Lifetime Workout?

I've been working out off and on for a long time, mostly bodyweight/strands/dumbells/kettlebells.

I would like to find a workout that I can use without all of the math, periodization, 10 dollar words, that plague the internet over the last 10 years.

At my age (54) all I want is strength gains and endurance for life/martial arts, not obsessed with putting on size anymore, not worried about getting ripped. I'd like to work out 4-5 days a week.

Can anyone point me to a program that doesn't stray very much from those goals?

I've read several times that the reason to change workouts after 12 (or so) weeks didn't happen until after steriods.
I don't know if that is true or not, but I always figured that if you constantly increase the weight over a couple of workouts you are doing ok.(?)

Is it ok to not change things up?


Look up Easy Strength by Dan John. 4 exercises: push, pull, hinge, squat for 2 sets of 5 with half your max. This will get you stronger and ultimately maintain muscle once built. Do a weighted carry to finish it off if you like. No need to change things up unless you want to try different exercises, which is probably a good idea

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Pavel simple and sinister seems like a good start, low impact 

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Thank you guys,
I just got S+S for a Christmas present and am going to give it a try.
Dan John will be next on the list.

Thanks for taking time to answer, have a great Christmas!

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Get Overcoming Gravity 2 and try some gymnastics strength training.

Hey, I'm in the same boat as you, 55 years and wanting to stay healthy to continue training.  Matt Brzycki's 3rd Edition of A Practical Approach to Strength and Conditioning is an excellent and very readable text on strength training.  I highly recommend it.  You can get it for under $10 - I teach Kinesiology and Judo at a small university in Butte, Montana, and i use this text for my strength and conditioning course.  The title says it all "A Practical Approach..."  The general idea is that you must  efficiently utilize the Principle of Overload , which can be done using bodyweight, kettlebells, standard weights, machines or any other implement that allows for double progression.  Professionals who suppor this (HIT) method of training state that strength and conditioning is not rocket science, and that quality over quantity (during general strength training) is the recommended approach.  

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Good feedback so far. I can vouch for S&S and Easy Strength. I’ve run S&S for the last 18-months and am always surprised how well it acts as a GPP tool. I feel strong and can still run fair distances without any specialized training. I’ve had multiple people comment how strong I feel during BJJ rolls and I’m a smaller guy.

Another good program is 5/3/1 from Wendler if you have access to the necessary equipment.

Given your goals, I’d recommend S&S. I might supplement 5/3/1 for upper body lifts too if you feel the need. I’ve found doing the lower body lifts for striking and BJJ made me way too stiff and my performance there suffers.

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Check out Iron Wolf videos on YouTube. High rep calisthenics with an emphasis on burpees. I’m 60 and have been dabbling in the burpees for a few weeks now. Love them. Lots of variations and ways to incorporate other exercises as well.

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Thank you all for the replies, they are very much appreciated!

I think I may have found the workout I’ll be doing for a long time to come. I’ve been following the Steve Maxwell/Drew Baye version of slow bodyweight/isometrics exercises for several months and feel very good.
I tried S/S, but the getups irritate my lower back (2 ruptured discs a few years ago), and I did the Dan John Easy Strength for a couple of months and enjoyed that alot.
I ended up losing my job during the shutdown last year and my current job I am working nothing but night shift.
Night shift sucks! I spend my off days trying to have a normal schedule with my kids/grandkids, but I never get caught up on sleep, so I can only work out when I am feeling really rested. That makes it about 2x a week.

Fortunatley the way they are teaching the isometrics/slow bodyweight exercises it fits in perfectly with my goals and schedule.
Maxwell made a lot of sense talking about how pretty much every method of resistance exercises works, but at my age I also have to think alot more about what is the safest for me, and the isometrics (timed static contractions) and slow bw fits the bill. Plus I can do it all at home.

Thank you all again for taking the time to answer my question!

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Agreed on night shift sucking. Lol

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Don’t forget that variety is the spice of life. It will also save your joints because the same pressure from the same angle over and over again will grind them down eventually.
So there’s no lifetime workout.

Keep strong, brother!

How is 2x5 at 50% going to build strength? You’re telling me someone who can deadlift 405 is going to get stronger by doing 2 sets of 5 reps at 200lbs? That doesnt make any sense. Not only would you not get stronger, you would certainly get much weaker. Is there some other program detail you didnt mention?

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I haven’t read that particular book but have heard of other programs that have you lifting at a low percentage of 1RM (50 - 65%) and the key is usually explosive lifting - trying to drive the weight through the positive portion of the movement as fast as possible. Not sure if that’s the case here or not.

I dont blame you for being skeptical. But the core premise is that strength is developed by practice and biomechanical learning. Try it. Or (and) read what Pavel and Dan John have said about it.

I agree with pavel that one approach to strength that can work is low volume high frequency training, but I dont see how you can possibly maintain strength let alone get stronger by lifting only 50% of your max for 5 reps. If that were just a dynamic or speed day that’s paired with a heavier day each week that would make sense, but that’s not what you’re saying the program is.

I mean if we take deadlifts as an example, I can deadlift around 440. If I’m doing 220 for 5 reps, that’s like a 1 on an RPE scale of 1-10. I could pull it as fast as possible but I cant see any way I wouldnt get significantly weaker if that’s as heavy as I ever lifted. How does this routine program progression?

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Add 5% per month but keep it level during the month. Throughout the month, ramp up to 90-95% of 1rm lifts a time or two. Focus on form. Doing it with more frequency is one way of doing it also as you point out.

I’ve been running into some issues with my high rep/volume calisthenics (burpees). The issue is, in order for me to feel a benefit I have to do a lot of reps. Conversely, a lot of reps seems to aggravate old injuries, which then makes me hobble around like the older guy I am.

I’m thinking I need to skip days with different forms of exercise in between. I really don’t want to lower my rep count.

That’s the drawback of the high volume trap you’ve fallen into!
You definitely should cycle exercises or these type of workouts in and out in my humble opinion.
There are a number of ways you can vary burpees. Also, it’s probably better to make an exercise easier than to grind through with momentum and shitty technique.

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The technique doesn’t falter as I keep everything tight. Again, the issue is old injuries that get aggravated by high rep movement - lower back, knee, ankle.

I’m hoping changing things up every other day will bring some relief.

lower back, knee, ankle - so the upper body is not the offender here. How about you do a lunge type movement instead of a squat? You can also use upper body movements exclusively as a type of heavy cardio. For instance the good old curl and press.