WATCH: True Age vs Training Age

TAGS: training for sport, tendon tears, true age, training age, powerlifting success, muscle mind connection, isolation, bodybuilder training, muscle soreness, instagram, program design, justin harris, bodybuilding, Jim Wendler, dave tate

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How old are you? This is a fairly common question to ask when designing a training program. Even on elitefts.com you can find articles about what it means to be old and how to make adjustments to keep progressing as you age. It's true — age matters. But Dave says there's another age-related question that matters almost as much: what is your training age?


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In this video, Justin and Dave discuss the differences between true age and training age in response to a question by Instagram user f15warbird:

"I'm a 48-year-old who started lifting two years ago, stopped fucking around with bro split programs one year ago, and started actual training. I am now training for my first powerlifting meet. What advice do you have for someone like me beginning competition at an age where most people are retiring?"

To start, Dave points out that most lifters start with so-called "bro" splits that hit each body part once per week, and that it's not something to be ashamed of. Similarly, Justin says that in some ways this can actually be a good way to start, because it teaches you how to recognize localized soreness and how to utilize specific muscles when executing an exercise.

Once you're ready to get into serious training, Dave has a more specific recommendation: find a solid program and commit to it for several years. If you can stick with 5/3/1 for two years, and focus on becoming as technically proficient as possible during this time, you will be a much better lifter. You will start on the right path and set a foundation to really be successful in powerlifting.

Dave goes on to describe the ways that your experience level should dictate your training. You cannot simply jump into heavy triples, doubles, and singles and expect to avoid injury. This happens because tendons and ligaments don't strengthen as quickly as muscles do — and this is true for lifters of every age. Additionally, Justin discusses how these distinct differences are observable in lifters that switch between powerlifting and bodybuilding.

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