I too am in the process of making a comeback at 35. I started back seriously back in February of this year after laying out several years due to shoulder surgeries and then just got lazy.
I started lifting at 22 and 139lbs soaking wet and by the time I hurt my shoulder, I was 27 at 185 @ 7%BF. I tried to come back several times over the years and even have had a sweet home gym for the last 3 1/2 yrs, but I never had the discipline and focus that I had earlier in life. Mainly I think because I honestly didn’t believe that I could ever get back to where I was before and that was just depressing.
Then back in January, a young 23yr old buck wanted to start using my gym and I agreed and started lifting with him. At first I just lifted easy like I had every other come back attempt and ate junk the whole time.
Then after much verbal abuse from him (in a good way) which is what I needed, I decided I was going to start doing the things that I needed to do to get where I wanted to be. That was on a Friday. That last weekend I ate all kinds of junk and told my wife and everyone else that the diet started Monday. Unfortunately everyone said “Yeah, right!” It was just more fuel for the fire!
We went shopping on Sunday for good clean foods and threw away all the junk food that night. My wife was in by choice and was very excited and so were my kids by default. I have two boys - a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old at the time.
I wouldn’t dare step on a scale for about a month. My diet was simply eating 6 clean meals that consisted of 2 shakes, 2 protein bars with fruit, and 2 whole food meals. I finally stepped on a scale around the 1st on March because I was starting to see a difference. I was stunned.
After a month of dieting and exercising I was still 191 at 28%BF. However, I didn’t get discouraged I just kept pressing on. I keep dieting until around the middle of June when I finally was down to 170lbs and about 15%BF. I then decided to start a clean bulk.
As of this morning I am 184lbs at about 9.5%BF and I feel GREAT! I know now that not only can I get to where I was before but can surpass it and my new goal is 215lb at 7%BF. And you know what? I will get there!
So here is what I have learned over my journey so far:
I am not too old to be in great shape.
I am a smarter lifter now because I now take the time to learn and read about everything from lifting to eating to supplementation.
I can do heavy compound exercises and not get hurt. I just need to lift in strict form and with a weight that I can handle. It is not about pride any more, it is about me getting to where I want to go. I am still not to the weights that I used to could lift, but I am getting close and have all the time in the world to get there. It is no longer about numbers.
I can work around my shoulders and not hurt all the time. No I can’t overhead press anymore with a barbell, but I think my shoulders are better now than they ever were. There are still tons of shoulder exercises I can do.
I must train smart if I don’t want to get hurt again and but that doesn’t mean turning into a sissy in the gym.
I can train with more intensity than those around me because I want it more and am very strong mentally.
I will not give up. I will stay consistent in the disciplines (training, eating, sleeping, and supplementation, etc.) and if I do then I will get to where I want to be.
Nothing can stop me or make me give up except myself.
I hope this motivates you and encourages you to just stay consistent and take it one day at a time. You know what you need to be doing, now do it! Just don’t get discouraged with not being where you once were today, but just try to be better than you were yesterday and before you know it, all the hard work will pay off.
If you ever need a word of encouragement, want to share a victory, or just need a swift kick in the pants after you have failed, feel free to PM me any time.
Good luck and stay strong!