An 8-Week Longevity Based Program for Masters Weightlifters
The most common question that I get asked when talking about longevity based programs is “How long does it take?” or “When do you recommend starting?”
. The answer to these questions are different depending on your goals. If you want to gain muscle mass quickly then you need to start sooner rather than later. However if you’re looking to lose fat and/or build lean muscle mass then the longer period of time may not be necessary.
I’ve been using a longevity based training system since 2002. I started with just one week per month because I wanted my body composition to improve faster and I didn’t have any specific goal in mind at that point (at least not yet).
Since then I’ve added two additional weeks each year. My current routine is designed to maximize strength gains while minimizing fat loss. It’s been working well for me so far!
As you might expect, there are many factors that go into determining how long a given training regimen will last. There are some things that are out of our control such as genetics and the amount of rest between workouts but there are other variables like diet and exercise choice which can affect your results over time.
What is a Longevity Based Training Program?
A longevity based program is a weight training routine that focuses on maximizing the number of “reps” or “sets” that you do each week. This style of training is usually referred to as High Volume Training. The easiest way to implement this type of training is by starting with an established routine that you can readily change.
It’s important to start with a routine that isn’t going to blow your mind. If you haven’t lifted weights in years then you shouldn’t pick something that is going to have you curling until your arms fall off.
The initial plan should focus on compound movements like the squat, deadlift, bench press, and power clean.
Make sure that you track how many reps and sets that you do of each exercise. This is extremely important!
If you don’t know how many times you are working each muscle group then the routine will not be effective. With that in mind, you should be able to increase the weight that you are using or the number of reps that you are doing each week.
If you are unable to hit your target for two weeks in a row then it’s time to move on to a different routine. As I mentioned above there are several different routines out there that can be used but I’ve had the best results using Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.
This program uses a three week cycle that allows for a lot of flexibility. As long as you follow the basic guidelines then you will be able to increase the weight that you are using or the amount of reps that you are doing.
It’s extremely easy to follow and it’s free (the man has done us all a great service by publishing it on his website). The only thing that you’ll need to do is calculate your one rep max in each lift and that can be done using a calculator on the web or with this spreadsheet.
Five / Three / One Calculator
Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Calculator
How Many Weeks Will This Last?
This is going to be highly individual and there is no one right answer. I’ve noticed that I make better progress when I am mixing up my routines on a regular basis.
What Are The Other Factors?
Obviously the key here is going to be the weight training program but there are other factors that you’ll need to take into consideration as well. The first one is nutrition and rest. You aren’t going to get anywhere without giving this two aspects the attention that they deserve.
The second factor is one that most people probably wouldn’t expect me to mention but I am going to bring it up since I believe that it played a part in my success with this routine. The thing that made the biggest difference was having a training partner.
Before I had a training partner I could only train four days a week since I couldn’t lift on Sunday due to church. Having that extra day really helped since my muscles had an extra day to rest before hitting the gym again.
Having a training partner also motivated me to go because if I hadn’t gone then I would be letting them down. It also helped alleviate any boredom that I might have felt while I was in the gym.
If I was feeling tired or sore they would often give me a little pep talk to get me going again.
Give This Routine A Try
If you are looking for a good all around routine for gaining size then this is something that you should definitely try out. It isn’t fancy but it does work!
Give this routine an honest try for six to eight weeks and see how your results turn out. If you don’t think that it is working for you then you can always switch to another routine later on.
Of course, if you do like the results that you’re getting then it might be a good idea to continue using this routine or at least elements of it for a while. There is no point in changing things up if it’s working and not really necessary.
You never know, you may just find this to be your perfect routine. I’d love to hear about your own results with this routine so feel free to share them in the comments section below.
You can also check out the article “42 Tips To Help You Build Muscle” for more info on bodybuilding.
If you found these tips helpful, please like this article and share it with your friends. And as always, I welcome all comments and questions below.
Sources & references used in this article:
10 Tips to Smash Through a Training Plateau by S McArthur – breakingmuscle.co.uk
Get Your Mojo Back: 5 Real-Life Tips for the Sleep Deprived by C Kobernik – breakingmuscle.com