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  1. #1
    Registered User nmballa's Avatar
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    Decade hiatus - What kind of progress to expect

    I don't think I have posted on the forums for close to a decade or so. Was pretty in to strength training and was considering entering a comp sometime but then life got in the way. In a matter of a day went from running a smolov jr for squats to no work outs. Cut a ton of weight as I wasn't lifting and wanted to get back down to a healthy weight. Most of what I cut was a solid amount of muscle. Fast forward about ten years and currently walking around at about 195 and out of shape but was close to 255 prior at about 18 to 20% bf. Just started back in gym and going with a 5x5 workout to get back at it. Not even hitting my old warm up weights for my final set on the 5x5s. Trying to get the form and rhythm back. Definitely not like riding a bike.

    Question for those who have taken a fairly long time off, what was the timeline till you started springing back?

    Everyone talks about muscle memory but I cut a pretty sizable amount of muscle in the last decade. No desire to get back to moving the type of weight I was prior as I'm now in to my 40s but damn I feel weak compared to where I was.

    Maybe its more of a question for those who first got into lifting heavy in their 40s, what can one expect for gains?
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  2. #2
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nmballa View Post
    I don't think I have posted on the forums for close to a decade or so. Was pretty in to strength training and was considering entering a comp sometime but then life got in the way. In a matter of a day went from running a smolov jr for squats to no work outs. Cut a ton of weight as I wasn't lifting and wanted to get back down to a healthy weight. Most of what I cut was a solid amount of muscle. Fast forward about ten years and currently walking around at about 195 and out of shape but was close to 255 prior at about 18 to 20% bf. Just started back in gym and going with a 5x5 workout to get back at it. Not even hitting my old warm up weights for my final set on the 5x5s. Trying to get the form and rhythm back. Definitely not like riding a bike.

    Question for those who have taken a fairly long time off, what was the timeline till you started springing back?

    Everyone talks about muscle memory but I cut a pretty sizable amount of muscle in the last decade. No desire to get back to moving the type of weight I was prior as I'm now in to my 40s but damn I feel weak compared to where I was.

    Maybe its more of a question for those who first got into lifting heavy in their 40s, what can one expect for gains?
    Keep your form tight and progress sensibly, and you will see strength gains quickly. I took several years off and once back within a few months I was back to squatting almost 300 and deadlifting close to 400.
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  3. #3
    Swole Patrol LiftNutz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nmballa View Post
    How long did it take you to spring back after a long break from lifting?
    It took me a few months to get back to my previous level of lifting after a long break. Just got to be patient and consistent with your training. Try not to miss too many workouts and make sure you are eating a nutritious diet to support your training. Also make sure you are getting enough sleep and recovery. Do some active recovery days with light cardio or mobility work. Do some foam rolling and stretching. Do not try to do too much too soon. Do not be too hard on yourself, just gradually ease back into things. Hope that helps, Peace!
    "I'm not here to talk, I'm here to lift."
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  4. #4
    Registered User nmballa's Avatar
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    Just a quick one month update. Strength is slowly coming back. Tweaked my hamstring and have really focused on stretching. Running madcow 5x5 but deadlifting, lowbar squat and incline (45 degree) dumbbell press as my core exercises. Do some ancillary back each day and then 1 to 2 days per week of arms and some shoulders.

    Capped the week off with 290 x 3 (+2) DL, 270 x 3 squat, 70 x 3 (+3) dumbbell presses So strength is coming back and hope to get up over 3 plates for squat and DL pretty quick. If in a few months I can get back to squatting 4 plates per side and like wise on DL think I will just coast at that and just start adding reps.
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  5. #5
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nmballa View Post
    Just a quick one month update. Strength is slowly coming back. Tweaked my hamstring and have really focused on stretching. Running madcow 5x5 but deadlifting, lowbar squat and incline (45 degree) dumbbell press as my core exercises. Do some ancillary back each day and then 1 to 2 days per week of arms and some shoulders.

    Capped the week off with 290 x 3 (+2) DL, 270 x 3 squat, 70 x 3 (+3) dumbbell presses So strength is coming back and hope to get up over 3 plates for squat and DL pretty quick. If in a few months I can get back to squatting 4 plates per side and like wise on DL think I will just coast at that and just start adding reps.
    Good to hear and good work!
    Keep at it! As your are finding and the others mention, you should bounce back fairly quickly. See how your body goes and set goals accordingly from there. You probably won't hit everything you did before (or you may) but don't be discouraged! I barely trained off and on in my 30s and benched 405, now that I'm over 50 and came back 18 months ago (and post back fracture and cancer) I'm still in the mid 300s... but I feel great and am loving the lifting life. Enjoy!
    It's never too late!

    5'6", 215
    Age: 51

    Results:
    2/26/22 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 501/325/540/1366 @ 209lb
    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529/1311 @ 205lb
    6/20/21 USPA Western drug tested regionals: DQ (bombed squats) @ 192lb
    2/27/21 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 468/308/501/1278 @ 202lb
    10/10/2020 USPA FS meet: 407/303/474/1185 @ 212lb

    Gym PRs:
    513/335/555
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  6. #6
    Registered User nmballa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    Good to hear and good work!
    Keep at it! As your are finding and the others mention, you should bounce back fairly quickly. See how your body goes and set goals accordingly from there. You probably won't hit everything you did before (or you may) but don't be discouraged! I barely trained off and on in my 30s and benched 405, now that I'm over 50 and came back 18 months ago (and post back fracture and cancer) I'm still in the mid 300s... but I feel great and am loving the lifting life. Enjoy!
    Yeah, no intention to get back where I was. I'm focused a bit more on health and aesthetics now. Find it mind boggling that I was walking around 60+ lbs of more muscle at one point. But I recall feeling uncomfortable in my own skin even though I wasn't fat by any means. Don't get me wrong, I miss squatting some redic weight. I think I was hitting 600+ for singles but I don't miss the aches. If I can get a bit more leaned out then I'll start a clean bulk but first I want to finally see my abs for the first time.

    Good for you getting back in to it. Especially after your circumstances.
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  7. #7
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nmballa View Post
    Yeah, no intention to get back where I was. I'm focused a bit more on health and aesthetics now. Find it mind boggling that I was walking around 60+ lbs of more muscle at one point. But I recall feeling uncomfortable in my own skin even though I wasn't fat by any means. Don't get me wrong, I miss squatting some redic weight. I think I was hitting 600+ for singles but I don't miss the aches. If I can get a bit more leaned out then I'll start a clean bulk but first I want to finally see my abs for the first time.

    Good for you getting back in to it. Especially after your circumstances.
    Good stuff brother keep on keepin on.
    It's never too late!

    5'6", 215
    Age: 51

    Results:
    2/26/22 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 501/325/540/1366 @ 209lb
    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529/1311 @ 205lb
    6/20/21 USPA Western drug tested regionals: DQ (bombed squats) @ 192lb
    2/27/21 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 468/308/501/1278 @ 202lb
    10/10/2020 USPA FS meet: 407/303/474/1185 @ 212lb

    Gym PRs:
    513/335/555
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