)
    T-bar row

    Day B
    Leg press (machine)
    Seated lat pulldown
    Pec-flys (machine)
    Rear delts (same machine pulling the other direction)
    Bicep curl (machine)
    Cable pulldown (rope)
    Barbell bench press (alternate between flat and decline)
    Dumbell bent over row (kneel on bench)
    Standing dumbell lateral raise

    Immediately before and after these sessions, I do a 30 minute cardio workout... treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike of ride my bike to the gym.

    Every three months or so, I will exchange these exercises for something similar that works the same muscle groups. That keeps me from getting bored and works the muscles from slightly different angles.

    I stopped working with weights a week prior to my surgery and my Doctor says I can resume as I see fit after my follow up appointment on the 19th. The plan is to reduce the weight by 20% from the last session and do 3 sets of 6-8 reps... if I can do it without pain. When I can do that for two consecutive sessions, I will slowly work up to my pre-surgery level.

  14. #14
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Hey Dnvr!

    You're waaaay ahead of me as far as lifting goes. I do it primarily to increase trunk and leg strength and overall muscle tone. It helps a lot with cycling. We do 13 different exercises, and very the muscle groups. I try to each individual exercise twice a week along with the usual isometric stuff and fitness ball routines.

    Steve

  15. #15
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    for the past 14 years I have sat in a room full of very expensive weight machines and free weights. I hardly ever touch them.

  16. #16
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    I used to lift heavy weights also, however, in the past year I had rotator cuff surgery in both shoulders for massive tears (to use the surgeon's phrase). I now incorporate lighter weight training (12-15 reps) once or twice a week. I like to do triathlons, marathons and ultracycling events so I view big muscles as just extra weight I've got to carry...Frankp

  17. #17
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Tell us a bit more about your "sports conditioning" routine.
    It's great to hear about all us 50+ working out. Sure beats sitting in front of the TV!

    Some of the exercises in the "sports conditioning" include:

    - Squat & press with a medicine ball between the knees, 15 reps. I usually do it with 25lb barbells in each hand. Good all around exercise. Holding the medicine ball with the knees help strengthen the IT band.
    - pushups on the ball instead of the floor.
    - Woodman's Chop - it's like the squat & press, but I move my hands with the barbells across the body.
    - Pushup with "iron cross". On the floor with 15lb barbells in each hand, do a pushup, then turn body and lift one hand up towards the ceiling. It's hard, but I like it.

    There are other exercises, but kinda hard to explain in words. The gist is to work multiple groups, high reps, focus on coordination & balance. It's good for toning and general conditioning.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 10-13-06 at 02:53 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    I've been trying to figure out a good mix between working out and riding. This info helps me.

    At 57, I got back on a real bike after a 20+ year layoff. In between, I played a lot of basketball, ran and did some light weights. I hurt a knee, had surgery and since then have been really diligent about working my quads and hams.

    Right now, I hit the gym Mon and Wed at lunch most weeks. After warming up on the bball court with shooting and such, I do 3 or 4 of the ab machines to keep my core strong. 3 sets of curls at 60 lbs, 70 and then 80 or 90. Leg extensions with 90 or 100 pounds per leg on Monday, but I quit doing those on Wed since I've been riding. Squat machine with 12 to 15 reps at 230 on Monday, less weight on Wed. Bench press with a woosy amount I won't mention, but one set of 8 to 12. Dips. Tricep extensions with 70 lbs. Ham curls with 90 lbs on Mon, not on Wed. Situps or crunchs.

    Tues AM, ride 16 miles. Thus AM, repeat. Sat AM, ride long. Friday, bball at noon 2 or 3 times a month, but then I always have a meeting the 2d Fri of each month, so that's the week I try to work my long ride on Sat up.

    I don't want to give up the other stuff, but it is hard to get really good miles in without giving it up.

  19. #19
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67walkon
    I don't want to give up the other stuff, but it is hard to get really good miles in without giving it up.
    Yes, that is a balance we all must strike.

    It helps because I have a pretty complete gym in my basement, so I don't have to go anywhere else. However, I do utilize a gym at times, because they have some exercises i can't do well easily at home.

    It is really interesting seeing the various viewpoints and routines - some folks even advocating for some over others.

    I guess, given the lack of most ANY exercise in the general population, that any of our routines puts us a bit ahead of the rest of the 50+'rs.

    One thing I would NOT recommend is for someone who has not done weightlifting or whatever for some time is to start out "heavy." It takes a good long time to build up and strengthen tendons and ligaments so that they are not injured by heavy lifting. Even light lifting can be harmful if you strain.

    At this point in my life, my body is so accustomed to pretty intense lifting that I have a hard time even getting a "buzz" feeling out of my routines! Absolutely no soreness any more, even after maxing out.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-13-06 at 02:54 PM.

  20. #20
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Two or three days a week, I raise a few concerns, and lower some expectations. That's about it. Oh yeah, and I do some resistance to change.
    And I thought you were going to buy some exercise machine at a garage sale or Craigslist? Whatever happend to that?

  21. #21
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
    It's great to hear about all us 50+ working out. Sure beats sitting in front of the TV!

    Some of the exercises in the "sports conditioning" include:

    - Squat & press with a medicine ball between the knees, 15 reps. I usually do it with 25lb barbells in each hand. Good all around exercise. Holding the medicine ball with the knees help strengthen the IT band.
    - pushups on the ball instead of the floor.
    - Woodman's Chop - it's like the squat & press, but I move my hands with the barbells across the body.
    - Pushup with "iron cross". On the floor with 15lb barbells in each hand, do a pushup, then turn body and lift one hand up towards the ceiling. It's hard, but I like it.

    There are other exercises, but kinda hard to explain in words. The gist is to work multiple groups, high reps, focus on coordination & balance. It's good for toning and general conditioning.
    Thanks for the additional info.

  22. #22
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackb
    Three times a week is plenty for someone who is 59. Sometimes I only lift twice a week. I enjoy it. It feels good and I always sleep well after I work out. In winter, I follow my lifting with jumping rope to get in some cardiovascular training. I like that too.
    I'm sort of curious. What does being 59 have to do with the frequency of your workouts? Everythig I read says we need to do MORE as we get older.

    Thanks for an explanation.

  23. #23
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=SesameCrunch]It's great to hear about all us 50+ working out. Sure beats sitting in front of the TV! [QUOTE]

    Hey, that's where I do my resistance training, in front of the TV. I pretty much think it's a waste of time to be in front of the TV and only watching. So, when I watch, I do something else too. Concerning weights, I use two basic routine series. In the winter I do a session every other day that includes all larger muscle groups. I only do one set of reps designed to fatigue me between 8 and 12 reps. The rest of the year I do a twice a week routine that works the same muscle groups, but target lighter weights for which I can do 15 to 20 reps.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  24. #24
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    I do a very low weight, low rep routine, all upper body. Mostly Nautilus type machines. Goal is to maintain upper body strength without bulking up and have some alternate exercise to cycling. During the winter I tried to do this 2x / week, in cycling season 1x / week, in actual fact I didn't even meet those targets for frequency.

  25. #25
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    I'm glad and even a little surprised to hear that so many
    of you folks are lifting.

    I'm 58 and have been lifting & riding for about 20 years.
    My overall goal is just to stay in shape to keep having fun
    (i.e. riding) for as long as I can.

    I think riding & lifting complement each other well to stay
    fit. I will ride 4 days a week & lift 3 in warm weather.
    I don't like riding in cold weather or on a stationary, so I will run
    some in winter. My running is limited more every year by
    the wear & tear on the joints.

    My lifting is mostly on Nautilus type machines as those seem
    easier on my joints, which tend to cause me problems. I tend
    to do different machines on different days, largely based on
    whichever machine I can get without waiting.

    I concentrate more on the upper body. My usual routine for the arms is 2 sets
    of 10-12 reps, varying the weight to be completely burned at about
    10 reps on the 2nd set. I do a single sets of 12 reps on leg
    machines.

    If I am getting bored with the routine or it just doesn't seem
    to be 'working', I will do a few sets of high weight/low reps or
    vice-versa.

    Keep smiling, it makes them wonder what you are up to.

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