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Gonna hit the iron at 50+

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Gonna hit the iron at 50+

Old 08-08-20, 11:46 AM
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Hondo Gravel
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Gonna hit the iron at 50+

Setting up my gym today after a 4 years off the weights. Blew out my guts at 48 and had some mesh installed to hold in my intestines . The bikes are keeping me in great aerobic shape but not doing too much for muscle. This time Iím approaching weight training differently, no powerlifting stuff and this time I donít care about numbers. More into burning off unwanted flab and develop muscular endurance. Build up some muscle to keep from developing that skinny fat syndrome that plagues older endurance folks. Strength will increase by default but Iím not pushing it too far.
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Old 08-08-20, 01:14 PM
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Cool story!
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Old 08-08-20, 02:52 PM
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Cool indeed but the hernia part was a bummer. I miss weight training so I’m going to train again but I’m still riding my bikes.
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Old 08-08-20, 03:19 PM
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Compared to my youth, I go super easy with dumbbells, sit ups, pushups, etc. The heaviest dumbbells I have now are 25 lbs. each, so repetition is what I go after.

I really do it so I have strength to wrench on machines at work. When I don't do my basic exercises and bike riding, my job is actually harder to do. The trouble is, when I have super busy days I don't have the energy to exercise. Which becomes a fast downward spiral for me at 55.
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Old 08-08-20, 03:58 PM
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At 82 y.o. I still do a bit of work with weights but I'm only interested in maintanence. I do a good bit of stretching also too maintain mobility. For some months now I've been cutting way back on sugar. Sugar has no or very little food value. No booze or beer and fat has been melting off by about 1/2+ pounds per week and I eat as much as I wish to. I'm now just below my high school weight. I think your regimen and attitude is just right.
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Old 08-08-20, 04:00 PM
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Being from a ranch and farm in my former life there was no need to workout because like you said it takes all your energy. I loved making my soft cousins cry when we did some farm work with the encouragement of their parents. Dumbbells I’m going to use for many exercises and no red face lifting but enough resistance to feel worked out but not decimated. Not ending up in hospital with triple hernia I know I had two small tears and just thought it was fat from aging then I ripped open the other side bad. I’m like then confirmed by the doc. With getting older ya gotta work those muscles.. here is my gym build so far very basic old school stuff.



The cage is great for safety so if I get too ambitious I will live to cry over a bruised ego LOL


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Old 08-08-20, 04:08 PM
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We have a dedicated workout room - bike, weight machine, water rower, treadmill, yoga mat, and some miscellaneous stuff. Even a big ass TV. Doesn’t get used near enough. Hoping you can motivate me.
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Old 08-08-20, 09:28 PM
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Is that used gear? I looked around and new stuff is crazy expensive. I wound up getting some cheap dumbbells off Amazon, but they're a PITA. Whatever we get, look like we might have a couple years to amortize it before we can get back into a gym safely. Nice simple rack and bench you've got.
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Old 08-08-20, 10:02 PM
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It was new a few years ago but today it is very used. Just bought stuff and after awhile it accumulates into a gym. Very basic free weights, nothing fancy. Not cheap but not expensive but I have seen crazy priced equipment. Chuck Taylor shoes instead of expensive weight lifting shoes and crummy old t shirts made of cotton so if you do squats the bar bell won’t slide off your back. I just crank up my favorite hard rock or metal music and keep cold water near by. I use a cheap clipboard and typing paper to plan the workout and check it off as I go. Of course a fan since it is hot in the garage. Starting on Monday so in the meantime I’m trying to find a workout that is healthy for a 52 1/2 year old that isn’t too sissy but won’t kill me No 20 something red faced until you puke workout.
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Old 08-09-20, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
..................... Starting on Monday so in the meantime Iím trying to find a workout that is healthy for a 52 1/2 year old that isnít too sissy but wonít kill me No 20 something red faced until you puke workout.
LOOKING GOOD so far. Your determination is definitely inspiring BUT not enough for this 70yo who wouldn't mind being 52 1/2.
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Old 08-09-20, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Being from a ranch and farm in my former life there was no need to workout because like you said it takes all your energy. I loved making my soft cousins cry when we did some farm work with the encouragement of their parents.
I currently farm, but still need to stretch and do the core exercises. Last year I completed the Trans Am Bike Race in 28 days. Now I'm thinking of trying it again in a couple years. I'm thinking additional strength training will be key if I hope to finish faster than last time. Thanks for your post, as I'm looking for tips that will apply to those of us 60+.
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Old 08-09-20, 12:56 PM
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I'm now 68 and have noticed my upper body strength is not what it was. I've never lifted weights even during my football and wrestling days, but I was pretty strong. I bought a rower on Craigslist a few months back. Just a half hour on the rower is all I need, drenched in sweat, legs are like jelly and my chest and arms are firming up. Wife is noticing my guns.I finish the workout by reversing my hands and doing curls, it's great . Cycling has never taken weight off me but I've been losing a lb a week since I've been rowing. Ride one day, row the next.
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Old 08-09-20, 02:14 PM
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Yup I can ride hundreds of miles and I don’t lose any weight. Doc wants me to drop 15 which is about right. Too much scientific evidence proving that weight training is the key. Added to cycling it should be good. I’m lucky I put on muscle fast so I’m motivated to get back into the Iron. Dusting off the equipment has been an adventure FRIKIN mud daubers. Now to not let the ego take over and hurt myself.
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Old 08-09-20, 04:35 PM
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Got the gym ready. No thrills all old fashion and basic.


Ventilation system state of the art LOL



Basic as it gets no distractions just have to put in the work.
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Old 08-09-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Got the gym ready. No thrills all old fashion and basic.


Ventilation system state of the art LOL



Basic as it gets no distractions just have to put in the work.
You da man, Hondo!!!
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Old 08-09-20, 05:29 PM
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Not sure I understand the term "old school" when addressing your setup. Looks very similar to the gym I go to, well, used to go to, and hope to again when it opens.

Unfortunately the weights I use at home are old and not as nice as what you have. They slip on to a thin bar rated for 150 pounds, and the collars are held in place with set screws. The largest size plate is 10 pounds! Gotta stack a lotta of them on the bar to get anything remotely resembling resistance. Anyway, I hope to get a bar and plates like I see in your pictures. Gonna have to wait until manufacturing starts up again.

In the meantime I like what you have in your garage. Nice set up.
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Old 08-09-20, 06:06 PM
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Thanks. Took a few years slowly adding equipment until I had enough to do all the meat and potato lifts. At my age now I wish I had some cables for rows and pull downs stuff like that. I was wondering about concurrently training with weights then on the bikes but I don’t ride for any competitions or events. Cycling for exercise and escape from the covid world we have to live in. I get my daily dose of news then I don’t want to hear it the rest of the day. Make myself a lab rat and see what happens. I got a good supply of ibuprofen
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Old 08-10-20, 09:35 AM
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I found the same thing. Over the winter I started using a tactical strength program by Stewart Smith. It is the same stuff they use in the military, but I scaled it way back so I could complete it. For example, I do negative chinrups instead of weighted pull-ups. It really hits all the muscle groups and relies on way less equipment. It also blends cardio with strength. Same result, fat loss and actually a bit faster on the bike.

My son is an olympic lifter and he is my trainer. A good weightlifting coach will have you so focused on technique they won't let you lift anything before your form is good. I deadlift now with a bad back and I thought I would never do that. If you can't get a trainer, there are plenty of videos out there that show you the right way to lift.
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Old 08-10-20, 12:48 PM
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First workout completed I’m fully humiliated and demoralized and my ego is bruised I pouted about 5 minutes then it turned into anger which now has turned into motivation Don’t let anybody tell you dumbbell squats are sissy! my best lift the bench press which sucked and told me you have a lot of work to do! DB rows and the curls for gurls are good. Next workout will be shoulder press and deadlifting with some lat work. Workout A was today workout B next. I would love to do chins and pull-ups but my surgically repairs hands don’t allow it. Everything else I can manage. Lessons learned. 1. You are starting from scratch again so don’t get discouraged. 2. Take the BP meds after the workout . 3. DONT OVER DO IT.
I re-racked the weights because no one can see how weak I am. Now I’m started to get angry again and that is good!

Last edited by Hondo Gravel; 08-10-20 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Aaaaaaaaw!
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Old 08-12-20, 10:51 AM
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My CNS needs a jump start light weight deadlifts in the higher rep range felt good. Bike ride or hike to get the blood flowing will be good. Got some blood on my shin so I’m doing it right or I need to sand down the rough spot on the bar. Anyways sore but feels great being back on the weights

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Old 08-12-20, 11:03 AM
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I miss lifting. I can only do it in a very limited manner as my aorta is aneurysmal (stretched out). My cardiologist thinks it is likely from the competitive powerlifting I used to do.

At this point I'm just doing australian pullups and pushups. I bought a leg extension/leg curl machine but it's hard to be motivated to use it. I used to be pretty ok at squats/deadlifts.
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Old 08-12-20, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylander View Post
I miss lifting. I can only do it in a very limited manner as my aorta is aneurysmal (stretched out). My cardiologist thinks it is likely from the competitive powerlifting I used to do.

At this point I'm just doing australian pullups and pushups. I bought a leg extension/leg curl machine but it's hard to be motivated to use it. I used to be pretty ok at squats/deadlifts.
Doc told me no red face lifting at my age. Getting over the fear of injury is an obstacle so when something donít feel right Iím stopping that movement. Iím not keen on back squatting with weight on my back mostly because I workout alone and my form could be off. Deadlift Iím confident since I can simple drop the weight if it goes wrong plus Iím not going crazy heavy for my ability. The dumbbell squat I underestimated it wasnít that easy and the next day it hit the muscles it was design to. Is there anything medicine can do to repair an aneurysmal aorta?
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Old 08-12-20, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Doc told me no red face lifting at my age. Getting over the fear of injury is an obstacle so when something donít feel right Iím stopping that movement. Iím not keen on back squatting with weight on my back mostly because I workout alone and my form could be off. Deadlift Iím confident since I can simple drop the weight if it goes wrong plus Iím not going crazy heavy for my ability. The dumbbell squat I underestimated it wasnít that easy and the next day it hit the muscles it was design to. Is there anything medicine can do to repair an aneurysmal aorta?
Oh, yeah, tomato face is right out for me too. I'm not supposed to hold my breath while lifting, even when doing light stuff, as that raises blood pressure a bunch. The aorta issue is mechanical so it would need a mechanical fix (aka surgery, which could potentially be done with a huge stent sent up from the big artery in my leg but would otherwise be open chest cavity). I'm not at that stage yet though. I just had my 3rd annual echocardiogram today to see if the aneurysm is growing...

It's not a bad idea to video yourself lifting if you're concerned with your form/safety...
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Old 08-12-20, 07:34 PM
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I prefer kettlebells and I have a lot of them at home in many different sizes...I've done some barbell and dumbbell lifting in the past but didn't like it....I much prefer doing ballistic explosive exercises such as swings, snatches and cleans with kettlebells and I also do squats, lunges, presses, rows, loaded stair climbs and hill walks with kettlebells.
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Old 08-13-20, 02:47 PM
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Now I got to figure out how much time between workouts. 48 or 72 hours? Doing a full body compound workout with the exception of curls for gurls Haven’t been riding my bike because it’s too hot and I had a bout of my annual heat sickness. 4-5 days of feeling like I had the flu and I know it was heat illness not covid. Goes with the territory here in summer. Tomorrow I’m sitting in a cold Texas river exactly 111 miles from here so my next weight session will be on Saturday giving me a 72 hour break. I’m betting 72 hours will be better for my older self. Kettlebells are intriguing I almost bought one at Walmart a few days ago to add to the gym. First few weeks will be breaking myself in to weight training figuring out what works and what doesn’t. It is hard to hold back and not over do it.
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