Recently I was asked what types of things that I do that I attribute to my lifting success as a “natural,” older athlete. What supplements do I take, do I get bodywork, and so on.

 

After a bit of thought, and reflecting on what I actually do (as opposed to what I might think or say), it occurred to me that there are five behaviors or areas of focus that I tend to place above all the others.

 

 

1. Train Consistently and Progressively

Keyboard jockeys endlessly debate the relative value of nutrition versus training. Me? I value both. In terms of training, assuming you’re using effective movements, what matters most is that you train consistently. Personally, I’ve logged in 95 workouts so far this year (an average of one workout every 1.88 days).

 

Once consistently is established, intensity is the name of the game. Again, it’s consistent intensity that matters, not occasional heroic efforts interspersed with ho-hum workouts. Personally, every time I step foot in the gym, I’m looking for some way to better my last workout. I don’t always succeed, mind you, but I do my level best to improve each and every time.

 

2. Track Macros

I’m late to the party when it comes to this, but I’ve been religiously tracking my macros for about two years now. Look, research shows that most of us are terrible at estimating our caloric intake, no less our macros. If you track your training, why wouldn’t you track your nutrition? Probably because if you’ve never done it, it sounds like a lot of work. It’s not if you use Lose It!, like I do.

 

3. Have a Training Partner(s)

I’m not even particularly a social person, but having social support in the gym is critical to long-term success. Sure, I admire people who can rise to the task all on their own, but in the end, what really matters is getting the job done, not how you do it. Find a person or people who share your passion and who can support your efforts in the gym.

 

4. Get Sleep

I often joke that I’d rather go hungry than go without sleep, and I mean it. It’s impossible to overestimate the impact that solid sleep habits have on your health and recovery levels.

 

Sure, we all know people with poor sleep habitswho seem to be successful, but I’d argue that in those cases, the success isn’t a result of poor sleep - it’s despite the poor sleep. Successful people tend to be driven, and that drive is what enables these people to get things done, but it’s also what leads to poor sleep. They’d do better if they developed better sleep habits.

 

5. Consume Caffeine

I’d have to say that caffeine is the most effective anabolic supplement I’ve ever discovered. It’s not sexy, and most of us just take it for granted, but of all the pre-workout aids available, caffeine is the gold standard.

 

I hope these insights were helpful - now on to this week’s training!

 

This Week’s Training

Training volume was down a bit from last week, but still quite high for me. I’ve been working hard in terms of grinding out multiple sets of two, three, and five on the big three lifts, which is exactly what I need to be doing. One of my tendencies is to work up to one big set, which is fine, but I need to develop the ability to perform repeated heavy efforts.

 

Hope your training is also been productive, and as always, I welcome your comments and questions!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 56,295 lbs (Last Week’s Volume: 69,731 lbs)

 

Significant Lifts:

  • Squat 295 (4x2)
  • Deadlifts 375 (5x3)

 

Monday, June 23, 2014, 9:35 PM

Bodyweight: 202.8 lbs

 

Volume: 16,405 lbs

 

SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 3

Set 6: 275 lbs × 2

Set 7: 295 lbs × 2

Set 8: 295 lbs × 2

Set 9: 295 lbs × 2

Set 10: 295 lbs × 2

 

DOUBLE KETTLEBELL SWING

 

Set 1: 106 lbs × 15

Set 2: 106 lbs × 15

Set 3: 106 lbs × 15

 

LEG EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 165 lbs × 12

Set 2: 165 lbs × 12

 

BACK EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 8

Set 2: 135 lbs × 8

 

Video of this entire session, including voiceover commentary:

 

 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 12:50 PM

Bodyweight: 201.6 lbs

 

Volume: 13,129 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 182.5 lbs × 5

Set 5: 182.5 lbs × 5

Set 6: 182.5 lbs × 5

Set 7: 182.5 lbs × 5

Set 8: 182.5 lbs × 5

 

CHIN UP

 

Set 1: 8 reps

Set 2: 7 reps

Set 3: 6 reps

Set 4: 5 reps

 

EZ-BAR CURL

 

Set 1: 65 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 10

Set 3: 65 lbs × 10

 

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 1:05 PM

Bodyweight: 200.6 lbs

 

Volume: 15,125 lbs

 

DEADLIFT

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 3

Set 3: 225 lbs × 3

Set 4: 315 lbs × 1

Set 5: 375 lbs × 3

Set 6: 375 lbs × 3

Set 7: 375 lbs × 3

Set 8: 375 lbs × 3

Set 9: 375 lbs × 3

 

Video of this entire session, including voiceover commentary:

 

 

14.5" HIGH BAR BOX SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 5

Set 5: 225 lbs × 5

Set 6: 225 lbs × 5

 

BARBELL HIP THRUST

 

Set 1: 315 lbs × 10

 

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 7:33 AM

Bodyweight: 202 lbs

 

Volume: 11,636 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 100 lbs × 15

Set 2: 145 lbs × 12

Set 3: 177 lbs × 8

Set 4: 130 lbs × 12

 

CHEST-SUPPORTED ROW

 

Set 1: 110 lbs × 8

Set 2: 110 lbs × 8

Set 3: 110 lbs × 8

 

BICEP CURL (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 60 lbs × 12

Set 2: 70 lbs × 10

Set 3: 80 lbs × 8

Set 4: 60 lbs × 12

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions.

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