50 is fucking bullshit

You probably can't do it, so don't even try.
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thibodeaux
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50 is fucking bullshit

Post by thibodeaux »

I turned 50 a few days ago, and I promised I’d post pics. I’ll also give a rundown of my diet, exercise, and supplements. First some caveats: every body is different, so your results may vary. Secondly, while I am a doctor, I am not legally a provider of medical or health advice.

Here are some pics showing progress (age below each pic), with the last one taken this week:
https://imgur.com/a/R0DdB1w

Note that I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years, and while success doesn’t come overnight, it may come quicker than you think. Now, on to the “how I did it,” which I will break up into smaller posts.
thibodeaux
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50 aint no joke

Post by thibodeaux »

LIFESTYLE

SLEEP IS KING! If you’re not getting good quality sleep (essentially: you wake up without an alarm and feel energetic and ready to go), you need to fix that asap. The problem could be anything, but I recommend starting with “sleep hygiene.” Get sunshine during the day, and stay away from caffeine after lunch and screens after supper. Melatonin can help you get your sleep cycle adjusted if you’re a few hours out of whack. There’s lots of “life hack” articles about fixing your sleep; start with my tips and keep looking til you figure it out.

Stress is also bad (spoiler alert!). Do what you can but of course some things are just what they are; your job is your job, and how you deal with it is based on your personality, neither of which you can probably change a whole lot. Again, “life hack” articles might be helpful.

Habits are great! If you have a bad habit, it may be hard to break it, so maybe focus on creating good habits. In particular: good diet and exercise habits. Make it a habit to go lift first thing in the morning, for example. Again, find some life hack articles.

Drugs are bad too, mkay? I mean...well, except for the legal ones. But I am not taking anything but OTC supplements (see below). No “performance enhancing” drugs, like testosterone, growth hormone, anabolic steroids. Purely natural. Just in case you were wondering.
thibodeaux
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50 aint no joke

Post by thibodeaux »

DIET

Eating right is like 80% of looking healthy. You all know I’m a low-carb/paleo/keto believer. I still think that if you eat like that, you mostly don’t have to count calories. That said: if you want to get to very low body-fat numbers, you WILL have to count calories and it is unpleasant to lose those final b.f. points. Unless you were naturally skinny as a kid (I was), I don’t really recommend doing it unless you just want to see what your abs look like.

I do intermittent fasting; feeding window is 6-8 hours. Basically I eat “lunch” around 10:30 or 11am, maybe a snack in the afternoon, then supper and protein drink around 5:30 - 6:30pm. Calories and macros depend on the day; SuMWF (aka “rest days”) I do lower calories, lower carbs, high fat. On TTSa, (aka “lift days”) I eat more, and include more carbs. Here’s the breakdown

Rest: 1800 cal - 65C, 90F, 175P
Lift: 2200 - 2500 cal (macros: just increase carbs, maybe a bit less fat)

This is based on my theoretical “basal metabolic rate,” which is approximately how many calories you burn just being alive. It’s based on age, weight, etc, and of course is a rough estimate; you can figure yours out from any online calculator. Mine is about 2000 to 2200 calories/day. Note that 4 days a week I’m under that, and 3 days I’m over, and it averages out to maybe a tiny deficit for the week. This is because I’m trying to just maintain where I’m at in terms of weight and body-fat, and maybe lose a bit.

If you’re going for ripped, you MUST be very strict on the calorie counting! I use the MyFitnessPal app to track everything; the free version is fine, and on mobile you can usually scan barcodes of stuff to get the info. The hard part is actually measuring how much you eat. I have a kitchen scale which helps. Also, if you have some uncertainty in your calorie intake, you can walk off a little bit of it: a good rule of thumb is that walking a mile burns about 100 calories. Just remember: you can’t outrun your fork! It is VERY EASY to eat 100 calories without even trying.

I make dieting easier by just eating the same thing every day. Rest-day lunch is eggs, avocado, cheese and nuts. Lift-day lunch is sweet potato, turkey and lots of cheese. Both days I’ll eat some yogurt and cheese as a snack; lift-days I add more fruit. Supper on both days is 6-8 oz of meat and a protein-powder smoothie.

The rest-days will be unpleasant. Drink a lot of water! If you are really hungry, eat some celery or other fibrous low-sugar matter. Be mindful: if you feel like you want to go eat something, do a set of pushups instead. Or drink a glass of water. DOING SOMETHING will take your mind off it for a while.

Caffeine also helps burn the calories somewhat and combat hunger. I probably drink more caffeine than I should. I usually have 4 cups of coffee, 4 cups of water with “enhancer” (flavored caffeine syrup) and 2 coke zeroes.

Again, diet is like 80% of it, and counting calories is hard. The caloric content of food isn’t exact, your “basal rate” of calories per day isn’t exact, etc. So really what you have to do is just eat the same stuff every day, and weigh yourself every day, first thing in the morning (after you pee). This is your minimum weight for the day. Do it every day and watch the trend, like a 5-day moving average or something (it’s gonna “jitter” some, but there should be a longer-term trend).

If you want to lose fat, that trend better be down. If you’re trying to grow muscle, it’ll have to trend up. Note that your body-fat percentage might actually increase if you’re building muscle, but hopefully not too much. Typically you have to pick one or the other, and even real bodybuilders aren’t super-shredded 365/year. You bulk, then you cut. I just find it easier to stay pretty close to “maintenance,” since I’m pretty happy with where I am.
Last edited by thibodeaux on Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
thibodeaux
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50 aint no joke

Post by thibodeaux »

EXERCISE

I lift 4 days a week for about 30 - 40 minutes, and walk every day at least .75 miles and up to 1.25 miles on a non-lift day (I walk the dog on a couple of fixed routes through my neighborhood).

Lifting: I have a rack and bench barbell setup in my garage. I do a “5/3/1” workout program. Each day is centered around one of the “big 4” lifts (Press, Deadlift, Bench, Squat). To plan this program I use an app: http://vandersoft.co/wendler-531-app/

Besides the main lifts I also do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of “assistance” exercises (stuff like dumbbell curls, pullups, etc). Here’s the full workout:

Sunday: Shoulders and Abs
Main Lift: Overhead Press
Assistance: DB Shoulder Press, DB Standing Row, DB Lateral Raises, DB Front Raises

Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Main Lift: Deadlift
Assistance: Barbell Rows, DB curls, Chinups, DB Hammer Curls

Thursday: Chest and Triceps
Main Lift: Bench Press
Assistance: Dips, Incline DB Press, DB Flies, Tricep Extensions (with bands)

Saturday: Legs and Abs
Main Lift: Squats
Assistance: Leg Curls (with bands), Calf Raises (weighted), Hanging Leg Raises

Building your own workout: Just about any good workout is going to be built around these “big 4” lifts, with different permutations, 3 or 4 days a week. If you’re a total n00b, you can’t go wrong with Starting Strength. You can buy the book on Amazon, or start with the googles. It’s dead simple, doesn’t require anything except rack, bench, barbell, and plates. The time investment is more: around an hour, 3 times a week (for a total of 3 hours, vs mine is < 2.5).

Don’t run! TLDR: running (really all “cardio”) is lame (literally...). More to the point, running just doesn’t have the “bang for the buck” in terms of looking and feeling better. LIFTING IS KEY for looking good. You must build muscle, and lifting is the way. Running works ONLY your legs, and while I believe in Leg Day, running won’t do squat (heh) for your upper body. Note that something like Tabata Sprints are acceptable once a week or so; however, long-distance running is a sure-fire way to look like unhealthy.
Image

Sure, you can burn a bit more calories running (but not nearly as much as you’d think by simply walking the same amount of time). And I get it: runner’s high. That’s endorphins generated from damaging your body. Running is time consuming and is bad for your knees/shins/feet. By contrast, it is extremely difficult to hurt yourself lifting weights IF you use good form and don’t do too many reps. And instead of runner’s high, you get that all-day pump.



Yes, “good form” is a big “if,” but really not as bad as you’d think. There are lots of videos out there (again, Starting Strength is very good about giving away this gold for free). You’ll need to invest in good shoes and a belt, but not that expensive really. Since I’m in my own garage I lift barefoot.

I do not stretch before lifting. I do 2 or 3 warmup sets of the main lift (this is built into the app), and that’s it. I do stretch in the evenings. I have some stretches I learned at PT to help with my lower back issues, which takes about 5-10 minutes. I work 30 crunches in here: 10 on each side and 10 on my back. And by “crunch” I mean just barely lifting my shoulders off the floor. Situps are not recommended. I will also do a set of pushups or pullups on days when I am not working those body parts in my workout.
thibodeaux
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50 aint no joke

Post by thibodeaux »

SUPPLEMENTS

My supplement “stack” has morphed a bit over the years; mostly I’m looking for immune system improvement, sleep improvement, exercise performance, and mental function (nootropics). I have one of those old-person pill calendar things that I load up every weekend. I take the AM side first thing when I get up and the PM side last thing before bed. Now, because I’m fasting all morning, I recognize that the absorption of some of these (like the vitamin D) might not be so great. But c’est la vie.

Morning
D3 10000 IU (immune)
Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) 500mg + Alpha Lipoic Acid 200mg (nootropic)
Lysine 1g (immune)
Rhodiola 500mg (nootropic)
B-complex (general/nootropic)

Night
Fish Oil (immune)
Zinc-Magnesium-Aspartate (ZMA) (sleep/exercise)
Boron 9mg (exercise/testosterone)
Resveratrol 200mg (general/anti-aging)
K2 MK7 100mcg (general/immune)
Zinc 200mg (occasionally) (sleep)
Melatonin 30mcg (occasionally) (sleep)

Do these supplements work? Nobody seems to know. There’s some research that supports each of them, but this kind of “science” is iffy at best. They are all very safe; ask your doctor though, especially if you’re on medication. Vitamin D seems like a no-brainer: everybody is deficient, it improves your immune system and maybe testosterone, and has essentially no downside to taking it.
thibodeaux
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 7:32 pm

50 aint no joke

Post by thibodeaux »

CONCLUSION
One thing that I heard a lot from people when I first started trying low-carb diets was “it’s not sustainable!” Well...here I am over 10 years later, and I am pretty happy with the results.

Maybe this won’t work for everybody. I am very much a creature of habit, and having a routine and eating the same thing every day doesn’t bother me a bit. I was naturally skinny as a kid, so it’s maybe not as hard for me to keep the weight off. Your mileage may vary.

I do hope this info is helpful for anybody who is looking for ideas on how to deal with a midlife crisis :)
GORDON
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50 aint no joke

Post by GORDON »

In my experience, diet is the biggest thing. "Can't outrun your fork." You can go to the gym and take all the walks you want, but if you need to lose weight, you need to stop over eating.
"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
Leisher
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50 aint no joke

Post by Leisher »

GORDON wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 10:20 pm "Can't outrun your fork."
You can if you never stop running.

Thanks for posting this Thib. As I'm approaching 50 I've been thinking a lot about getting back into the shape I was in the military, and this is a bit of inspiration and guidance to do that.
“Every record been destroyed or falsified, books rewritten, pictures repainted, statues, street building renamed, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day. History stops. Nothing exists except endless present in which the Party is right.”
thibodeaux
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50 aint no joke

Post by thibodeaux »

Live long and prosper my dudes
Leisher
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50 aint no joke

Post by Leisher »

Woke up this morning unable to walk. My left knee had been going stiff on me the night prior.

Went to urgent care. Patella Tendinitis.

Doc says I should be on crutches, but should be fine in 6 days. Took ibuprofen, slapped on a compression knee support, then went golfing.

I feel good, but I'm going to wear that support to bed.
“Every record been destroyed or falsified, books rewritten, pictures repainted, statues, street building renamed, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day. History stops. Nothing exists except endless present in which the Party is right.”
TheCatt
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50 aint no joke

Post by TheCatt »

Fucking tendons.
It's not me, it's someone else.
Leisher
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Post by Leisher »

Couldn't walk again this morning. Was awakened by pain around 6 and couldn't get back to sleep. Had to stand to alleviate the pain.

The drive to work was excruciating though. Had to stop once to stand outside the car for a bit to get the pain down to a point where I could continue.

Once at work, standing, Ibuprofen, and my knee support completely eliminated all the pain.
“Every record been destroyed or falsified, books rewritten, pictures repainted, statues, street building renamed, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day. History stops. Nothing exists except endless present in which the Party is right.”
GORDON
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50 is fucking bullshit

Post by GORDON »

WTF..... knee pain? From just a usual day?
"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
TheCatt
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50 is fucking bullshit

Post by TheCatt »

GORDON wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:03 pm WTF..... knee pain? From just a usual day?
My favorite is when my neck hurts like shit just from sleeping on it wrong.
It's not me, it's someone else.
Leisher
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50 is fucking bullshit

Post by Leisher »

TheCatt wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:11 pm
GORDON wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:03 pm WTF..... knee pain? From just a usual day?
My favorite is when my neck hurts like shit just from sleeping on it wrong.
Yeah, I get the nighttime neck thing once every couple of months. I blame my wife and the dog.

As for the knee pain, yes just from existing. Being old sucks. I tore my body up when I was young with sports and the military and now I'm paying the price. Although, it's not much of a price. Patella tendonitis is very manageable, neck stiffness from sleeping on it wrong is what it is, and my flat feet will always be an issue that arch supports mostly handle. It could be much worse.

Incidentally, I might be playing the best golf of my life at 50. I don't hit the ball 300+ yards anymore, but I'm still driving it far for my age and scoring well.
“Every record been destroyed or falsified, books rewritten, pictures repainted, statues, street building renamed, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day. History stops. Nothing exists except endless present in which the Party is right.”
thibodeaux
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 7:32 pm

50 is fucking bullshit

Post by thibodeaux »

If you thought 50 was tough:
Image
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