Old & Grey: need insiration

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by imported_gazz, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Old & Grey

    I recall seeing a recent post of yours in which you say that over the course of 2 years on HST you've reduced bodyfat and gained considerable muscle, dispelling the myth that its impossibl for guys over 40 to make gains such as yours.

    I am 47 years old (sort of middle aged & bald rather than old & grey), from a HIT background and have trained many years. I've got a reasonable build for a natural trainer of my age (90 Kg, 17" arms, 17" calves) but want more! I've "hung around" the HST forum & website for quite some time so am relatively clued up as to HST principles. I've twice started HST cycles but never finished (mind block on the not to failure trianing). However having recently sat down with my training journals over the last couple of years, being honest gains have been negligable, other than my waistline for which hypertrophy seems to be no problem!

    This is where I would like to impose on the good nature of you and indeed any other forum members of more mature years (I believe that there is a vast differene between the needs of a 20 year old to those in their 40's 50's and beyond).

    I started yesterday on a 6 day a week routine (full body, 1 set of 3 exercises for large bodyparts, 1 set of 1 or for smaller). My main objective is to halt and reverse the expanding waistline and gain some definition in the muscles. By the same token I,m greedy and would as always welcome some size increases. Bottom line is a shift in bodycomposition.

    I know that you curently train each bodypart 6-12 times per week. Over the two years have you used this predominently or did you use the standard 3 X week for a number of cycles. Which method gave you a) best lean bodymass gains, b) best bodyfat loss. Were you able achieve the "holy grail" and gain lean mass whilst at the same time losing fat with any particular routine/diet variation, or did you embark on specific cycles cutting and gaining mass at differnt times. If so did you get leaner first, gain more mass first or intersperse the cycles. What sort of diet would you recommend for someone such as myself who would like to try 6 days a week, but with the predominant goal of fat loss/muscle retention.

    Sorry for all the questions (you'll probably get some more based on your response), but as I said I am looking for some "man in the street" inspiration (the drug bloated magazine models may as well live on Mars as far as inspiration for ordinary people goes).

    Again sorry to burden you and impose on your time, but any advice would be welcome.

    All the best
  2. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member


    The first thing you need to do is have your testosterone levels checked. If your jewels are not making enough of the good stuff, you can workout till the cows come home with little improvement other than an expanding waist line. You can gain muscle at age 101 if you have adequate T levels. There are herbal and prescription remedies available to boost your Test up to an acceptable level. I try and keep my total T to about 600 to 700 ng/dl. It helps me to stay leaned out. Once the T levels start to drop, the "pudge" factor rolls in.

    I have always switched my cycles up. I went from 3X per week (usually with an AM/PM upper/lower split) to 2X per day full body, 6X per week, which gave me the best lean muscle gains. The one constant I keep is that I don't let my total sets go over 60 per week. The break out is usually something along the lines of:

    Chest 12
    Shoulders 6
    Traps 6
    Bis 6
    Tris 6
    Back 12
    Legs 12

    Almost all movements are major compound except for bis and traps which I still use minor compounds for. I rarely use pure isolations.

    A typical 6X per week, 2X per day workout would look like:


    Incline DB bench press
    Shoulder press
    Pull ups
    Hammer Curls


    Seated rows
    Leg press
    Close grip bench press

    1 set of each exercise using a 15,10, 5 and 5 RM with drop sets scheme in 2 week cycles although sometimes I will only do 1 week of 15's. I start each rep cycle at about 70% of my rep max and go up in 5% increments. I do not do any "clustering." That seems to work better for younger guys. The above type split takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes, twice per day, including warm up. I never exercise for more than 45 minutes in any given day.

    I also do a core trunk routine twice per week using fairly heavy weights that includes one set each of:

    Machine AB crunches
    Decline leg lifts
    Side crunches on a hyperextension bench

    My diet is fairly simple; red and white meat, cheese, egg beaters, raw veggies, fruits, wheat bread and pasta, UDO's Oil, etc. I eat about 300 calories over maintenance on average. I try and get about 75% + of my calories from protein and good fats and the remainder from carbs and unavoidable bad fats.

    Over a 2 year period, the above plan took me from 170 pounds to 185 at 5'8" with my bodyfat decreasing from 18% to 9%. And that was after about 44 years of lifting so I thought I had pretty much tapped out until HST kicked in. I found that all I had accomplished for the previous quarter of a century was to overtrain.

    Because you have trained HIT in the past, an important factor for you will be to get at least a 2 week SD before beginning your first cycle. Even a month would not be over doing it.

    I hope I have answered some of your questions. Feel free to ask about anything that you aren't clear on.

    O & G
  3. Why especially for a HIT'er?


  4. mafia

    mafia New Member

    amazing, and very interesting from what you have just said mr. O&G. Can you suggest this program to a 20 year old lifter who wants the same results? and might you comment on your diet, sir?

    thanks! [​IMG]
  5. mafia

    mafia New Member

    oops im sorry, the diet is there on ur post. my bad on that one. [​IMG]
  6. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member


    HITers have accustomed their muscles to maximal weight working to failure. It takes time to decondition HIT traimed muscles to be able to see gains with a submaximal HST type program.


    I think the same program would work as well for a 20 year old as it did for this 60 year old although you may have enough T floating around in your young system to be able to take a little more volume. However, given a choice, I would definitely go for a bit too little volume as opposed to a bit too much volume.
  7. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    O&G, you made great gains in size over the past two years. However, what kind've strength gains did you see? Post up some numbers, buddy.
  8. faz

    faz Active Member

    o g how do you have your t levels checked...and if they are low what do you take, ie, is it legal over the counter stuff..sorry if i am being ignorant i didnt realise your t levels could drop that much to make a difference [​IMG]
  9. Old & Grey

    Thanks for taking the time to give such a comprehensive response: it really is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately though you have made me more inquisitive and I will totally push my luck by asking a few follow up questions!

    1. The testosterone levels: You're obviously having these checked medically through blood testing: With this in mind, if you find they are falling, what do you do? Other than taking on artificial test (a route which I definitely do not wish to follow), have you found any natural supplements which genuinely make a difference to test levels (based on your blood results)

    2. Thanks for th insight into your routine: Am I correct to assume that you do some sort of workout rotation ie A & B routines rather than repeating the same workout everyday. If so how many routines would you rotate within a given cycle.

    3. Your remarks on volume: Is the 60 sets maximum something you've found suits you through trial and error.

    4. Do you split the daily workout to get double protein synthesis rebound effect or is it merely to do with concentration & intensity of effort restricting you to very short frequent sessions, or just plain personal preference.

    5. You say you've spent 25 years overtraining: Obviously you'll have done numerous routines in that time, but what is your training history/background ie predominantly high volume, powerlifting,HIT etc.

    Sorrry for the extra questions.

    All the best
  10. OneMoreRep

    OneMoreRep New Member

    I like how u train O & G! training that frequent probably keeps u feeling semi pumped all the time.
  11. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ch, I don't ever test for my 1 RM as that is a good way for us old farts who work out alone to get injured. However, for 5 RM's I yse 425 for squats, 65 for pull ups, 100 for dips, 110 for DB incline presses. Before HST, my maxes were at least 1/3 lower.

    Faz, I have mine checked via a blood sample twice per year by an Endochronologist. He then prescribes an amount of AndoGel cream to keep my T levels in the mid "normal" range of about 600 ng/dl. There are some places on the internet that claim to test T levels through saliva samples that you send in but I don't know if they are legit or not. Certain foods, such as good fats and cholesterol, will help increase T levels. There are also some herbal supplements available that I believe work. The most common is Avena Sativa. Biotest has a supplement called Tribex that I have used with success. Certain foods should be avoided such as licorice which will actually lower T levels.
  12. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Yeah, I didn't mean 1 RM, sorry for the confusion. I just wanted to see what kind've jumps your HST rep ranges made since about two years ago. Those are some awesome numbers for someone 60+! Definite props to you, my friend. Someone should interview you.

    EDIT: Nevermind, gazz is in the process of that right now. :D

    How did you push up your weights in the lifts from cycle to cycle using HST? 5-10 lb. jumps every cycle? Ever hit an extra 20-30 lbs. on a lift?
  13. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member


    In regards to your questions:

    1. I think I answered that in my reply to Faz above. Your post and mine probably crossed in cyberspace.

    2. Yup, my AM routone is A and my PM routine is B. I do not do any further alternating than that when on a 12X per week schedule.

    3. 60 sets is MY effective max. After that, I lose rather than gain. It is would probably be higher for someone that is younger or assisted.

    4. All of the reasons you cited plus I believe that frequency is the most under rated factor in working out and that science will make great strides in refining it in the next 5 years.

    5. My background is basically volume related bodybuilding. I started in the late 50's with a 110 lb. Dan Lurie barbell set that was delivered to my hometown via freight train. Dan Lurie was the strong man on the Big Top Circus that was on TV evry Saturday afternoon then. Back then working out meant 3 sets 3 times per week, somewhat similar to HST but without the progression or SD. After that came the 1 bodypart per day type of workout. I worked out in the 70's and 80's with Mike Katz at his gym in Branford, CT and that resulted in my increasing volume even more. From there I stagnated until I found my way to Bryan's website and started growing again. I almost got into steroids before that point but did not want to risk it.

    I think HIT has its place in lifting but needs to be refined to take advantage of the more recent scientific findings.

    I never got into powerlifting but did do some olympic type lifting in the 60's. Tommy Kono was my hero.

    I still do a couple of 5X5 strength routines each year because I enjoy them.

    Time to feed the horses!
  14. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Bump for O&G...
  15. faz

    faz Active Member

    og thanks for the reply and info [​IMG]
  16. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ch, assuming that I do 6 workouts per rep scheme, I generally start at about 70 to 75% of my RM and increment about 5% each workout. Depending on the exercise, that can be as little as 2.5 (DB Curls) pounds and as high as 40 pounds (Leg Press).

    Gazz, don't be afraid of Test supplementation via prescription to bring you back to normal ranges if you are below them. If you don't, chances are you won't get there with just herbals if your levels are sub normal to begin with. Go for the cream as opposed to the injections as the cream keeps your levels at the same amount every day but the twice monthly injuections has you on a roller coaster ride.
  17. proteus9

    proteus9 New Member


    I tested my T levels a few years back (I'm 35 now, was 29 at the time). Results came back low normal - 368ng/dL. (If I remember correctly normal is 200-1000 ng/DL). Assuming improved diet and actually working out ;) I think I can get this to 400ng/dL. Is that too low for decent gains? Should I look into OTC remedies - What about side effects (decreased endogenous production, etc).

  18. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Pro, I am not an Endochronologist but 300 to 400 ng/dl is certainly on the low side as far as building muscle goes. However, you should also have your free testosterone checked. Some people with high total T levels have very little free T available for muscle building and vice versa. The lab that I use, Quest, considers normal total range range to be 241-827 ng/dl.

    When I used Avena Sativa (wild oats) several years ago, My T levels went up about 150 ng/dl. Since I did not do anything different I presume the increase was due to the herb. However, I can't really say that with all certainty. To my knowledge, there are no bad side effects from using Avena Sativa, unless you consider being more horny a bad side effect!     [​IMG] Hence the origination of the phrase "sowing his wild oats."
  19. Old & Grey

    Thanks for the replies again, you're a gentleman.

    I remember Mike Katz & read his training routines in an old Iron Man magazine (where Paery Rader had it and it was a good publication). I remeber the guy had tremendous chest and was as you say very high volume trainer: it must have been quite an experience to train with him and also quite a feat to avoid the pitfall of taking steroids.

    The whole testosterone issue is interesting & something which I have not given that much thought to in the past, but I suppose as years go on it should really become a priority issue. I'm in the UK & will have to make enquiries privately as I don't for a moment think they'll do these tests on th NHS.

    The whole supplement thing is intriguing. I have always held the view that if a supplement worked, and worked well, then it would have to cause chemical action at a cellular level, and would then surely require classification as a drug, controlled by the appropriate medical board. This may be too simplistic a view but one which has always turned me away from natural supplementation: hence my question with regard to the effect of such natural supplemntation as regards your blood tested testosterone levels.

    I had already started my daily routine prior to the first post. I've possibly made a mistake by incorporating too many exercises (about 20, 1 set each), however at the moment I am able to complete the workout in under 45 mins. At this point however I am stilll in the relatively light phase of the 15's, so little or no warmup is required and I can move quickly from one set to another. I think that certainly by the time I reach the 5's, I will need to reduce the work sets to allow for more warmup and still maintain completion within a reasonable timeframe. My gut feeling is to continue with the routine & make the necessary adjustments as I go. Would you agree or should I basically scrap the present routine & reduce the workout volume now?

    Your comments re HIT are interesting: The HIT dogma calls for fewer & fewer workouts per boypart as you progress: I take it you would tend to move in the oposite direction.

    All the best & again thanks for your time.

  20. Tom Treutlein

    Tom Treutlein New Member

Share This Page