T Nation

More in the Mind . . .


I have been fit/athletic for years. But due to some extreme shoulder injuries, I have had to cut back. I am trying again to get back at it but after a five year break and hitting 50 I have found my motivations, stamina and ambitions are just not there. I want to hear from other guys over 45 who are still keeping it going.


I'm 49 hadn't worked out for years and a chronic shoulder problem was a contributing contributing factor. Then in December 2004 I started following Coach Dan John's advise. He contirutes to T-Nation and has a great web site as well. His free book "From the Ground Up" is the best work advise I've ever read. I have never been stronger and my weight has dropped by about 15 pounds.

Warning - for the first year my shoulder was a problem it has now become accustomed to the work and I sleep through the night without any numbness in my hand or arm. Olympic lifting may not seem like the way to go but it definitely is. I haven't been this pain free in decades. Good luck.


Take a walk over to a public library (the new section of the BPL in Copley Square would be perfect) and see the old geezers shuffle around with humps on their backs, big guts and no energy.

I am friends with a guy that I was in the Marine Corps with over 20 years ago. He's 61 now. He's been going to the gym practically all his life. He's 170 lbs soaking wet. He's got the body of a guy half his age. He recently decided to become a cop.

I'm 46. He's my inspiration. My guess is that he's not much younger than some of the geezers shuffling around the library.


I'm turning 50 next month. I have only been lifting for a bit over a year. After a rugby injury I was left with, no cartilage in my left hip, a limp and no strength, but I found that through lifting (judiciously) I not only feel much better and have put on muscle, but have lost some weight with a bit of the V-diet, and best of all have practically eradicated my limp. It now takes a long hike or a day's shopping with my wife to bring it out. Do it.


A good friend of mine is a trainer and one of his clients has just turned 50. This guy is using Paul Snr from the American Chopper series as his motivation. Paul Snr is 57 and a BIG dude.

I don't think the client is going to grow that mustache, though.


I don't have any answers for you and I am not quite in that age group, but I will say this: weight bearing exercise is very important especially the older you get, keeping up bone mass and what not.

Also, you should get a kick out of training, so if you are not motivated maybe you need to change whatever you were doing. You should do it for the enjoyment of it, not for some goals you are seeking - lifting the weights should BE the goal, not the method. In my opinion.

I mean, you're what, 50? What if you live to 100? Are you seriously telling me you aren't going to lift weights anymore for 50 more years? You'd end up a shrivelled weasel. So maybe that perspective will motivate you.

Also, perhaps a new supplement will give you a kick, something you haven't tried before.

Or cycling programs, ie 3 months weights, 3 months something else, etc..


At 44 I've found the GPP comes back slower, but it does come back, but you have to put the work in. Try doing a separate GPP workout several times a week.

Whats wrong with your motivation, and ambitions? Have you checked your thyroid and test levels? How about your adrenals? Coming short on any of the above could cause a notical drop in motivation. Sleep quality needs to be up there too.


I turned 50 in Dec. and my motivation is fear. Getting old terrifies me and I'm going to fight it off as long as I can. I also coach the throws for the county high school track program and work with a number of athletes on strength training. A big part of my motivation there is not letting the kids beat me in anything. They do from time to time but it's because they cheat. At least that's what I tell them.

Lifting is the only serious exercise that I been able to do consistently. I tried running for awhile but that just hurt too much. The pounding really bothered my knees and back.
Currently I'm doing something 5 days/wk. Three serious lifting days and 2 days with a Crossfit kind of emphasis for more conditioning.

I'm a Dan John trainee so my lifting is more along the line of an Olympic style though somewhat modified. I've got body parts that don't work so well too. (Wrists mostly)
If you're interested, I can pass along what I do exercise wise. It's nothing special but I like the combinations and it works for me.



47 is looming, and I started lifting VERY late in life. But any exercise is good exercise, and you don't have to start out throwing around 2-3x your bodyweight in order to feel like you're going to accomplish something.

Eat sensibly, have a (not too ambitious) plan when you reach the weightroom, stick with the plan, take time to recover (especially if you have injury concerns). The progress will start, you'll like what you see/feel, you'll throw another 5-10 pounds on the bar, it'll feel okay.

Don't think about being 50; think about how you've got 30 years to become the fittest 80-year-old your friends and family have ever seen.


Well. The only advice i gan give you is stop thinking old. I refuse to get old and guess what. I don't.
I work out with as much intensity as I did when I was in my 20's and my 30's. The only difference is that I work out smarter now.

I have had a torn pec and all kinds of shoulder injuries. Back pain and knee problems...I refused to acknowledge them and have always worked around the fuckers.

4 months ago I couldn't do any incline presses because the shoulder pain was unbearable.

I lowered the weight and started working my shoulders from different angles.

Doing weird flared out elbow at shoulder level reverse grip shoulder curls...Guess what? No more pain for now with my standing press back up over 2bills again.

Bad back pain? Switch up and do some extra stretching and lighten the load until it goes away.

The secret is in working around your problems...When i tore my right pec I couldnt bench the empty bar...Now my tricep compensates for my weaker right pec and my bench is still going up.

Try a high rep 10x10 routine with a lower weight but do the work.

Moaning will not get you where you want to go...you need to get some anger.

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas


I'm only 42 and been lifting for 4 years more or less regularly. I agree with what jamej said about olympic lifts. I personally do not strive for impressive weights, mobility of joints is more important for me. Limberness of joints, reasonable mucscular strength and sound nutrition suits me, thats the way I want to grow old.


I'm 59, 5'9", 168 .bs. In 2000 I weighed 215. I started watching what I ate and started riding a bike.

In 2002 I had a heart catherization and was diagnosed with a 40% blockage of one coronary artery.

My son got me interested in lifting a couple of years ago. I have been lifting consistantly for the past year. Don't lift nearly what many do, but keep a log and keep increasing the weights and have been happy with my progress. Have managed to keep muscle loss to a minimum while dropping the fat. Got the cholesterol way down and the blood pressure at 117/65 with only 1/4 of the pill I was taking in 2000.

I feel good on a daily basis. I am in better shape than I have been in years. I have a 1 year old grandson I want to be able to do things with when he is older. I plan to be the "old geezer" that's jumping on his bike to go for a 30 mile ride with the kids.

Couldn't have done this without lifting!


Just turned 47. Can't even count the amount of injuries and surgeries I have gone through; Shoulder, Spine fusion(neck), Knees, Hernia. Yoga and stretching did wonders for the pain. Actually thought about posting pics. I havent been down to 5% BF in a while and thought maybe you guys would help me stay on a diet. Hang in there an never give up. Always Fight!!!!!!


Your problem is simple. You are thinking as if you are 50 years old. A 5 and a 0 are just numbers that mean very little. I try not to even think of how old I am. When someone asks, I have to actually take time to think. I've been training for over 30 years, and yes, I have had layoffs due to injuries. I try to limit time away from the gym, by finding alternate exercises and just "work around" the injury. I think that as you get older, layoffs can be killers to motivation. Keep your mind in it. If you absolutely can't work out, spend that "gym time" reading articles, planning future workouts, setting your goals, anything to keep your mind in the game. And for God's sake, don't compare yourself to people your own age. It's not very motivating comparing yourself to some of the pathetic excuses for men that are walking around out there. Challenge yourself to lift heavier, to pack on muscle, to continue to improve...and you can for many more years to come. The worst thing you could say is that "I look pretty good for a 50 year old"...hell, my dead grandmother looks better than 99.8% of 50 year olds!!!

Just remember, your a gladiator, a warrior, a superhero. Your enemy is death and it is staring you in the eye, it's stalking you, waiting for you to give into the deteriation of age. It will take you eventually, but make the bastard work for it. When the Reaper comes a calling, he is going to look at the warrior before him, shake his head, and say, "man, this is going to be a tough fucking fight"!!!



I echo what Ironheart said. I don't allow myself to think of being at a specific age, I just think of it as being me. I'm 49 now and training to compete in the NPC New Englands in May at age 50. I competed for over 10 years and did well then took a few years off from contests to spend more time with my family but I continued to train consistently. I can honestly say at this point I will be at age 50 in the best shape of my life and more importantly, healthy as ever. Find what works to fix the aches and pains (I've heard good things about active release therapy)and don't let your age get in the way of your success! Good Luck!


Good advice and great motivational material given. Been training for 44 years, just don't think old but also be aware that you aren't 21 and train smart. Injury and sickness are your enemies, eat right get enough rest and exercise. For motivation look at some of the pics of the "Masters" competitions!


48 yrs old. I got to agree with old boy. I?ve been working out since 13. My work out is changing every day, it is a learning process. T-Nation is great for that. The older I get the kinder to my body I become. Anything that makes my joints hurt I do not do, at least the part that hurts my joints. Dips are an example I do a half dip now, but I do think it is rehabbing my shoulder. I have tried squats all the way to the floor; I can?t do it I am making progress though through the things I have learned on T nation.

My advice would be ENJOY your workout; take everyone?s advice with a grain of salt. And spend time to recover meaning stretch; I also like the hot / cold shower and massage.


oatmeal in the morning,
train hard, as much as you can,
plenty of protein,
ogle the babes,
live hard and fast,
ogle the babes,
eat steak and drink beer and whiskey,
ogle the babes,
enjoy life, youre only as old as you belive you are.
get a mororcycle and a helmet and the rest of the gear.
have fun.
you finish.


Here's a picture from this past Monday,
I hope to have some better images this week. 10 weeks out from the NPC New England.