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Bodybuilding and Aging: How Getting Older Affects Your Training

Bodybuilding legend Ric Drasin talks about getting the most out of weight training as he gets older

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Bodybuilding and Aging: How Getting Older Affects Your Training

This is something that we’re all faced with eventually. Time moves on and so does our age. It affects our training greatly. The days of heavy lifting move over to lighter sets and more machines than free weights. Injuries and arthritis set in from years of lifting heavy. So what should the aging bodybuilder do and how can he handle this mentally as well as physically. Well you have to throw all egos aside and be realistic of what’s taking place in the body.

I had a great bench press of 455 lbs. and now I’m lucky to do 175 and I haven’t even done benches in over 2 years. It hurts my shoulder, and I have a torn triceps which really hinders me but I haven’t really lost any size. Benches were great for strength and ego, but they really didn’t do that much for my size. I thought they did when I was younger, but then moved to dumbbells, which I was able to get more development from because I could go deeper with my reps.

Now I do a lot of machines and they work well. They main thing is muscle resistance, whether it be a free weight or machine - and today’s machines are designed to replicate free weights. I don’t go heavy at all but rather do strict reps with a lighter weight and shape the muscle. I’ve had people tell me that I was huge back in the day, and I was, but I’m actually heavier now and my shirts fit tighter. What they were seeing was more cuts under the lights and posed photos so I really did look bigger. Yes, I was probably bulkier, but as I age, I feel that leaner looks better and is much healthier.

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