T Nation

Things You Do Differently Now

Guys,

I just had a question to you guys out there over 35 and 40. As the subject line reads, what are you doing differently now than what you did 15 years ago? More specifically, is there something you can’t do now, that you could back then? Also, what do you do for recovery and restoration? I asked Streamline that, who’s posted earlier with his picture, and he said that his body over the years responds well to external stress. I found that interesting. What are your thoughts? By the way, by looking at Streamline’s picture that he posted, he is an inspiration!

Nick Radonjic

[quote]Nick Radonjic wrote:
Guys,

I just had a question to you guys out there over 35 and 40. As the subject line reads, what are you doing differently now than what you did 15 years ago? More specifically, is there something you can’t do now, that you could back then? Also, what do you do for recovery and restoration? I asked Streamline that, who’s posted earlier with his picture, and he said that his body over the years responds well to external stress. I found that interesting. What are your thoughts? By the way, by looking at Streamline’s picture that he posted, he is an inspiration!

Nick Radonjic[/quote]

I honestly feel that I’m much more driven than I was 15 years ago. I will be 39 years old next March and feel stronger than I did at 25. Perhaps it’s all in my head, but I simply wasn’t dedicated enough to commit myself to a routine schedule. My priorities were all out of line to some degree; women, partying, women, etc…

The only big change I notice is I tend to get much more tired as the night wears on. I was the definition of a night owl 15 years ago and could operate on little to no sleep.

I prefer to live a life free of excuses. Too many people make age a limiting factor. I fully intend on staying active in the gym through my 70’s.

Great idea for a thread Nick!

Nick, your question got me to thinking. I think at this point in my life. Most of the things I do I do better. There are many reasons for this.

My workouts involve all the exercises that have proven to work for me. I spend less time exploring. I also know the best ways to lift for maximum results.

I understand nutrition better and most important I use the knowledge I have. Plus these is just so much new information on this. It’s as much about what you do and what you don’t eat.

I am totally in tune with my body. Any change, however slight I notice.

I’m more patient so warm-ups and cool-downs are part of my workouts. Wisdom of the ages has shown that injury prevention is simple. Stretch all day long.

Yes we do diminish with age, but let me state this. Even at ninty, I’ll be better than any thirty year old couch potatoe.

I’m different, I eat better, train more and regularly,(I never trained 15 years ago)but I sleep worse.

Also I have learned how not to make 'drama’a large part of my life. I’m stronger and healthier. The focus and goals in realtion to training are sharper, more clear and achievable. I’ll be stronger at 50 than I was at 22. Without a doubt

I honestly feel that I’m much more driven than I was 15 years ago. I will be 39 years old next March and feel stronger than I did at 25. Perhaps it’s all in my head, but I simply wasn’t dedicated enough to commit myself to a routine schedule. My priorities were all out of line to some degree; women, partying, women, etc…

I prefer to live a life free of excuses. Too many people make age a limiting factor. I fully intend on staying active in the gym through my 70’s.

I want to be that silverback bent over the dead lift bar.
Sometimes I think 90% of the battle is in the head.

I don’t drink.

I work out less and get better results.

I weight train & mountain bike ride. The karate is two nights a week instead of 6 days a week 25 years ago.

Warm up, I mean really warm up. When I was young I just payed lip service to it. Now that I am more experienced I really warm up thoroughly. Also now I know what my body responds to better. I know when to push through something and when to stop. I listen to it when it is telling me that if I keep going I am going to tear something. I have a picture somewhere of me training through my 20’s, 30’s, and into my 40’s I’ll see if I can dig it up…

i listen to what my body tells me - rest when i need it and push myself when i feel “good”. the alternative is to hurt yourself. i think all men have some degree of stubborness - have to learn the hard way - in them. I may have had a little more than most. i surely got smarter with age.

[quote]wasBr0k3n wrote:
i listen to what my body tells me - rest when i need it and push myself when i feel “good”. the alternative is to hurt yourself. i think all men have some degree of stubborness - have to learn the hard way - in them. I may have had a little more than most. i surely got smarter with age.[/quote]

I am 52 and have to agree 100%

When I was younger, I could have a much more structured training program - I just planned it all out and did whatever was on the paper.

I am totally intuitive now. I may have a plan to hit the gym for a super-intense session, but if, when I get there it just ain’t happening, there’s no reason to force it…just a good chance of getting hurt. OTOH, I may just breeze in for a light workout, and things are clicking and I just go for it. Many of my PRs have come on just such days.

I don’t have as much to prove any more, so it’s all just icing on the cake.

[quote]testolius wrote:

I don’t have as much to prove any more…

[/quote]

My problem in life has never been a lack of drive or initiative but when I was younger, and playing competitive sports, I lacked an understanding of my limitations. Now, I respect them.

Great question

I’m 38 now, here’s what I do differently now:

-No back squats or regular deadlifts. I now do trap bar deadlifts and front squat. The “risk reward” from regular deadlifts and squats isn’t worth it anymore
-I listen to my body more. If I feel run-down or have an injury, I don’t push it. I’m in for the long haul.
-I warm-up and stretch more
-I’m better educated on nutrition and overall bodybuilding/fitness than 10-20 years ago. As a result, I’m more efficient

Wish I knew then what I know now…

ghost87,

Very interesting…

We’re the same age and I’ve completely switched my focus to Powerlifting. Back Squats and Deads are the core of my workout routines.

I did them when I was younger as well, just not with enough intensity.

Just turned 37 this week.

I eat bigger, smarter, and better. My biggest mistakes at 22 were not eating 1) enough, and 2) the amount of protein I needed. Thinking back, I just ate a lot of nutrient poor calories.

I lift smarter and heavier (I agree with Colin’s post 100%).

I listen to my body, especially after the disc injury 2 years ago. Oddly, as I get closer to ‘the end’ (getting older), I’m more patient, knowing that if today isn’t that PR because it doesn’t feel right, then next time will be.

Note: “Then” means the early 1980’s. “Now” is from the mid- 90’s on.

Then: Lifting was my entire world. Friends, career, family … none of that mattered. Just lifting.
Now: Lifting is part of my world, but it’s not top dog.

Then: I only knew how to hit the gas
Now: Found my brakes, not afraid to use them.

Then: Time off was for wussies and wimps
Now: Take a week off between cycles.

Then: Gave lip service to stretching and warming up.
Now: Stretch and warm up for real

Then: Did cardio, but hated it.
Now: Do cardio, but learned to set cardio goals and maybe even like it. Sometimes.

Then: Thought intensity was environment-induced.
Now: Know intensity is self-made

Then: Trained through injuries
Now: Train “around” injuries

Then: Tried too hard to stay lean all the time
Now: BWHAHAHAHAH! Sorry. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Then: Average workout used to take 90 minutes, minimum.
Now: Less is more. Average workout takes 45 minutes. Unless I get distracted and start folding laundry or the dogs need to go out or … whatever.

Then: Actually put some thought into what I wore to the gym
Now: I’m doing pretty good if my shoes match.

Then: Relied on spotters
Now: Use a squat rack

Then: Was egotistical, judgmental and addicted to strength and power
Now: I don’t judge and I don’t think I’m special because I lift weights. I also learned addiction doesn’t set you free, it weighs you down.

Then: Obsessed over every morsel of food I ate. Ate TOO clean. (Yes, there is such a thing)
Now: I wish I could say I’ve changed my dietary habits, but I haven’t. Funny thing is, health professionals would have you think that’s a good thing. I don’t obsess anymore, but … well, I’m far from “normal.” sigh Some “habits” are just too ingrained to break.

Then: Used a belt for … well, crap … everything. I strapped that puppy on and kept it on the whole time.
Now: No! No! No!

Then: Skipped meals, partied all weekend, worked two jobs, got about 6 hours of sleep (on a good night) and still made progress.
Now: Eat right, one small glass of wine is my idea of a “party,” average about 8 hours of sleep in 1-2 hour increments (if I’m lucky) and still manage to make a little progress from time to time.

Then: Actually thought there would come a time when I’d be satisfied with my results.
Now: Know I’ll always be a work in progress.

Then: Wore gloves to protect my hands from calluses and to improve grip.
Now: Use chalk and grip training to help grip. What calluses? :wink:

Then: Wanted the end of the road to be at the beginning of the journey.
Now: Realize the journey is the destination.

Then: Focus was 100% aesthetics. I was an aesthetics whore: it didn’t matter if the routine, exercise or dietary practice wasn’t a good choice as long as it might make me look better.
Now: Focus is on function, mobility, health and aging well.

Then: Never thought about getting significantly hurt.
Now: Longevity doesn’t depend on just skill and luck. I’ve watched a LOT of good lifters fall apart. Lifting smart and staying injury-free is #1. (Read as: Don’t do dumb stuff anymore.)

Then: Took myself too seriously, was overly hard on myself most of the time.
Now: Lifting is hard work: Don’t make it any harder than it is. I’ve relaxed my approach. Besides, perfection is tedious and boring.

Then: Ate and drank (legal) things that never should have passed my lips all in the name of progress.
Now: Supplement consumption is on the “normal” side, meaning very limited and selective.

Then: Put too much stock in things I read and did (pretty much) what I saw others doing
Now: Know an educated voice when I hear it and learned to walk away from mainstream methodology.

Then: Idolized people who trained “No matter what”
Now: Recognize and respect a few limitations.

Then: Thought, talked, even dreamed about lifting
Now: I mostly think about lifting when I’m lifting. Sometimes not. :wink:

Then: Got too stuck on searching for (reading, talking) the perfect routine or diet.
Now: Everyone has their personal preferences and biases. Basics aside, there’s no magic formula. I aviod paralysis by anylasis like the plague.

Then: Used to train on holidays and vacations
Now: Relax on vacation, only train on holidays if it falls on a training day and I really feel like it.

Then: Thought I’d never grow old.
Now: Trying to age gracefully

I could probably come up with more…

Cappy

Cappy, it’s like reading a mirror. Very well stated. Good memory as well!

The biggest changes now from when I started are:

  1. I now use training cycles that include a deload week.
  2. I use less sets and reps, More is definitely not better.
  3. Proper warm ups are crucial.
  4. Pay attention to mobility and flexibility without them injuries will happen.
  5. Pre-habilitation exercises are necessary for the knees, hips/low back and shoulders. Otherwise, you will need rehabilitation exercise like me.
  6. I no longer back squat and use the conventional deadlift in the same training cycle. ie- back squat and rack pulls or front squats and sumo dead or some other combo. 2 of the proverbial Big 3 in the same cycle will destroy my low back.
  7. My ego has left the building and my gains have never been better.
  8. Nutrition is not 80% of the puzzle its 100%.
  9. Rotate your exercises
    10)God has a sense of humor, at least that is what I tell myself since I have less hair on the top of my head but more every where else!

Uh Oh. I have sinned.
I lift the same way I use too but can’t lift what I use too. Warm up means waving my arms around a couple of times or a deep knee bend. Diet sucks but doesn’t include a whole lot of MREs anymore. Still not real smart on nutrition and all the new lifting routines. LOT less cardio but I still swim a lot. Can concentrate more on lifting and don’t have the distractions of duty calling and interupting my progress.

Lot less flexible than I use to be but I think that’s mainly due to non-lifting related injuries. For recovery and restoration I take a day off and sometimes a sauna. Physically I feel great and emotionally usually content.

Now: Focus is on function, mobility, health and aging well.

Yes.

Now: Recognize and respect a few limitations.

And I don’t overtrain any more. I’d fall into that from time to time when I was younger.

I am 52 and have to agree 100%

Me too.

Except I’m more disciplined and even more into set routines than I was.

I do need to stretch.

Some other misc. comments at http://adrr.com/bengoshi/