47 years old, 37 years martial arts,recovered broken back;some reason I wanna get into Powerlifting

Discussion in 'Powerlifting Forum' started by RowdyGrunt, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. RowdyGrunt

    RowdyGrunt Member

    Hello you big apes...
    My head is spinning. I'm new on the board, but been around for a very long time. Any lifting I've ever done has been to supercharge on the mat performance. I've 37 years into martial arts; specifically Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. My first MMA fight was in 1993. Wasn't called MMA back then, but rather NHB; no holds barred. I LOVE deads and squats; but for conditioning. I've been a very long devotee to kettlebell's; I got turned onto them in the mid-90's. I'm also devoted to using a Bulgarian Bag.

    July 18th, will be two years since I managed to get broken back. I let a buddy drive my 911, and short story; it got away from him. Driving it wasn't good enough; he needed to take a test flight. We hit a tree, I hit the airbag; hit a second tree, and I hit the windshield. Disintegrated my L1 and L2. The Neuro-doc said, after being surprised that I didn't need surgery, that if it were not for the strength of my core; I'd be in much worse shape. The structure of my core, kept from going splodey too terribly.

    I did a LOT of hanging "therapy". Literally, hanging from a pull up bar for as long as I could stand it, as often as I could stand it, every day. Then I got stem cell treatments about 5 months after the wreck. By March of the following year, I was back on the mats, doing light BJJ and Muay Thai. Now my back is better than it was prior to the accident. I had a curvature in my spine due to carrying a huge rucksack in the Army, where I was an Infantryman (specifically in a LRSD for you .mil guys).

    All of that said, my head is awash on where the hell to start with Powerlifting. I've looked at Juggernaut, Westside, Madcow, Greyskull, to name a few. It seems to me that Greyskull and Juggernaut are the most friendly to newbies. And they seem to be programs that do not wreck or interfere with other sport performance.

    One thing that I'm very curious about is CNS issues. Being an MMA guy, I'm conditioned for a LOT of stress on the CNS. Within PL'ing, how does CNS most manifest? Simply decreased performance, pain?

    At 47, I'm not trying to get huge. In fact, I wouldn't mind tightening up a bit. I still compete in grappling and Muay Thai; grappling far more often, so weight class is a thing. There aren't too many guys in most grappling tournaments at my age, size and rank; so I have to drop a weight, and age class down.

    My thinking is this... tell me if I'm wrong. I've no ego here.
    On top of age, treachery, experience and skill, I think that the power generation via PL'ing can be useful when competing against younger, and more fit fighters. That extra power can be a useful tool in the box. I think that's why I'm very interested in powerlifting. Am I wrong?

    And most importantly, after this voluminous background; where the hell do I start?
    Template plan to start?
    Recommendations on hiring someone to write me a plan?

    47 years
    221 lbs, 22% bf
  2. ErikR

    ErikR Member

    I'm not a powerlifting guy, but I believe strong lifts 5x5 is a beginner power lifting routine. I train train bjj and lift 3-4 times a week ,but I been a meat head most my life so I train with my physique in mind. Just watch your recovery. That has been the hardest part for me. Make sure your nutrition and sleep is good. Cns fatigue is very real in mma so adding powerlifting is another stressor. I deload on everything once every 4 weeks on everything or just take a week off just to recover. You will know when it's hard to sleep well.
  3. RowdyGrunt

    RowdyGrunt Member

    Strong Lifts 5x5... got it.
    Thank you for that!

    I knew there would be someone else that hits the mats around here. I've been doing BJJ for so long, I've grown accustomed to the rigor, and am not a good judge of CNS stress any longer.

    The other reason that I ask about CNS stress is because I have a "thing" called congenital analgesia; which means that I don't experience pain until its nearly fatal. So looking out for CNS issues is a very important thing.
    Burrr and ErikR like this.
  4. Burrr

    Burrr Member AnabolicLab.com Supporter

    Hey Rowdy,
    I'm 50 and have been lifting for only 6 years and just started looking at things from the BJJ perspective. I felt like the extra mass slowed me down and as a while belt the strength really didn't help that much in exchange for the added weight.
    I really cant recall having thought about how my lifting affected my CNS.
    Be super careful with squats and deads, and ease into going heavy. I have some arthritis in the lumbar facets, no big injuries and still get irritation when I try to go heavy.
    Wish you luck with the new endeavor and gotta give you huge props for pushing through after spine injuries

    guess i dont have much advice for ya... looking to see what the other guys say
  5. RowdyGrunt

    RowdyGrunt Member

    Burrr, thanks for that input!
    Maybe it wasn't advice, but you did highlight something I'm going to be curious about. And that is any extra size. Obviously, that can wreck conditioning; so that definitely be one of the main things that I have to watch out for.

    To that point, it may be a good thing, potentially; because I do have to drop down an age class to get to the guys that have the same rank. I've been at this shit for a while, and most of the old guys have hung up the gi, or stopped wearing the grappling shorts. The thing with doing down an age class is that while they're younger; they're also bigger in my weight class. I fall into the bottom end of the heavyweight class.

    Obviously, in BJJ it ain't about strength; but anyone that says strength is not a tool in the box, then they've never trained against someone who know how and when to use it.

    As far as the arthritis... Brother... check out stem cell treatment. That's pretty much how I got a new back! Healed stronger than ever.
    CrispyRockClimber and Burrr like this.
  6. SinisterDog

    SinisterDog Junior Member

    Stronglifts isn’t a bad program but I would prefer starting strength over stronglifts. Much better support behind the starting strength program and mark rippetoe knows his shit. Read through the book starting strength to get he best how to for squatting bench and dead’s. That being said those are both “novice” type programs good for 6 months or so if linear progression . Juggernaut systems looks good from what I’ve seen same with the cube method by Brandon lily. I went with Wendler 5/3/1 . An easy format with lots of places to get info and how tos. He also wrote a Specific template for PLing. It’s easy to customize his format to Taylor to whatever goal you need. I’m personally following a 12 week cycle designed to increase 1RMs almost like a peaking program. Anyways just my 2 cents and I would second the recovery aspect. I’m hitting 40 this year and I’ve never been stronger but I’ve made more progress by doing less this year. Good luck! It’s an addicting feeling once you start hitting PRs and pulling bigger numbers lol