The fantastic Brad Schoenfeld was on OmarIsuf's podcast recently, and he shed some expert…
Most Men Over 40 are never going to squat 800 pounds. Hell, 99.999% of people on the planet will never squat this much. But, as is always the case with monsters like Kevin Oak, we can gain a few tidbits of knowledge here and there. Omar Isuf has posted a video on YouTube recently here, with him talking to Kevin about the squat – check it out.
The first thing Kevin said (and this instantly impressed me) was that the Fitness Game is not about gaining muscle forever and ever, it’s more about avoiding injury, to ensure you stay in the game as long as possible. If you can’t play the game, it’s game over. So injury prevention actually comes before maximising hypertrophy.
Hypertrophy is key, obviously, but not at all costs. There is a BIG difference between growing at 85-90% of your potential rate, versus growing maximally but also risking injury. This is why volumes need to be sensible and we also need deloads every 4-6 weeks or so.
His solution to staying in the Fitness Game as long as possible is ensuring that your mobility is up to scratch. I’m admittedly no expert on mobility, but here are some fantastic places to start from Juggernaut Training Systems: Mobility Rules Of Thumb & Mobility Myths.
This is therefore crucial for Men Over 40 who already have a higher chance of injury, and need to ensure that they are capable of maintaining muscle well into their sixties and beyond.
Adding to his long-term injury prevention tips, I would like to talk a little about deloads. I’ve personally found these to be the most effective form of injury prevention. In my opinion (I may be wrong on this), no matter how good your form is, you will eventually injure yourself if you do too much total work/volume without taking a break.
I realise this doesn’t apply to everyone that goes to the gym, but if you have the tendency to work quite hard and really push yourself, this may apply to you. I have found eventually, you always end up with minor tweaks, pains and soreness regardless of form, at least eventually. The solution?
Assuming you are already eating and sleeping enough, then it’s to take regular deload weeks. I’ve found that these tend to prevent these minor pains from becoming any worse. This is even more important for Men Over 40. Younger men may need to deload every 6 weeks, whereas Men Over 40 may nee to do so every 4 weeks. Dpeends on how hard you’re pushing yourself really.
By the way, this is another reason why I only recommend performing maintenance volumes (probably about 5-8 sets per muscle group per week) when trying to cut. You simply aren’t eating enough to recover properly from higher volumes and you’re probably going to get injured and short-change yourself from the long-term Fitness Game. Only push it when you can.
When you’re eating and sleeping plenty, then we can talk about 9-20 sets per body part in order to hit high rates of growth.
This is a great video, and I appreciate Kevin Oak’s long-term approach, and these are some wise words from him. Go and check out the video on YouTube.