T Nation

Turning 42 and I Have a Dream

I am 42 years old and have only been lifting for about 6 months( yeah, I know, wtf took me so long?)
My therapist at the VA said I should give it a go to help with my PTSD and to help keep me sober. Now that I have been lifting briefly , I have a dream to one day step in stage. I don’t care if I finish dead last, I at least want to try. My question to everyone is, with all of the bullshit on the internet on which program to use, what to eat, when to beat off? Where do I start?!!

Body building or Physique ?

Daily …twice on Sundays.

Keep calm and dont over think it… baby steps. Your already began the journey by lifting.


I would have to say classic physique.

Lifting regularly 3 or 4 times weekly will greatly reduce stress. Stay with one routine at least 3 months before changing to another. Might help the alcohol problem too.

Use a protein supplement, follow Bulldog’s self abuse advice as a default setting, and find a steady girl to get off the default setting.

Quick question what your height and weight? Would you say your lean…normal or kinda heavy?

I’m 6’2, 210. About 23% bf, pretty much abdomen , live handles and lower back.

Any pics?

At this point in time for you it will be all about consistency.

Consistently eating clean, nutritious food that is in line with your current goals.

Consistently getting in the gym 4+ times a week. Not only if u feel like it. Not only when it’s a convenience. You need to be there more days in the week than not.

Consistently getting enough rest. Saying goodbye early at parties/ social outings and making sure you are giving your body enough time to repair itself in between gym sessions.

Consistently learning about yourself and the process of developing yourself. If you want to do well on stage you are going against men that have worked on and perfected this for years before you even stepped into a gym.

Consistently staying… Consistent (I swear it’s the last time I’m writing that word ever!). You have a goal which is awesome but it is a lofty goal and one that won’t happen in a year. How long it takes is up to you and your habits from now on. Motivation comes and goes so you can’t rely on that alone.


^I agree.

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These were taken in Dec, not much has changed since other than getting stronger and I have lost an inch and a half on my man baby.

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I’m a little older than you, 49, but I’ve really been enjoying lifting with the programs in the book The New Rules of Lifting. The info in the book isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary, but it is very much common sense. That seems to be lost on so many programs out there. It also seems to be written for a guy in the real world. By that, I mean it’s flexible enough to work around stuff that comes up. Staying late at work, a kids baseball game/practice, unexpected plans, etc.

Like others have said, consistency is the best thing you can have.

Irishman is right.

Just keep it up, the rewarding part is after the first 6 months. It may be slow progress, and you might even have a few weeks of going back rather than forward, but you’ll eventually break through plateaus. Size and strength come easily initially but requires dedication over time. But its worth it.

Dont be like a lot of guys who quit lifting and then say later “I wish I never would have quit lifting.”

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Thankz for the pics! You got a good start! But that lower body needs some serious love.

Hey congrats on putting in the first 6mo & thank you for your service!

What program?
How often do you want to be in the gym? What exercises are you doing now & do you like them? Do you have injuries that limit your exercise choices? Do you have time/ability to recover between workouts (eating sleeping, stress free down time, etc)?

Best program is one that you enjoy & can recover from & make gains & not hurt yourself, imo. What have you been doing for the first 6mo? Personally I did a push pull legs 5-6days per week the first 2mo & been doing something like 5/3/1 4days/wk since then. Can’t do leg extensions or some heavy shoulder workouts due to my injuries. Can do squats & most dumbbell movements tho. It seems to me that progression of work performed over time is a very important part of any “program”. Are you lifting more weight in your workout today than in a similar workout last month? Did you either lift heavier weight or perform more reps with a given weight? Progression.

What to eat?
Whatever you can get away with given your goals & tastes lol. My fitness pal is an app that can help you calculate how many calories your body needs & provides a caloric total if you accurately log your food. Of course the “rules” say less processed food & less sugar & alcohol are good guidelines. I’m a 6’1" skinny guy & I’m eating ~3000cal daily, more on lifting days less on off days, trying to slowly bulk.

When to J/O?
Bro it’s the over 35 forum. Every chance you get lol.

You look muscular up top for sure but as mentioned, your legs are a little behind. @gorillavanilla recco’d the super squats book to me (blessed with small girlish legs lol) & I literally grew into then out of my jeans over ~5-6wks.

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I was just in a car accident 3 days ago and my chiropractor said no squats or deadlifts until she says. Which sucks hairy balls but I’m alive. Right now I took pieces of Chad Waterbury’s 10x3 and tweaked it a little bit. My diet is being dialed in with the help of a trainer friend of mine, a loose take on paleo (I refuse to give up dairy)

I have been consistently getting stronger. I fell in love with power cleans, even though I can’t do them that heavy yet

Oh I know :joy::joy::joy: I am trying everything I can. Drop sets, low reps, high reps

I just dusted off Arnold’s Encyclopedia of bodybuilding. Would I be entirely crazy If I gave that a shot?

Crazy like an Austrian Oak! :joy:

I really can’t say as - 1. I don’t know what’s in the book & 2. I’m bout as new at this as you are.

These principles seem to apply to most of the programs I’ve seen recco’d on this forum.

I like this one because it is a program. Not really for beginners but gives you a general idea where to start.

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