I’m looking for general advice / guidance / coaching on my approach to doing weight-lifting and bodyweight exercises for general fitness, strength improvement, and building muscle mass.
I just turned 61, weight about 280 (down from 320) and started back in with weights/bodyweight exercises about 2 months ago. At home I just have the floor and other other furniture and some dumbbell bars with assorted weight plates. At work there is a fitness room with free weights and a number of machines, though it is all self-serve with no instructor and no spotters.
I am trying to do more than just tone up - I’d like to build up some muscle mass so that as I continue to lose weight, I will have some muscles to fill out the loose skin that is sure to result if I keep up the weight loss and get near my goals of under 200 (180 is my real target) over the next two years.
I used to work out more often in my 20s and 30s, and even again a little in my early 50s, but I am really committed to making this an ongoing habit that I can stick to for a long time.
So I guess my questions revolve around specific exercises, weight-vs-reps, number of sets, cooldown periods, etc.
I’ve been doing a routine of doing 3 sets of each exercise, working up from 8 reps per set to 10, and when I can do 3x10 easily, I increase weight and drop back to 8 reps. 90 seconds between sets, sometimes a couple of minutes between exercises. Exception is situps - just a single set (currently up to 30 reps).
I’ve been doing slightly inclined bench press on a Smith machine (no spotter), seated medium-grip overhand lat pulldowns, standing dumbbell military press, standing dumbbell curls, flat dumbbell bench press, bent-over dumbbell rows.
Doesn’t sound like a lot of exercises, but when taking into account time between sets it eats up a good 45 minutes.
For legs, I try to do some bodyweight squats and decline calf raises (using a step), and bridges (3 reps held for 30 seconds) on between days, and I also try to get in a 2 to 3 mile walk 3 or 4 days a week.
I really just need to know if this is a good approach, or if there is something different needed for my age range. This is similar to what I used to do when younger. However these days I am noticing more aches and pains on the day after workouts than I used to. I don’t know if that means I am not yet toughened up and just need to keep working out, or if I am pushing too hard and need to slow down on the rate of weight increase. Like maybe work up to 3 set of 12 before adding weight.
Any comments appreciated. I should have your book in the mail in a few days so maybe everything I need to know will be in there.
** I am otherwise healthy for my age - no arthritis or heart condition - just overweight and been sedentary for too long.