You’re Old, Own It!


Whenever my daughter and I run errands together she’ll hot step over to me as I get out of the car; grab my arm and say, “Let me help you since you’re old as fok and I don’t want you to break a hip.” She’s special like that. It cracks me up. When it’s icy out, there have been plenty of times we’ve almost gone down together and believe me, I think I’d come out of that better than her.

I proved that last night. I took a spill that happened so fast; scared the ever lovin’ out of my husband and took a step stool and a table with me. MyBad. Christmas light application is no joke. But I’m fine. I’ll have some good bruises, maybe, I don’t really bruise much. My right glutes are tender and my left arm knows that it took much of the impact but nothing broke; nothing bent, all is well. As lucky as I feel that I didn’t crack an arm or something equally as annoying, I’m also thankful that I’m strong enough to take a blow. I got Chinese take-out off it all so I’ll take that as a win. Heh.

But I’m old. Older anyway than I was last year when I ran my off-season program. Know what that means? I need to pay attention to how I’m feeling. Cuz if I run my body into the ground now, I’m sunk for next year. In all ways, not just in competition. I want to feel good. I want to feel strong. I’ll put up with some brief soreness due to a switch up in programming but if it’s chronic, I need to change my programming. Duh.

The amount of times I read on the interwebz where Masters age (read: older than 40) people are driving themselves into the ground based on a complete lack of understanding or proper programming surprises even me and I’m about as cynical as they come. Many believe that being so sore you can’t get yourself off the toilet the next day means that you had an “asskicker” of a workout and you can’t wait to get back at it…once you can walk again. Ya know what that means?

You’ve either hired a coach that has no idea how to train a masters age person and  doesn’t understand the damage chronic inflammation does to you so they just made you do a workout a 25 year old would do just fine and when you tell them how gawdawful sore you are they just talk you into the fact that you’re so horribly out of shape that it will get better when you get stronger. (Ya, I know that was long winded but I get long winded when I rant.) When IN FACT, you should have hired the coach that understands how age affects the body and will GET you stronger without over damaging muscle and tissue so that you can function in life the ENTIRE time you’re getting stronger. See how that works?

The other scenario people of age utterly fail at is reading a program on the internet (it’s true if it’s on the internet, right) and saying, ‘hey, that looks perfect for me.’ without any idea on how adaptation works. Case in point, I follow Matt Vincent’s Training Lab for my programming. It’s basically a standard periodized program but someone else wrote it all down for me and that makes it easy. Off-season; Pre-season; In-season and recovery. Covered it all and I like it. But do I follow it as written? Uhhhhhhh, course not. The program was written for the ideal candidate; like dudes in their prime ready to hit the gym hard while Mom makes them their hot pockets for recover. (Not really but it still cracks me up when my Zac will yell from the other room, “MA, MAKE ME A HOT POCKET.” No, I never do but I get a chuckle out of it;) Point is, the average person who would find success with the (most actually) program is a dude in their 20’s-early 40’s who hasn’t seen a substantial dip in testosterone yet or is smart enough to supplement and has a job that supports training their ass off each week or is smart enough to know how to adjust for work demands.

But that’s not me. I’m a 47 year old mom of three with pretty crappy genetics and whenever I’m training my main concern is this: How will I recover from this? Because if I’m not recovering, I’m screwed. So I add a Jules twist to Training Lab and it works just fine. Actually, it works perfectly according to successes of my last season and how I feel now. I’m entering my 10×10’s Block very gingerly right now and never, ever, neverever do 10×10’s on the deadlift.

Ever. If I did that, I’d be out of commission for weeks and would do enough damage to my system as a whole that it would take me months to recover. RECOVER, the most important part of strength training for people in general but especially us Master’s. Chronic inflammation prevents recovery. It seems so simple to me that it boggles my mind how someone fails to understand that. But there are lots of folks out there who have entered into their 40’s and above without the benefit of a strength training background and will rely on others for help.

If you do nothing before beginning a training program, Google that shit: Chronic Inflammation. Decide if it’s for you. If it isn’t make sure you have adjusted a written program to account for age; level of training (how many times have you seen a novice trying out an Advanced program, it’d be lulz if it weren’t so sad); life demands; genetic history. If your “trainer” has started you out so that you are so incredibly sore that you can’t function in life for days, fire them. Now. Seriously, do not give loyalty to idiots. Sure, they’ll call you a quitter. Who the fuck cares? Yes, moron, I’m quitting you and your stupidity. Thanks for recognizing you suck and I need to get so far away from you that your ignorant energy won’t permeate my life further. True story.

OH! And here’s a little PSA for you youngins’ who think you’re untouchable cuz you’re still young and firm and can drive yourself into the ground as much as you want: no you can’t. You’ll break down, sooner or later. There’s only so many checks you can write against your bankrupt body. Duh.

And ya know what? Getting old isn’t really that bad.  We have the benefits of being stronger than most but wiser and more comfortable with ourselves that the high-maintenance attention whoring young guns usually fail to own. Yeah us. We’re actually pretty awesome…


Powerlifter Gene Lawrence sets world records as much as others his age get new prescriptions. He’s so beyond awesome that I feel bad for men who have no chance of being an ounce of how awesome he is.

…very awesome…


The 60, 70, and 80’s age groups getting prepared to throw a 42# WOB in Scotland. Watching these men was amazing. Their competitive spirit is just as strong as all of ours and they’d get just as pissed with that Caber wouldn’t turn for them.

 …the awesomest.


The standard we should strive for.

They thought that athletes that worked out with my system wouldn’t be able to throw a ball because they’d be too muscle bound. Those are the misconceptions I had to go through for about 40 years.

Jack LaLanne 

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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