Training for an older beginner.

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Deleted member 412415, May 15, 2014.

  1. Hi all. I have a question here about getting an older novice started with weight training, hopefully I can get some input.
    My father is 47 and has been experiencing nagging pains in his back and legs for a few years due to a life of wear and tear (confirmed by a MRI that it's nothing else). He's about 5'10, 195-200lbs, 20ish percent bodyfat.
    I suggested to him that it might be beneficial for him to take up strength training. However, I'm not really sure how to get him started off. H'es reasonably strong from a life of manual labour, but he probably lacks the mobility to do a full squat correctly.
    Any advice regarding training, recovery, mindset etc. all appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2014
  2. Judo Thai Boxer

    Judo Thai Boxer <img src="

    Apr 15, 2010
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    Sounds like yoga or something could suit him but I'm not going to pretend I know anything about it.

    I'd get him to see a chiropractor for a full check-up, then regular appointments thereafter whatever he decides to do, it makes a hell of a difference.
  3. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

    Sep 19, 2007
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    Austin, TX
    I'm assuming you changed what you were typing mid-sentence and meant that he lacks the ability to do a full squat.

    I'd work on fixing/understanding that first, preferably through a physician and qualified PT. You need to understand what the underlying problem is relating to mobility, as that may impact the way that you would create a training program for him.
  4. CarbonFistprint

    CarbonFistprint Brown Belt

    Aug 15, 2013
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    I would look for a training program that initially focuses on mobility. I'm moving into one by Eric Cressey after I compete in a PL meet this weekend. Your father will likely be able to improve his range of motion, and begin gaining some strength at the same time. He'll probably feel better than he has for quite a while after a few weeks of diligent work.

    Keep us posted -- you're doing the right thing for your dad.
  5. Yep that's an unfortunate typo.
    In retrospect that may have been a bit of a premature statement: my reason for saying he may not have the mobility to do a full squat comes from the fact he has a pressure sore on one leg that causes him pain.

    Thanks to all for their responses so far.
  6. Thanks for the advice. I'll look into Eric Cresseys stuff now.
  7. JauntyAngle

    JauntyAngle International man of mystery

    Dec 15, 2006
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    Is it that big of a deal? Don't you just say that if someone can't squat to parallel with a flat lower back as far down as their knee and ankle flexibility will allow, you just let them go as far down as they can, and then progressively increase it over time? I mean, it is pretty normal for people not to be able to squat to parallel when they first try (I have introduced 5-6 people to squatting and only 1 has got even close).

    As I understand it, if someone is older but basically healthy and active, what they will do in strength training is not fundamentally different in terms of type of activity, just a little different in the parameters. Start a little lighter, progress a little more conservatively, maybe rest a bit more. And cautious progression would apply to development of mobility too.

    I don't claim to be an expert, of course, and am always happy to be corrected by those better informed than I am.
  8. magick

    magick Green Belt

    Feb 1, 2013
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    Goblet squat is great for learning the form and developing the flexibility/naturally learning feet position. Most people will be fine with just doing goblet squats for the rest of their life, really. It's a terrific exercise.

    Have him work on hip hinges too.
  9. monkeyrhythm

    monkeyrhythm Orange Belt

    Nov 1, 2012
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    It's Friday night so I will very likely be doing some goblet curls later.
  10. Thanks for the reply. Would a Starting Strength type program (albeit with slower progression) be an alright program to go for? I imagine that if recovery became an issue the two day a week model could be adopted.

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