I don't have an original source but it shows a MRI leg scan comparison between a 40yo triathlete, a sedentary 70yo and a 70yo triathlete.
The picture tells the story...
If I'm fortunate enough to live into old age, I don't plan to stop exercising. It's part of what gets me out of bed every morning.
Maybe people who exercise tend to get more sun damage...
Sagging is usually caused by collagen breakdown damaging ligaments, tendons, etc. Progesterone is associated with collagen maintenance. Wrinkles are usually due to loss of fat/water or maybe collagen.
Basic prevention routines can delay wrinkles for a long time.
Many who take higher amounts of vitamin A (20 IU : 10 IU : 2 mcg+ palmitate : D3 : MK-4) aren't wrinkled, though there's still sagging. Progesterone, whether taken directly or kept in range indirectly, has a similar effect.
In spite of being prematurely grey, I have a "button nose" and cute ears for a 53 year old.
There's lots of details that influence perception of age.
I'll certainly look better, but older.
Of course the jowls are going to happen anyways, but losing weight would accelerate the process.
The key for me is regular, heavy strength training. I exercise 3-6 days a week, all compound lifts, at high weight/moderate (3-7) reps.
More than just managing my physique, I find it immensely helpful for my mental health and general well-being.
I’m not the biggest or most shredded guy in the gym, but the focus on strength keeps me from obsessing with aesthetics, while everyone who knows me has still noticed the changes to my physique.
My point in all this is that exercise and sufficient calories is more important than following a specific diet, and that it’s been a solution in multiple dimensions of my life. I heartily recommend it to all my friends.
I do cardio and lift on the same day, I also can't run every day or I don't feel great.
On off days, I just walk and do minor accessory stuff. Can't imagine lifting like this every day.
One important aspect is that I de-load every couple of weeks when the volume starts to really wear on me. (I’m also vegetarian.) Most of my “program” is from Charles Poliquin’s writings.
Random pro-tip: unflavoured whey powder goes into just about anything (and is 150% less gross than I thought it was before I tried it).
(For context, my squat max is 335, and my deadlift max is 405. Not bad, but nothing near competitive.)
Completely agree, hence I said -ish. I'm not Paleo, but it's probably the closest to what I normally eat. Lots of veggies and protein with high quality carbs and limited 'junk' (I also almost completely stopped eating sweets). I view diet as something you can do your entire life, and I've settled on something that I can easily follow and enjoy.
What are your "trick foods" that contain a good amount of calories but are good to eat?
Cheese! Parmesan is 50% protein and 50% fat by weight. Almost all soups and stews can be improved in taste and calories by adding enough coconut oil
Second dinner. Eat your first dinner early, and then eat a lunch sized snack right before bed. When I was gaining, this usually consisted of a turkey or roast beef sandwich.
Know that I was almost never hungry. I ate on a schedule, and tracked everything I ate.
I struggle to eat enough calories as meals, so I make "fat shakes". Obviously you're gonna want to adapt this to your personal preferences, but: coconut milk and protein powder as your base, a little sweetener (stevia, sukrin), a litte salt, one avocado, a bit of peanut butter, and a banana if you're feeling wild.
I eat keto-ish... Olive oil, ghee, and coconut oils are all hugely calorie rich and can easily be snuck into food. Hellamns mayo is 700+ calories per 100g, so slathering it on some broccoli can quickly make up any caloric gap :)
Calorie restriction IS perhaps the healthiest route, if you are mainly interested in living longer. Feeling better is harder to quantify. The "TLDR" is: Exercise moderately, and find the minimal amount of calories you can consume without feeling like shit. That's the optimal balance.
The unfortunate reality is that often the "healthiest" path in life, doesn't FEEL the best. I felt my best lifting 3-4x a week, running, and eating 3600-3900 calories per day. I was constantly full, but felt like I had tons of physical and mental energy. Alas, plenty of research has been done on the effects of large calorie diets EVEN WHEN CONTROLLED FOR WEIGHT. Large calories = bad.
If you're interested, here's a good place to start:
1. Gummy bears. 500 calories a pack. (Usually before or after a workout)
2. Fritos, 1500 calories a bag.
3. Chicken breast and eggs - high protein and good fats from the eggs I can afford on a grad student stipend.
4. Natural peanut butter. This and other nut butters are key.
5. Whole milk.
Past a certain amount of carbs, I feel like they make me bloated, so it’s easier for me to use fats and some junk food to get the rest of calories in.
For years I tried to lift heavy. Big compound barbell lifts. In my early 20s it was OK, but by 30 I started hurting myself. I always warmed up fully, but kept tearing things. I tried eating more, eating better, more recovery, everything I could think of.
Finally I gave up on doing 1 rep max lifts, or even 3-5 reps 90% 1RM. Now I do very high repetition workouts. I'm talking warm up sets at 20-30 reps, "work" sets at 10-20, with a minimum of 5 sets, with limited rest between. I focus on every rep - focus on feeling the muscle contract, and focus on thinking about moving blood to the contracted muscle. I try to go to failure every set but the first.
Sounds goofy, but it's been a game changer for me. I don't hurt myself, and I look much bigger/better than ever before. I'm not sure if I'm really "stronger" since I don't lift heavy anymore - but I've added pounds of muscle so I wager I am.
Point is - a lot of folks get huge mileage out of lifting heavy. I wish I was one of them. For those of use who, for whatever reason, don't have the body type to handle it. High rep workouts are the next best thing!
I never understood why people focus on 1 RM lifts. They're obviously a huge strain on your body and there's literally no benefit for the vast majority of lifters. Good to hear you found a good template that works for you though, often people just give up on lifting.
The other thing that seems to help is warming up - working up instead of down. I start with lower weight and work up to my max over several sets, rather than what I used to do, start at my max and only drop when I couldn't lift it anymore.
It sounds a lot like you've reinvented bodybuilding with your protocol. You're probably not actually stronger in a strict 1RM sense than you were before, but you may well be healthier and you sound happy, so why worry?
If you occasionally threw in a peaking protocol and worked your way back up to the 90% range you'd probably be beastly; the trick is not to stay there.
If you want to train low rep after 30 you have to do just 1 big lift per training session, and no more than 3-4 sessions per week.
A related problem is that low rep lifting burns little calories (training volume is not much) but requires quite a surplus to recover. So, as your metabolism decreases with age, it tends to make you fat.
After 40 anything below 8 reps is too low and most exercises should be done between 8-12 reps for big lifts and 12-15 reps for small lifts.
Also, unless you need to demonstrate low rep strength, as long as you increase the weight in the bar, you will get stronger.
Training for muscle is a much more sustainable long term strategy.
Something like this helps: https://exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax
Do you do barbells lifts at high rep, or other things?
Also, how many days a week do you do it and for how long?
For deadlifts I do 20-30 reps at 105-145
It did help me get closer to the proper position though.
I think many people are took quick to not push through something that is just a little uncomfortable. For example, a healthy person doing a short fast (24/48 hours) once in awhile teaches you what it feels like to really be hungry, know that feeling goes away, and know you can operate just fine.
Once you start eating your body wants more food. Eat nothing before training and you're still in warrior mode.
Running/swimming/cycling: anything at or around low aerobic threshold (Friel HR zones 1, 2, or 3)
Strength: Endurance-focused compound primary exercises (e.g. squats, deadlifts); any form of auxiliary exercises (planks, bicep curls, etc.)
Anything more than that and I need to wait at least 2-3 hours after waking up (e.g. cardio in Friel zones 4, 5a, 5b, 5c or max-strength-focused primary compound exercises.)
Not only is it not uncomfortable, I feel _way_ better before/during/after working out.
Firstly: the food in your mouth is not used for your workout. You work out with food already digested and put in your muscles. Our biology is not precious, jungle-warrior neanderthals did turn into skeletal waifs if accidentally they hunted before noon without a BCAA-rich recovery shake. Nothing about morning training is energy, it is all habit, comfort, and hormones.
The primary issue, for most people (including me earlier), is that they train "before breakfast" and not "fasted". Important distinction. Hunger (and the hormone that causes it), comes in manageable 20-30 minute waves. If you do nothing it will pass. Most people take a banana, or some milk in their coffee, or a "little snack" before trainin. That breaks the fast. That is "break-fast", and it starts your body expecting food. So if you don't break your fast, you aren't exciting those hormones and insulin, so your body is ready to roll focused on the task at hand.
Secondarily is hormones. When you are fasted your body makes lots of great focus hormones. It also gives you extra HGH. Training also delivers HGH. Training additionaly delivers bombs of happy-hormones, and go-rip-the-world-a-new-one hormones. If you're fasted, you are more sensitive to those hormones, meaning you feel better. If you're fasted your low insulin also lets your body get as much fat-energy as it needs, so your energy levels can be amazing.
Outside of that is simple comfort and habit. The time your body expects food, the "engrained eating time", is adaptable. Having a lower baseline insulin, and a lower-carb diet, that minimizes "hangry" feelings and snack cravings will also be a huge help. Combine the two and you've got a recipe for insanely fun work outs with no hunger issues and better energy than otherwise.
Black coffee, water, and nothing caloric before training. It's night and day :)
I take my daily L-carnitine during my feeding window at night.
There are different levels of fast, for most people most of the time (ie those looking for weight loss), taking a pill during the fast should be just fine (as long as you're under 30-50 calories).
That said, personally I do not like taking pills during my fast, as it will wake my stomach up and cause some hunger. Same thing with gum and stuff, but that's all individual preference :)
Ramadan is a widely held fasting period that impacts millions of lives, many of whom train power/strength/endurance while fasted under the conditions described above. This has been studied in depth, with oodles of peer-verified and unequivocal real-world data showing it's totally possible and not noticeably harmful (technically, the studies show it to me mildly beneficial...). In a training context the hormonal boosts are impressive and much more noticeable while fasted.
Your body has a learned point where it expects food. That learned point can be moved through habit. Humans, and mammals in general, are meant to thrive in the wild. Our physicalities are not precious. We do not turn into Gremlins if we are not fed before 10:00AM.
Not a week ago I did a mountain trek that streched 6 hours past expected. At 9:30PM, at the tail end of an unplanned 30 hour fast, after a 10 hour 500 vertical meter hike (with a kid on my shoulders!), I was so over-energized I had to take a jog to wind-down. Hunger and energy are much more about habits than we've been raised to understand.
I used to run or cycle at least 5 days a week but since my daughter was born (and stopped being an infant) it is a struggle to keep a regular exercise regimen.
I try to run with her in a jogging stroller when I can but this is much more susceptible to foul weather than when I could just adjust my own clothing.
And yes, life can cause exercise to suffer. Kids, work, etc... will throw curve balls. Do what you can, and keep the fire going. Maintain until you get back to going hard.
edit: to expand, it's unlikely you're getting your heart rate elevated to see much improvement in your cardiovascular system or doing much of any resistance training.
It's crazy how much optimal nutrition affects your well-being as you age and the sooner you fix your diet, the better you'll feel.
Having to stop working out, either due to illness, injury or some obscure travelling makes me almost depressed, not only because of the drop experienced once coming back to gym. It is just a great feeling to be fit, even when I count in almost constant slight muscle ache from workouts. I stopped using massages to work on those muscle bumps/knots on the back - no point getting rid of them when I put them back in 2-3 days.
But I do have rest days, usually when my quads become semi-useless (having 1 hour brisk walk is still a rest day). I can't push on every single day so usually have 1 rest day per week, or injuries will come (usually in form of stretched ligament or tendon pain).
What I don't like in the article is universal recommendation of eating more proteins - there are some sources which are not OK to consume long-term, ie predatory fish like salmon or tuna. Quality of the meats in general is important (no growth hormones/antibiotics).
And generally, eat much more vegetables, again good quality. There are tons of benefits.
I spend a few minutes per day rolling my back out with a hard foam roller: https://www.decathlon.co.uk/hard-foam-roller-id_8484814.html
As good as a massage for getting knots out, and great for thoracic mobility.
> Quality of the meats in general is important (no growth hormones/antibiotics)
I'm all for restricting antibiotics in livestock on the grounds of bacterial resistance, but are you claiming that they somehow alter the quality of the meat itself and/or impact your own health?
Now somebody can claim consuming animal growth hormones or strong antibiotics regularly can do you no harm, but I wouldn't believe this person. I prefer to not be part of long running experiments involving few billions of involuntary participants.
Quality of the meat, at least taste-wise, is probably unaffected by these. Much higher effect has caging/free range/wild, shocks and stress animal has to go through life, particularly at its very violent end.
But how do you know if that is indeed the secret? (What if you looked even younger - less gray hair, say - if you didn't work out?)
Because that makes no sense given everything we know about exercise and a healthy diet?
Vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK-4, iodine/iodide, chelated/TRAACS magnesium, topical pregnenolone + DHEA (5 mg : 5 mg), nicotinamide riboside + pterostilbene, selegiline, MSM + silicon (monomethylsilanetriol) + vitamin C, astaxanthin..
MSM lotion (face and body)..
I don't mind balding or greying so...
Most don't get enough vitamin D (and magnesium) even if eating well. 40-60 ng/mL 25(OH)D is a commonly preferred range.
Luckily, seeing a Black guy with a bald head by choice is not unusual.
As far as working out everyday, I can’t do it. It’s just not in me. I need down time. I work out hard for about 150 minutes 3 days a week. According to the machines I’m burning around 1600 calories per workout. High resistance on the elliptical, high incline on the treadmill.
I don't know what your goals are, but: getting slim is 95% diet... Sourcing calories from diet is almost always cheaper than on a treadmill. Seriously. Generally slow and steady is the way to get it done, too much too fast makes rebounds. Low-impact exercise with constant wear is also a lot for joints...
Lifting heavy weights is much better at burning fat than cardio. It builds fat-burning muscle, and increases your fat burning across every hour for a long period post-workout. It's hormonally optimal with avout 45 minutes of effort. 3 x 45min would save you over 5 HOURS of gym time every single week. You could learn Chinese in half a year with that kind of investment. Smart training means smart recovery, so the goal should be feeling worked, but never drained. Weight lifting can do that well.
Grinding ourselves down in the gym is a moral desire, but athletic development is about simple progressive stress and recovery.
Also, that’s a reduction from what I use to do. In another life I was a part time fitness instructor and between classes, training for runs, and my own weight workouts,
I was exercising more than 10 hours a week.
You’re right. When people use to ask me how to lose weight, I would tell them it’s mostly diet. But I know myself. I’ve never been consistent about my diet but I like to exercise. I never cared about slim. Three days a week gives me the other four days to relax.
If I show up at the gym and really feel lacking, I do a different muscle group. If I show up to the gym and I'm supposed to do bench, but I'm hurting - squat instead. Squats struggling? Do a pull up workout (I'm trying to get to 500 pull ups in a single workout). Whole upper body hurt? Push the sled around. Or do a full body weight workout which acts more as an active recovery.
There are a limitless amount of things that can be done.
To quote Mark Rippetoe (it's likely in the article somewhere on his site, but I primarily consume his advice via podcast), "you don't get strong in the gym (as you mainly tear muscle in the gym) - you get strong when you sleep and recover".
Have you tried just upping your sleep?
(quote) "A cross-section of 40 high-level recreational athletes (“masters athletes”) who were aged 40 to 81 years and trained 4 to 5 times per week underwent tests of health/activity, body composition, quadriceps peak torque (PT), and magnetic resonance imaging of bilateral quadriceps."
The 81 yr old that trains 4-5x (!) a week is a lot more special than the 40 yr old (that's my hypothesis at least). Thus any regression is spurious, since we are sampling from different quantiles! So you don't know anything about the correlation with age.
I'm not disputing that training 4-5x a week keeps muscles strong and the body lean, but it's hardly prescriptive. It's like winning the lottery will make you richer when you retire.
I've tried to reach the authors about this when the article came out, but alas. A letter to the editor in a to me unknown journal seemed not the best use of my time. I've even got code demonstrating the fallacy with quantile regression ;)
Since I don't know for sure which direction causality points, I'm going to take the path of maximal self-determinism and try to stay fit as long as possible.
In addition, studying masters athletes partially limits the applicability of these data to the general population of aging adults who do not aggressively exercise 4 to 5 times per week.
It's unfortunate that such a statement won't make it into popular treatments, but the paper doesn't get very far out over its skis.
I get up every weekday morning at 5 to 6am to do a spin or group fitness class and lift 1 to 2 times per week Arnold superset style. I'm loving this lifestyle. (I guess the gym being Equinox helps.)
That may not be true for a large proportion of people in their 80s.
On the other hand studies proved UV rays are carcinogenic . Assuming knowing meat is carcinogenic turns you into a vegetarian let me know how you'd approach getting out of the house from now on.
Whereas the other is doable (as evidenced by the existence of vegans) AND has a lot of other positive consequences (environmental, moral).
Most definitions of veganism include something like "reduce suffering as far as possible and practicable". It's not absolute.
Of course, another objection to your comparison is that it suggests if we cannot remove ALL bad things, we ought not to do anything.
But to the point, you could wear sunscreen. But you consider that to be too much of a hassle even when risking cancer.
And no, that's not what my comparison was suggesting. What I tried to say clearly (not just suggest) is that if you live and die by studies than don't cherry pick. Don't ask for studies only when it suits you and it supports your point of view.
In the end it's mostly personal preference. No study said "moderate meat consumption will cause cancer" yet people are willing to skew the conclusions to better justify a personal choice. Just give up meat if you feel like it and use the study as additional justification if needed. Don't go waving studies to justify your choice but put them aside when they don't.
Do you actually believe that eating "too many animals and not enough plants" is the cause of diabetes (I assume you're referring to Type II)?
(https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-diabetes/). Click on the "sources" section to get the sources cited.
when i left my last job, I started working from home without the sit/stand for about 2 weeks thinking "that didn't help that much," until I started noticing the tightness all over my body. I just bought a sit/stand (Varidesk fwiw) last night.
Yeah, we like to think that standing is something new, but cashiers have done it for years, and, having spent time as one in my youth, I can tell you that there is a lot of discomfort during the work week. I'd really recommend sitting and standing.
Indeed. You will probably get spider veins otherwise. Happened to me. I've been working standing up since 2011 and only noticed it a couple of years ago so it might take a while.
... I train jiu jitsu 3x / week + cardio 3x / week.
IMHO what it needs to show is the 40yr old sedentary picture too. Without that I don't think you can separate ageing from sedentary affects. I doubt the 40 yr old sedentary person is the same as the 40yr old athlete.
If you can remember, of course.
The sedentary person isn't just sedentary, they look to be morbidly obese. That image is zoomed out, but the actual size of the muscle isn't that different. It's just surrounded by a huge amount of fat.
this must be one of the most important medical documents out there. I can't believe that after reading thousands of words in magazines on aging I never saw this! One could ask how much more exhausting it is for someone to do a triathlon at 70ya. But I remember someone in my family really enjoying being very active right until they dropped dead.
That is such a positive message.
that said I want to run now
Now have you noticed carbon atoms are strikingly similar? Good, almost there.
Somewhere in-between these two views unique features emerge. Tell me where on the scale of atom to human the quads are? There is plenty in these pictures that is unique in the two persons depicted.
There is no need to lie to make a good argument for exercise. This image belong on your grandmothers Facebook page at best.
That's why discriminating readers (like us) should rigorously overlook pretty pictures and instead look only at: 1) the amount of separation between groups (big effect?), 2) the stat. significance across the given population (consistent signal?), 3) the constraints the authors used to create that population (representative of the real world?), and 4) whether the discriminating signal they chose selectively detects the causal effect they propose.
No picture can do all of that.