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How To Do Abbreviated Training Over 50 + Why – HashiMashi.com

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Abbreviated Training Over 50 – Introduction

What is abbreviated training over 50 and why should you consider it?

A lot of strength training routines are prohibitively long or complicated.

For example, they involve hitting the gym 5-6 times a week or slogging through a dozen different exercises or more.

While such a voluminous training approach can work for some people, it’s impractical for many others.

That’s especially true if you are in your 50s and want to spend your free time somewhere other than the weight room.

The good news is that there is an alternative to long, drawn-out bodybuilding workouts, and it’s called abbreviated training.

Abbreviated training involves shorter, more streamlined workouts, making it the ideal fitness system for anyone who is pressed for time.

It’s also the perfect way to work out if you are in your 50s and don’t have the energy for lengthier workouts.

This article provides you with a tried-and-tested abbreviated workout to try.

In fact, it could be the last workout you ever need!

What is Abbreviated Training?

Abbreviated training means doing more with less.

So, that’s fewer workouts per week and fewer exercises and sets per workout.

This training approach is perfect for over 50 lifters who may not have the time, energy, or inclination for longer or more frequent workouts.

The emphasis is on basic compound movements so that you can train multiple major muscle groups simultaneously.

If you do any isolation exercises (and you don’t have to if you don’t want to), they’re movements that address muscle imbalances or are accessory exercises for the main lifts in your workouts.

Abbreviated workouts are generally short but intense enough to trigger increases in strength and muscle size.

This leaves plenty of time and energy for rest and recovery.

On the downside, to make up for the lack of training volume, you’ll probably need to take your sets close to failure.

As such, abbreviated training is a form of high-intensity training.

There is no single interpretation of abbreviated training, and there is no one unifying abbreviated workout.

Instead, it’s a training philosophy.

That said, we’ve got a tremendous tried-and-tested abbreviated training workout for you in the next section.

Abbreviated Training Over 50 Workout

While there is nothing to stop you from writing your own abbreviated workout, to save you the bother, we’ve written one for you.

Do each of the following workouts once a week with several rest days in between for recovery, for example, Monday and Thursday.

Make sure you spend a few minutes warming up before each workout.

Do 5-10 minutes of easy cardio followed by a few dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for the muscles and joints you’re about to use.

Finish up your warm-up with a few sets of the first exercise in your workout.

So, for program one, do 2-4 sets of progressively heavier squats to ramp up to the weight that you’ll be using for your work sets.

For example:

  • 10 reps 40kg/85lbs
  • 6 reps 60kg/135lbs
  • 3 reps 80kg/175lbs
  • 5 reps 100kg/220lbs (1st work set)

The heavier the first set, the more sets it’ll take you to reach your working weight.

Abbreviated Workout One

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

1

 Squat

4

3-5

2-3 minutes

2

 Bent-over row

3

6-8

1-2 minutes

3

 Bench press

3

8-10

1-2 minutes

4

 Barbell curl

2

8-10

1-2 minutes

5

 Sit-up

2

15-20

1-2 minutes

Abbreviated Workout Two

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

1

 Deadlift

4

3-5

2-3 minutes

2

 Overhead press

3

6-8

1-2 minutes

3

 Pull-up

3

8-10

1-2 minutes

4

 Triceps dips

2

8-10

1-2 minutes

5

 Knee raises

2

15-20

1-2 minutes

Over 50s Abbreviated Training Workout FAQ 

Do you have questions about our over 50s abbreviated training workout?

No problem, because we’ve got the answers!

#1. Can you build muscle with this workout?

While these abbreviated workouts are much shorter and less frequent than the average bodybuilding workout, they can still help you build muscle.

The reduced frequency means more time for rest and recovery, and that’s when your muscles do most of their growing.

You don’t need long workouts to build muscle if you train with plenty of intensity.

But, for such short workouts to produce results, you must take every set close to failure.

#2. Do I have to do the prescribed sets and reps? 

The prescribed reps are for illustration purposes only.

If you’d prefer to use a different set and rep scheme, you are free to do so.

Good options include:

  • 5 sets of 5
  • 4 sets of 6
  • 3 sets of 8
  • 3 sets of 12
  • 1 set of 20 reps (especially for the squats and deadlifts)

Ultimately, so long as you get close to failure, you’ll trigger your muscles to grow.

However, if your main goal is building strength, low reps with heavy weights will usually give you the best results.

#3. Can I train more than twice a week? 

Our workout is VERY abbreviated!

As such, you may have the time and energy to train more than twice a week.

If you are recovering well between workouts, you could train three times a week instead, for example,

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

Workout one

Workout two

Workout one

Then, the following week, switch the workouts around like this:

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

Workout two

Workout one

Workout two

Keep on alternating in this fashion for as long as you want to stay with the program.

#4. Can I change the exercises? 

Each workout includes a compound leg exercise, a pushing exercise, a pulling exercise, an arm exercise, and an abs exercise.

As such, you can change the exercises providing that you use similar movements.

For example, if you don’t want to do the barbell bench press, you could do dumbbell bench presses instead.

Can’t do pull-ups?

Lat pulldowns may suit you better.

In fact, you can create your own abbreviated workouts by slotting your preferred exercises into this easy to use template:

Abbreviated Workout One

#

Exercise

Example exercises

1

 Knee-dominant leg exercise

Front squat, leg press, Bulgarian split squat, lunge

2

 Horizontal pull

Seated row, chest supported row, body row, 1-arm row

3

 Horizontal push

Bench press, push-up, chest press machine

4

 Biceps exercise

Barbell curl, dumbbell curl, machine curl, cable curl

5

 Abs exercise

Crunches, sit-ups, side bends, planks, rollouts

Abbreviated Workout Two

#

Exercise

Example exercises

1

 Hip-dominant leg exercise

Romanian deadlift, deficit deadlift, snatch grip deadlift

2

 Vertical push

Push press, dumbbell overhead press, handstand push-up

3

 Vertical pull

Pull-up, chin-up, lat pulldown, L-pull-up

4

 Triceps exercise

Skull crusher, triceps push-down, dumbbell kickback

5

 Abs exercise

Crunches, sit-ups, side bends, planks, rollouts

#5. Can these workouts be abbreviated even further? 

Both of our abbreviated workouts contain two somewhat redundant exercises.

We’re talking about # 4 & 5 – the arm and the abs exercises.

List these movements under nice to do rather than being essential.

That’s because your biceps and triceps are involved in the upper body push and pull exercises, while your abs are worked indirectly in all three remaining movements.

So, if you want to abbreviate your training even more, you can skip the last two exercises of each workout.

#6. Are these bulking or cutting workouts? 

Contrary to what many people believe, it’s not your workout that determines whether you are bulking or cutting.

Instead, it’s your diet.

Eat more food and create a calorie surplus to gain muscle and bulk up or eat less and create a calorie deficit to cut and lose fat.

So, adapt your diet according to your training goal.

#7. How does cardio fit into abbreviated training?

With only 2-3 strength workouts per week, you should have plenty of time to fit cardio into your training schedule.

Try some time-efficient interval training between strength workouts to get fit and burn fat in less time.

Alternatively, simply try and walk 10,000 steps per day to build fitness and burn fat at a more leisurely pace.

Another option worth mentioning is called circuit weight training.

Instead of doing several sets of each exercise before moving on to the next, you do one set of each exercise in turn.

For example:

  1. Squat x 12
  2. Bent over row x 10
  3. Bench press x 10
  4. Barbell curls x 10
  5. Sit-ups x 15
  6. Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat the sequence 2-4 more times

As well as adding a cardio element to your strength training workout, circuit weight training will save you a lot of time because you won’t be resting as long between sets or exercises.

#8. Do you have an even more abbreviated workout for me to try? 

If you are really short of time and energy, you can get a pretty decent workout from just two exercises.

While this could never be considered a balanced workout, it’s certainly better than skipping training altogether and should help you build muscle and strength with minimal time in the gym.

Use your preferred set and rep scheme with these two basic compound exercises:

Between them, these movements work your legs, back, biceps, chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

That’s a good list of muscles for so few movements.

Abbreviated Training Over 50 – Wrapping Up 

If you enjoy long or frequent workouts or have plenty of time and energy, abbreviated training might not be for you.

After all, if your current training program is producing the results you want, why change it?

But, if you find yourself missing workouts because you don’t have time to train, aren’t recovering between workouts, or your progress has stalled, abbreviated workouts could be the perfect solution.

Abbreviated workouts mean getting more bang for your buck and are simply good economics.

And while any type of training is usually beneficial, you can have too much of a good thing.

So, instead of seeing how much exercise your body can tolerate, why not see how little you need to reach your strength and muscle-building goals.

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