T Nation

age, hormones, and bodyfat distribution

Anyone else noticed any major changes in bodyfat distribution as you age? I’m not talking about necessarily an increase in bodyfat but just a change in where and how it’s displaced. I’m 28 now and when I was younger I had no problems maintaining a tight, small 6-pack stomach yet would have to diet quite stringently in order to get to the point where I was ripped in the thighs to the point where I have visible veins running all the way down from the top of my thighs to the ankles. Now I can achieve the lean legs rather easily and even have veins running down both sides of my abs but also seem to have a very stubborn layer of intracellular fat in the abdominal region that I would never have acquired 5 years ago, even with a massive bulking diet. I have attributed this change to DHT increase as over the last couple of years I’ve also noticed more body hair growth and an ever so slight case of a receding hairline. Any other thoughts or experiences on the subject?

Well, you know, you get older and there’s not much to be done about it. Personally, I’ve noticed that my love handles tend to grow very quickly now (almost 40), whereas I never had to worry about them when I was younger. Also, no matter how ripped my frontal abs are, they now pooch out a bit. Some of this is probably due to a slightly worse posture, but mostly I think it’s just laxity in the muscles. My abs are pretty strong; it’s not a lack of “tone” or anything like that…

KB: It sounds like your problem, if you want to call it
that, is hormonal in nature. You just might be experiencing
a minor decline in hormonal output (primarily T); been
there; done that. Perhaps, you’re stressed about a job
situation or something else …combine this with a little
over-training, and your testosterone to cortisol ratio can
become out of balance!

Yeah, I'm a legs man, too; it sounded like you were describing me for a minute there. My problem is two-fold: decline in hormonal output and decreased insulin sensitivity! Have been implementing a new dietary approach which seems to be helping, but it's too early to pass judgment.

What I'm doing is keeping the calories the same, about 2600 a day, and trading many of my carb and some of my protein calories for fat calories. Obviously, I'm sticking with the healthy fats only! My new ratio is 45% fat, 35 % protein, and 20% carbs. Am also ingesting most of the carbs post workout (weights or cardio). Plus I'm using hi dose BCAA's + glutamine in my workout water in place of carbs, and some additional BCAA's + glutamine during the day . My blood sugar seems to be stabilizing nicely, due to the dietary adjustment!

If you need to learn about BCAA's, there's a great 4 part series on this very subject written by someone named Kelly Baggett!!!

Check out www.intensitymagazine.com /01-01-02/

Being older than you, and needing a little more help in the anabolic department, I have been using Androsol; however, you may not want to explore this option.

P.S. I hope you get some good replies, I, too, could use a few pointers! Sorry for the long winded-reply!

Man I feel your pain on the hair thing. I’m starting to grow hair on my lower back, upper arms, and other places that I never had it before. I guess it could be partly due to the MAG-10, but I noticed an increase even before then. I’m 29 and while I think it is a little more difficult to attain the lean and vascular look, my muscle density and quality seems to have become much more distinct. I’m able to see cross striations in my lateralis, outer head of triceps,hamstrings, and glutes. Was never able to achieve that level of quality separation and definition in the muscles when I was in my early 20’s. I do seem to store fat much quicker though when I’m off low calorie diets.

On a funnier note - I’m also seeing all of the markers of aging
mentioned by char-dawg and spacemonkey, and others:

When the hair on my head stopped growing , it began sprouting in and on my ears ... yuk!!!

I find myself staring aimlessly at the supplement cabinet, trying to figure out which supps I just took ... uh-oh!

And I no longer must carry the surfboard in front me while strolling the beach; too bad!

P.S. Be thankful for what you have now because when you hit char-dawg's and my age, well ... you'll find out!

You know what I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older (now 36)? That it’s easier for me to get lean. And easier to remain lean. Been active ALL my life, been weight training since 1983. Been competitive bb on and off since 1987. When I first began competing, yes, it was hard to get lean. I still had some “babyfat” to contend with - and bad nutritional habits to cut out.

Ever since I turned 30,it has gotten easier and easier for me to get lean or manipulate my diet. I could just be a optimistic freak ;-) - but I do ignore the "age-ism" to diet and health. I just prefer to do what I need to do in regards to getting lean and to stay in positive health mode.

One thing I believe is that alot is also dependent upon how long you've been active and/or aware of your nutrition. And about where that fat is distributed on my bod now? Hmmmm. I've always had a tendency to hold onto fat around my midsection and lower back. Hasn't changed. So, as long as I keep my abs in site, I know I'm one lean chicklet.

Patricia it seems I’ve heard that remark more often coming from women then from men :). I guess it makes sense if estrogen levels in a woman are high when you’re younger and begin to decline as you get older than it would seem it might make it easier to become lean…where the opposite thing happens with a male.