Training Guide for Old Dudes
If you have ever encountered an old dude who just has phenomenal grip strength. You know, you’re goofing around and all of a sudden the old dude puts their claws on your neck and it feels like an iron grip that is going to break your spine. Or outside farming, you have to move furniture or do something around the house, some old guy, 50+ of age, walks on up and picks up some odd object like it is nothing. And you sit there asking, “How did that just happen?”
Old man strength comes into play in three different categories: picking up odd objects they have no business maneuvering, that unreal grip strength demonstrated as stupid strong in a handshake and finally, being closer to 50 then to 20, that means old man strength.
Let’s look at a few things that go into developing and maintaining old man strength.
Plan Mobility Inside The Actual Workout
A lot of old dudes love to skip mobility. That ends up hindering making progress and hindering recovery from the workout. However, if we plan the mobility work and come up with unique ways to train mobility and we put it inside of the workout, we can use the different forms of mobility to improve performance inside each and every workout.
For instance, say we’re going to squat and might deadlift afterwards. What can we do to be a little bit more mobile in the back, ankles and hips? Simple. We can do paused back squats. We can sit down in the bottom with some weighted mobility. In the bottom we can lengthen the back, lengthen the ankles and feel the bottom position. Next thing, old man is feeling a little more limber and a little bit better tension and control working out of that bottom position. In addition, it will potentiate the body for the workout.
Doing the pause back squat, think about how much pressure is being applied through the foot, front and back, loosening the hips, upper back upright and the gut is flexed before driving through nice and tight. This means the old man is aware mentally with a cognitive spark for the training session, waking up.
This will also help the workout be more time effective as well.
Fully Embrace Bodybuilding
This one is big with the older generation of lifters. They love to bodybuild. Not only from a sports performance perspective, but engaging with bodybuilding through really unique, simple movements that can end up adding a ton of volume to the workout and still get that mechanical load.
This will all help with recovery. It will help get blood flow to the joints that start to ache (elbows, shoulders, knees). So hammer out bodybuilding movements using bands for really high reps. It helps break up feelings of tendinitis and serves to boost the main strength lifts that are the big focus.
Focus On Timed Rest
One of the big things that can inhibit old man growth is a busy schedule. When training for old man strength something that needs to be focused on is taking shorter rest periods between lifts. It helps focus and the task at hand, not getting lost looking at the cell phone getting distracted by other obligations. The time rest forces focus on what needs to be done during the workout and continue to make progress throughout the entire workout.
One Or Two Big Lifts Per Block
Pick an upper body lift and a lower body lift. The movement that is being pushed for the upper body and the lower body is where all the intensity is based around. The rest of the time is based around bodybuilding, mobility and recovery work (that can be getting on the bike and doing some cardio).
Old men aren’t 20 to 25 years old anymore. As old me start to train for old men strength, just focusing efforts on one or two big lifts is key for maintaining structural integrity so strength gains can be pushed from program to program.
Look at recovery as a way to focus on yourself. Being older, say with a large family, running a business or going about the capitalist grind to pay bills eats up time for yourself to recover. So, make sure enough protein is being eaten to help with recovery from workout to workout. Get on an assault bike or rower and do easy steady state cardio. Do guided meditation or go to therapy; spend time working on the inner self.
One of our favorite means of recovery is sitting in a sauna for twenty to thirty minutes to help recovery and keep the inflammation a little bit lower to help heading into that next workout.
Old men are strong because they have been through things. They’ve spent time under tension. They’ve been carrying a heavy load on their back for some time now. Strong old men lift those around them up. They also know the value of a firm handshake, how to use leverage to their advantage to heft up an odd object and find a reason to keep making gainz at the gym. Just make sure when at the gym to focus on one or two big lifts, utilize bodybuilding to get mechanical load on the body, keep the rest timed, build mobility into the movements and make sure to recover. Keep doing all that and it won’t be old man strength, but older man strength.
Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.