Thibs, something I have noticed in myself as I get a bit older is that my limbs seem to be getting “leaner” (more veins and leanness in my forearms / biceps even at same relative body fat levels and weight) but my trunk seems to be a little softer (abs “blurry”, love handles a bit more pronounced).
I kinda figured since the arms are involved in EVERYTHING they receive such a frequent stimulus that they might be more inclined to “look trained”
Have you noticed anything similar in your athletes or in yourself? [/quote]
I have noticed the same exact thing and my buddy thought I was nuts since I’ve been complaining to him about this the past few years, (I’m 54).
To make things worse I’ve always had trouble with gaining arm size and always had a tendency to store most of my fat in my lower pecs, lower abs and love handles, while my legs and arms were lean and kind of on the small side even when I was younger. Now its worse than ever. And like Thibs stated I really believe it has to do with rising cortisol(along with low T etc.). As my life got more stressful with kids work etc., my problem areas became more of a problem.
As to what I do to combat it, I try to control my calories and carb intake and center carbs around my workouts and stay fairly lean year round. When I get sloppy in winter my fat areas get worse and more difficult to lose come spring cutting cycle. My workouts have reduced in volume because I noticed pump/volume type training makes me look worse and I lose strength. I stick to ramping up to 1-5 reps (ever since Thibs article on the perfect rep) and do multiple sets of heavy low reps with maybe 1 or 2 down sets at the end.
I do an upper/lower split. Vertical push/horizontal push, vertical pull/horizontal pull, quad dominant/ham hip hinge dominant type split with usually only one big “bang for your buck” movement per workout. I keep repeating the split until I feel I need a rest day.
I don’t like to take more than a day rest because I also noticed that as I got older I would get out of the zone to speak and come back a little weaker or struggle more. I didn’t know why until I read that Thibs mentioned too many days off between workouts causes you to neurologically get detrained which then made me realize what I was feeling.
I know its a long reply but I felt it was important to share what I do to combat it because it has really worked for me.
I also don’t feel like going on T therapy just yet in my life. If I live till 80 that would be 30 yrs of pinning myself every week which I’m not in the mood for lol.