Athlete in Late 30s

Hi everyone,

My name is Matt, I’m 38 and although I have played rugby union and rugby league since I was 11, I a have never really weight trained, but am looking to start.

I have always had a good base level of fitness attained through my rugby training sessions and because I cycle a lot (circa 75 miles per week commuting to work and travelling to and from rugby sessions).

I would say my body type is endomorphic - I put on weight quickly during the off-season, and as I have gotten older I find it harder and harder to shift the weight. I’m 6ft tall and currently 220lbs.

In terms of supplements I have been taking fish oils for years, but I have never really used anything else, such as protein powders, creatine etc, but I have just bought myself a couple of months worth of whey protein, creatine, BCAA, and I got a freebie back of beta-alanine as it was my first purchase.

Unfortunately there isn’t a gym near my home, and the only one near work is more of a “health club” and the membership fees are too expensive. I do however have at home a cheap weights set, with a bar and dumbells, with weight up to about 150lbs. I also have a bench, some bands, and a couple of kettlebells (35lbs and 54lbs).

My immediate goal is to lose some weight. I have been a long time reader of T-Nation and Dan John’s 10,000 KB Swing Challenge caught my eye, so I’m planning to start down that path tomorrow morning.

Following on from that, my goals - so far - are a bit less specific: I just want to get big!! My rugby is still very important to me, but I realise that at 38 my playing days are numbered - shit, there are guys on my team 20 years younger than me!! So I’m looking more long term, and as narcissistic as it might be, I’d like to be able to take my family on a beach holiday and not look like a beached whale!

So 10,000 KB swings first, then in 30 days or so I’ll be looking at something else to move on to. If anyone has any suggestions based on what I have said above, I’d love to hear them.



Firstly, I would nose around the “over 35” forum, because there will be a lot of differences in training that are not going to get taken into account on other forums.

Secondly: nutrition. If you want to lose weight, good nutrition is going to be essential to your progress and yet you didn’t mention it at all in your post. This should be addressed.

Thirdly: supplements. At this stage, I wouldn’t bother. Yes, some supplements will work, but a good program and good nutrition are what you should be focussing on.

Lastly: the fun bit, training. How much money do you have available to spend on new equipment, if any? I’ve found a home gym is always a great option to have available. If not, those two kettlebells will do nicely on their own. Try looking into some of Pavel’s kettlebell stuff like Enter the Kettlebell or Sinister and Simple.

Thanks for the reply, I’ll definitely look at the Over 35s forum - I just beelined straight here.

My diet is mixed. I eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and zero fast food. But I do tend to binge on bread every now and then, and portion control can also be an issue. I rarely feel hungry first thing, so breakfast is often missed, so I tend to eat a large meal in the evening, and just a few pieces of fruit during the day. I drink lots of water - probably 2 or 3 litres through the day while I’m at work, and probably 2 or 3 cups of coffee. When I come home from work, my meal will generally be something like chicken with lots of veggies, but I often still don’t feel “satisfied” and so this often ends up being followed by a sandwich or two.

I’ve read a lot of Pavel’s stuff on the internet and will definitely consider moving onto one of his programs after these 10k swings are out of the way!

dagill has already given you some good advice.

I’ll just say that at your build and age, with your fitness from rugby, I think the 10000 swing program is a great place to start, and I expect that you will progress nicely. With those two kettlebells and 150 pounds of barbell weights, you really can do quite a lot. You may not be a competitive power lifter but don’t underestimate the value in doing good squats and presses with the barbell, even “only” 150 pounds, and of course the kettlebell swing (and other KB movements) will be terrific for conditioning and fat loss.

Start a log somewhere on the site. Good luck!


[quote]breakfast is often missed

plus this

[quote]just a few pieces of fruit during the day

equals this

The article on the homepage today is very relevant here.

Followed the advice and had a big breakfast this morning - 4 egg omelette followed by a protein shake when I got to work. Feel like shit, but I’m guessing that’s just my body not being used to having breakfast. Will stick with it.