Can I Realistically Improve my Body Now?

Hi everybody!

To introduce myself, I’m 26, 5’10’’ and about 160lbs. I was doing judo and kick-boxing during high school, hitting gym regularly (I was constantly over 180lbs back then). Later, my huge dream became competing at bodybuilding.

Unfortunately, I had too little time and money during college, so I slowly lost all my condition and now, during my Ph.D. even all the muscles. Add high blood pressure (ok with pills), losing hair, constant stress, break-up with fiancée and you see my current state.

In summary - during the last year I got into a terrible condition, lost all my self-confidence and I’m really not sure, if I can improve significantly now, at 26. I feel, like I’m too old, small, fragile and completely done to be able to get some serious mass back.

In the ideal case I’d love to put on a lot of mass (“bear mode/strongman” look) and now I wouldn’t really worry about putting on some fat.

So, what do you think? Is it realistic to aim for something like that in my situation?

You can see my current photos here:

Firstly saying you feel like you’re too old at 26 is ridiculous. You’re still young and very much in your prime and as long as you’re physically able to do exercise it’s never too late to improve yourself anyway.
I had to take just over a year off lifting at one point due to having an operation so I know what it’s like to lose the precious gains.
I’d recommend you get on the 5/3/1 program (there’s a thread on here somewhere about it), start a lean bulk, and be patient. You’ll be suprised how quick your muscle returns (muscle memory and all that).
Good luck on your journey!


76yos change their bodies. Calling yourself old at 26 is a joke. Change your mindset.


Just read a bunch of articles and run through programs off this site. They work.
Start off with something by Dan John or Waterbury.

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Good place to start

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26 is old ? :sweat_smile: I’m old enough to be your father. You got plenty of time to reach your goals.


You’ve literally given yourself an easily achievable goal. As long as you eat with a lot of determination and train you’ll manage it. Shoot for around a pound gain a week. Remember that carbs are your friend. So is sleep.

How you train doesn’t matter anywhere nearly as much. Just hit whatever you want to grow and do it with honest to goodness intensity and effort three to four days a week.


You are literally in your physical prime. You have your whole life to be old. Be young now.


LOL how is somebody “too old” at 26? This idea is probably why you take high blood pressure medication at your age, which coulda been avoided with exercise.

Just eat and train to the best of your ability. I was 26, 5’8 150 and jobless with no gains, despite having previously worked at a commercial gym, when I first started taking lifting more seriously. I started with 5/3/1 BBB and gained weight pretty fast


Wish i was 26. Can drink like a fish, train hard and bounce back easy. Life is grand. If you are miserable at 26 what are you going to be like at 36, 46 etc?


You’ll be fine. Use the gym as a pressure release and reprieve from everything else and in a year you won’t know why you even worried about any of the things you listed.


Thank you all very much for your support! To be honest, I really needed that, as I feel really low last few weeks. I’ll read about both recommended training programs and start with them by the end of July - I would love to start earlier, but I’m currently abroad, because of my Ph.D. and I have no option of training here.

I’ll also create a training log, so I can keep my progress and you can, hopefully, add your other advice.

Thank you once more, guys!

This looks like a whole bunch of pity party to me :sweat_smile:

Oh and I can’t train now just wanted to ask and waste everyone’s time :joy::joy::joy::joy:

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Well, obviously you’ve enjoyed it, at least :smile:

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So what are you going to be doing for the next 2 months?

You can always train. Bodyweight, callisthenics, running whatever… it will improve your body composition, dtate of mind, cardio…

When I was in Greece for 2 months I would that, chins on trees, lift heavy rocks…


Well, I’m abroad doing my Ph.D. research - so mostly sitting in the lab and writing on PC :slight_smile: The problem is, that the only gym around has some strange politics - you are assigned a day and an hour, you can go there, only one per week and it doesn’t fit to my work schedule.

Well, I can try to at least strengthen my core and do some push ups & squats. The truth is, that could help somewhat. I’ll create my training log here in the evening, so I’ll post a link here then.

Then find another way to train. People got bigger and stronger and fitter before the invention of gyms.