Dad’s Training Program 2017

So here is a basic training program for my dad. He is over 60 and still working full time, so this program is meant to be done around his daily schedule where he just needs to get in three to four different workouts each week in the gym. Any additional cardio or long walks that he wants to do can be performed and will likely not cut in to his recovery. This is training for the long haul. Trying to be good at everything without taking on more risk than is necessary for performance (check out my pec tear if you want an example of pushing the limits and the risks involved). The goal is to follow some basic principles:

1) No sets under 8 repetitions

2) No exercises that bother the joints will be performed, change them accordingly

3) Only one set to failure for each exercise and that is only if you feel good

4) When you can perform 15 repetitions with quality technique add resistance to the exercise

5) Always start an exercise with the lightest resistance you can to warm up with

So with these basic underlying principles we will put together the training program on a 3 days a week of training program with an optional 4th day.

Day 1 2 3 4 (optional)
Exercise Goblet squats or Back squats DB military press Trap bar deadlift Bench Press
Sets x Reps 3-5 x 10 3-5 x 10 3-5 x 10 3-5 x 10
Exercise Back extensions Chin ups or pull ups Bulgarian split squats Db rows
Sets x Reps 3-5×15-20 3-5 x 10 3-5 x 10 3-5 x 10
Exercise Leg raises Push ups Ab wheel Cable tricep push downs
Sets x Reps 3-5×10-20 3-5 x 10 3-5×10-20 3-5 x 10
Exercise BW lunges Db laterals BW squats Band pull aparts
Sets x Reps 3-5×10-20 3-5 x 10 3-5×10-20 100 reps
Exercise Calf raises Threaded curl bar Calf raises Db curls
Sets x Reps 3-5×10-20 3-5 x 10 3-5×10-20 3-5 x 10


Warm up

Start off with at least 5 minutes of steady state cardio of your choice and then take 5 minutes to stretch out the muscle groups that you are using. Aim to follow the same movement patterns that you are training that day, and hit a few warm up sets of each exercise with an empty bar or dowel to just move.


Start light on all exercises and track your weights on each exercise each week. Aim to beat your performance each week from the previous week. This can be through just another rep or adding just another pound to each exercise. For movements like the chin ups/pull ups feel free to use the assistance machine so that you can get those sets of ten and once you can easily do those reps start decreasing the load.

Exercise Performance

On each exercise control the eccentric (part of the motion where you are relaxing the muscle under the load) by trying to take about three seconds. On the concentric (shortening the muscle) make sure you do so through a full range of motion and that you don’t do so in a ballistic manner in the beginning. Finally, use the biggest range of motion that you can (pain free) on each exercise.

Cool down

Feel free to do more cardio, but take some time and stretch out each muscle group you trained that day for at least thirty seconds. Hold those positions and just try to relax feeling the stretch through the entire muscle. No matter what you trained, stretch out your hips by doing both hip flexor stretches and glute/hamstring stretching. After that you are good to go.


This is a simple training program looking to keep or even build muscle mass and maintain joint health and function. Don’t get hooked too much on the exercises here, instead focus on the movement patterns that they use. The goal is to hit all of the major muscle groups and do so in a way that won’t beat you up. No real bells and whistles to this program, but a good base plan here for just about any one. Thanks for taking the time to read this and feel free to share it with anyone that might be able to gain from it.


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