View Full Version : When do PLs and OLs peak in age?

08-24-2003, 04:20 PM
So im trying to find my "thing". Im 19 years old, 5' 8". I just recently got into lifting a few months ago, and i REALLY enjoy it. So my question was... do the really good PL/OL get into it at a really young age, and then peak in there 20s? Meaning that ive already missed the boat?

And even if I have, I still want to get into it for fun... does anyone know of any places to train/compete/watch competitions in southern california, orange county area?

and finally, i read that OL are genetically gifted with tons of fast twitch fibers, how do i know if i have tons of fast twitch fibers? biopsy anyone?? ;) thx for the help

08-24-2003, 04:46 PM
all that "genetically gifted" stuff is crap. olympic lifters work hard, day in and day out, and develop fast twitch fibers. they aren't born with them.

as for age, in a recent PL competition i watched on ESPN, the 2nd place guy was in his 50s, and the winner 30s i believe. olympic lifters, same thing more or less.

08-24-2003, 07:40 PM
Well Olylifters don't do as well as they get older, you lose speed etc

speed is more important in Olys, so you either have or you don't.
CNS speed or something like that is largely genetic.

If you have good form and can powerclean or powersnatch a lot compared to say your squat/deadlift then I would say you are gifted for olys.

08-24-2003, 09:31 PM
WHOA~ 50's eh? Ive got... some time... hehe

I really want to learn the oly lifts, but i cant find anywhere in my area! I dont know how good my powerclean is because i dont know how to do a power clean properly :D

08-24-2003, 10:24 PM
i learned by watching the exrx animation about 1000 times, then miscellaneous other animations, then olympic lifting competitions on TV... and of course about 1000 unweighted cleans and snatches :)

recently i had someone check my form though, and i guess it was ok, but i think it'd be hard to increase weight without a coach

08-25-2003, 12:03 PM
i have heard that most lifters peak in strenght and size around there late 30's and even into there early forties, if you notice most of your top lifters are around that age

im only 18 so i stull have quite a ways to go from what i here, so do you...

08-26-2003, 06:07 AM
Watching oly clips will only go so far - you ned the finer details these will help



08-26-2003, 07:51 AM
Herman Goerner did most of his outrageous feats of strength in his early 40's. The all time biggest squat ever was done by Steve Goggins who was 38 or 39 at the time, and Scott Mendelson who has done the 4 or 5 biggest benches ever done is in his mid 30's.

Olympic lifters however peak at a much lower age. Olympic lifting is harder on your body than powerlifting and tears up its participants to the point that they only have a certain number of years in the sport before their body is shot.

And in both sports there is somewhat of a race going on and the way that race goes determines when an individual will peak. You probably will be genetically strongest in your early 40's. However, if you are so beat up, injured, and what not by that time that you cannot perform, then you will not show yourself to be at your peak at this time.

If you have spent your 20's and 30's chewing up your knees, shoulders, hips and low back, then you will not be training and competing in your 40's. So the race is between increasing performance and the ever increasing number of injuries that a person has to deal with. If you increase performance a lot, but get injured a lot, you, personally will likely peak young.

If on the other hand, you are able to increase performance while avoiding career ending injuries, then you will likely peak later in your career.

And also bear in mind, that the vast majority of people do not train hard enough nor smart enough to ever even get close to any kind of a peak.


08-26-2003, 12:25 PM
as a off note.

how does the age advent of steroids effect the age of a person peak compared to a non-user?

do natural athletes peak at a different age to drug using ones?

Scott S
08-26-2003, 05:46 PM
Dr Fred Hatfield was 45 when he broke 1000 lbs in the squat.

08-26-2003, 11:33 PM
Thx guys. benchmonster. that was exactly the kind of informative post i was hoping for :D And awesome links blitz

Now... anyone know where I can find an olympic coach in so cal? :D

08-27-2003, 07:37 AM
body, once again it goes back to the race I talked about. Louie Simmons has been on for almost 30 years and was stronger in his 50's than he was in his 20's, 30's or 40's.

Fred Hatfield and Rickey Dale Crain were both in their 40's when they hit their biggest lifts.

But Kenney Patterson benched his biggest at age 22, so it to some extent depends upon the lifter.

But the race thing still applies to everyone, juice or not. Also, mental burnout is a big thing too. Traditional powerlifting is boring beyond belief, and it is easy to get bored going in and just benching deadlifting and squatting all the time. If you are bored, you won't be making much progress either.


08-27-2003, 03:42 PM
bench- did kenny get injured at 22? or he just happend to peak very early in life relative to other lifters?

08-28-2003, 05:19 PM
No major injuries that I know of at age 22. He was a 275er back then and set the all time bench record for that weight class with a 722, and has since that time (he is 30 now) competed in lighter weight classes.

I am sure that the weight loss has had some effect on his lifts. But bear in mind, Kenney Patterson regularly benches triple bodyweight at 220, which only 5 or 6 people have ever done.