Quick summary: I’m 48 in a couple of months’ time. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and – more importantly to me, I guess – have reasonable muscle size that everyday people comment on. I’m wondering where to turn next.
I dabbled with lifting in my teens and 20s. I did it seriously through my 30s: perhaps not with the best focus, but with visible results. Something happened in my early 40s and I slipped away from regular training for a few years. Now, I’ve been back hard at it for 3 years.
I’m the strongest I’ve ever been (1RMs: 110kg bench, 205kg deadlift, 152kg squat, 75kg shoulder press). I’m probably as fit as I’ve ever been (not as fit as I’d like). I’ve got a modest ‘spare tyre’: I don’t have a proper bf% but it’s sort-of average. My overall body shape is probably enough to be called “muscular” by most – though serious BBers would probably put me down as “athletic” (plus fat).
Things I’ve learned:
– the psychology of training matters hugely; much more than I ever realised. This applies both to the (subtle) reasons that made me stop and re-start training, and also to the benefits of having a set programme to follow, and goals to achieve.
– getting injured sucks, and matters increasingly much. We all sustain injuries. I don’t want the next one to be so serious that it rules me out from training so long I can’t get back. Fear of injury probably prevents me giving 100% to my training: but I don’t mind erring on the side of caution at this stage.
– training keeps me feeling young. I truly want to continue as I do now (say, 4 serious sessions per week) well into old age if I can.
– I’m sure diet is important, but changes which seem “radical” to me (cutting down on snacks; trying to eat more protein) seem to achieve very little effect. Changing my body composition very much is going to take some BIG changes at this stage.
So, the point of my post is that I’m wondering what to do next. Age 48 has me starting to feel “not as young as I was”: I want realistic goals, but I also want to push for a body to be proud of. I can think of several ways forward. I’m wondering what’s realistic – and so I’d be keen to hear the experiences of others here.
Continue much as now: working somewhere between strength-based and bodybuilding style. This probably means my BF% stays stable, which is bearable but not great.
Going all-out to cut some fat: though diet and cardio work. What’s the way to set a realistic goal at this age?
Going for real bulk. Ditto: can you add muscle at this age? Will it come with too much persistent fat?
Branching out. I could try crossfit for example. But age and injury aversion may not make that a good match.
or something else.
You can’t make the decision for me - of course - and this post probably doesn’t tell you enough to choose anyway. But some input/suggestions/personal experiences would be most helpful.