I am a 54 year old male that has been weight training for over a year. I run a construction business and work pretty much everyday.

Sometimes it's difficult after work, but I try to lift every day. My present routine is:

  • Day 1) 6 sets of bench press, super setted with tricep press

  • Day 2) 6 sets of Wide grip pull-downs super setted with bent grip curls

  • Day 3) 6 sets of close grip upright rows no super sets (yet)

And I start over on the 4th day.

I see results in my physique (albeit slowly). I always eat 3 square/quality meals (big breakfast, sandwich and fruit at lunch, and whatever is on the table for dinner) and I've also added 3 eggs, 3 bananas, some whey powder supplement drink every other day at around 2PM.

I'm 6'2" tall and weigh about 207 pounds. I don't have a ripped gut, but don't have any flab neither. Here's what I'd like some help with: Is my routine an ideal one? Can it be improved? Should I increase my sets? Should I rest more for faster growth?

BTW: my equipment is some sort of all-in-one cable station. I don't have free weights (yet), but presently cables are my only weight equipment. Thanks for any advice and suggestions.


-Tony D.

  • 1
    What about your lower body? Aug 28, 2015 at 0:57
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    I agree with what @Kneel-Before-ZOD said, and I would also replace the upright rows (with a more bent over or seated version), or at the very least widen the grip, to reduce that amount of stress you're putting on your shoulders while under internal rotation.
    – Alex L
    Aug 28, 2015 at 1:38
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    Can you share your expectations and your definition of best results? That would probably help the people here give more specific, helpful advice. Aug 28, 2015 at 2:01
  • I mostly would like to feel and look healthy. So with that as a continuing goal and weight lifting as a means to it; I would like to add some muscle mass to my frame.
    – ojait
    Aug 28, 2015 at 3:34
  • 1
    lol at ...psyching myself up for squats and/or lunges... Just do it, man! :) Aug 29, 2015 at 1:59

2 Answers 2


The short of it: No. Absolutely not ideal.

If you want the best results, leg day is the most important day. This is the day where you use the largest bulk of muscles (and not just legs either).

How to improve your approach

The biggest issue here is that you're working only your upper body, but forgetting legs and lower back.

Legs and lower back are what you work to reduce your risk of injury, and become a better athlete altogether. Legs and lower back are what you work to increase how much calories you burn by default, because it requires more effort from your heart and central nervous system (CNS).

Your balance will improve, your endurance will improve, your metabolism will improve, your back will improve, and let's face it, this is the most important thing at any age, but more so the older you get.

But don't worry, there are some freely available pre-programmed schedules that anyone can just pick up and use, and one of my favorite ones to advocate is Stronglifts 5x5.

And before you ask; yes. Any age. :)

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    I'd say that Starting Strength is slightly superior than StrongLifts. Power cleans are more of an explosive movement than Pendlay rows and are easier to progressively overload for a longer period of time (due to the disadvantageous position of Pendlay rows, it's hard to progress as quickly). Granted, SL is slightly more balanced in that it has relatively equal upper body pulling to pushing (chins + rows vs military / bench press).
    – Alex L
    Aug 28, 2015 at 13:34
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    @AlexL - Yes, I'm inclined to agree with you on that.
    – Alec
    Aug 28, 2015 at 13:38
  • @Alec- Thanks for the advice. I will study the information from the 'Stronglifts 5x5' link you posted. It looks interesting.
    – ojait
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:41
  • This should be the answer! The suggested routine is well balanced :p Aug 29, 2015 at 2:03
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    @ojait While the answer gives you the butterfly in the tummy effect you probably wanted to hear, it's not accurate. Your Day 1 exercises work the chest and triceps, Days 2 and 3 work your back and shoulders. There was nothing in the answer suggesting you to perform lower body exercises. If you continue with what you're doing, 1, you'll have muscular imbalance in your upper body and 2, you'll become Captain Upper body. Friends don't let friends skip leg day :) Aug 30, 2015 at 2:56

(This may be a different slant than the one you are asking for, and if so I apologize, but anyway…)

As long as you are doing something, you will be able to improve your general fitness and you will gradually notice yourself feeling and looking healthier. Particularly in your case where you are working so diligently and with so many movements, there will be benefits over the long term without any revision of your workout plan.

Further, if you practice an exercise consistently, you will improve. Therefore, even if you simply stick to what you are doing now, you will see yourself getter stronger, and your workout regime will continue producing results.

For feeling and looking healthier, and for improving physical ability, the main thing is simply that you are working out. What that workout is is of less importance.

If you have specific goals, such as adding x inches to a certain body part in y months or benching z pounds by year's end, then there are likely equally specific movements that will move you towards those goals more quickly than your current routine, and you'll want to investigate those specific movements once you have defined your specific goals.

From your initial question though, it seems that you don't have the expectation of transforming into a pro powerlifter or of morphing into a 20-year old fitness magazine model, and in that case, I would suggest that, if you enjoy your current plan and are seeing results, you should keep going with it, stay disciplined, and you'll see even more results in the years to come.

(And adding some cardio wouldn't be a bad idea either.)

  • No need to apologize. Your answer is sound and true. I will stay the course, add to my routine and become better and stronger. Mucho Gusto.
    – ojait
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:47

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