Just Starting at 47

Hey Troops:

Thought this would be a good place and time for my first post to T-Nation. Yesterday I joined a gym and started training for the first time in my life. I’m 47 - 6’ tall, 200 lbs. About 65 lbs. of that is fat. My goal is to get rid of those 65 lbs. and replace it with some lean muscle mass.

I’ve been reading the posts here on T-Nation for a few weeks and I’ve been reading other sources on health/fitness/training as well. Having never done anything like this before makes it a real challenge - actually doing the “work” seems to be the easy part. Translating and understanding the diet and nutrition jargon is a real chore. And then there is following the dietary “rules.”

I was handed a diet plan by my trainer yesterday full of carefully weighed out portions of seemingly flavorless foods. This is going to be really hard. I’ve never been on a diet before.

No pain, no gain (or loss.)

Whatever the case, the posts and information on this site have been (and I’m sure will continue to be) a great resource. Lots of good, though sometimes conflicting ideas, which generally means that I’m getting a more realistic view of things.

One thing’s for sure, though - It’s not too late for someone like me to get started and make a difference. And the posts here prove that. So I guess it’s time to bust some ass and get to work!

Welcome aboard Stu

You have begun a noble avocation, and joined a dubious choir!

I started back in the gym this past March after a 20 year layoff, and have made great and unexpected strides.

You will, too!

Just keep us up to date on your progress, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s worth it, and so are you!


It is surprisingly gratifying to beat 80% of the young guys in the gym. I’m 48 still making all the progress I want. I follow Coach Dan Jon these days and his Meat Leaves Berries style of eating. His one lift a day program is tops. At our age, tracking recovery is essential or three weeks from now you’ll be thinking about stopping.

[quote]StuartDMT wrote:
Hey Troops:

“…actually doing the “work” seems to be the easy part…”

Heh, heh, heh. Think about that statement a few months down the road on a leg day.

Anyway, I’m your age too. Been at it awhile. It comes slow, but if you put your mind to it, it comes. It won’t happen overnight, and don’t expect it too. Big mistake. Then one day, you start to see things in the mirror that look good, pants fit looser, while T-shirts get a little tighter around the chest and arms.

Just keep at it. Make the time. Yes the eating is real important. But it don’t matter what you eat if you ain’t pumpin it hard at the gym.

This site has a world of knowledge. Just spend some time reading and figure out what will work best with your lifestyle.

Good luck! I’m only three years younger than you, and after many years of being indifferent at best about exercise, I’ve found that it’s still quite possible to put on muscle weight in a time frame that doesn’t make you wonder why you’re wasting your time.


The eating part is real important. You will find a lot of good info here about that. I am a few years ahead of you, and I can tell you that the eating is just as important as the lifting.

Last year I cut 25 lbs. off my fat ass. I went from 204 to 178. I then added part of that back as muscle. It is great. Shirts fit a little tight. I had to go out and buy new pants. The waist was too big and the legs were too small.

Keep it up. Be an inspiration to the young guys in the gym.

I appreciate the support! I know it’s going to be a long hard road. That is, in fact, one of the motivations. I likes a bit of hard work!

Although I work as a computer geek for a hospital, I consider myself an artist first and foremost. So, I think I’m coming at this from a different angle than many. I almost see it as an art project. Art in many ways is about the transformation of materials and that’s what a lifter does - they transform their bodies (and minds) through discipline and hard work. That’s very “art like.”

If anyone’s interested, I’m documenting this “art project” of mine in my blog. There’s a lot more in there than just stuff about lifting, training and the gym, but I’d like to think it’s interesting nonetheless.

You can read it at http://www.dangerlight.blogspot.com

I have a suggestion. Work hard on the training program–good form etc. and don’t worry too much about weighing each serving of food and counting grms of everything etc. Just don’t eat anything processed, and eat lean sources of protein. I bet you will make worlds of progress.

Once your workout habits are ingrained you can start to tweak your diet if you need to. Lots of vegetables, fruit, and natural foods in the mean time. If the program is too overwhelming initially people tend to burn out and quit.

In the beginning your body will respond quickly and you should see great progress. I wouldn’t sweat the exact quantities of the foods in the diet. If you are truly that new to the exercise and begin eating the right foods, you’ll make progress even if your volumes are quite right. But, make sure you are eating enough. Many of the weight-loss plans are not necessarily conducive to maintaining or increasing lean body mass. You want to make sure your weight loss is mostly fat. The nutrition and supplement discussions at this site will help too.

This msg for all. Thnks for the writings. Just thought i would let you guys know my experience. I am 52yrs old. I started lifting when I was 47 yrs old. I hav been lifting about 5plus yrs. I hav put on 30 pounds of muscle . I am 5’10 215 pounds. I hav also been taking androgel for the last few yrs. I now hav a urinary issue which I am waiting to see doc about. It may or may not be from the androgel.

I must say the androgel did help me gain a little more muscle after I went on it. My baseline weight was around 180 when I started lifting and I have been up to 220 lbs. Just lost a few pounds since I seem to be glucose intolerate. My endo Doc put me on a low carb diet. I welcome to hear from anybody with similar experience with androgel.

hi Stuart

Congrats on the new program. Here’s my 2 cents.

Go slowly, build up gradually. At our age (I just turned 48), more than a 10% increase in anything could result in injury, and that halts progress.

Limit crappy carbs, up yer protein, and focus on basic lifts. Do 30 minutes cardio in an interval style 3 or 4 times a week. Read all the Dan John articles on this site.

Keep up the artwork! Check out Phill’s thread “Calling All T-Artists,” some of us muscle-heads are artists, too.

Best of luck.