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S&C UnderGround >> I Am 34 and I Feel Old


1/2/13 9:37 AM
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AnakinHelwani
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I really hit the wall last year. For the first time in my life, I started feeling old -- getting back/knee soreness from bending over and carrying a bag, having less energy, trouble getting out of bed, stuff like that.

I know part of the issue is weight. I'm 5'10" and about 225 pounds and I'm not very muscular.

I'm jumping into a moderate exercise routine to improve my health, but I'm going to turn 35 this year and the prospect of my body starting to fall apart is scaring the shit out of me.

Can anyone relate?

 

1/2/13 12:17 PM
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LCSULLA
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OP I think you need to evaluate your goals then set up a plan to achieve them.

A couple more thoughts:

I just turned 41 a few months ago, got a bum shoulder (had the otehr one fixed in '09 then three months later the other went) and I still train. First find an activity you love and one you will stick to. I used to pound the weights but decreased that once years of bad habits started giving me issues. Then once I got into BJJ, I dropped the weights totally. But I just recently joined a gym and cut my BJJ down, so I can do something I used to love when I was a kid, that I hadnt enjoyed in yrs.

Second hire a trainer. Someone that you trust and can help you achieve your goals. Make sure they have a proven track recond of success. Especially if you can find one that does diet and progamming. And I don't get some 22 yr old at your local Gold's. They dont know crap.

Third, dont go after it like your 25. I did that at 38 with BJJ and Crossfit. Horrible idea, really. I could never recover because I couldnt control the intesity.

Fourth, kinda a extension of the third...know your limits. If you have an issue (like shoulder) then dont do anything the will agravate it. I dont do any pressing for shoulders in my routine. In fact all my stuff is prehad and rehab.

Hope this helps.
1/2/13 12:22 PM
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LCSULLA
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Oh one more thing. Look up the thread with fighter Jon Murphy. It happened sometime in July. I think it may be what you need.
1/2/13 2:21 PM
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VincentVega
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Old at 34? Just wait... Phone Post
1/2/13 2:23 PM
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big_slacker
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Edited: 01/02/13 2:29 PM
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Hey man, 38 here and am just coming out on the other side of this. Although I wasn't as overweight as you (starting at 5'11" and 183, now 165 and a lot trimmer) I felt like my health, energy and mood fell off a cliff at 35.

First thing I'd do based on experience is to go to the doc, get your bloodwork done and check for common vitamin deficiencies like B12, K2, D and at your age testosterone. Tell the doc you're going to fix your diet an exercise but want to cover your bases first. I had a massive vitamin D deficiency that really slowed things down even though I was eating well and doing plenty of working out.

About aches and pains, if you have any that are lingering long term ACUTE injuries get them taken care of at a specialist, not a general practitioner. Sports docs/clinics tend to be the best even if you aren't an athlete because they've seen these specific injuries over and over again all day long.

With the basics taken care of, if you're overweight then the way you eat is the root cause and that has to change even if you want to exercise (and you should!). Make fairly small changes towards eating better. The #1 advice I can give is to start each morning with a greens/fruit shake instead of whatever you're eating. Very few people in the world get enough fruit/veg intake and those nutrients you're lacking cause cravings for al kinds of junk. I'm not saying this will eliminate cravings completely or give your body everything it needs but it's a BIG leg up. There are lots of recipes out there, but you should always have 1/3rd-1/2 the blender full of greens (kale, spinach, chard, whatever) and then throw in other good stuff like banana, orange, apple, avocado and maybe a little fruit juice for flavor. Just find something you like, I know it doesn't SOUND good talking about it, but when you get a good recipe down you'll look forward to it.

After you've kinda got that down, just focus on getting the majority of what you eat made of good whole foods. A great rule is to have 1/3rd of your plate veg, 1/3rd whole grains and 1/3rd protein source.

Avoid anyone who is selling an extreme diet, a magic powder/pill or a magic workout which will transform you in a month or two. Although these (especially the diets) might give you some short term gains they aren't dealing with the root cause which is living a life that is out of balance with the goal of health.

Good luck, you can do it but no one but yourself will make it happen!
1/2/13 2:53 PM
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Leigh
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Edited: 01/02/13 2:58 PM
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I'm 37 next week and I feel worn out a lot but I think its due to changing my routine over the years. I used to lift 3 times a week and spar once or twice, with no cardio in my early twenties. When I added in intervals, I started getting sick but was clueless to recovery.

At 29 I was training full time and still overtrained. I did one heavy lift a day, 5 days a week, intervals twice and sparring most days

Now I put in more sparring than ever and I handle it, whilst working full time and supporting a family. I manage my training and recovery much better than I used to. At the moment, I often only train 2 days week but I really work on those days and have 3 days off to recover Phone Post
1/2/13 3:56 PM
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419
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I'm 35 and my plan is get stronger and eat more vegetables.
1/2/13 6:17 PM
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Zero1
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I think aging is an interesting topic.

I´am 35 (turning 36 in April)and I´am addicted to martial arts and fitness training.

Here a few things you should consider:

The most important thing is to understand that life is change and that all the change is for you to learn. So all the decades you train is a process that is leading you to new ideas.

Training should be about quality not quantity. Its about body mechanics first and pure strength second.

Nutrition is important. I became vegan with 33 and I regenerate like with 25 it is that good.

Keep balance. Its not about training hard and getting big. Its about getting a balance in your body.

Its about breathing, selective tension, posture, muscle control, dexterity......

And it´s about your mind relax, chill out and just be.;)

Don´t go crazy about your goals.

Set them, trust them, and love live:-)
1/2/13 7:15 PM
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The Kangaroo
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Diet, Excercise, Sleep, Stress. Address them all with equal attention.
1/3/13 8:57 AM
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AnakinHelwani
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Thanks everyone. I'm starting pretty easy (30 minutes on an exercise bike and calisthenics at night) but I think I'm on my way. I just needed to get the frustration off my chest. I'd really like to drop 40-50 pounds. That's a big goal, and just taking the first steps is really hard.

1/3/13 9:11 AM
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Leigh
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Diet
1/3/13 4:32 PM
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Seul
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Leigh, are you doing all your work (lifting, mma, and running) on those two days? If so, are you finding that you're losing anything from the decreased frequency? Phone Post
1/3/13 5:14 PM
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The Kangaroo
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AnakinHelwani - 

Thanks everyone. I'm starting pretty easy (30 minutes on an exercise bike and calisthenics at night) but I think I'm on my way. I just needed to get the frustration off my chest. I'd really like to drop 40-50 pounds. That's a big goal, and just taking the first steps is really hard.


Google "Starting Strength routine". Google "Paleo Diet". 6 months youll be good to go.
1/3/13 5:20 PM
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cdueck
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Paleo worked for me. I am 39 and going back to my first Kyokushin class in over two years tonight so tomorrow I should feel like I'm 50. 

1/3/13 5:55 PM
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Leigh
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Seul - Leigh, are you doing all your work (lifting, mma, and running) on those two days? If so, are you finding that you're losing anything from the decreased frequency? Phone Post
I only really do strength maintenance. Its hard to build strength in a trained individual on one day a week.

A couple of years ago I did a trial here with Vermonter. We found that overall time spent doing conditioning was more important than frequency.

That said, to answer your question, I plan to train Mon, Weds, Fri but if I have a hard Monday session and don't feel well rested, I will rest Weds. Phone Post
1/4/13 8:45 AM
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Wiggy
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There's already plenty of good advice here, so I'll defer to most of it.  

One thing I will re-stress that LCSULLA mentioned was to not go after it like you're young - because you're not anymore.

Now, 34 isn't "old" - not by any stretch.  But it's also not young, either.  I turned 36 in November.  I feel good, but when I hit 30 or so, my body started to do some funky shit.  Now granted, I've been through a lot in recent years (from a personal/emotional/stress perspective), so that has contributed to it some.  However, in general, I can't do the same things I could when I was younger - even in my last 20s.  My body simply just doesn't react the same way.

I think part of it was getting a tad older.  I'm sure a big part of it was life simply catching up with me.

For example (and this is just my own story - not saying this is yours), I've hardly ever slept real well.  Even back as far as high school and earlier.  It was weird - if I got up early back then (like 430-5am) to work out before school, and only slept 6 hours, I'd feel tons better than if I didn't train and slept 8 hours.  Then in college, sleep wasn't as good as it should have been.  Got married and had my daughter right out of college.  Sleep wasn't great then, either.

Point is that I always felt fine that whole time.  It caught up to me.  Now, if I have a bad night's sleep, it wrecks me.  I also don't recover nearly like I used to be able to.  And I can only handle certain types of workouts for so long as compared to just a few years ago.

That doesn't mean I have to do things differently per se - it just means that I have to take a different approach.  Meaning, I can still do the same kinda workouts, but maybe not as often.  And/or that I need to take additional measures to ensure recovery that I never used to need to take before.  That sort of thing.

Diet (as Leigh said) will be key to this as well.

More than anything (and it seems like I'm saying this a lot lately), remember that you're in this for the long haul.  Don't think you've got to achieve your goals in the nex 6 weeks.  Doing a lot of kickass stuff in a short period of time is awesome and very motivating.  It can also burn you out, injure you, or destroy your CNS if you're not prepared.  And given your current state, it sounds like you're not.  No offense.

Take the slow and steady route, be smart, and focus on where you're at in 6 or 12 months, and you should be fine.

Wiggy - http://www.workingclassfitness.com

1/4/13 10:53 AM
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LCSULLA
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"Don't think you've got to achieve your goals in the nex 6 weeks. Doing a lot of kickass stuff in a short period of time is awesome and very motivating. It can also burn you out, injure you, or destroy your CNS if you're not prepared. And given your current state, it sounds like you're not. No offense.

Take the slow and steady route, be smart, and focus on where you're at in 6 or 12 months, and you should be fine."

Toatlly agree with this.

I alos like how PL'er's break things down in to cycles and plan an entire years training that way. Makes you take the long view.

1/5/13 1:58 AM
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GARRA
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38 train bjj every day and heavy lifts 2 or 3 times a week.
Eat reasonably well and sleep pretty good. For you make minor, sustainable changes... Phone Post
1/6/13 3:06 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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For me the aches and pains are part of getting older, but my energy level is not that different at age 57 from what it was 30 years ago.

Keep in mind that people are achieving great physical feats at ages not thought of in the not so distant past. Case in point... Arthur Webb finished his 15th Badwater (135 miles thru Death Valley) with a personal record(!!!)at the age of 70... and he's not the oldest competitor to ever run Badwater.

Hopefully, unless there is some kind underlying medical condition, you can regain that vitality by making some lifestyle changes... good luck.

1/6/13 4:42 PM
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aries45
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1/6/13 7:55 PM
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glass neck
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appreciate all the info here

will be 36 next month. train bjj, lift, & run

trying to get in yoga again as well

i still love bjj but am losing steam in it as i have a hard time lately being motivated knowing no matter how much a train i am losing ground to the 20-something full time guys.

i understand its a personal journey and no ego and all; hard to remember that when i am getting berimboloed by a 21 y/o.

at this point i am lucky to get two good days of bjj in per week.

when its good training though it reminds me why i keep going
1/8/13 2:12 PM
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The Gunslinger
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No need to end up in a bad kind of way and no age is the end of the world. I train a 56 year old man, when he came to me he couldn't even do a situp. Now he is in incredible shape, he can run a 20 minute 5k, he's about 155lbs and he can snatch his bodyweight and back squats close to 300, high bar, ass to ankles, and deadlifts 355. It isn't that he's a spectacular athlete, he is just dedicated and follows the program.

For a guy like you I'm a big fan of HIT. It isn't time consuming and it'll give you most of what you need for strength. Strength is the base of everything and the more I train people, the more I'm a big believer in it. If you are strong you don't end up with the problems you are currently having.

There is a lot of styles of HIT: Mentzer's, Jones, Hutchins. I personally like Ken Liestner's version. It's basic, old school, not much different than Jones' early stuff. If you are adept at learning, read starting strength for learning basic barbell exercises. If not, stick to the machines and bodyweight exercises. A typical Dr. Ken workout looks like this:
Squat 1x20
Dip 1x12
weighted pullup 1x12
Stiff leg deadlift (I prefer RDLs) 1x15
Press 1x12
barbell or dumbbell row 1x12
That's not a copy paste, so it may not be exact, but that's basically it. Do it twice a week and it'll give you everything you need strength wise.

For my beginner trainees I keep them away from bench pressing, most of them have done too much of it at the detriment of everything else. Standing presses are a better overall exercise and measure of upper body strength if done properly. The dip is a better assistance exercise than the bench press. Put a great amount of effort into each set while keeping good form and add weight or reps each work out.

On 2 or 3 other days do some conditioning. It doesn't have to be excessively hard at first, but you'll want to keep it short (between 10-20 minutes) and challenging. People will say do distance running, aerobic conditioning blah, blah. Sure, that stuff is good, you can do it, but for basic health and fitness for most people sticking to higher intensity stuff will work just as well and not nearly be as time consuming. If you want something a bit easier and longer, do a brisk walk with your dog, your joints will thank you and your dog will like it. Plenty of people have done well without LSD work.

You'll also want to do some basic stretching focusing on the shoulders and hips after you finish working out. It doesn't have to be fancy, but a good 10-15 minutes will do you fine. Get a 2 foot section of PVC and roll out your legs and any knots you have in your muscles.

Do these things and you'll be on your way.
1/12/13 11:46 AM
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WillyMaunawili
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1/12/13 7:48 PM
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HULC
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I'm not quite as old as you are (32) but i've dipped in and out of training a few times, and changed my opinions on things a few times, and thus learnt some lessons that work well for me. Generally they can be boiled down to go slow and do less than you think you can handle. If you aim under then you can always scale up until you hit an intensity that gives you a good balance of improvement vs wear and tear. If you start too hard, you'll come away feeling like crap physically, and emotionally you'll get discouraged and want to give up.

Now that's very generalised, because you already have good advice from the posters above. Just adding my tuppence.
1/13/13 7:31 AM
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U4EA
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Don't have time to read the whole thread, but...

Go paleo. At very least, get rid of wheat and refined sugars and cut down on starches, dairy and processed foods.

Stretch once a day. Makes your body feel better, generally improves biomechanics which makes you feel better when you are active.

Sleep right - go to bed at the same time, get up at the same time. Don't let an alarm clock wake you. Let your body do it itself. Cut back on fluid intake before going to bed to ensure you sleep right through.

Get rid of caffeine. Made a huge difference to me.

Try some a bit of fasting every now and again to rejuvenate your body.

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