What is the opinion of Reddit about the
The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40?

A total of 21 reviews of this product on Reddit.

24 points


22nd Nov 2019

The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40” is a book that covers a good bit of this.

It’s based from Starting Strength, with modifications depending on how many decades old ya are. The basic idea is that the data that the more strength you have at the beginning of any given decade, the better your odds of living to the next decade.

Walking is great, if the other option is sitting. Lifting light weights is great, if the other option is lifting nothing. Lifting relatively heavy things seems to correlate with you living longer. For women, from anecdotal experience, yoga isn’t enough to stop bone density loss, while medium-heavy weightlifting absolutely is.

Separately from that book…

For “fall over and break a hip”, that seems to be the one that gets a lotta people. The two ways it seems to happen (also anecdotally) are blood pressure weirdness (for people in bad shape), or drug doses/interactions (for people in whatever shape who are on medications often prescribed to old folks). One family member was outta shape, and standing up too fast caused them to fall, hard. (Blood pressure.) Another family member had one doctor change a prescription not knowing what another doctor had them on, and the drug interactions basically knocked them out while standing up.

TLDR: lift weights and be in more-muscular shape if you can, but even if that doesn’t work, don’t stop moving. Manage your medications if you can, or have someone help you if you can’t.

19 points


9th Sep 2018

I’ll be the “are you sure this is a good overall plan?” guy.

I do a reasonably intense strength workout 3 times a week and run about 20 miles a week. I did P90X back in the day before I found reddit and to this day I wouldn’t go back to it b/c it was too intense for me to reasonably maintain. I remember with great pain the yoga segments where I’d overstretch and make myself incredibly sore or the aburdly long ab segments that were like torture.

The key to a good workout plan is something that is absolutely maintainable for the rest of your life (or at least a foreseeable window), and has a plan for progressive (and reasonable) increases in difficultly. I’ve become a bit generic in my suggestions to this sub b/c it’s so damn good, but I’d suggest you read The Barbell Prescription and look into following it. It has exercises that consider what an untrained 80 year old might do, so it quite thoroughly covers ALL bases. On the other hand, I like to think I’m reasonably fit and strong and that 3x week program I referenced above is a an extended version of the workout plan they suggest (I added some more upper body accessory exercises, and run which the authors aren’t huge fans of, but otherwise it’s their 3×5 program to a T).

It’s likely that you could do most of the exercises indicated with some kettlebells or other lighter weights and, for the time being not have to worry about having access to a full fledged power rack and barbells.

17 points


16th Aug 2018

Read the Barbell Prescription (basically Starting Strength for 40+ year olds written by an ER MD focused on preventing people from living sad weak broken lives and dying of diabetes and frailty). Join a gym that lets you do what it tells you to do, hire a trainer as needed for form.

7 points


7th Jul 2021

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I would not recommend Stronglifts 5×5 for you. I’m confident you would be served better with much less volume.

Masters Athletes are volume sensitive and Intensity dependent. You would be better served with Starting Strength or one of the masters progressions of starting strength.

Get this book and start with one of the programs for your age range.

“The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After Forty”


1 point


30th Oct 2021

This is completely unnecessary and your energy is probably better spent doing something else. You should be following Dr. Sullivan’s instructions from his book The Barbell Prescription when your lifts get stuck.

1 point


18th Oct 2021

Masters / seniors are volume sensitive and intensity dependent.

Older people do not handle higher volumes well. Conversely, older people will detrain faster than younger people and in order to retain strength need to touch heavier weights in favor of higher volumes.

This is not a good program for elderly folks ( too much volume). The Starting Strength program is a much better option and really caters to masters aged lifters.

I would recommend this book

The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 https://www.amazon.com/dp/0982522770/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_glt_fabc_YDEW609PV8NCGRCXEH4N

As well as Starting Strength 3rd edition.

12 points


4th Jan 2019

You’re in luck! Starting Strength has a coach (and former ER doctor) named Jonothan Sullivan who wrote a book called The Barbell Prescription that’s specifically for the 40+ crowd. He’s also got a great YouTube channel. There’s a video of a 90 year old lifter there, so I’m thinking you’ve got maybe 50 years give or take a decade of quality gains left. 🙂

8 points


27th Jun 2021


Its 20 bucks. My grandmother started strength training in her 70’s. She died this year, late 80’s. She was fit and mobile up till the last couple months. Any activity is better than none, but strength training will pay great dividends. Walking when it’s safe and a few weights isn’t a bad idea.

3 points


14th Jul 2021

I have this book, and I’ve read it and implemented some ideas into my training:

The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40


I also use Starting Strength – the app – for programming and technique info.


In fact, that’s where I found out about the Barbell Prescription.

Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength) is not my favorite person, but his strength training information is solid and reliable. The app, his info, and The Barbell Prescription align on the benefits lifting heavy, the basic lifts that get you the most bang for the buck, progression, and technique.

None of it is female specific but I don’t know that it needs to be. The app does have a strength progression and set/rep set up for women. I didn’t realize that at first and was doing the men’s progression (really suitable for a man under 40), which was fine for a while, though it did become a little much eventually – but at the time I was also training for something else and trying to drop weight, so it’s really not possible to know what to blame! For us over 40s and 50s, the Barbell Prescription talks about programming once you’ve started to plateau or feel like it’s too much to continue. We need longer to recover than the youngsters!

2 points


19th Jan 2017

Greysteel is a relatively new YouTube channel, so not much content yet. I’d describe it as Starting Strength for 50+ people, also has a book The Barbell Prescription which again is basically Starting Strength for 50+ people (though the cover says 40) found on Amazon or Starting Strength store

It’s more info heavy than actual workout content, so not sure if this is what you’re looking for

EDIT: GreySteel’s facebook page also has some content!

2 points


24th Apr 2017

My parents are both over 60. My mom (with no fitness background) started lifting after age 60 using Starting Strength model as described in The Barbell Prescription

also on Amazon

If you do end up getting the book, read it from cover to cover and you will get a good understanding on how to modify the program to meet your mom’s needs. There are chapters for specific age groups, but the author states even that’s an arbitrary cut off as everyone’s different, so don’t just read that specific chapter and skip the rest.

My dad (being more fit) on the other hand is able to do push ups and pull ups, but never squatted. He became interested in barbell training from my mom and just started Greyskull LP and making nice gains.

The previous comments have great pointers as well.

1 point


8th Mar 2021

Strength training: https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescription-Strength-Training-After/dp/0982522770. That book, written by a doctor, argues that anyone interested in aging well is an athlete who needs to train for the sport of aging. It further argues that big, compound barbell movements (with some additional conditioning work) is the best modality for training in the sport of aging. If you’re still young (under 40), https://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-Basic-Barbell-Training/dp/0982522738 is what you want.

I’ve been lifting for a bit more than a year, and the effect has been remarkably positive. My shoulder and back don’t hurt any more, and I’ve put on 25 pounds of lean body mass. I plan to lift 3x/week until I’m dead.

Warning: It’s physically and mentally hard. It doesn’t hurt, but grinding out that last rep of the last set is super difficult and makes demands on you that you might not ever have had to face before. It never gets any easier, you just add more weight to the bar.

1 point


7th Nov 2020

I think the best book in the industry for barbell training for middle aged and older people is The Barbell Perscription by Dr Johnathon Sullivan. He recently did a podcast series on the Barbell Logic podcast too, I’ll link the first episode in his series where he introduces himself and goes over the first part of his book here.

And I think these are the best videos I’ve ever seen to teach the squat, press, and deadlift.

1 point


17th Oct 2019

If you want to get strong and live a long time, read Barbell Prescription: https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescription-Strength-Training-After/dp/0982522770

After you do that, if you decide you want to try to get a six pack and don’t mind some motivational speaker BS mixed in read Bigger Leaner Stronger: https://www.amazon.com/Bigger-Leaner-Stronger-Building-Ultimate-ebook/dp/B006XF5BTG/

TL;DR For both. Lose weight through diet not exercise. Get enough protein. The most efficient way to build healthy muscle and bones is through heavy compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press and overhead press. You don’t need to workout 2 hours a day and do 1000 sets of random shit to get big and strong. Paying a qualified trainer to teach form could be very worth it. Many (most?) Certified Personal Trainers are morons that took a 3 hour course and are there to sell chunks of hours, beware, they know less than half the people you’d talk to on /r/fitness.

1 point


24th Oct 2018

Send him a copy of The Barbell Prescription, and point him toward The Greysteel Channel on YouTube.

1 point


24th Oct 2018

“…would it be beneficial for him to do 5×5? any advice is great, but please don’t say that he should start barbell training…” Huh? 5×5 is barbell training. But you’re right, you can’t force him to do anything.


Send him a copy of [The Barbell Prescription](https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescription-Strength-Training-After/dp/0982522770), and point him in the direction of the [Greysteel YouTube Channel](https://www.youtube.com/greysteel) for starters.

1 point


28th Apr 2018

There’s evidence that mixing strength training and cardio is sub-optimal. The gist is that each type of activity leads to different metabolic pathways and your body can’t do both at the same time.

Sullivan and Baker do a good (but highly technical) treatment of this in their book (Chapter 4, the section titled Interference Effects). I found a less technical treatment on the ISSA website which largely comes to the same conclusion.

None of that directly addresses your question, but it’s something to be aware of.

What I haven’t yet figured out is how much time do you need to allow between the two types of training to avoid the interference effect. Is lift in the morning, cardio in the afternoon enough? Or should it be lift today, cardio tomorrow?

1 point


19th Mar 2017

Shout out to Grey Steel, a barbell gym for the 50-100 age crowd that specializes in using barbells as medicine. The owner, Jonathon Sullivan has literally written the book on the topic. He’s a Starting Strength coach and that underpins his methods.

So even if you somehow managed to make it to mid-age or older without exercising, it’s never too late.

0 points


5th Nov 2018

Get him the book Barbell Prescription, and a food weight(for weightloss) <strong>https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescription-Strength-Training-After/dp/0982522770</strong>