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Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Lynn Carlson

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Lynn Carlson! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Lynn Carlson
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 47
  • Where: California
  • Height: 5' 5 1/2''
  • Weight: 110 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :19
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Upright Barbell Row
  • Favorite Supplements: Protein PowdersProtein Powder, Fish Oil, Calcium, Multivitamin

How Did You Get Started?

When I was young, I saw some artwork by an artist named Boris Vallejo. He did the covers for the Conan the Barbarian series of books, among other things. He always painted strong, muscular, warrior type women. I thought they were beautiful and unlike any women I'd seen in real life.

Much later, I saw a movie called Terminator II with an actress named Linda Hamilton who made a dramatic change in her physique between the first and second Terminator movies. She went from cute and a little zaftig to cute, muscular and cut. About the same time I picked up a bodybuilding magazine and saw pictures of Cory Everson and Rachel McLish.

I realized that the physiques that Vallejo painted of women were actually possible. It was like a lightbulb went on in my mind. I took my very, skinny, frail self to the gym and never left. That was 19 years ago and I've never lost my passion for lifting. I'm always working on sculpting my body and trying to get closer to that lovely, muscular, curvaceous physique that Cory and Rachel so beautifully presented.

Lynn Carlson.
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Lynn Carlson.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

When I first started out I was lifting three days a week but as I advanced and became more experienced I switched to a 4 day lifting rotation. I'm generally at the gym Monday through Friday and having the extra day for just cardio and abs allows me the flexibility I need. If one of my children gets sick and needs to stay home from school or I've got an appointment one day during my gym time I can just tack my abs workout onto another lifting day and still get in all my lifting without having to go in on the weekend (which I like to reserve for family time).

Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.
Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics. You should always take your post-warm-up sets at least to the point of momentary muscular failure, and frequently past that point.
Rest-Pause - Do a set to failure. Rest for 5 to 10 seconds then do a few more reps with the same weight. Do this once or a few times depending on your energy levels and how far you wish to push. With this technique you can take a weight you can only do for a certain number of reps and increase that amount.
Drop Sets - Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.
Add Sets - An add set is the reverse of a drop set in that as you progress the weight used increases with each set.

Monday: Chest/Back

Tuesday: Legs

My leg workout is a little less than traditional. I tried for years to get my legs to respond without incorporating regular and jump squats. I always worked very hard but didn't see the results I wanted. My bird legs just wouldn't grow. Finally I started squatting and saw a marked difference. I added jump squats and saw an even bigger difference. While this is a sample of one of my workouts, I often do regular and jump squats on the same day. Once in a while for an added boost, I'll do one set of regular squats then one set of jump squats, just alternating between the two. On those days, I'll usually drop the lunges or just do them with bodyweight.

  • Cardio: 30 min steady state on Stairmaster
  • Walking lunges: 80 consecutive steps bodyweight only, 40 consecutive steps with moderate weight (holding dumbbells), 2 sets of 20 with heavy weight (holding dumbbells).
  • Jump Squats: 6 sets - 5 add sets of 20, 15, 10, 8, 6 reps and 1 moderate set to failure
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts: 4 sets 8-10 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise: 5 sets 10 reps

Wednesday: Cardio/Abs

The amount of cardio I do depends on what I'm trying to accomplish at the time. I judge the need on how I look, not how much I weigh. I've been ripped and lean looking at 110lbs and a little "blurry" at the same weight. In general my weight stays within a couple of pounds of 110. I don't have much fluctuation but as I stated my 110 doesn't always look the same. If I'm trying to get more cut/lean I'll do an hour. Normally, I do 30 minutes of recumbent bike because my legs are often sore after leg day on Tuesday. The bike has less impact on sore legs than the treadmill/Stairmaster.

Thursday: Biceps/Triceps

Friday: Shoulders

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Lynn Carlson.
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Lynn Carlson.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My body responds best when I stick to 5 or 6 small meals per day. I don't get hungry and I have a constant supply of nutrients/energy. I generally stick to combinations of lean protein and complex carbs. Simple carbs like soda, candy, cookies and cake are generally off the list completely. That's not to say I won't eat a cookie here and there, but the truth is I just don't feel good after I consume them.

I don't eat things I don't like the taste of just because they're good for you. There are multitudes of delicious combinations that are available. I've found there's no reason to eat things that are tasteless or force myself to choose the same boring thing over and over. I do believe in allowing indulgences in moderation. I keep it pretty tight during the week but loosen up a bit and allow more caloric intake on weekends (a glass or two of wine with dinner, a piece of fried chicken, a bunch of olive tapenade on whole grain crackers etc).

Meal 1:

  • 2 slices whole grain toast
  • 4 egg white omelet

Meal 2: After workout

Meal 3: 1 hour after meal 2

6oz turkey on 1 slice of whole grain bread with mustard and tomato 1 cup broccoli soup: Steamed broccoli florets blended together with chicken broth, pepper, onion powder and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

Lynn Carlson.
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Lynn Carlson.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I've not given many supplements a try. I stick to a multivitamin, fish oil, Protein Powdersprotein powder and calcium. I believe the research around fish oil points to a multitude of benefits including faster muscle recuperation and better brain function.

After workout:

After lunch:

After dinner:

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I came into the doors of the gym really wanting to sculpt a particular type of physique. I was so terribly thin that some people actually thought I had an eating disorder. Not so! I've always had a very healthy appetite but without the muscle building exercise and a good nutrition plan (that spread my food intake out over 5-6 meals a day), I couldn't put on weight no matter how hard I tried.

The lifting/eating combination solved that riddle for me. Although that is what first attracted me to the weights, I found that lifting serves as an incredible stress reliever. I tend to be a bit anxious and prone to worrying. Lifting goes a long way in keeping me calm, relaxed and happy! I had no idea that would be the case when I started but now I can't imagine life that didn't include my gym time. I simply must have it!

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

I love the way I feel when I'm getting my good, hard workouts in and I'm feeding my body nutritious foods. It just makes me feel strong, capable, in control, happy! Nothing else does the job!

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I'm very internally motivated. Wanting the goal was never an issue but wanting is just the beginning and the easiest part. Meeting my goals takes work but it's work I'm willing to do. I put the work in, I see (and feel) the results and that motivates me to keep striving. It's a self-perpetuating cycle.

Lynn Carlson.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Lynn Carlson.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My fitness journey will never be over. While lifting is my mainstay and the one thing I'll keep in the rotation, I have occasionally added things like kickboxing, training for and running a 5k race and cycling. I'll continue doing the same thing in the future. Trying new things keeps my fitness quest fresh and interesting.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Have fun with it. The pursuit is meant to be pleasing. Be patient with yourself. Sometimes the changes you're looking for take a while to manifest.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Cory Everson, Rachel Mclish and Mia Finnegan were great inspirations to me.

What Features Do You Use On

I love BodySpace. It's wonderful to be able to communicate with other people who have the same interests. I get advice and support which helps keep the fire burning! I visit the forums and read articles related to things like training programs and carb cycling. I visit the store on occasion.