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S&C UnderGround >> I Am 34 and I Feel Old


1/14/13 1:42 AM
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Blunderhooks
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Question for Gunslinger -

Are dips not problematic for older trainees?

I'm 40 and would like to try them but i've read a lot of horror stories about shoulders getting messed up. Phone Post
1/14/13 2:19 PM
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The Gunslinger
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Blunderhooks -  Question for Gunslinger -

Are dips not problematic for older trainees?

I'm 40 and would like to try them but i've read a lot of horror stories about shoulders getting messed up. Phone Post

Dips are only problematic if you have shoulder problems, regardless of age. I haven't seen a correlation with age and ranges of motion, it's more of mobility. I see tons of guys in their early 20's who can't do a dip to full range of motion, 9 times out of 10 its due to over use of bench pressing and curling of which the combination tends to give what I call the lobster syndrome, where guys have their bodies slumped forward with chronically internally rotated shoulders and elbows that don't fully straighten (if you can picture that). Excessive benching is a complete pet peeve of mine, just because I see that it destroys ability to press overhead, dip, snatch, etc when done at the expense of everything else. On top of that you find massive shoulder issues in many of these guys (it hurts to do everything)and weakened and injured rotator cuffs. All this stuff kills ability to both press overhead and perform dips.

So in all that, what I'm saying, is that it isn't the dip that causes problems, its usually the stuff listed above that expresses its self by being unable to do dips.

That being said, if that isn't you it doesn't mean that you'll automatically be able to do full range dips, because things like having a job where you slouch over a computer all day can also ruin your ROM.

I get all of my trainees doing full range of motion dips. Male and female, young and old. Part of it is practice and slowly increasing ROM over time and complementing it by balancing it out with a lot of back work (pullups, row variations). Most of the time they come fairly quickly. Once you have 15 or so, I start adding weight and I keep the reps higher, usually over 8, I don't see a reason to do very heavy dips below that rep range.

I've found that using the full ROM is imperative to keeping healthy joints. When I was in college I began to get shoulder and sternum pain from heavy dips, at the time heavy was anytime I would get over 60lbs. Later I starting working more gymnastic style work and realized I wasn't going nearly low enough. Like you I was afraid of injury, especially with my previous experience. I decided just to give it a shot and with the full ROM my pain completely disappeared and I built up to doing dips with 155lbs strapped around my body for 8 reps with no pain. My trainees have found this to be true as well.

As always, slower progress and working toward good technique and not doing too much volume will keep most issues away.
1/15/13 9:18 PM
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Blunderhooks
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^^ Thanks for the detailed reply. Maybe I'll give the dips a try. I am doing starting strength but wouldn't mind adding 2-3 sets of dips on one of he days. Phone Post
1/17/13 6:41 PM
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Palmala Handerson
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Edited: 01/17/13 6:42 PM
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I'm in the same boat. After 15 years of MA traneing I've thrown in the towel. One knee surgery and countless other injuries lead me to say fuck it, it's just not worth it to me anymore. I want to be able to play Golf with my buddies when I get old and keep a relativly active painfree life, BJJ is not conducive to this. Especially when your training with 20 y/o white belts trying to power bomb you in class. Fuck that.
1/17/13 8:14 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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Palmala Handerson - I'm in the same boat. After 15 years of MA traneing I've thrown in the towel. One knee surgery and countless other injuries lead me to say fuck it, it's just not worth it to me anymore. I want to be able to play Golf with my buddies when I get old and keep a relativly active painfree life, BJJ is not conducive to this. Especially when your training with 20 y/o white belts trying to power bomb you in class. Fuck that.

Similar story, trained MA 25 years and thru in the towel due to various injuries. I ran a few 5ks and a 5 miler and was having problems with my sciatica... took a break and started swimming, and have transitioned into doing triathlons.
1/24/13 3:00 PM
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fanat
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1/24/13 6:48 PM
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Tilla
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The Gunslinger - No need to end up in a bad kind of way and no age is the end of the world. I train a 56 year old man, when he came to me he couldn't even do a situp. Now he is in incredible shape, he can run a 20 minute 5k, he's about 155lbs and he can snatch his bodyweight and back squats close to 300, high bar, ass to ankles, and deadlifts 355. It isn't that he's a spectacular athlete, he is just dedicated and follows the program.

For a guy like you I'm a big fan of HIT. It isn't time consuming and it'll give you most of what you need for strength. Strength is the base of everything and the more I train people, the more I'm a big believer in it. If you are strong you don't end up with the problems you are currently having.

There is a lot of styles of HIT: Mentzer's, Jones, Hutchins. I personally like Ken Liestner's version. It's basic, old school, not much different than Jones' early stuff. If you are adept at learning, read starting strength for learning basic barbell exercises. If not, stick to the machines and bodyweight exercises. A typical Dr. Ken workout looks like this:
Squat 1x20
Dip 1x12
weighted pullup 1x12
Stiff leg deadlift (I prefer RDLs) 1x15
Press 1x12
barbell or dumbbell row 1x12
That's not a copy paste, so it may not be exact, but that's basically it. Do it twice a week and it'll give you everything you need strength wise.

For my beginner trainees I keep them away from bench pressing, most of them have done too much of it at the detriment of everything else. Standing presses are a better overall exercise and measure of upper body strength if done properly. The dip is a better assistance exercise than the bench press. Put a great amount of effort into each set while keeping good form and add weight or reps each work out.

On 2 or 3 other days do some conditioning. It doesn't have to be excessively hard at first, but you'll want to keep it short (between 10-20 minutes) and challenging. People will say do distance running, aerobic conditioning blah, blah. Sure, that stuff is good, you can do it, but for basic health and fitness for most people sticking to higher intensity stuff will work just as well and not nearly be as time consuming. If you want something a bit easier and longer, do a brisk walk with your dog, your joints will thank you and your dog will like it. Plenty of people have done well without LSD work.

You'll also want to do some basic stretching focusing on the shoulders and hips after you finish working out. It doesn't have to be fancy, but a good 10-15 minutes will do you fine. Get a 2 foot section of PVC and roll out your legs and any knots you have in your muscles.

Do these things and you'll be on your way.

I'm gong to give Ken's workout a blast, tomorrow. Well, some of it (Squats, Deads, Press, Rows) and throw 5/10 sets of 100 metre sprints.

Thanks for the info, BTW. ;-)
1/25/13 7:38 AM
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rhino x2
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Good information I'm 34 aswell
1/29/13 12:38 PM
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AdrianK
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I'd suggest a trip to your doctor and give him the symptoms you've listed here and request that he do a full work up on your on your bloodwork. See if there are any clues in there that he can spot and make sure he is checking your testosterone levels as well. You may walk out with a script for trt.

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