From personal experience, I can tell you this list is essential to a productive, long term professional relationship.
Since my last post [forever ago in the context of instant and immediate everything], I have been immersed in a new book project that’s drawn most of my available energy, which was already in short supply after coming down with the flu this past December. My particular strain has its own designation, H3N2. Some on the Internet tell me it’s an interstellar bug that escaped government protection, while others claim the government manufactured it to use on millennials. Either way, the shit got loose and found a home in a Baby-Boomer.
The lingering effects are legion: Fatigue, weakness, low appetite, cough, airway irritation that affects how long you can be active, loss of sense of smell [which in rare cases becomes permanent], and, in my case, you can tack on paranoia, depression, nightmares and mild dissociative states…among others.
Anyway, once the worst of it had passed, my idea was to take things slowly, not try to rush back to the gym until my stamina was rebuilt. At this writing, however, I’m still waiting.
When I was 23 the flu was an abstraction. I got sick, hung out at home, healed in three days, and met friends out for celebratory drinks. I won. There were no extenuating circumstances, no complications, nothing I gave much consideration to because none of it was particularly relevant. Nobody died back then, at least not until they were too old to live, which was fine since we all agreed that growing that old was like experiencing death in slow motion.
Now I see the extenuating circumstances, the potential for complications, and the shorter life expectancy in real time.
Having run down all of this down with you, I’m not dying. I didn’t contract cancer or have a stroke or brain aneurism or spinal injury. I got the flu and developed psychiatric problems from extended exposure to Webmd.com.
The point in all of this is that at this stage of life you’re in a steady state of low-level paranoia, coupled with reflection and denial. Put another way, what’s reflected is usually denied. So you have to come to a place of acceptance, which requires decades of therapy.
You’re no longer physically beautiful, unless of course, you’re Robert Plant, which you’re not. And death is closer than ever, virus or no virus. Your sense of relevance is constantly under siege no matter what you did to become the person you are which, like I said, is closer to death. For many of you this is the end of mental health, especially you guys on the precipice of 50 squeezing out that last hurrah before staring down the barrel of aesthetic annihilation. One steroid shot after the next, week after week, in tandem with the endless runs, swims, bike rides and weight training sessions that collectively earn one that bronzed wrap, star white teeth and endless string of broken marriages, all in favor of the drug of self. Your time is around the corner. Buckle up.
So here I am, starting the New Year with a bang. In truth, I have nothing to bitch about that doesn’t embarrass me. I have financial security, a family of animals…and a wonderful, loving and reasonably sane woman half my age that puts up with me. What’s not to love?
In this spirit, my blog posts begin anew for 2018.
MORALS OF THE STORY
1] Money does, in fact, buy happiness as long as you’re physically healthy, which money enables you to maintain.
2] Psychiatry is a noble profession.
3] Looks fade, but not heart. In this sense, relevance is eternal.
One of the biggest hurdles we older guys face when trying to maintain our health and fitness goals is finding a core group to keep us on track.
By the time we’ve hit our mid to late 50’s, pretty much everyone our age is gone.
Not dead, necessarily, though you do start hearing more and more about that.
Point is, nowhere near a gym..
We’re already in the .01% of men our age just stepping foot in a gym, so imagine how preposterous a challenge it would be to call your old college buddies in for a 2 hour workout?
So our new support group is now comprised of people of all ages.?
Long story short, my gym-rat cohorts are anywhere from their teens and to their early 80’s.
This is something you get used to, and for many of us, it’s the lifeblood of motivation and good health.
Pretty much everything.
There is a certain aesthetic to which women who date – or aspire to date – successful men adhere. It is very specific.
Adjectives used to describe the look are as follows: “Long, lean, timeless and elegant.”
In order to achieve this look you must first be structurally proportionate and blessed with high cheek bones and solid jawline.
Then you have to diet, which looks a lot like that of Jennifer Lopez when she’s touring.
So 1350 total calories per day. All organic, non-GMO, gluten-free blah blah blah, plus exercise.
So, #1 is appearance.
If you want a rich man, you have to put in the work.
Think of it as a job interview [because it is a job interview] where your new prospective employer has a list of line items you have to meet in order to get a new Mercedes.
#2 is proper grammar.
If you haven’t mastered the Queens English, you have no business at galas and cocktail functions. In bed, you can go back to the streets.
#3 is attire.
You should already know the name of every clothing designer on the planet because he’ll expect you to dress the part after you’ve burned up his credit cards.
#4 Sexual fluidity with a certain uncontrollable darkness, or dark side as it’s often referred.
What this means is that there has to be something about you that he cannot completely conquer, which keeps him off guard and curious.
#5 is interests, as in, you have to have some beyond him or he will assume you have less value than he thought you did after he checked off the last 4 items.
Successful men want reflections of themselves in the women in their lives, so imagine yourself a successful, powerful man in thigh-highs and you’re on the right track.
A relatively new website, http://www.agingevolution.com, extols the virtues of good old fashion clean living and hard work in order to achieve what, for all intents and purposes, is eternal youth.
The site’s tag line is — “It’s Never TOO LATE To Be Great”
Okay. So now you know the hook. So here’s the line and sinker part…
If hard work and clean living are all you have going for you, you’re not getting close to the guy in the above image.
The other part of the equation is never mentioned.
The most important part.
As a 61-year-old man with a lifetime of physical fitness under my belt, I know what it takes to be in top shape.
But I still don’t look like the guy in the above photograph.
Because 61 is not 21 no matter how hard you train.
There is an important distinction to be made between what is naturally achievable at 61, and what is required to achieve what was only possible 40 years ago.
Suffice to say, you can’t pound it out in the gym, prepare it in kitchen, or buy it at GNC or Walgreens.
It comes from a physician at considerable price, both financially and physically.
And people wonder why body dysmorphia’s as common as the flu.
Yes, it’s tempting to fall for all the ads, radio shows and endless infomercials about the merits and virtues of “hormone replacement.”
But just know that this term is a more soft-peddled way of saying “steroid use.”
The following 10 steroids are the most commonly used [and prescribed] since their introduction into the world of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs:
Also known as Clen and Clenbuterol is an anti-catabolic anabolic product that helps users reduce the extra kilos under the belt. This selective beta-agonist 2 symphatonimetric is available in the form of syrups, tablets and injections and has an active life of about 35-40 hours. He is admired by sportsmen, particularly bodybuilders and strength athletes, especially for its benefits when it comes to achieving a lean body appearance without losing muscle mass or muscle size. The use of clenbuterol does not produce side effects such as gynecomastia or water retention, which are common problems with most steroids. The recommended dose is 140 mcg of Clen (micrograms) per day for men and 120 mcg per day for women (doses can be taken with or without meals) unless otherwise recommended by a qualified doctor. Clenbuterol is usually associated with other anabolics such as Dianabol, Deca-Durabolin, Dianabol, Winstrol and during a steroid cycle for optimizing benefits of all atthe same time.
Also known as Oxandrolone Anavar is one of the most used and recommended anabolic steroids. This anabolic drug is second to none when it comes to facilitating speedy recovery after surgery or in case of recurring infection and is equally effective for promoting strength gains without weight gain. It is available in oral and injectable forms, Anavar is a step ahead of other anabolics in the sense that it does not aromatize into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and has no effect on the liver. As regards Anavar cycles,the recommended dose is 20-40 mg per day for men and 10-20 mg daily for women; the doses can be taken with or without meals. It is generally associated with anabolic steroids as Dianabol, Winstrol, Primobolan, and Sustanon 250 during a steroid cycle.
When it comes to staying ahead of the competition without feeling any heat, Oral Winstrol or Injectable Winstrol or Winny inevitably makes the list of top 10 steroids. This is because this drug produces exemplary performance and is very effective when it comes to promoting improvements in terms of mass and strength. The fact that taking Winstrol does not expose users to steroid side effects that are common with most anabolics assures users they can be confident of making tremendous gains. This derivative of testosterone, the male sex hormone, effectively stimulates the production of stromelysin, prostaglandin E2, and matrix metalloproteinases collegenase to promote a solid muscle building process. The recommended dose of this anabolic, available in oral and injectable form, is 15-25 mg (milligram) per day, which can be taken with or without meals. Winstrol is generally supplemented with other anabolics such as Deca-Durabolin, Primobolan, Testosterone Propionate, Dianabol, Trenbolone, and Clenbuterol during a steroid cycle.
Also known as Methandrostenolone or d-bol, it is one of those potent anabolic steroids that can bring dramatic results in a short period of time. This powerful androgenic anabolic product promotes the protein synthesis process that helps in the development of muscle mass and muscle size. It is also effective in maintaining glycogen during a bulking cycle when it comes to developing solid muscle mass. Dianabol can have adverse effects on the liver (protection: Samarin, Legalon …). There can be a water retention rate of up to 30% with Dianabol Pink and Blue, as opposed to only 10% for the Yellow Dianabol. The recommended dose of Dianabol is 20 80-mg daily , which can be taken with or without meals. This anabolic is generally supplemented with anabolics like Anavar, Deca Durabolin, Winstrol, and Clenbuterol during a steroid cycle.
Also known as Deca or nandrolone decanoate, it is an anabolic steroid that can find its place on any list of top 10 steroids. This anabolic product offers powerful anabolic effects and minimal androgen side effects, so users can easily enjoy its benefits without being exposed to side effects commonly associated with steroids. Having no adverse effects on the liver, Deca is very effective in treating blood disorders and developing muscle cells. The recommended dose of Deca Durabolin is 200-400 mg per week for men and 100-200 mg weekly for women. Deca Durabolin can be taken with or without meals. This anabolic is often associated with other anabolics such as Dianabol, Anavar, Clenbuterol, and Winstrol.
Primobolan, or Primo, is one of those potent anabolic steroids that have helped thousands of professional sportsmen and celebrities to realize their dreams. Having no effect on the liver, this anabolic product helps users redefine performance improvements on a continuous basis. It has the ability to stimulate the body to produce more active testosterone. In addition, it is also effective in reducing the levels of androgenic DHT and female estrogen. The recommended dose of this medication from our list of best steroids is 10, 2-3 mg per kilogram per week. The doses can be taken with or without meals. This drug is not recommended for girls and women unless otherwise recommended by a physician. Primobolan is usually stacked with Dianabol, Clenbuterol, and Anadrol during a steroid cycle.
Also known as Oxymetholone, Anadrol finds an important place in this list of top 10 best steroids. This is simply because this steroid is one of the most effective of all oral steroids when it comes to improving muscle size and helping athletes facing injuries. Not only that, it is equally effective in improving the number of red blood cells and helps the body to absorb more oxygen. This drug is medically recommended for persons suffering from congenital anemia (aplastic anemia, acquired aplastic anemia or hypoplastic anemia). The recommended daily dose of this medication is 1-5 mg per kilogram of body weight. It is often stacked with Deca-Durabolin and Primobolan during a steroid cycle.
When it comes to improveing performance, the best anabolic steroid may be Sustanon 250. This performance-enhancing drug is a combination of four types of testosterone: testosterone propionate (30 mg), testosterone phenylpropionate (60 mg) isocaproate testosterone (60 mg), and testosterone decanoate (100 mg). It is very effective when it comes to ensuring improvements in endurance, muscle mass, strength, and of course performance. A unique property of Sustanon is its ability to provide a solid basis for unparalleled quality muscle mass. The recommended dose of Sustanon is 250-750 mg per week for men and can be taken with or without meals. This drug is not recommended for women. It is generally stacked with other anabolics such as Dianabol, Anadrol, and Winstrol.
Success is not far from you when testosterone cypionate is nearby. This derivative of testosterone is hailed as an exemplary anabolic steroid that facilitates peak performance on a regular basis. This anabolic is also useful for ensuring improvements in terms of physical strength, muscle mass, and endurance. The recommended dose of testosterone cypionate is 200-800mg weekly; the doses can be taken with or without meals. It is generally associated with anabolic products such as Dianabol, Primobolan, and Clenbuterol during a steroid cycle.
This derivative of Testosterone is considered by many as the most effective of all testosterone compounds. When used for a period of 8-10 weeks at doses of 500-1000 mg per week, testosterone enanthate offers unmatched advantages in terms of strength gains and also in terms of gains in muscle mass. The derivative of testosterone (testosterone enanthate) is generally added with anabolics like Anavar, Clenbuterol, Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, and Primobolan.
So there you have it.
I have seen each and every one of these drugs used at my gym, and it is NOT a hardcore bodybuilding gym by a long shot.
It’s a luxury family fitness center filled to the rafters with affluent older men and women who want whatever money can buy back from father time.
Now you know why my area of town is rife with ex-Internists turned testosterone pushers.
As every older athlete knows, non-athletes are masters of projection.
Whatever they’d like to be doing – but can’t – they pretend is some sort of psychiatric disability in others.
With this in mind, here are 10 of the most often heard comments from older, non-athletic gym members.
I will dissect each of them in turn…
#1] Don’t overdo it!
Translation: I hope you sprain your knee doing all that stuff I wish i could do – or felt inclined, inspired or otherwise not too lazy to do – so I’d fell better about not doing it.
#2] You’re going to hurt your back doing all that weight!
Translation: I hurt my back working in the garden, so I’ll be damned if you get to lift 400 pounds without at least a strained tendon.
#3] You’re not 20 anymore!
Translation: I’m not 20 anymore and man do I feel it. So hell no! You’re not going to feel one bit younger then me!
#4] Are you trying to win a bodybuilding contest?
Translation: I resemble a human leviathan, so no, you don’t get to make me look and feel irrelevant!
#5] Doesn’t all that weight bother your joints?
Translation: I can’t get out of bed without bottle of Advil, so how can you possibly lift that much weight without swallowing two?
#6] Are you taking steroids?
Translation: Because I look like crap, he should look like crap. And if he doesn’t, it’s because he’s taking steroids, which doesn’t count.
#7] You’re my hero! [Back-handed compliment].
Translation: This is back-handed compliment that is both self-deprecating and dismissive. Sure, I’d like to look like that, but what ‘lunatic’ puts in that much effort without some psychiatric disability?
#8] Where do you get the energy to workout like that?
Translation: I have no energy to speak of, so why [or how] does he? This is also a way of putting me in my place through subtle innuendo that he knows I am, in fact, no longer 20.
#9] I know a man who ended up in the morgue doing that.
Translation: I’m afraid to anything physical anymore as I fear death more than I fear doing the things that I love. So basically, I’m already dead.
#10] Are you trying to live forever?
Translation: What difference does it make whether or not I work out? We’re all going to die. Of course, living better always trumps living longer, so there’s that.
There is no question that we Baby Boomers can no longer train the way we did at 20.
But this does not mean we can’t kick the average 20-year-old to the curb in the gym.
In order to do this, we must train smart.
If you can afford it, hire a qualified personal trainer with a degree in Kinesiology.
That’s what I did and it’s why I’m where I am today.
Your trainer can also offer tips on nutrition, and help keep you motivated.
The most common reason I hear from older men as to why they don’t hire a personal trainer is that they don’t want to commit to a certain time to train everyday.
Translation: I don’t really want to put myself through all this crap. Who am I kidding?
Researchers at University College London found a direct link between major health problems like heart disease, strokes and diabetes, and the amount of exercise done.
Those who regularly undertook moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week were much more likely to be “healthy agers” than those who remained inactive.
People who became physically active during the eight-year monitoring period were three times more likely to be healthy agers than those who remained inactive.
And those who engaged in regular physical activity for the whole eight years were seven times more likely to be healthy than those who did no exercise.
The authors wrote: “Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing – absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good mental health.
“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life.
“The results support public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity.”
This week in the gym was a tough one for me.
I officially entered my 60’s last week and I didn’t take it well.
We stayed home, cooked, huddled together with the dogs and cats and waited for the 24 hour period to pass.
This was not the me I used to know.
That person would raise a middle finger to the wind and pull a gym PR.
This time it was different.
I felt depressed, vulnerable and perilously introspective.
Some call it rumination, a synonym for clinical depression in my book.
Instead of getting over it, I tried to walk through it.
The first day in the gym I suffered a nose bleed in the middle of my dead-lifts.
That blew my day because the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
The next day in the gym I suffered a a bout of hypoglycemia, which made me nauseous, forcing me to leave the gym to eat.
Then I started feeling these out of body experiences, coupled with extreme fatigue.
Yep, I was officially old and falling apart.
Life had it talons in me and I was completely and utterly fucked.
So I called my therapist who then told me that what I was experiencing was a late stage midlife crisis.
I’m beyond midlife by 15 years.
I think of it now as a late 3rd quarter reckoning.
I needed more facts to get through this, but I needed more hardcore facts to get through this so I called my Internist.
Blood work good. Arteries clear.
So what the hell was it?
I booked a 90 minute massage, talked to my girlfriend [who assumed I was losing my mind], then finally had a heart-to-heart with myself.
My nosebleed was caused by a strong anti-inflammatory that I happened to take the morning of a tough workout. Not advisable according to my physician it thins the blood, which can lead to nosebleeds under the pressure of heavy weights.
Note to self: If you want to take this drug, do so after a workout when blood pressure isn’t through the roof [with 450 pounds or more in my hands].
Done. No more nosebleeds.
Blood glucose levels fall when people like me don’t eat enough.
Was I not eating enough?
Not even close.
Subconsciously I have been cutting calories because I prefer to be extremely lean.
But it’s impossible to achieve the look I would like without the help of anabolic steroids, which I don’t take.
So I started concentrating on eating more, eating better, fueling my body in a very conscious and proactive way.
Suddenly, no more blood sugar crashes, fatigue gone, and I felt like myself again.
Funny how that works.
I bring all this up because a lot of things happen below the surface in men like me who feel like adolescents in the bodies of older men.
We’re forced to grow up again and again.
And that’s okay because constant maturity has never been a strong-suit of mine, and reality checks are just part of what keeps me going.
As most people know at this stage of the game, denial is the mother of misery.
Anyone who’s had any exposure to people of means knows that any physical resemblance to average people is a stretch.
For example, it is not uncommon for 50-year-old women to look younger than her actual years.
No lines, exceptionally fit, tanned and polished to perfection.
This takes time, money and the right culture group to keep them motivated.
And believe me when I tell you, what they have to lose by not keeping themselves in exemplary condition far outweighs the alternative.
Having said all of this, as a veteran of these byways, I can spot a 50 or 60 year old women a mile off.
Sure, they look great for their age, and certainly better than their less well off contemporaries. But make no mistake about it: they still look 50 or 60.
So while Ms. Brinkley looks great for her age, she is still 62 no matter how great she looks for 62.
The same applies to me, by the way.
We look great by comparison to others, but we’re still where we are no matter what any plastic surgeon has to say about it.
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.
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
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.
I don’t care what people do.
You’re not fooling any of us.
Be man enough to admit it.
But according to a new study by British company CollectPlus, there’s an age at which we should find a new way to be stylish.
And that age … is 53.
Their thesis is that shopping for new pairs past this age isn’t worth the trouble, because one in 10 half-centurions try on six pairs and spend five days looking just to find one pair that fits.
Of course, I know men half my age who try on ten times that number and still come up empty-handed, particularly if they workout.
Nonetheless, the article claims that the process is so traumatic that 6 percent reportedly burst into tears.
To be frank, I don’t know a single woman or man any age who doesn’t experience some degree of trauma when trying on jeans.
Most of it has to do with dressing room lighting.
The rest involves a designer’s idea of exactly who they want to wear their jeans, which may not involve you.
The key to a successful shopping experience is to rule out body dysmorphia and/or a lack of self-actualization, which most therapists are capable of addressing.
Once you get past that you can wear whatever the hell you want.
But you’ll still have to deal with the crappy overhead fluorescent lighting…even at high end retailers.
Why they do this is beyond me.