How to Distinguish Steroid Users from Mortals


If you’re a in the 45-65 demographic and spend a lot of your time in the gym, you will have noticed a proliferation of unbelievably shredded, ripped and insanely muscled guys.

There a reason for that, and spending time in the gym is only part of the story.


At 60, I’m smack in the middle of the Baby Boom.

I’m also very athletic, having spent most of my life practicing good nutrition, getting adequate rest, and going to the gym regularly.

But like I said, I’m 60, not 25.

More specifically, my body does not respond to movement and force the way it once did.

Does this mean I can no longer compete in sports, or that I look like crap?


I still hold the USAPL title for the masters dead-lift at this writing.

But things do change.

I have to work harder to keep my belly fat in check. And while I’m still lean and muscular, I’m not shredded and cut.

Then there’s the whole energy thing, as in I don’t have as much of it as I once did.

I need more reset time, more recovery.

So what happens if i decide one day that I want to do triathlons, but still maintain muscle mass and strength? And while I’m at it that I also want a chiseled midsection and striated arms and legs?

Now I’ve got a problem because I no longer have the testosterone levels necessary to achieve all of that at the same time.

So like many men my age [myself excluded], there are scores of “wellness” clinics all over time where men can get prescriptions for “bio-identical” testosterone including a wide array of other “supplements.”.

Now I can run 5 miles a day, swim for an hour and do 3 hours on an exercise bike, while at the same time maintain mass.

See how this works?

You can have everything, be everything.

Of course, that’s not exactly the way it works because life on this highway is a bitch because you have to pay dearly to play.


Without getting into all of the internal side-effects of the drugs, I’ll just focus on the things we can see:

1] The infamous ”big gut” or distended stomach.

bulging-bodybuilderA lot of steroid users look fat in spite of the fact that their bodyfat percentages are surprisingly low.

What causes the big guts is usually a combination of bother steroids and HGH [human growth hormone].

If someone uses HGH and/or insulin, you can be pretty damn sure that person is also on steroids … and god knows what else.

2] Disproportionate development of upper body muscles


A steroid user’s upper body muscles (traps, shoulders, neck, pecs, back and especially lats) are often disproportionately large compared to his lower body musculature.

This is due to the fact that upper body muscles have more androgen receptors than other muscles that respond better to resistance training.

This is also why new steroid users see their shoulder, traps and back explode like atomic bombs in the first few steroid cycles.

Of course, leg and torso muscles grow as well but never as fast.

This is what causes the ”V-shape” in roid users who normally wouldn’t otherwise have the genetics to produce such a wide shoulder/thin waist proportionality.


1] Some of us are born with incredibly good genetics, but there’s a difference between good genes and something preternatural, particularly in older men.

2] Some people only train upper body and never do legs, but again, it never, ever looks like steroids are the culprit. Those of us who are in the gym regularly know the difference, believe me.

3) Gynecomastia or Bitch Tits

What looks like the growth of female breasts in the below picture is due to the exogenous testosterone (from anabolic steroids) entering the body and converting to estrogen, estradiol through a process called aromatization, thanks to the enzyme aromatase.


4) Skin problems caused by steroid use

Levels of hormones such as testosterone play a significant role in sebaceous glands and potentially can cause acne outbursts, especially on the back.

Although many professional pretend to have it all figured out, acne is now well understood yet but it is well accepted that testosterone plays a role.


4a] Stretch marks

stretch-marks-steroid-useStretch marks are not a direct side effect of steroid use.

During the first few steroid cycles and user goes through, diet and sleep staying in check, the user will experience explosive muscle growth.

Thus, the skin may not adapt quickly enough to this change, and therefore, permanent stretch marks will occur.

Normally they appear in the upper lats (on the sides), on the sides of the pectorals and sometimes on biceps.

5] Sudden increase in muscle mass after years of stagnation … or just being a little guy.

If you’ve been going to the same gym for while you get used to the same guys hitting the same machines every day without making any significant gains.

Then all of a sudden they lose all their fat and gain 25 pounds of muscle in 3 months.

On top of that they can train for two hours without getting tired or falling victim to over-training.

Now you know how this happens.


Five good ways to recognize a steroid user :

Big guts or distended stomach;
Preferential development of the upper body muscles, especially lats;
Gynecomastia or bitch tits;
Stretch marks and/or acne;
Unreasonably fast body transformation.

Bottom line:

I don’t care what people do.

You’re not fooling any of us.

Be man enough to admit it.

Gotta’ Love Mickey Rourke


Baby Boomer, Mickey Rourke, 64, struts his crazy shit in Beverly Hills like nobody’s business.


Look at this guy: 64-year-old amalgamation of physical strength and gender-bender audacity.

He’s irony in motion, annihilator of boundaries, the Louis Vitton and Pomeranian standing guard at the castle gates.

After a certain point in life, successful artists just don’t give a crap what you think.

They care about what they think, which inspires the rest of humanity question conformity in general.

So while most guys his age [and level of success] don’t look anything like Mickey Rourke, inside we’re all very similar: Driven, defiant, audacious, struggling to keep the pool of relevance deep and vast against what seems like endless odds.

For this alone you have to give credit where it’s due. Mickey Rourke has taunted fate, living his life inside out in all its glory.

His appearance is emblematic.

Whatever his deepest motives if there are any], the man lives life with a middle finger to the wind, and for that he deserves respect.

Boomer Courtney Cox Throws in the Towel on Youth


In my world, well maintained women of 50 look great.

50, still. But great.

And while, by comparison to average women, they look years younger, I can see them coming and going.

Problems arise when women lose touch with what people around them actually see when they look at them.

It’s kind of like older men in arrested adolescence who express shock when women half their age call them daddy.

Self-actualization is a hard pill to swallow, and it cuts both ways.

This is why therapy should be a part of maintenance. alongside dental visits and annual physicals.

Male Sex Appeal vs the Aging Demon

tumblr_npp2ol7fl41t7qvufo1_500 Alessandro Manfredini, Model

Ask most women to name an age when men start losing their sex appeal and most would say 39-40.

What would you pick?

The consensus from pop culture and social science seem to agree that 40 is the line in the sand when men start to become “invisible” to opposite-sex potential partners, and especially to younger ones.

But how young?

Most teens don’t look at men over the age of 25, so it’s all relative.

British Crown in Manchester, a hair transplantation clinic, paid for a study started all this crap.

It’s findings were that men 39 or older are more likely to be identified by women as a “father figure” than a “sex symbol.”

In my world, that’s considered advanced adolescence.

Needless to say, the clinic had an agenda in mind.

Since most men lose hair along with color, we need to book an appointment at our earliest possible convenience in order to avoid suicidal tendencies.

The web is littered with this ridiculous “study,” mostly because no one else has bothered to commission a legitimate one.

What I have found through personal experience is that women consider “ideal” and “perfectly acceptable” to be the same things.

Again, I’m not talking about teens. Their objectivity is palpable. But they can afford it, so there’s that.

For everyone else, here’s what women I know cite as critical to a man’s enduring sex appeal:

1] Maintaining Your Hair, no matter how much – or how little – of it you may have.

So, in other words, get a decent haircut and let the gray do its thing.

The alternative is to shave your head, which many women like, but only if the head in question does not resemble an egg.

If it does, you’re screwed.

2] Stay Fit and Healthy

I don’t know anyone my age who doesn’t stay fit, no matter what their hair looks like.

3] Take Care of Your Teeth

Most men I know have straighter, whiter teeth than they did at 25, real or fake.

4] Chill & Stay Confident

The men my age who’ve done well in life tend to be confident.

Thus, successful men are attractive to women at pretty much any age.



All of these “studies” are complete bullshit.

They play out in abstraction, not reality.

In reality, where the rest of us reside, young men attract women because they are physically flawless and ripe with potential.

Older men, on the other hand, attract women because of their level of success and the maturity and confidence that comes along with it.

People say a lot of things from a distance, but in the end, women see with their ears.

And yes, nice neighborhoods do sound pretty damn good to most of them.

Sharp Increase in Older Men Going Under the Knife


While there has only been a two percent overall increase in plastic surgeries from 2009 to 2010, the number of male cosmetic procedures have increased dramatically, say statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The number of liposuction procedures performed on men rose seven percent, and the number of male facelifts doubled, by 14 percent.

Why such a relatively high increase in male procedures? 

1[ Economic woes [i.e., keeping their jobs]

2] Media bombardment [i.e., if you can afford to look your best, why not?]

People often consider cosmetic procedures to be just for women, says northern CA-based men’s mental health expert Will Courtenay, PhD, LCSW, and author of Dying to Be Men.

Just as sex roles between men and women are changing—more fathers are active parents than they used to be, he maintains—so is interest in cosmetic surgery.  “The fact is, manhood in America is changing rapidly,” Courtenay tells demo dirt. “And at least one in four men says he’d consider cosmetic surgery. And another one in five says he might. And for men, it’s often about staying in the race.” 

Washington, DC-based facial plastic surgeon Houtan Chaboki, MD says that he has noticed an increase in men getting procedures, even though they still comprise less than ten percent of cosmetic patients.

Most common, he notes, is rhinoplasty, which people get for various reasons.

However, the fastest growing market is face lift surgery, Chaboki says.

“More men seeking plastic surgery want to appear younger and compete in the workplace,” he says.

“Some working men who actually feel full of energy have the perception that others at work may see them as older, [and] less adaptable to change in a fast-moving economy.”

Dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD started doing Botox in 1991 and says that more and more men have been requesting the treatment, among other things.

“I find that now many years later more men are doing Botox and fillers and lasers and freezing their fat, “she says.

Jaliman agrees that the main reason is the economy.  “We are in a competitive business environment and it’s also become more acceptable,” she adds.

The problems emerge when cosmetic surgery can’t remedy deeper-rooted self-esteem issues.

“Cosmetic surgery can be a misguided attempt to feel better,” Courtenay maintains. “Research shows that men who are dissatisfied with their physical appearance are more likely to suffer from poor self-esteem and depression. So, for these men, cosmetic surgery may make them look better, but they won’t feel better.”

The best surgery candidate, Courtenay says, is a man who is generally secure already.  


Whether it’s to gain that competitive edge, or just bolster an already healthy self-esteem, nips and tucks appear are the way forward for most urban men I know.

Get used to it. I have.

Nothing is as it seems anywhere, anymore.

Hair Loss Triggers Depression in Older Men [and women]


Fact: 75% of all men will suffer some degree of hair loss by age 60.

Fact: 50% of all women will experience some hair thinning by the age of 40, three-quarters by the time they are 65.

This is particularly bad news for Baby Boomers who make up the 51-70 demographic [1946-1964].

According to Dr Asim Shahmalak, Britain’s most respected and best-known hair transplant surgeons, hair loss can have devastating psychological consequences.

“Men and women alike, although it is mainly men who suffer, go through a series of psychological stages when their hair thins, he says. Broadly speaking these can be characterized thus: Shock – Denial – Anger – Depression – Acceptance, not dissimilar to any other life-changing episode.”

He goes on to tell the story of Mark Oaten, then a rising political star, who became mired in a sex scandal.

“Mr Oaten did not condemn the media, nor point to the pressures of life in the Westminister bubble, as he might reasonably have done and many before him have.
Instead, in an unusual and highly thought provoking response, he laid the blame for his behavior squarely at the door of a mid-life crisis occasioned, he said, by the loss of his hair.”

I’m not making this up.

Writing at the time in a compelling dispatch for the Sunday Times, Mr Oaten identified the loss of his hair as the trigger behind the increasing anxiety in his personal and professional life as an MP.

“Any television appearance would result in a barrage of emails, not about the issues I’d raised but about my lack of hair,” he admitted.

“Whether supportive or not, they all asked what had happened to my hair.”

He went on, “It’s perhaps not surprising that I became more and more obsessed by its disappearance. For me it was a public sign that my youth had ended.”

The loss of hair for men and women can be deeply traumatic. And trauma, however hard to gauge, can influence both happiness and behavior. No one should underestimate the affect hair loss can have.

‘Baldy’, ‘slaphead’, ‘bone dome’, all harmless banter, right? Hardly. The language of the schoolyard extends well beyond the boardroom.

I’m hardly one to argue in favor of political correctness, but people need to get a grip on the essential vulnerabilities human beings carry, especially things like hair loss, over which they have no control.

Self-confidence is of paramount important to well being. And once that confidence goes, it can be hard to regain, leaving both professional and personal life badly exposed.

According to Dr. Shahmalak, patients readily admit to worrying constantly about their thinning hair and tell him about the impact on their social lives:

“Innocent comments can be misinterpreted, the eyes of their friends seem drawn to their temples, everyone else has a full head of hair. Why not them? I don’t exaggerate.”

In a society where image has become so important, hair is crucial.

It also can be tougher for modern men than for previous generations because of the high number of mid-life relationship break-ups and divorce. This coupled with greater independence for women, and men are now under pressure to keep looking younger in later life.

This scenario isn’t without crosscurrents, however.

Having very short hair is often seen as more masculine – and there are some suggestions that baldness is linked with heightened virility.

There are plenty of poster-boy role models for the nervously-thinning male.

But if people fear the worst about getting bald, it can become part of a wider mid-life crisis, says business and social psychologist, Michael Gutteridge.

If a man has strongly identified with his appearance, then losing his hair can feel like a threat to his identity­ as it means he stops looking like the person he thought he was. This is more than just vanity.

 Dr Gutteridge says that it’s becoming increasingly common for business leaders to have cosmetic surgery, reflecting their need to send a visual message that they are still young and energetic.

Politics comes to mind.

Did you know that in the United Kingdom, no bald headed party leaders have won a general election since the television era began, perhaps reflecting the potent cocktail of associations that connects hair with power, attractiveness and vitality?

Even businessman and presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made reference to it when he stated, “it’s extremely important for all men to maintain a good head of hair.”

As for his hair, I’ll abstain from further comment.

 The Future Looks Good

Barry Stevens, general secretary of the Trichological Society, says in the foreseeable future there will be an effective way of preventing baldness using “tissue engineering” and cloning technology.

This would mean cultivating hair-growing skin from an original sample, which would be grafted back onto the scalp.

“This isn’t pie in the sky, there are tens of millions being pumped into research into this,” says Mr. Stevens. But once an effective technique is developed, he forecasts that this will become a massive industry.

I could have guessed that myself.

Mr. Stevens has been working in the hair industry for four decades and he is strongly dismissive of much of the hair loss merchandising on the market, particular products that claim to “re-grow” vanished hair.

Hairr transplants work for some people, he says, but little else is worth the money.

 “People are getting conned every day, charged thousands they can’t afford, going to hair clinics where they’re sold magic pills and creams that don’t work. I’m sickened by much of the industry, it is corrupt, full of charlatans.”

“If there were a safe and effective drug for re-growing hair it would be available from doctors, rather than adverts in the backs of newspapers,” he says.

But there is certainly a massive market for such hair revitalization, with an estimated 5.5 million websites dedicated to hair products.

This is because even though men might say they don’t care, losing hair can take the scissors to their self-confidence – and they’ll spend a great deal of money trying to turn back the tide, says Mr. Stevens.

It might not be apparent for many years, but the 100,000 hairs on a youthful male head begin to reduce in number almost as soon as men reach their teenage years.

The rate and extent of the hair loss is governed by genes, and Mr. Stevens says it’s a myth that men should look to their mother’s family for an indication of how their hair might recede.

Like hair color, patterns of balding can be inherited from either side of the family and from several generations back,­ which is why brothers can have completely different amounts of hair.

But what should a balding man say to a hairdresser? Honesty and a good close crop. The comb-over or any other cunning coiffure is not going to fool anyone.

Comments from men around the globe taken from an article published recently in the BBC:

I used to have long hair all my late teens and twenties and early thirties. So to discover it thin on top and receding a little, I have now shaved it with a razor. People are used to it now, but deep down I hate it and am depressed about it. I don’t want long hair for my age, but just a good head of hair so I don’t have to shave all the time. I don’t like any photos with me in, so I guess it’s a major problem with me. I have less confidence and think I’ll remain single.

Andy, Scotland

I used to have long flowing locks a la Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain in the ’90s now at 29 I’m a virtual skin head. I put it down to too much hair dye, late nights and a diet of fags and black coffee in my late teens and early twenties. I used to get far more abuse walking down the street because of having hair than I do now. A bald head makes you look well’ard!

Rob, Norwich

Isn’t hiring rent boys rather an odd way to assert your masculinity?

Chandra, London, England

Had a ponytail for a long time, then my hair began thinning on top. Created my own ‘Millenium Dome’ at the start of 2000, clipping it short all over and bald on top. Raised cash for charity too. It’s much easier to look after, I can trim it myself without small-talking with hairdressers about holidays, and it doesn’t bother me at all, though it gives my mates much amusement. Also it’s something to rub when you need to think hard! But you need a baseball cap when it’s very hot or cold. Anyone going bald – just get over it, it’s no big deal!

Jason Mills, Accrington, UK

I have two sons 20 and 23, both lost almost all their hair in their teens as did their grandfather. It hasn’t affected their attraction to the opposite sex, so I think these precious males have to accept that they just aren’t as attractive in middle age as they were in their youth – with or without hair.

Janet Georghiou, Windsor

As a balding man of 25, the concept of having a’solar panel for a sex machine’ on top of my head certainly appeals!

John Ferguson, Edinburgh

I’ll admit that I am slightly torn about the issue. Although part of me would love to salvage the few strands of hair left on my head and even get a few extra ones, at the end of the day, this ugly mug I was born with is mine, whether I like it or not. And I am not entirely convinced that a full head of hair would magically transform me into any kind of Adonis.

Steven, Shrewsbury

I was bald by the age of 21. Many women find it sexy, I find it convenient to clean-shave once a week rather than pay ridiculous amounts of money to have a hair-cut once a month. Never got me down, since I was never a stud so I have built my confidence based on my brains, not on my looks. Never really liked my hair anyway since it was curly and unmanagable.

Elias Kostopoulos, Athens, Greece

I’ve recently joined the bald gang as I approach 30. I had long hair for over 10 years, something crucial to a fan of heavy metal, but like life, it’s something to accept, deal with and move on. Buy yourself some hair trimmer and get with enjoying life, you ain’t dead yet!

Dave, Southampton

I started to lose my hair when i was in my early 20’s. I used to have a great head of hair and first noticed it thinning at the front when I was 21. By the time I started Uni at 23 it had become noticeable. Friends and family were kind saying it was my imagination. It really upset me and i used to wonder why it had started so young with me. I was always conscious of it and it nearly destroyed me. One day at around 27 years old i shaved it and i felt relieved. I did not have to hide it any more and was out in the open. I do think that it has harmed my chances with girls. I am not bad looking and never had to try too hard. Now I’m bald I have to try ten times harder than I used to. I have to develop all kinds of strategies. Its hard work!

Richard, London

I have two sons. One 48 years with a mass of hair. The other 39 years with a bald head. Their father/uncle/grandfather/grandmother/aunt/myself all have very thick hair so for some reason my youngest son has different genes. I must add that he has not had a problem with his lack of hair, unless he hides it well.

Doreen Whittaker, Surrey

I started losing my hair very early on, in my early 20’s. It did have a depressing affect on me, as I thought that I was no longer as attractive as I had been. Looking back, I can’t believe what an arrogant and vain prat I was. The turning point finally came when I bought some electronic clippers and shaved it all off. I felt better, there was no chance of me resorting to a comb-over and my self-esteem went up again. I’ve never looked back since then. And I’m getting married next year!

Marc Jones, Chingford, London, UK

I agree that we must be honest about baldness. You can’t really fool anyone. Sure it is great to have a full head of hair, but most men don’t after a certain age. I’ve seen all sorts of silly cures here (Malaysia) and nothing works, snake oils and all sorts. The key is to look at yourself in a positive way … be bold and bald … some find this attractive! It is also far more comfortable, a close crop makes me feel better than a length of locks. There is plenty of successful bald men, just stay away from british politics though.

Bill, Malaysia

It’s perfectly acceptable for a man to lose his hair, whatever his age…. provided he keeps what’s left very short. The men that attempt to cover it up, just highlight the fact and draw attention to it! A lot of men look more attractive with a shaven head.

Rachel, Southampton

What an absolute load of tosh, using losing ones hair as an excuse for insecurity. I started losing my hair in my early 20’s and just accepted is as part of life. It’s caused no crisis the conscious effect it had was it made me go for a shorter hairstyle. Now some 30 years later that I’m almost totally bald I just have my remaining hair cropped every few weeks. People who have ‘issues’ with hair loss are, in my opinion, using the hair loss as an excuse for a deeper insecurity.

Paul Ostermeyer, Milton Keynes, UK

My partner has a bald head and looks better now than he did as a youngster. I find it very attractive in a man. It’s a bold statement and although not always a choice for men, gives them more masculinity to their image. If your bald, don’t cover it up. There are lots of women like myself who adore the look!

Angela Ross, Sandhurst Berkshire

At 49 my hair is still long and thick. I have the most negative comments about it from balding or bald males. Do I care – nah!

Martyn Hlman, York


 In my world, having a full head of hair pales in comparison to having a full load of cash. Financial security renders the issue moot. And while having both is better, I have never once heard any woman complain about her husband’s hair loss when travelling on a private jet.

Furthermore, when assessing a dating candidate, most women I know look at a man’s financial shape, followed closely by his physical condition, and pretty much ignore the rest.

In the end, they just don’t care enough to make a difference. In fact, a little hair loss may be just what the doctor ordered as it will make whatever the woman feels a bit insecurely about balance the scales.

The Most Annoying People In The Gym […and a few good ones thrown in for good measure]

Old-Guy-LiftingI found this article on about gym etiquette amusing, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Most of it targets the behavior of all age demographics, so I’ve slightly twisted it in the direction of the Baby Boom.

Many are cliches pushed to the extreme, but many cliches are extreme without having to be pushed at all.

Here’s the article:


1] The Misplaced Crossfitter

After enough testosterone supplementation, many Baby Boomers – both men and women – re-emerge as adolescents and hit the gym like banshees, attempting complex exercises like box jumps and weighted wall balls they see performed by people half their age on Youtube. They attempt to perform them publicly as if no one will notice the sad realities of their efforts. I witnessed one 50-something guy jumping up and down like a Wallaby in what appeared to be a trance. When I asked him what he was doing he just smiled and hopped away. I discovered later on that he just received his first testosterone injections a week ago, and like someone stuck in Purgatory for 30 years, was euphoric over his discovery of a portal back to planet earth.

2] The Phone Zombie

Many older guys use gyms as workplaces. I’m still not convinced they aren’t suffering some psychiatric disability, the whole thing a pantomime played out using a dead phone. Relevance is found in some of the most unlikely places. Whatever the issue, they are certainly consistent, and therefore, memorable. In fact, offering even the vaguest description will elicit a knowing response. In deference to one man in particular, he is having an actual conversation with someone on the other end of the line, but he is so often on the phone that he is now clinically deaf.

3] The Newbie Steroid User

Most of these people begin a steroid regimen to drop body fat without having to spend hours in a gym. They also hope to revitalize their flagging sex lives which certain physicians’ promises of restoring them in exchange for $30,000 a year. Most of these people drop out of sight when their PSA levels rival the national debt and/or they lose a pile in a market downturn.

4] Just About Anyone Doing a Kettlebell Swing

Most older men have no idea what the hell they’re doing in the gym. Without help from a personal trainer, they are like cattle on the edge of a cliff in a hurricane. They’re painful to watch and there is always the temptation to offer guidance. But it has been my experience that guidance is often perceived as a kind of narcissistic wound to men of hubris and resources accustomed to people’s fear and respect in the workplace. Physicians who should know better are some of the worst offenders, as usual. I could get into the irony here.

One old dude threw a cable grip in my direction.

5] The Dumbbell Rack Blocker

I am guilty of this. There are times when I use one end of a dumbbell rack to perform single-arm pulls. But I am also aware of who’s around me. If I see someone lingering near the rack, I’ll move. The point is that many gym newbies [read: older guys who’ve spent their lives in offices and are now on gym floors at the insistence of their primary care physicians] are slow on the uptake, and even indignant towards anyone expecting them to budge.

6] The Bros

I work out around a bunch of older men and women who were – at one time or another – gym addicted. Most of us are now in recovery, but this still doesn’t stop us from spending two hours a day enabling one another. We make a lot of noise when the weights get heavy, but the experience is cathartic, and, in our minds, fine as long as we don’t technically kill anyone.

7] Mr. Octa Set

Some guys attempt to commandeer a 1000 square foot area of the gym in order to perform a particular routine. Most of them are the usual suspects: Affluent and entitled Boomers who are used to having things their way. Fortunately for people like myself, I am comfortable ignoring their boundaries and leading them back to therapy without much in the way of tact.

8] The Crappy Personal Trainer

At my health club there are a few personal trainers who spend more time discussing personal issues with their clients than training them. But this is not the fault of the trainer. When a client is will to pay $100 and hour of someone’s time, they run the show. Of course, the trainer can always fire the client, but it doesn’t make much financial sense as you can imagine. I do happen to know certain personal trainers who won’t train clients that aren’t serious, but I have found that they tend to work less hours.

9] The Talker

My gym caters to an affluent clientele, many of whom are trust fund babies who’ve never held a job, and therefore, have no concept of boundaries. The rest are either psychiatric outpatients or narcissists who’ve never seen a therapist.

10] The Creeper

True story: One day I was in the gym on the stretching mats when I noticed an older man with his junk on full display. A woman next to me happened to notice it at the same moment and immediately deflected her young daughter’s attention avoiding what would inevitably become full blown PTSD. Anyway, I’m not certain whether such men are exhibitionists or just plain senile. I can envision a police interrogation where the officers just shake their heads when the man starts babbling incoherently about the stock market when questioned about a sexually perverse act. Long story short, I reported the incident to the management and I’m told that he now wears undergarments.


Okay, so here are three of my own Pet Peeves:


 11] Old Ladies With Too Much Perfume

This one is self-explanatory, but thankfully easily remedied over a private discussion with management. I have, at times, felt almost enveloped in what smells like scented mustard gas as my lungs cry out for mercy at the handiwork of a mortician.

12] People Who Read Newspapers While Performing Leg Presses

At more upscale health clubs, this is a commonplace practice. The idea is to be in the gym as directed by one’s primary care physician while also getting a little of what the client wants, which is to not be there at all.

13] People With Antisocial Personality Disorder

Maybe it’s just me, but I see health clubs as urban ecosystems that run according to the sum of their constituent parts. Saying hello is not going to kill anyone. It’s common courtesy if nothing else in an environment filled with people you see every day.

With this in mind, there is one particularly cross older man with a distended midsection that he attempts to conceal with 5x t-shirts pregnant emblazoned with messages of anarchy. He never speaks, never blinks, and always stares straight ahead like a zombie zeroing in on a kill. This guy typifies APD and should be referred immediately to the nearest psychiatric facility. Thankfully, the only other people who come across even remotely this way are cross fitters who relish the outcast model.

 Okay, now for the most awesome people in the gym!

11] Elderly People

Older men and women who go to the gym religiously have the respect of everyone. I’ve never heard a single negative comment or complaint unless the person in question farts, in which case the whole age thing comes up.

12] The Quiet Beasts

Most bodybuilders I know are quiet beasts. They are men of few words [in the gym], focused, serious, and only cordial under duress. I don’t particularly like them [in the gym], but I do admire their determination.

13] Women Who Kick Ass

There is nothing more inspiring than women kicking ass next to us. Taking this a step further, I would prefer a gym filled with nothing but buff women in tights. I mean just for the inspiration and all.

14] Fat People

It’s hard to beat on a fat person when they’re in the gym trying to climb out of their bodies. It’s a Promethean task no one takes on unless their lives depend on it.

15] Injured and Disabled People

God bless these people for getting back into the world and fighting for their dignity. They’re a lesson to all of us to be thankful that a couple of inches off the waist is all we have to accomplish.


Everyone understands the inherent grumpiness seen in the aged, but no one appreciates it. From a psychiatric perspective, you have to understand that many of these old men were once “somebody:” Heads of companies, surgeons, lawyers and so on. They had the respect of their peers and their community. No one questioned their validity, their relevance. This is why many men refuse to retire. The rest face a downhill slalom into invisibility and irrelevance and what you see in their sour demeanor is the loss of something they spent their lives building. I feel sorry for these men. While they go to the gym to stay physically relevant, they’re dead everywhere else.

Why [some] Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying Before Their Time

BBmLL3U.img© Credit: Peter Hince/Getty Images Man at Sea Side Holding Bottle of Beer, Mid Section Credit: Peter Hince/Getty Images

What you’re looking at is a cliche that massacres every tenet of urban survival.

You know what I’m talking about.

This notwithstanding, I know very few middle-aged men who look like this guy.

Most of us have too much self-respect to allow ourselves to fall into complete ruin.

I might also add that I live in a very small world, given the the preponderance of obesity in America.

In a nutshell, this study [see article] concludes that middle-aged Americans, classified as those between the ages of 45 and 54 – emphasis on those with less education – were more likely to die in middle age due to suicide or alcohol and drug poisoning.

The culprit, according to the study, is the 2008 financial collapse.

But the study also found that black, Hispanic and all other older Americans (65 and up) have continued to see longer lives.

Why is this?

The article doesn’t address it, but I can: Money.

In other words, if you weren’t screwed completely in 2008, you’re probably going to live a long healthy life.


It’s been my experience that 6 key elements must be in place in order for an older man to stay at the top of his game.

…and all of them are tangentially related to money.

So here goes [surprise surprise]:

1] Financial security

Notes: Money is always thicker than blood. It’s first in line followed closely by everything else.

You’ll need enough to cover the cost of a nice place to live, a reliable car, a health club membership…and, of course, Whole Foods.

The rest of your life can take care of itself if Whole Foods doesn’t break you first.

2] Supportive wife or partner

Notes: If you’ve been married a long time and your wife is out of shape, she will probably want you to be out of shape so she doesn’t have to worry about being dumped.

This is a bigger problem than you might imagine and a bigger hurdle than many of you will even want to consider after seeing #1.

3] Healthy lifestyle

Notes: Wife/partner or not, a healthy lifestyle is the only way to age well. Not aging well is not worth the ride. It’s also 10 times the cost.

4] Culture group that supports and encourages your objectives

Notes: People who live healthy lifestyles tend to hang around others who share their values.

If the group you’re in begins to remind you of your own demise, find another group. 

Remember, life doesn’t give a crap what you do. It only sees the bottom line.

Any psychiatrist will tell you this for $200.00, but you’ll have to be able to fork over $200.00, plus additional therapy if coping with not having enough becomes a problem.

5] Comfort with technology

Notes: Generally speaking, the older men I know are very comfortable with technology.

While this may stand out as incongruous with the previous 4 bullet points, it’s everything but.

While technology helps keep us relevant, being on a first name basis with the people at the Apple store can be as expensive as gambling addiction.

6] Don’t isolate

Interacting with others is crucial to one’s mental health.

Some guys talk about leaving everything behind and heading off into the sunset on a wing and a prayer.

Of course, Icarus tried the same thing and it didn’t end well.


I guess he couldn’t afford therapy.

How Success Changes Middle Aged Men

Male Grooming Arnold Ferrier Photo Bill Morton

Male Grooming Arnold Ferrier Photo Bill Morton

As you will note in the article [above], chest shaving has become commonplace.

It’s also one of many manifestations of what many middle-aged men do once they have achieved a considerable measure of success.

Without that one element [success], there is no rationale for self-idolatry.


I know this guy in the restaurant business.

When he started out, it was all humility; dressing down, shaking hands, strung out in the quest for relevance.

Then over time and a lot of hard work, his efforts paid off.

He became the proud co-owner of a successful string of hip urban bistro’s with lots of national notice.

Eventually, like others of new-found success, he upgraded his car, his home…his lifestyle.

But something else happened as well: He changed his appearance. All of it.

His once thin frame now boasts long, lean muscle wrapped in a bronze glaze.

His chest, arms, back and legs are completely shaven.

His clothing went from $16 Haynes 100% cotton Tees to $180 John Varvatos V-Neck Jersey Knits.

His Timex “Ironman” was replaced with an assortment of bracelets of various materials and designs; the accouterments of celebrities, rock stars…and wealthy older men who don’t have to care what you think of them, which is how you know they’ve “arrived.”

Gone are the days of the obligatory handshake with a smile.

That’s also been upgraded to a certain vibe of self-righteous aloofness suggestive of someone who now resents how much ass they had to kiss to get to where they are, and now its payback time.


Without success, older men fade.

They don’t have the fuel to propel change.

In this sense, success is like a transfusion.

While average people adapt to circumstances and resign themselves to an average existence, successful tend to men stand out in crowds.

Even those who practice humility cannot hide the lining of confidence that follows them wherever they go.

In a way, they’re like beacons of hope in an otherwise paralyzing existential nightmare.

And people wonder why The Kardashians are America’s first family.

Aging is a Bitter Pill [No Wonder We’re All in Denial]

Liam-Neeson-MAINLiam Neeson, 63 ‘Never been healthier…’ for 63.

Ahead of turning 63 on June , he said: ‘My birthday is a touchy subject. I’m going to be 63 — nobody wants to be 63! I’m getting old. 

‘What I want more than anything is for it to be ignored. I just hate it and it makes me feel vulnerable. It’s such a private thing — the day you were born, the day you came out of your mother’s womb.

‘Some people hire a boat and do grand things like that, but I just get embarrassed about that sort of celebration and attention.’


What exactly is 63 supposed to look like?

Does anyone know?

As far as Hollywood is concerned, a 63-year-old actor is supposed to be fit, muscular, dashing…and yes, sexy.

A lot of this is projection, as many industry people are themselves middle age…and beyond.

But in the end it just gets down to pandering to a massive Baby Boomer market in denial.

This aside, how do a very select few 63-year-old men manage to maintain extraordinary levels of youthfulness?

1] Intense physical fitness regimens

2] Balanced diets

3] Low stress

4] Regular testosterone injections

5] Plastic surgery

6] Perfect styling

7] Flattering light

8] A willing suspension of disbelief on the part of audiences

9] Money and power

10] Dying famous at age 27.


Nobody wins this war.

We can be in spectacular shape at 63, but we’re still 63 no matter how imaginatively anyone spins it.

This is a particularly tough pill to swallow for older men of health and means.

They can afford to travel, dine at 5-star establishments, buy expensive toys, and date beautiful young men and women.

But the problem is that they have very little time to do it before the other show drops.

Think older man’s version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for adults and this begins to make sense.

This is why denial is my generation’s crucible.