Dennis Quaid at 61


Dennis Quaid is 6’0″, #175 at what looks to be well below 10% body fat.

By comparison, I’m 6’1″, #230 at 13% body fat, which places me in the top 1% of my age group.

Most people consider this extraordinarily fit.

But I’m not shredded like a slab of turkey jerky, and herein lies the rub.

See, in order to put on – and hold – lean muscle mass at less then 10% body fat [at age 61!], you’ll need help of the preternatural kind.

To wit, Quaid has more lean, angular mass on his shoulders and arms than any man his age can normally produce without “help.”

I’m not accusing him of steroid use because I don’t know him. Maybe he’s a genetic freak. I’ve seen a few in my day.

For everyone else, pulling off tons of lean mass with low body fat is impossible without tinkering with testosterone levels.

What? You think we’re immortal?

Since when do men our age look like Quaid?

Some of you may consider him too lean, too small…kind of ragged, wasted even.

But for men who want this look, it can be acquired at “wellness” clinics and individual physicians operating throughout the United States.


1] If you want to perform at levels similar to what you achieved at age 30, you will need a lot more than hard work coupled with a hope and a prayer. 

2] I’m not judging, just exposing the truth.

3] You have to decide if the consequences of steroid use are worth the risks.

4] Denial is the mother of delusion.

5] I don’t care how Dennis Quaid chooses to live his life. His job is to entertain, not inspire.

Just trying to keep it real around here.

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.

Does “Low T” Cause Depression [or is aging a nightmare no matter how you look at it?]


Testosterone is the male sex hormone responsible for the development of many ‘masculine’ traits.

It encourages fat loss and muscle development, as well as sex drive, aggression, and energy levels.

In other words, the more testosterone, the more “Alpha.”

“Low T” has the opposite effect: Use your imagination. It’s bad.

Numerous health problems, including depression are heavily linked.


However, the relationship between depression and testosterone is very confusing because they are very similar.

If your “T” levels are low you’ll will suffer low energy, zero sex drive, crappy mood, endless irritability and difficulty sleeping – all of which characterize depression.

Some guys I know attack the problem with hormone replacement therapy.

In fact, most do…with varying degrees of success.

It cheaper than psychotherapy, and with faster results.

Nonetheless, “Low T” is not always the cause of depression, though it might be responsible.

For men who aren’t depressed and have lots of time and money on their hands, increasing testosterone might be an effective way to boost mood to even higher levels, improving drive, libido and motivation.

There’s always a higher high, after all.

But like other indulgences, it can become a one way street.

In other words, once you start, there’s no going back because eventually, the body stops producing it, not that you give a crap.

Most older men don’t care about anything but now, because there isn’t anything else.

Oh God, am I depressed?



If you’re depressed but don’t know why, you might start by asking yourself why someone with so much feels like he has so little?

This is a therapy question, by the way.

On the other hand, if you also have difficulty gaining muscle, losing fat, keeping your blood pressure in check, or losing your ‘morning glory,’ “Low T” may be the culprit.

Three other factors may play a role in depression:

1] Vegetarian diets low in protein.

2] Dark offices low in sunlight.

3] Physical inactivity.


Okay, so let’s say you aren’t a fan of hormone replacement therapy, and want a natural way to achieve similar results.

Exercise – Compound movements, like squats and bench press, and HIIT (high intensity interval training).

Sleep – This is where your testosterone is produced and why rest and recovery are so important. Make sleep a priority in your life. Keep your room dark and cool, and avoid caffeine before bed.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is responsible for helping your body to regulate numerous other hormonal processes. The easiest way to get it is sunlight. If there is no sunlight where you live – or you’re stuck in an office for 12 hours a day –  supplement. It’s no surprise that all those existentialists came from countries bereft of sunlight.

Magnesium and Zinc – Magnesium and zinc support healthy testosterone production and prevent testosterone from being converted into zinc. You can Google it.

Saturated Fat – As shocking as this may sound, the most important ingredient in terms of your diet is saturated fat. It’s no longer believed to cause heart problems, but it will increase your levels of good ‘HDL’ cholesterol, which also happens to be what your body uses to make testosterone and other sex hormones. Try a glass or two of full fat milk if your stomach can handle it. It might improve your mood.

Protein – Protein is the building block of muscle. Now you know why vegetarians look like crap. Protein produces anabolic hormones [like testosterone] that encourage muscle growth, among other benefits.


Avoid Plastic – Random, perhaps, research on ‘xenoestrogens’ isn’t pretty. These are substances act like estrogen in the body and significantly lower testosterone.

Along with our more sedentary and indoor lifestyles, this is thought to be one of the big reasons that men today have lower testosterone on average.

To avoid xenoestrogens, don’t eat out of plastic containers, and definitely don’t microwave anything in plastic.


The Stones famously lamented “it’s a drag getting old,” and it’s no surprise that Baby Boomer do struggle with aging more than the generation preceding it.

Boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — are the generation most likely to report being in treatment for depression, at 14 percent, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. That compares to 11 percent among Generation X (born 1965-1979), “traditionalists” born before 1945, and Millennials (born 1980-1996).

This makes complete sense to me because Traditionalists lived their lives in throes of World Wars and Millennials aren’t old enough to feel their age.

Note: Baby Boomers are more likely to have been diagnosed with depression (21 percent) than any other generation (Gen X: 18 percent, Millennials: 16 percent, traditionalists: 15 percent).

This aside, Boomers are also more open to discussing their mental health issues than older Americans who refused to admit to having any psychiatric problems at all – a key reason Boomers need therapy in the first place.

Soon Everyone Will Have Steroids with Their Morning Coffee


#Dailymail ran an article a couple of years ago that stated “up to 20% of Hollywood’s leading men use PED’s [performance enhancing drugs].

Check it out for yourself:

But as everyone who works out regularly knows, the number is more like 90%, with the remaining 10% losing out to actors with “better hairlines,” which would be irrelevant had they taken the damn drugs.

Articles and website abound touting the merits of “hard work and diet” in achieving a preternatural physique.

“Yes, even you Mr. 60-year-old can look better than you did back in college with the right lifestyle choices!”

Total bullshit.

I guess no one bothered to mention the fact that eternal and youth aren’t synonymous under any circumstances.

However, if a man wants to look like the two guys in the above photograph who are well over 60 [source: Facebook’s “fitmenover50” page], steroids are the only way to achieve it.

I know you don’t want to hear this.

I also know you resent having to use facial fillers, take 300 vitamins every morning to supplement whatever time is stealing in your sleep, and avoiding anything that tastes good.

This is life in the absence of steroids.

You want a perfect physique?

You want to have a slice of pizza from time to time?

You want to train at half the intensity, half the time?

You have to take the drugs!

If not, join the mortal brigade and feel good about the fact that it’s all you.

But you won’t find yourself landing on these pages…

See, in order to get press, you have to be extraordinary.

But in the the context of fitness, extraordinary isn’t enough unless you look extraordinary, which no one who undergoes regular drug tests can achieve.

Am I getting through here?

All these self-righteous pricks who tell you they have all the dense muscle and low bodyfat by the grace of god are completely full of shit – or steroids, as the case may be.

Thick, sculpted muscle fiber combined with extremely low bodyfat on a “fit over 50” man is the very definition of S T E R O I D S.

Hell, it’s tough for a 25-year-old guy to build that kind of physique.

The reason for that is that IT’S NOT HUMANLY POSSIBLE WITHOUT DRUGS!



Like we’re idiots?

Since when did mankind evolve into super beings that don’t even remotely resemble anatomy charts?

The only “human anatomies” people reference these days can be found in department stores that sell Under Armour apparel, which uses flawlessly sculpted “giants” to sell their products.

But they are M A N N E Q U I N S!


And while some elite, and ridiculously genetically blessed, professional athletes look a lot like this, it doesn’t last long.

In the context of things human, it’s a way to sell clothing, websites…press, in general.

As we’ve all come to learn, reality is a buzzkill.

So we’ve replaced it with something more interesting – no matter what the side-effects, both physically and psychologically.

But hey, ya’ only live once, so why not?

Better to burn out than fade away.

Note: Lest you think that men are the sole users of steroids, check this out:

For those of you who are interested, the following article highlights the most popular steroids among older men:

On a final note, there’s the Anderson Cooper story, which has caught fire like everything else that involves cheating fate:

But as one commenter stated: “At 65+ you’re looking at balancing the improved quality of life with HGH vs a longer life with less quality.”

This is becoming a mantra that pretty much says it all.

Throw the bones.