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I always like to show this picture as an example.

https://i.imgur.com/ZcDedfo.jpg

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...




Most people have no idea I'm 41, and instead think I'm in my 30s. Balding and grey hair show I'm not in my 20s ;) My 'secret' is I workout every single day. I might do heavy weight training, sled pushing, surfing, or a spin class. It doesn't matter as long as I do something physically challenging. I also follow an 80/20 rule on eating paleo-ish. Mainly I try to avoid processed foods, but I'll still eat a pizza or good sandwich - just not all the time. Most meals consist of meat/dairy and veggies.

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.


Counterpoint: my wife and I are well into our 40s yet often mistaken for being much younger. Being significantly overweight gives us nice smooth wrinkle free skin.


People's idea of what "over forty" looks like is just a caricature, fed by confirmation bias.


Really? I'd guess "wrinkles" would be more determined by sun damage, or the sort of flappiness body-mass loss that happens after >60yrs, or people who yo-yoed weight.

Maybe people who exercise tend to get more sun damage...


Wrinkles are usually minimized/prevented by proper hydration/moisturization. MSM lotion topically, for example, and antioxidants (like MSM + silicon/monomethylsilanetriol + vitamin C) internally.

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.


Do you have some sorces to back that up? It reads like you looked in to this a lot.


A fat round face has less creases where winkles might form.


I have a genetic disorder. I'm quite convinced that one of the reasons I frequently get read as years younger than I am is due to my ears and nose being starved of nutrients and thereby growing slower than average.

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.


Fat, natures dermal filler!


You're guaranteed to look younger if you lose weight. Source: the waistline of middle-aged people in your office


I guarantee that if I lose weight my nice round cheeks will drop into jowls making me look a lot older.

I'll certainly look better, but older.

Of course the jowls are going to happen anyways, but losing weight would accelerate the process.


I don’t do paleo or low carb or any fancy diet besides eating plenty of protein and calories.

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 can't handle more than 3 days a week at the gym. I do my main lifts only once a week or I don't recover, but I am still getting stronger on my program. I have been lifting for more than a decade though.

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.


I believed I was susceptible to overtraining for most of my life. N=1 and all that, but I made an effort to consume more protein and switched to a higher volume program and have had much better results (and I bike to work ever 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.


I thought I was, too, until I committed to 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. After maybe a month of this I completely stopped being sore and it was tremendously beneficial to my overall health, even years after I dialed it down (2 hours got to be too much). I get sore now after working out but I no longer have the back, neck, and hand pain I used to have.


It depends on what training do you do and your personal recovery capabilities. You can do 7 days a week low intensity (in sense of resistance, not necessary cadence) cardio, no problem, but I don't know anyone who do can do high intensity weight training (as Mike Mentzer's and Arthur Jones defined it) that often and for that long.


What kind of training do you do, which exercises? I'm mainly asking because I too want to avoid "back, neck and hand pain" as I get older.


How much are you eating? I used to have similar troubles with recovery until I realized that I just wasn’t eating nearly enough to train at the volume I was. For me, adding two cups of Greek yogurt and a protein shake every day (so roughly 500 calories and 50 grams of protein over what I was eating before) made an enormous difference.


I am eating 90 grams of protein @ 190 lbs body-weight with a pretty low fat %.


Way too low. Try doubling it (not kidding). If you’re worried about calories, reduce your carbs.


Everything I read says .5 - .75g protein / lb of bodyweight for lifters. Maybe I will do more research.


Your number may (may) be a bit low but the number I settled on after researching it extensively was 1g / lb of lean mass.


Yeah, that tends to be around the consensus.


This is what my strength coach recommends.


More anecdata: I aim for 125g per day, 1800 calory target, at 138 lbs/5’ 5” and can lift strong every day. I usually take a “rest” week (calisthenics and 3-7 miles of walking) every other month when I travel somewhere.


That seems crazy high to me, but maybe I am just too used to my own thing and should try upping it.


It depends on your goals. I’m trying to gain muscle. 90 isn’t bad for maintenance in my case. Some folks would say I’m low as the recommendation is as high as 1.1g of protein per lb to gain.


as others have said, that does seem pretty low. I am 220lbs (tallish at 202 cm) and was eating about 120g. When I increased it to 175g I found my recovery was much better and and even though I was increasing my weekly distances (I run ultras for fun!), I wasnt getting any nagging overuse injuries. I try to get most of my protein from food rather than powders, but found it hard not to cheat a bit with whey, hemp and pumpkin in the mornings mixed in with my coco-puffs :)


Protein powder is essentially powdered milk. I don't think you can really 'cheat' with it, it's just 'food' :)

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).


I get the unflavored whey too, and personally, I can be quite mercenary / practical about my food when I need to :) But I am a bit suspicious as to the bio-availability of these powders. Are the proteins really as good (or even good enough) as compared to actual food sources ? Quality also seems to vary immensely from what I have read. My intuition tells me 30g of protein from chicken breast and not the "restructured" stuff which is jacked with soy[1] is probably better than 30g of whey.

1 https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-chicken-fast-fo...


Yeah, way too low. Shoot for at least 0.8g / lb.


I think I personally handle high volume well genetically, but I also haven’t been lifting as long and am probably moving a lot less weight than you are.

(For context, my squat max is 335, and my deadlift max is 405. Not bad, but nothing near competitive.)


> 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.

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.


At which age did you start to lift?


I’m 29 now. I started lifting at 26, but finally got proficient and rigorous about a year ago. The biggest key was learning to eat more because my body’s metabolism was low because I wasn’t eating enough. I went from a 2000 calorie maintenance to 3000 in about 6 months.


Did you find it hard to increase your calorie intake? This is something I've been struggling with for a while. Especially since I don't deal well with lactose getting in enough calories and protein can be a bit daunting.

What are your "trick foods" that contain a good amount of calories but are good to eat?


> 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


Peanut butter snacks during the day. I used to set alarms that would go off during the day. When they went off, I'd pull out a jar of PB and eat a few spoonfuls with crackers.

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 think there are protein sources that work well for lactose intolerant people (soy, pea, etc?). I'm not well versed in them but google it up, protein is key for staying in a positive nitrogen balance. If you're looking to gain nothing is as efficient as a scoop or two of your most important macro.

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 :)


You should know that exercising a bunch and jamming more food into your system IS NOT the "healthiest" option, if life span is your goal.

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:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686342/


Perhaps, but no study has yet shown that calorie restriction actually extends human life. It works on lab animals. Given that human lifespans are already relatively long it will take many years to gather reliable data.


Controlling for weight isn't meaningful if you're not also controlling for body composition.


You make an interesting point. I glanced over the article and I’m curious: is weight a sufficient proxy for activity/lean body mass? The anecdata I have of athletes generally supports longevity and health, whether training strength or long distance exercise.


It was hard! Here’s where the “eat clean” obsession breaks down for me. Gummy bears and chips balanced with plenty of protein works great for me.

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.


Some folks are able to lift heavy weights frequently, and that's awesome. I'm jealous. But here's a comment directed at people who've tried that and hurt themselves.

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!


You're doing good, form is better than just lifting heavy. It's counter-productive, you hurt something and then laid up for weeks in recovery. I hurt my shoulder lifting heavy and it took me months to get to even half of what I was lifting earlier. I've been lifting for 22 of my last 40 years, so know how/what to lift, but sometimes all it takes is a small mistake to throw you off. Focus on a comfortable weight and slowly add 5 pound increments from there, never compromising on form.


> Finally I gave up on doing 1 rep max lifts

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.


I've had to start doing the same after turning 40, more 20-30 rep sets, no more 5 reps. I just ended up injuring myself too many times by pushing my max too much.

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.


Lifting to optimize hypertrophy usually involves medium-heavy weights at significantly higher volumes. More along the lines of 5x12s instead of 5x5s.


In my experience, working out in the 90-100% range is Evil Magic. It works for a while so you think "Hooray, I'm stronger than I've ever been" and you enjoy posting heroic numbers. Then it stops working and becomes all about demonstrating strength rather than building it.

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.


Lifting-wise, age is a game changer for most.

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.


Everyone who trains for strength is just one injury away from losing months and perhaps even years of work.

Training for muscle is a much more sustainable long term strategy.


90% or 1rep routines don't work well for natural lifters, every body has different composition so you need to find what works best for you, following the routines of enhanced builders is sure to give you only frustration and injuries. Same with bulking-cutting, it's hard to lose 15% of body fat without losing muscle as a natty, not impossible but not in 8 weeks as you see in training videos.


I'm quantitatively motivated, and almost never have access to a spotter, so I usually get my 1RM "fix" by calculating/extrapolating by using a lower weight and counting number of reps until near-failure.

Something like this helps: https://exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax


The total volume you lift with higher rep rqnges may be much higher than with high weight and low reps, hence you get bigger ;)


That's very interesting. I've frequently had to take time off lifting due to injuries, many of which never really relax properly. Eg a tense spot on my back I'm still having massage/physio done on.

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?


Barbells and dumbbells and bodyweight stuff. I load the bar very lightly. For example, for shoulder press I am usually putting 10 pounds on either side of a 45lb bar.

For deadlifts I do 20-30 reps at 105-145


Have you looked into Starting Strength (the book and the program)? It goes ridiculously anatomical in order to address the most common injuries uncoached weightlifters experience.


Yeah, I've gone through some of it. Helpful, I was waiting until I got my current back injuries fixed before trying to apply it. I don't think I can squat correctly while a certain spot is tight - have tried.

It did help me get closer to the proper position though.


If you just do some exercise regularly and eat halfways right you are already way ahead of 90% of the population . It always amazes me to learn that a lot of people do absolutely nothing.


Exactly. This is why I do it everyday - it becomes a habit. I wake up and work out. No different than brushing my teeth.


You do that on empty stomach? Serious question, it's my main difficulty with morning workout.


Yes. You get used to it. I get up and only drink water. I have a protein shake after my workout. I also do not have any caffeine prior because I want to learn to operate with and without.

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.


I think the big bad habit is not doing what you do, ie no caloric intake before training. Most people who try sneaking a quick snack before training, or break their fasts with milk in their coffee/tea, and then eat breakfast after training. It's just not the same.

Once you start eating your body wants more food. Eat nothing before training and you're still in warrior mode.


I've found that what I can do - immediately - in the morning depends on exercise intensity:

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.)


I would feel some gut "pinch" when I would run after eating something -- more like a mild cramp on my left side. Once I stopped eating before a run, the "cramp"s have gone away, and I can go ~5mi going at a moderate (11min/mi) pace.


Not the person you were replying to, but I'm a morning workout person (mostly weightlifting but also some cardio-type stuff). Yeah, empty stomach. For weightlifting I may have a protein shake with just enough water and almost always a banana and that's it. Doesn't bother me. I'm not sure if it's optimal (or if I could even tell what is optimal) but weights are still heavy and I still make progress so I'm happy with it.


I do the majority of my training fasted (ie 8-14 hours since last I ate). I used to struggly wildly with working out before breakfast, but with some experience now I think training fasted is definitely superior [for my own needs, N=1, #YouDoYou].

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 :)


Is L-carnitine allowed with that black coffee ?


Late reply, but:

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 :)


Focus on getting your body used to expending energy without recent consumption. Practice intermittent fasting until you can go easily 14+ hours without food and still have energy. Once you force your body to reach that point you'll find that there's no problem working out on an empty stomach. Heck at this point I've got some PRs while 22 hours in to a fast (straight lifting, cardio's a no go by that point).


Not sure why the downvotes... Everything said here is true, and scientifically proven.

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.


Pre-workout Carbs and Protein are linked to better, harder workout performances.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23846824

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19997003


Every saturday morning, I do some running, on empty stomach. Last week, I ran 10 kilometers. I don't do much sport (swimming pool twice a week, tai chi once a week, running once a week). Nothing intensive, just endurance. ((I do all of that not to stay young but because I have other pathologies that would progress without that).


You may also get used to it. I used to always exercise at night but a few years ago I switched to morning and now I can't exercise at night anymore.


Not the same person either but black coffee or green tea are also a great pre workout drink


Do you have children?

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.


I do and it can be tough to balance without time management. But I've long since become a morning workout person and during the week I just get my workout in before everyone is awake. My gym is not too far away either and at 5:30 in the morning there isn't much in the way of traffic so I am there in no time. I also have a bike trainer for when it's nasty out.


Go to sleep early, ideally same time as your daughter, then wake up early. While she still sleeps you have time for yourself.


One practical tip: join a gym with an indoor pool and sign your daughter up for swimming lessons as soon as she's old enough. Then you'll have 30 minutes twice a week to exercise yourself.


No kids, but I know people who do have them. If you have the space, get a power rack and you can do workouts when you have the time. If you don't have the space, there are tons of body weight workouts. You can also get kettle bells. The point is to do something physical every day.

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.


I do and workout nearly every day. You just have to find the time. It's not always easy, but we find time for the things that are important to us.


Kids make exercise during the week a struggle.


If I had kids I don't think I could afford losing the energy boost exercise gives me, for their sake.


Not to mention the huge benefit of kids seeing their parents exercise. My 6 year old asked to go for a "run" with me last night, so we ran a ~500m loop together before I went off on my own. We both really enjoyed it :)


It's a bit tougher with kids but not much tbh (obviously it's harder if you're a single parent). You just have to do it in the morning before they get up, after they go to bed, or during lunch hour.


If you are chasing after your kids you are doing more than enough exercise.


I can't tell if you're joking or not but this is not close to being true. See for example the millions of obese parents in North America.

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.


Thats because those millions of obese parents mostly sit on their couch, play video games and drive kids around. Start actually chasing them.


I started to run to work and back, and during the weekend to run before anyone else at home wakes up.


Are you on your own? Can't you run after she goes to bed?


Most of my meals are meat too but I'm now just realizing how bad processed meat are for me, let alone cancer risk from red meat. I try to get local sourced meat nowadays and am going days where I eat vegetarian protein sources. Also my vegetables are from my garden or organic from farmer markets, farmer co-ops. Also weening myself off dairy and added/artificial sugar.

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.


In similar state here - working out almost daily, weekends are reserved for mountains in whatever form (that's actually one of my motivations to work out - to enjoy adventures however difficult they might be ,and be as safe as possible).

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 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.

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?


Bacterial resistance in animals is a topic on its own (which I believe will bite us back in not-so-far future), and I don't believe for a second that the chemicals cattle is fed don't end up in the final meat on the plate in substantial concentration. There is no magical process that somehow removes them from deep tissue.

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.


I think I look OK for 47. I've been lifting 4 times a week since I turned 40, mostly on 5/3/1 but lately on some bespoke programming. It's all based around the 4 big lifts, and after doing some amateur strongman competitions I occasionally add an events day as well.


A good age to start topical pregnenolone + DHEA (5 mg : 5 mg), iodine protocol, selegiline, or anything else that maintains vitality. And a multivitamin, D + K, and chelated/TRAACS magnesium supplement.


Do you have any info on pregnenelone and DHEA I could read up on?



> My 'secret' is ...

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?)


>(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?


What supplements do you take? Topical DMSO + magnesium ascorbyl magnesium phosphate is said to sometimes reverse balding. There are nutrients/vitamins/minerals associated with reversed greying.

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 take Krill Oil and Creatine. For everything else I just try to eat a lot of varying foods.

I don't mind balding or greying so...


It's recommended that iodine/iodide (1,000 mcg+; add 200 mcg L-selenomethionine when taking higher amounts) and vitamin E (2 IU/g) are added when supplementing PUFAs. Iodide/Iodine binds with double bonds making the structure less prone to oxidation and vitamin E counters oxidation.

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.


Balding and grey hair show I'm not in my 20s ;) I’m in my mid 40s also. I have a simple solution for that. When I’m interviewing, I’m completely clean shaven - head and all.

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.


Bro... 150 minutes, 3 times a week? You're alreday on the G.D. ironman regime, using extra time, and doing it in a grueling fashion aimed at leaving you depleted, too. No wonder you don't have daily time!

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.


It’s not a grind. It’s mostly resistance training that I do at home while just catching up on TV, listening to podcasts, or watching tutorial videos. It’s really relaxing.

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.


Curious about your breakdown between heavy lifting vs. cardio. I find that I can't do more than 4x/week of heavy lifting, so I've been trying to run (or something else) on the remaining 3 days.


Recovery is a thing, but I find most of us non-athletes as a job can do way more than we think. I lift heavy 3-4 times/week. Cardio 2-3 days/week. Sometimes I might lift heavy at 6am and then do cardio at 6pm depending on my schedule.

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.


I think you need to factor age in as well. Recovery is a lot easier in your 20's.


I'm in my 40s. Too often people use a 'recovery day' to just skip the gym. Life throws enough curve balls, that few of us need a scheduled recovery day.


You're doing better than me then :-) I do 4 days of heavy lifts a week, and the other days are rest days. I don't schedule deload weeks though, as life causes those (work crunches, colds, family holidays etc).


> I find that I can't do more than 4x/week of heavy lifting

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?


How many grams of protein do you consume? Trying to eat the recommended amount (0.5 - 1.0 g / lb-bodyweight) seems like a lot of effort at first, but has amazing effects on recovery, especially for resistance exercise.


This formula is meant for fat-free body weight which most people forget to tell.


by "fat-free body weight", do you mean people that have a low body percentage already?


recovery is a thing. I also lift heavy 4x/week.


The picture is taken from this study: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3810/psm.2011.09.1933 (use Sci-Hub if you do not belong to an institution paying for access)


The fallacy in this article is as follows:

(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 ;)


Huh. Well let's assume causality points in only one direction, genetics->tissue->ability, then I'm screwed and there's nothing I can do about it. Let's assume that it at least points partially in the other direction, ability->tissue, now I can keep my tissue healthy by exercising.

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.


The paper's discussion contains this statement:

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.


My point is they are not sampling from genpop And they are sampling Different populations with age rising. I've met quite a few fit 60 yr olds, but have never seen a that fit 80 yr old.


Your criticism is spot on. Separately, though, there is a growing community of people using weight training on older folks. It seems incredibly effective. Check out The Barbell Prescription by the Starting Strength folks if you’re interested.


Training 4-5x a week is within your control. Winning the lottery is not.

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.)


> Training 4-5x a week is within your control.

That may not be true for a large proportion of people in their 80s.


Those in their 80s have nothing but free time. Of course they won't have the energy to train 4-5x a week if they have been sedentary the last half of their life.


Maybe they can start with 1-2x and then work their way up to 4-5x after awhile.


I agree with jmull here. In my personal opinion things like intermittent fasting might be a lot more broadly applicable to the elderly than exercising 4x a week or becoming a triathlete.



Thank you! I couldn't come up with a reputable source on reverse image search to figure out if it's fake or not.


Yeesh. That's a great visual. I'm a sedentary software engineer... gotta make some changes. It reminds me of the cancer slides in the "How Not to Die" talk https://youtu.be/7rNY7xKyGCQ?t=780 which is partly why I'm now vegan.


Dr Greger and its undisclosed vegan agenda using cherry picked or wrongly interpreted studies to push it.


Would you consider adding to the discussion by presenting meta-studies showing meat is not carcinogenic?


That's not how things work. A study can only prove something was not carcinogenic during the study. It cannot prove it's not carcinogenic [period]. The other way around works: if a study shows something was carcinogenic during the study, it proved it's carcinogenic [period]. All of this assumes properly conducted studies.

On the other hand studies proved UV rays are carcinogenic [0]. 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.

[0] https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposu...


That's quite the comparison, considering one of those is practically impossible to do and would have a lot of negative consequences in other areas.

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.


I replied to a comment asking to "prove a negative". Either due to poor understanding of how it works or to skew the answer in their favor.

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.


It doesn't matter which cherry you pick, they all lead to the same conclusion: eating too many animals and not enough plants causes our most common diseases (obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke). Dr. Greger's agenda is not about the animals, it is about the people.


> eating too many animals and not enough plants causes our most common diseases (obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke)

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)?


I think that is exactly the point Dr Greger makes. Specifically not enough unprocessed plant foods.

(https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-diabetes/). Click on the "sources" section to get the sources cited.


Yes, I do believe that, and yes Type II (not Type 1). According to Dr. Greger there is mounting evidence that fat is the cause, and that problems processing carbs is the symptom. Here are his videos with many studies cited: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/diabetes/. Or Google type 2 diabetes and vegans. Here is the first thing I found: https://veganhealth.org/type-2-diabetes-in-vegans/. I'll take a 68% lower rate as some evidence. Vegans, by the way, are people who eat "too many plants and not enough animals". It helps with certain diseases.


definitely start a sit/stand desk as early as possible. I didn't think I was that unhealthy sitting all day until I had an injury from a car accident which took waaay too long to heal - primarily bc my hamstrings and IT band were shortened from all that sitting!

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.


Do you have a pad for under your desk? I find that I can't just stand all day without getting stiff either.


I didn't have one and yes it took a few weeks of building up to being able to stand all day, so I would take sitting breaks for 1-2 hours. From what I understand, it's actually better to have a mix than to stand only. But yes, now that you remind me, I will get a pad! Thank you.


> From what I understand, it's actually better to have a mix than to stand only.

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.


> From what I understand, it's actually better to have a mix than to stand only.

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.


Love the talking style of the speaker as well as the terrifying content!


Doesn't tell the whole story: Was told by a doc that with the amount of scar tissue in my R shoulder / bicep that he could easily trick new medical residents into thinking it was the MRI of a 70 or 80 year old.

... I train jiu jitsu 3x / week + cardio 3x / week.


JJ is notoriously hard on the body, especially the joints, and especially if you're rolling with less experienced folks.


...martial artists are guaranteed bodily harm in some form or the other.scarifying tissues,ligament damage and microfracturing are a fact of life. not to mention if you're doing it competitively then someone else is actively going to cause grevious bodily injury that you cannot prevent. the bill comes due someday


> The picture tells the story...

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.


Was the 70yo triathlete just a triathlete in their younger years, or did they keep up the exercise as they got older?

If you can remember, of course.


Both. The subjects in the paper trained a lot before age 40 and continued to train a lot into old age.


That's a good one. Amazing how little muscle the sedentary person has.


I'm pretty sure the images are scaled differently (note the sizes of the bones, which should be the same).

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.


Can be summarized as "use it or lose it".


Counterpoint that becomes increasingly relevant as one ages: "wear and tear."


That's not a valid counterpoint. Assuming proper technique, frequent sustained use keeps joints healthier. In particular the old myth that running is bad for knees has been debunked.


Wow, thanks so much for sharing.

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 image seems to be somewhat misleading though, as the scale isn’t preserved across pictures. If you look at the bone size, the middle pic mostly has more fat.


40 and 70 are so similar I'm almost dubious.

that said I want to run now


The key is balanced (non-crappy) diet and a certain level of activity whatever that activity. Look at people in NYC vs. people in Scranton. NYC folks have more muscles because they have to walk to get to the subway, stand in a subway, walk up the stairs and down the stairs to get to the platform, walk from one place to the other, cross a dozen of blocks, etc. Folks in Scranton walk from their couch to their car, ride to their work in that car, barely move at their work, walk 100ft back to their car and get themselves back to their couch.


Very neat! Why does the 3rd picture have so much less fat than the first?


This picture made me jump out of my chair and start doing squats.


Wow, great pic. Thanks for sharing.


You should also show the brain scans of the triathlete versus a sedentary computer programmer.


How smart do you have to be to out-think a heart attack?


You missed a triathlete computer programmer.


In my office we have a CrossFitting computer programmer, a BJJ-ing computer programmer, and indeed a triathlete computer programmer. Being a computer programmer and being fit are by no means mutually exclusive.


yay BJJ! Been doing this for about two years, and it's the best thing I ever started. Really enjoy both the physical training aspect of it, and also the "human chess" aspect of it.


The patterns on the 40 and 70 year old triathlete match far too well. I'm calling bullshit. The "70 year old triathlete" scan is just further up the leg of the 40 year old.


You find it surprising that two different humans have the same muscles in the same locations? Have you ever noticed that chicken wings also have the same meat in the same spot across two different wings?


This is too stupid to answer to, but have you noticed Yao Ming and Britney Spears do not look the same? Good.

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.


I agree that it's typical for authors to cherry pick the samples used to illustrate their major message most forcefully.

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.


It seems reasonable to me. I did a triathlon several months ago. One of the other competitors was 73. We finished with approximately the same final time.


To be fair, the legs of healthy people who perform the same type of exercise do tend to have very similar shapes.




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