Freestyle It x

This will be one of those ‘rambling’ on articles I’m afraid.

Purely because it’s really hard to concise this information here and neatly package it.

But I’m hoping that you can still gain something from it.

Sometimes its one little thing you pick up that can make a huge difference in your life and training.


So here goes – I am just going to spit stuff out and hope it lands right side up.


The Goal

As you may have read in my last journal – I have a goal to take to the stage again.

It’s not a comeback -(even though I have had more of them than Rocky) but a divergent from powerlifting.

Even though I’m still powerlifting with two meets coming up. I realised powerlifting just breaks me up and I’m actually stronger as a body-builder. Yep you read that right, when I just train and not focus on the big three, I actually lift more on the big three.

I worked this out over the last six months. Whenever I set myself into a base plan for powerlifting a few weeks in things start to lock up.

I feel drained from the inside out, systematically jigged if you will.

When I just trained ‘normal’ with no plan other than training hard and not being a pussy. I got stronger and stronger.

Here’s my take on this.

My body is unable to recover from the heavy–heavy stuff.

But it can from not so heavy even though it’s four times the volume and days of training.

Yes, you could say only train a few days a week on the big moves and you will recover.

Doesn’t work for me- my body just withers away, and in-turn I get even more niggles as I’m not using the ‘machine’ -it rusts up.


To Ridged And I Crack

I need sometimes lead with my mind or follow with my body.

Training for me at this point in my training life and age has to be more ‘fluid’ for want of a better word.

I can when training fluidly move further forward.

Rather like a fast flowing river finding its way through rocks and debris. It finds its way naturally, flows fast and flows slow but never stops forward progress to its goal.


Thing is – I love and crave structure and strict regimentation. Always have, so this is very hard for me to accept. But I have to in order for my body to not break down because of restrictions of age and recovery.

So my nature being as it is, in order to control something I have turned my regimentation to food and let my training roam free.



If I’m stuck to a program, as I did for years I may add, I always had a plan.

But now if such a plan calls for bench press at a certain weight for a prescribed number of reps and I feel nothing but grinding in my joints, I’m really not doing myself any favors. But, me being me would normally push on- bad idea.


So as I said I would invariably break something, not smart I know, too much aggression and not enough smarts.

So as time has gone on and I have worn tired of banging my head on the wall, I have at last seen the light.

I would over the past few years give myself a good talking to, but really not listen. But then one day it hit home.


Train Hard But Smart

Hard for even me to grasp, but I’m just going to say it.

I have no routine!

Arhhhhh – god I feel like an addict or something.

Taking a deep breath and admitting something to myself and others.

So again—I have no routine.

No plan.

No set reps or sets.

No set exercises.

Phewwww – but I do know what body part I’m going to train.

But as far as that nothing else.


This so bloody odd for me -but do you know what?

Its bloody working better than I would have ever thought possible.

A few years ago I would have fought you tooth and nail, no way is that going to work.

But it will and does for someone like myself who is advanced in years and years of training.

I would not advocate this ‘non structure’ routine for a young up and comer.

The young guy needs structure needs steady progression and a solid foundation.

Old guys like me -have had years of the above and if I maybe so bold to say only need to maintain the foundation built.

This does not mean -not progress as I have all intention of progressing and improving.

But at this stage in my training life there are many more aspects to increasing muscle size than lifting heavy.

These aspects come from quality work in lots of different rep ranges, intensity’s and volume.

This has been achieved for me by out of the box training sessions.

A huge diversity of reps movements and angles I have employed with huge success.

Reps have been at 50 – 30 – 20 – and as low as 5. Sets per body part as high as 18 -20 and as low as 6, its never the same as it’s all by feel.

If I could put it in a sentence it would be.

Kick the shit out of the muscle till you know you have done enough.


Many times – upon feeling good on old structured programs I would do my ‘planned’ session and really feel I could have done more.

So with this ‘freestyle’ training I go by how my mind and body feel.

I have trained long enough to no longer paint by numbers if you will.

I am a training artist at this life stage and need to do what needs to be done by feel.

So if I come in the gym and I want to dead lift – it can be anywhere in the program start middle end and for any reps. I may start out doing them and my body is fluid and everything clicks right, well on that day it maybe 180kg for low reps. Another day 140kg for high, dead lifts may not even be in the picture.

Do you see the reasoning behind this?

When you’re older you have to listen to YOU.


Wrap Up

My goal is the stage next year.

I want to be the best I can be at 51/52 and I’m too proud not to give it all I have.

So I need to listen to my mind and body, and you if your like me advanced you need to listen to yourself.

Ideas you soak up – and use what’s of use to you, discard the rest.

I will post my sessions up and give you some thing’s to try and with the right mindset you will progress.


An odd post I know.

But an honest one as always, I am gaining back so much muscle it’s exciting that my body is changing so fast.

I want to help you and I can only do that by telling you like it is.

I’m only like you — I have only been 50 once -not lived before so I’m still learning and finding my way.

Hope I can help you find your way too.

Ian x





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