“Better” at 48 than 28

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:

  1. Regain the proper mindset (discipline, enjoying “suffering”, prioritizing feeling good over everything else in my life, etc.)
  2. Dial in nutrition/recovery/sleep
  3. Optimize hormones
  4. Follow Christian Thibaudeau’s guidance

Some stats:

Height: 6’3”
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 :frowning: - 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.


Hey that’s what we call it around here a lot too. Adding in nandrolone and anavar are actually cycling anabolics versus TRT/TOT but that’s semantics. Physique is looking great!


Yeah, I guess I should call it Anabolic Optimization Therapy or something like that to be more accurate.

Thanks for the compliment. I enjoy your posts.


You’ve clearly earned it! I’ve yet had the will power to get as lean as you are. I’ve done my fair share of anabolics in the past and still lacked the discipline. I’m impressed and posts like yours are certainly motivating. Keep it up!


Team Cephalic Veins! Awesome job man! Fantastic dedication and a wonderful example of what is possible. Thank you for sharing.

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I had to look that up lol. Body symmetry is a weird thing. My right cephalic vein is more pronounced than my left. Took a long time for the left to pop.

I now use “hey, that’s a new vein” to determine if I’m getting leaner as skinfolds are becoming less reliable.

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You look absolutely jacked man. And it looks like you’re in a hotel gym, right after my own heart! Well done, sir

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Nice work, my friend! I’m about to be 50 and am as fit and lean as I’ve ever been. There’s a different type of satisfaction when it comes to doing this at this age. I’m not on TRT, but I do work out and eat in a way that’s conducive to testosterone (high intensity shorter workouts and whole, real foods with minimal processing, no artificial sweeteners, and sleeping 8 hours a day). Glad to have your insight.

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Yes, hotel gym. It’s been a forced deload week which is good for me. I’m one of those stupid idiots that can’t take a week off even when every joint in my body is begging for a break.

Thanks for the compliment.


I held off on messing with my hormones for years. I was “afraid” I’d make myself even worse which didn’t make any sense in hindsight. It finally got to a point where I realized it couldn’t be any worse than I was feeling, so I gave it a go. I should have done it years ago.

For sure if you feel good, don’t bother with any of it. I would not have ever done any test if I didn’t have all the symptoms.

Thanks for the compliment. Keep trucking.

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Holy smokes that’s an incredible transformation. Awesome stuff.

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Fellow 40-something here, also currently at my absolute best and working to get even better. I wasn’t even working out regularly when I was 28. This is really awesome to see and I’m excited to see where you can take things from here!


Something I’ve always wanted to ask and never got around to. As you all are still relatively young, or at least not old, and several of you are on test and other things I no nothing about, do you see yourself having to use them from here on out? Is there a time when you won’t need/use them any more?

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I will have to use testosterone the rest of my life - or at least as long as the benefits outweigh the negatives (none for me so far). That’s one of the reasons I waited so long to start. It was “scary” to think I had to do this forever. And I was hesitant to mess with my hormones knowing it can turn into a game of whack a mole.

After doing it for a couple years, it’s a minor hassle but worth it for me with the quality of life improvement I get from it.


Looking good man! Great exercise selection you mentioned, especially the snatch grip high pull. What’s your weekly workout split looking like?

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That’s a great split! I have considered doing that same set up. Push Pull. I pretty much do the same exact exercises at home. Every other day is awesome. I might start that split soon.

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Looking amazing bro. I’m 45 next month. Feeling pretty confident and good myself. We can do it all and make it happen if we push the willpower. Where there’s a will there is a way!

Your program sounds on point.

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Happy birthday, friend! Hope it’s great! :raised_hands:


Thanks! Kind of you to remember.

I never asked you when your birthday is in September?

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The 28th. Hope your b-day weekend was full of laughter and good memories! :smiling_face:

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