want to join a gym after 20 years

Thread starter #1
im 42 5 8 170gym. Don't know what work out plan. high volume vs low. 3 2 1 growth strength its all confusing. due to scheduling it would be two days gym and the third day would be back yard calisthenics if I had time.
back ground
im 42 5 8 170.
January 2018 I was 205. came back from sprig break at 195. decided to loose weight and used calisthenics, running and walking the dog. along with good diet to drop to 158. then in November enter low T and over exercise. co worker s said I lost to much and stopped working as has and gained back to 165. work out intermitnetly from December to march and maintainted 165. spring break this hear beered it up and im hanging out at 170#
injury's included. undiagnosed low back pain. greatly improved with calisthenics
siatiaca vs piriformis muscle strain.
right elbow/ shoulder weaker and the right- I just make sure to train carefully.
knees hmm. pistol squats make them sore so now im doing single leg box squats

just some advice from the over 40 club on work out programs to look at. so many differenty types of gyms out there. traditional vs hybrid.
My wife works out at Xperience gym. There's many of them around my home. One of her son's also has been working out there and is massive now. I prefer to use my home gym, I have a power rack, lots of weights, a couple of ceiling pull up bars. I like working out first thing in the morning, it gets my day going.

Gene Devine

Super Moderator
I'd get with an experienced trainer who can understands your physical issues and time you can spend in the gym and at home and have them put a program together for you that will maximize results without further injury...worth the money.
5'8" 170 here. Have abs and do ZERO ab work.

Home gym all the way. Half rack, bounce plates, chin up bar, dip bars, airdyne... Done.

Saves me time and after the initial price it saves me long run.

I run Martin Berkhan's Leangains protocol including diet.

Started lifting 3ish years ago. Was 150-155 and doing a lot of CrossFit after being an endurance junky since HS. 47 now. I don't wear straps belts, gloves or wraps.
im 42 5 8 170gym. Don't know what work out plan. high volume vs low. 3 2 1 growth strength its all confusing. due to scheduling it would be two days gym and the third day would be back yard calisthenics if I had time.
Good diet and isometrics worked wonders for me. I started with a ketogenic diet for a few months (lost 30lbs) then switched to alternating protein then carbohydrate meals, carbs mostly raw veggies with some vinaigrette. As for exercise, (and after 44 years of experimenting) I honestly believe most gyms are a waste of time and energy, producing very small results. Trainers are "hip" to the latest stupidity, without any real knowledge of sports science (read Verkoshanky - Supertraining and Zatsiorsky - Science and Practice of Strength Training). I believe in good cardio (buy a jump rope) and isometrics. Try to get a copy of Maxick's original book on Muscle Control, also see David Nordmark - Power Isometrics - Isometric Exercises For Muscle Building And Strength and John E Peterson's Isometric Power Revolution. Pavel Tsatsouline has some great books on the connection between Yoga and Isometrics/Calisthenics. Namaste.
It appears from your weight loss you are well disciplined and can follow through on a diet plan and exercise. There are many options for you. For many, I think finding (gym) friends to go with you creates more fun and accountability. I go 3x week (I am retired) with 2 other fellas that are both 72. We all do 30 minutes on a bike, 30 minutes lifting, and then 30 minutes on the treadmill. One of the guys is divorced and since that happened a decade ago, he tries and schedules his week well, so, every time we leave after gym coffee, he always asks if both of us will be there next time. It also helps having someone present if you need a spotter, I recently starting doing bench presses to failure, helps having someone standing by.
If you find a good gym, it can make all the difference. For me, I need variety. I would get bored using the same equipment month after month. Plus, the gym I belong to offers dozens of classes all week for free. Like yoga, barre, HIIT, spin, kickboxing, etc. They also have several pools and a really nice cafe. The experience is very motivating.
If you are going to the gym alone then I recommend one with classes. I do a "body pump" class 3x a week. It's low weight high rep barbell work with 20-30 people, 2-3 instructors at front of class and loud music (with a beat to cadence your reps to). I've been doing it for about 9 months now. I probably could have gotten larger muscles if I spent my time in the rack room, but I don't think I would have stuck with it like I do in a class with the encouragement of the class and instructors. I burn as many calories as if I were to do a spin class, so I don't bother with any cardio. I have great muscle definition, visible abs including obliques even though I am still at 25% body fat (haven't bothered dieting or cutting yet). I will be 50 this year.
Also watching the 20-30 year old women doing dead lifts, squats and bent over rows in front of me in yoga pants doesn't hurt.
Thread starter #10
working out with friends would be nice Except I don't have any. im a Nurse so 95% of my work friends are female. wouldn't mind putting on 10 more pounds of muscle before the age related joint issues kick in. but basicly I need something different than the back yard exercise. but something ill stick to. when I stop exercising my diet and body goes to shit. thanks for all the adivce
I know this is a little bit off the subject. I love listening to Jim Cramer's mad money podcast when working out. I don't know why but for some reason he keeps me motivated.


Well-Known Member
I have worked out at home, I had done isometric and bands, and I have had the same gym membership since 1979. Since it was a lifetime membership, the renewal costs is 14 cents a day. $50 per year. Currently the gym is La Fitness, but it has changed owners a total of at least 3 times, when one club goes under it get bought by a more successful chain and my membership keep getting grandfathered in.

When I lived in Dallas I belonged to two separate gyms, Dallas Polo Club and I think the lifetime membership was called Bally Total Fitness at the time.

I joined the Dallas Polo Club because a small group of people at the company I worked for all belonged, they were several levels of management above me, and we all went together at lunch time. Networking and working out together. It was nice to work out with 3 other guys,one was an ex Vikings football player, one guy was built along the lines of schwarzenegger. They could give me tips about how they liked to work out.

La Fitness is 1.3 miles from my house, it would be easier to work out at home, but there isn't any good area at home to set up a gym. Besides it doesn't really make any sense because I am never giving up my $50 a year gym membership.

One good thing about a national gym membership, I have worked out in gyms all across the USA; Tulsa, SF, WashDC, Dallas, Houston, etc. If you travel at all, it works out well.

Being retired I tend to work out alone. It's easier to work out with friends if you have a common schedule such as work. If I go to the gym at 5:00 AM, there is group of people i know, I don't like to go so early.

While in Thailand, I worked out at these free outdoor gyms they have, kind of crude, any weights are concrete, they have various bars / parallel bars and a running track. You do get to meet the locals.

I usually spend about 1.5- 2.5 hours total at the gym, but work out time is really 1-2. hours.

Usually I do either weight lifting (free weights, machines / cable machines) or cardio, once in a while I mix the two. There are classes available, I don't attend. Once in while I swim laps, if the weather is good I bike a min of 1 hour. Sometimes I walk my dog a mile or two.

The only type of cardio I almost never do in the gym is biking and rowing. If I want to bike, I do it outside. I just haven't gotten into the rowing machines. A few gyms I have been to have climbing machines (versaclimber), they are rare to find and a little odd to use.

I liked computer controlled weight machines, you can program in a higher negative weight Vs the positive weight, and pneumatic resistance machines are also interesting to use. With the pneumatic machines, you can sometimes increase the weight resistance while using them.

So I have tried quite a few variations, there are a lot of ways to get a good workout, just go outside and run is an option. I have a set of dumbbells at home, 15, 25 and 30 lbs each, good for when you want to do something at home.

Most important is to do some sort of routine on a regular basis and stick to doing something at least 3 times a week year after year.
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Well-Known Member
Here is something that might keep you motivated.

I got a fitbit charge 3 watch last year, it keeps track of your exercise daily, let's you know how many steps you took, sleep recorded, heartbeat during the day. Automatically senses different sorts of exercise like biking, running, walking. Works reasonably well.

The watch tells me I walked 3 miles today mostly mowing the lawn, my heart rate was about 100-111 while mowing. Now it is back down to 62 BPM.
Thread starter #14
motivation is not the problem want to mix it up. with out injury. I used to have a fit bit was required for work insurance to lower premium. they dropped the program and the fit bit broke so I never bought a new one.
was thinking of one that had machines for starters then move to free weights.
At my age, I feel more comfortable using machines and cables over free weights. My gym has a large selection of the Hammer Strength equipment. These are the best hybrid machines. They have really good anatomical range of motion and they use weight plates.


Well-Known Member
Every gym I have been to had both machines and free weights. Maybe some cross fit / hybrid gyms don't.

You usually hurt yourself by trying to hard. One problem is men are competitive, get in a group and it's even more competitive.

Most of the time I have hurt myself from some sort of extended cardio, repetitive motion.

If some joint hurts, I try and work around it by doing a similar exercise that doesn't hurt, or drop the weight a lot and take it slow.

Like i hurt my knees from doing an hour of stair master 5 times a week for a month.

After that it hurt to even lift 30 lbs on a leg extension, so I used 20 lbs, after 6 months it's fine. Now I do whatever weight i want on a leg extension.

The guys I used to work out with, we also played some basketball, they are very competitive guys, one ended up in the hospital, one threw up. We were playing outside in Dallas 100 degree heat.

We all decided better to not do that again.

Many men that have joint problems use bands.
Lol. I hurt my bicep tendon doing heavy dumbbell curls. I felt some discomfort but I kept going. For me, injuries always come when I try to go to heavy. I learned my lesson. Now I mainly stay with higher reps and try to increase time under tension.


Well-Known Member
Lol. I hurt my bicep tendon doing heavy dumbbell curls. I felt some discomfort but I kept going. For me, injuries always come when I try to go to heavy. I learned my lesson. Now I mainly stay with higher reps and try to increase time under tension.
No pain, no gain, probably the worst advice ever given.

I do feel a some sort of tendon stain when I try to max out (for me) the weight on a fly machine.

One time I did something stupid with a pneumatic calf machine. I had my feet on the lower bar with the upper padded bar on my upper legs just above the knees. You push a button to increase the "weight", so I kept on increasing the weight. Since i was locked into that position, it was like the weight was trying to shear off my legs at the knees. It started to hurt even without trying to move the weight. Then I realized how foolish I was.

If I am warmed up and feel pain, I do tend to quickly stop. What is tricky, like today, I warmed up for 5 min on a tread mill, then started to run. It didn't hurt to run, but sweating and our of breath sure makes me feel like i should stop.