Low Set, High Frequency for Older Lifters

Q: I am a detective in southern California and got interested in your website after reading your Copland article. Although I have been working out for years that program really helped, but with the heavy lifting I felt it in the joints and back.

Yesterday I subscribed to your website and saw the post on Bodybuilding at 50. Your comment on a smaller amount of volume and hitting each body part frequently sounds interesting.

I would appreciate it if you could email me the ectomorph program. I was wondering if that would work and which of your books would work for an aging detective who wants to keep fit. I don’t seem to be able to get more than 3 days of lifting in, was wondering if the Busy Bodybuilder is more for me.

Thanks for your time and efforts. I appreciate your articles.



My Answer: If you’ve been doing the Copland workout, then the Ectomorph program will serve as a nice follow-up workout. It is also easier on the joints, since you have to use higher reps. For older lifters, it is always better to use low sets of higher reps, done frequently throughout the week.

Neo-Classical Bodybuilding has a chapter on the advantages and disadvantages of low set programs. I usually recommend low set programs for older lifters, since older lifters can’t handle high volume.

Training for the Busy Bodybuilder is high volume, low frequency training. I talk about training for a busy unpredictable schedule. I formulated the training principles based on my own experiences working in law enforcement. As you know as a police detective, we put in long days and sometimes things happen at the end of shift that cause you to stay over. So I think you would find the training principles useful to you in our line of work.

Check out the Strength and Physique E-books

“This book is terrific. It distills years of experience and research into short sections laying out specific, creative programs for the major body parts, using the best science and advanced training techniques. Some of them created by the great ‘masters’ of bodybuilding like Larry Scott. Almost every section has a ‘eureka’ idea that I’m craving to try, like the back trifecta! The book is much more useful than subscriptions to all the muscle mags. I only wish I had it when I was a kid.”

– Bob Vastine, world record holder in powerlifting

“Your arm blast routine from Volume One that you pointed me to is phenomenal. Maybe it’s just the pump, but I’m measuring 16 inches compared to 15 inches before – after just 2 trainings!”

– Steve Murphy, Australia

“Sticking to your principles to the letter has helped me improve immensely. When I started lifting over two years ago I was 125 pounds and now I’m over 170.

“What I’m trying to say is that reading your books helped me understand what I needed to do to gain [muscle]. My dedication plus your expertise really worked out well for me.”

– Mike Crothers


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