Thought I’d share my story for anyone getting “over the hill” and thinking you can’t be as good or better than your younger self.
I couldn’t find a photo of “fat” me on my phone, but I’ll add later if I can find one. It appears taking shirtless selfies isn’t a thing when you look like a bag of milk.
I was a (terrible) pro athlete in my 20s and have generally kept myself in decent shape since then, but have had ups and downs with body composition due to various life events and countless excuses to be lazy. I let myself go to crap for a bit at ages 43-46. Had a lot of old athletic injury issues that destroyed my body (and mind) and that was a convenient excuse to be a lazy sack.
On 1/1/2021 I got back on the horse and have had a steady progression since. Priority order for me has been:
- Regain the proper mindset (discipline, enjoying “suffering”, prioritizing feeling good over everything else in my life, etc.)
- Dial in nutrition/recovery/sleep
- Optimize hormones
- Follow Christian Thibaudeau’s guidance
Weight: 215-220 lb
Body fat %: Don’t know, don’t care
Skinfolds (mm) - using the same crappy plastic calipers for years so take accuracy with a grain of salt. 1/1/2021, current:
Stomach: 26, 3-4
Leg: 29, 3-4
I just vomited looking at my skin folds from a couple years ago. I was 230 lbs on 1/1/21.
1RM estimates (I don’t ever max out):
Trap bar deadlift: 530
Front squat: 350
Single arm DB incline bench: 115
I don’t barbell deadlift, back squat or barbell bench. Main lifts I do for majority of volume are: trap bar deadlift, front squat, incline DB bench, chins, dips, snatch grip high pulls. 90% of volume in the 3-6 rep range. Almost zero isolation work.
Performance goal: Trap bar deadlift 3x bodyweight (current 2.4x)
Aesthetic goal: Some day actually have visible legit traps in a t-shirt
I’m as lean as I’ve ever been and have tracked skinfolds since 1997 - lost original spreadsheet - but have data since 2009. I’m maybe as strong as I’ve ever been but for sure have lost power/athleticism from my 20s. I never maxed out in the weight room as an athlete because that served no purpose for me, so I have no idea of my relative strength today vs my 20s.
I had hormonal issues starting late 30s, but didn’t resolve them until age 46. Both testosterone and estrogen were very low. I tried everything “natural” but nothing helped. It was a slow decline starting in my late 30s and I didn’t realize how awful I was feeling mentally and physically until I got my T and E optimized. Low T was for sure messing up my brain as much as it was messing me up physically.
I run continuous testosterone cypionate at 140-300mg/week (started August 2021) and cycle in nandrolone at 140-200mg/week (started Oct 2021) or Anavar 25mg/day (started Feb 2023) - all prescribed and bloodwork every 6 months. I move the T dosage up/down depending on the nandrolone and Anavar usage, but is typically 200mg/week.
The nandrolone has been awesome for improving joint health, specifically my shoulders which were abused from athletics - and staying below 200mg/week seems to keep the pp thing working. The Anavar is more for “fun” and I was just curious to see what it would do for body comp - yeah, it works just like all the meatheads say it does. I try not to go too crazy with dosages as I’m not trying to be a monster. I just want to feel good.
I’ve had near zero side effects (early on had high E symptom of random sad emotions, but time and/or EOD T injections seemed to solve that) and bloodwork has always been very good. At this point I consider myself one of the lucky ones with being able to relatively easily resolve my low T/low E symptoms.
I won’t call what I’m doing TRT because I’m for sure exceeding replacement levels. My free T runs consistently at the very high end of the “normal” range. I’m doing TOT (testosterone optimization therapy) - my made up term for it - which is my attempt to balance mental/physical well-being with performance/aesthetics while minimizing health risks.
I take a stupid amount of supplements. If TC writes about it in an article, I’m taking it. I’ve bought so many Biotest supplements since 1997(?) that I’ve probably paid for at least five feet of Tim Patterson’s yacht.