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Coming Back After A 5-Year Layoff When You're Near 50 - Part Two!

As an older bodybuilder, I find I need to keep my workouts to about 45 minutes. This lets me train my hardest and doesn't cut into my recovery time.

My first article was about coming back to bodybuilding after a 5-year lay off at 47 years old and the routine and supplement schedules I used. Here's part two of that article.

Since the first article, I did my second cycle of 1 AD and 4 AD. I also decided to change my routine: I felt the problem with my old routine was that I was doing too many bodyparts per workout - I was getting burnt out by the time I got to my last body part, especially on chest day when I also did delts and triceps.

I wanted something that was more "balanced", allowed for a shorter, more intense workout, minimized "indirect stimulation" by keeping body part groupings well spread and allowed for good recovery. Also, as an older bodybuilder, I find I need to keep my work outs to about 45 minutes, this lets me train my hardest and doesn't dip too much into my recovery abilities.

The Workout I Used

Day One


Day Two: Off

Day Three



Day Four



Day Five: Off

Day Six


Day Seven: Off

My main goal was to increase weight at every workout. I mixed things up by using super sets, drop sets and rest pause, also by rotating some exercises - triceps pushdowns instead of triceps extensions, supinating dumbbell curls instead of EZ curls (Learn more about intensity techniques here). As I said in my first article, I train a lot by feel - I can be in the middle of a workout and decide to try something new - such as one day when I super-setted shrugs with dumbbell presses held hammer style as opposed to just doing my sets as planned.

My sets were still 8 for large muscle groups, 4-6 for smaller muscle groups, with reps in the 6 -8 range. This routine also promotes good recovery - you know, I worked for a major nutrition chain for 13 years and during that time, I can't tell you how many kids came in looking for supplements. Once I asked them questions about their routines I discovered that they were training 6 days a week, 2 to 3 hours a day - that's way to much time in the gym if you're new to the sport - no way can you recover from that much training.

It's amazing how many people ignore recovery like this, overtrain, burn out and quit. Everyone says it - you grow in between workouts not when you're in the gym! If you design your own routines, allow for proper recovery! Don't be afraid to take two or even three days off between workouts.

If you're older, natural or both, this is a must! The other thing about this routine is that I am training on a "push-pull" system but put several days between my chest - tricep workout and my delt workout. I do not want to over stimulate theses areas by putting them to close together in my schedule. Using this routine allowed me to do that. Also, it makes sense to put legs by themselves as training legs can be very brutal when done the right way.

Both of the routines I've used are pretty good, but this one limits the number of body-parts being hit in any one session allowing you to train harder - you don't have to hold back because you have two more body-parts to train. I put a lot of thought and research into finding the ideal balance between recovery, logical body part groupings and the length of each work out. One other thing, as you get older, you have to take the time to warm up - I mean stretching, several light warm up sets, before you hit your heavy sets. I find I sometimes get these little injuries - never got them before, but now I do. A good warm-up, extra attention to good form, helps prevent these things.

I started my second cycle of 1 AD and 4 AD - one of each three times a day, down to two a day, then one a day, like last time - on 1/6/04 and ended on 1/27/04. I used protein powder, protein bars, a multiple and a joint support product with the cycle. I stuck with the same diet as last time, concentrating on meal timing, especially the post work out meal. My results were another 6 lbs., no change in body fat - I'm still not trying to lose fat.

I have to say, the strength gains on this stuff are amazing - adding weight every time is no problem at all! I have never been a great bench presser - basically, I suck and have never had much luck getting strong in this movement but on this cycle, I was able to go up 15 lbs. on my top set for 8 reps - for me, that's like the parting of the red sea! I saw no negative effects from these products. As with the last time, I went right into a creatine cycle for 4 weeks, but I did not use No2.

From this cycle, I saw no mass gains at all but did see continued strength gains, adding 15 more lbs. to my top set of squats. I now plan to do a third cycle of 1 AD and 4 AD at two of each, three times a day to see what happens. I also plan to go back to the combination of creatine and No2 at the end.

I have to say, for someone that pretty much defines the word hardgainer, these new supplements are amazing. To be making good gains at my age, well I never thought I'd see the day. I now plan to focus on losing body fat (finally!) after this next cycle, and I feel like I could compete in a local master's show this year - no big deal to those easy gainers out there, but to those like me, hey, it's a real big deal. It just goes to show, dreams can come true if you make them.

Part 1 | Part 2

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