Robert Braunstein: 70 Years Old and Kicking Your Ass – Jim Wendler

Robert Braunstein: 70 Years Old and Kicking Your Ass


[caption id="attachment_3750" align="alignnone" width="500"]Robert and his wife. Robert and his wife.[/caption]
I recently found a Facebook post by a lifter named Robert Braunstein detailing his latest meet success. Robert is 70 years old and still lifting weights most young men are still dreaming about.  Below are some public posts I found by Robert, talking about some of his lifting philosophies and advice for all lifters, regardless of age.  When an older lifter, who's been in the game for this long, talks we all should listen.   Read below and you'll learn something.
On Sunday Dec. 13th I broke my USA Powerlifting records Masters 4, (70 years old) 120 kilo class (264 lbs) RAW. I weighted in at 251.  My total was more than 1100. Squat 410, bench 315, deadlift 405. I only do the 5/3/1 program, limit assistance exercises to two; only exercises that aid my lifts. I do not take protein, or creatine, as it is a waste of money. I eat lots of eggs, fruit, greens, and limit my sweets. Friday night is hamburger night. (only med. rare) I am now pursuing world records. I spend no more than 45 min. in the gym
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Lots of questions, now the info: I do not do drugs. I do not supplement. At 70 creatine, and protein powder are expensive toilet bowl products. What I do is stick to my routine. I concentrate on form. There are days when your lifts suck, and days when they don't. Stick to your routine. There is no magic template. You must find which assistance exercises work for you. Take in consideration your arm, torso, and leg lengths. Film yourself, and ask knowledgeable people about what they observe. For those guys who are waiting for a big total to compete, don't wait. The meet is an experience. Observe, and absorb. Learn when to warm up, when to stretch etc. Learn to breath, and relax. Do not become a "show off". I have a Masters degree, but it doesn't help me in the weight room. I am a combat vet, and that's not helping me lift weights. Being humble, and lifting the weights, breathing, hand, head, eye, and foot placement helps you. Yes I lost strength as I aged, but I am still strong. The secret is in your heart, and mind. Get your ass in gear, and lift.
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My advise for young lifters. Do not spend money on protein powder, creatine, or the like. Drink whole milk. Drink chocolate milk, post-workout. Stick to the basics: squat, dead lift, bench, military press, and learn to do cleans. Get a routine where you do not wear your self out with assistance exercises. Lift heavy. If you want a big chest, arms, legs, and back - squat heavy. Long distance runners, or sprinters bodies? Have patience. Read articles. Throw away Muscle and Fitness and stop reading it.  Check out the advertisements, as they are loaded with growth products;  most are harmful to young lifters. There is no magic. When I started my mentor did not let me put weight on the bar for 2 weeks. That being said learn the correct form; breathing, eye, hand ,head, and foot placement. Most of all after you learn do not become a gym asshole. Teach someone else.
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If you think your tough. If you think your training is hard. Think again. Every Tues. from 9 AM to 4 PM I sit with my wife at the cancer center, and watch my wife, and other people go through various treatments. We have 2 more treatments to go. She never says a word. When I lift weights, run, or box I don't think my work outs are tough. This disease does not discriminate. Stay tough friends. ---------- To all: everyday in the gym a young person asks for advise. Primarily how to get "bigger, and stronger." I start out by telling them that form is more important than anything. I also tell them to squat,deadlift, bench, military press, and add cleans. I also introduce them to a simple routine for strength. I tell them that they need to read, as well. Pick 1, but not more than 2 assistance exercises to start. I also tell them to eat at least 5 meals a day. I explain that they need a week where they de-load (go lighter) for their CNS. Out of all of the kids there maybe 2 or 3 who listen. I watch as they grind out rep after rep with 4, or more assistance exercises. Stop reading crap articles about lifting. I always suggest authors. Start slowly, progress slowly, and train, not exercise. Have a plan. YouTube, and the like wont help. Yes, some YouTube is good, but be wary of who is offering advise. There are no short cuts.
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 The drop off in strength from 62 to 69 years of age is not significant considering a 30 lb. weight loss. My premise is that once you stop lifting weights (heavy weights) you start the process of rapid deterioration. I have friends who are into long distance running. Their body seems to age faster than mine. I do not have the research, however observing, and comparing vitals I appear to be doing better. I do not do drugs, smoke, or eat a lot of sweets. That being said my cardio consists of running with a 70 pound vest for 20 to 30 min. (I vary the speeds, or interval). This affect hardens the body.(Read Steve Justa's "The Book of Strength", primarily chapter two which talks about carrying weight). In looking at pure strength athletes I believe that this is true. So a combination of pure strength training with heavy weight with minimal rest (Jimmy Xic's hit training), and not doing drugs enhances the life span. Nutrition is vital, as sugar both erodes, and ages the body.
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What ever method you use; Wendler, Westside, Sheiko, Cube, and a host of others. You need to stick to one plan. You cannot mix, and match, stop one go to another, and go back. While on your plan you will discover what your body adapts to. Remember you will plateau. Its what you do after that. Your peak should be timed to coincide with your meet. The considerations should be based on your ability to respond to a specific training. I start my lifters with a simple system. My goal is not to be their "Guru." I want them to be able to make decisions based on their own ability. I do not believe you should wait for a couple of years to compete. Competition regardless of your totals are the best teacher. I also like to listen to my lifters in regard to their feelings about their progress, work outs, and adjustments. I do not believe in screaming, shoving, dragging, or over loading. If I don't have a answer I will find the answer. As you progress, a number of people will give you advise, as they want to be associated with you. " Let your self be your guide as you gain experience." Make your stew,and add what you need to the stew.