Results 1 to 1 of 1
  1. #1
    Registered User VitalitySeeker's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2020
    Posts: 18
    Rep Power: 0
    VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10) VitalitySeeker is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    VitalitySeeker is offline

    Hero to Zero, back to Hero?...

    Greetings community,

    I may have been part of this board back in the day, it's been so long I can't remember.. I'm getting back into bodybuilding for a different reason this time and I'm seeking vitality rather than how I look in the mirror, warding off bullies or picking up girls.. Recently, I had an "aha!" moment that made me realize I was sabotaging my body even though my intentions were good. I've had stigma about Bodybuilding thinking that it was superficial, but now I'm realizing it may be the best thing to hold onto your manhood/vitality as you get older.

    I'm 37, 5'11", 187lbs, 24% BF (I put pictures in my BodySpace but not sure how to add them to this post)

    I'll give a quick synopsis of my training history.

    - I was a scrawny 130lbs at the age of 16 and I put on 40 lbs of mostly muscle in 2 years following Dr. Hatfield's Scientific Approach to Bodybuilding. It was an inspiring change and I felt great.
    - I slowly became softer as college and my career took priority
    - Around the age of 28 I got into strength training (5x5) and ate a lot to bulk up, getting up to as much as 200 lbs
    - When I stopped strength training I had terrible difficulty losing weight. I basically stayed around 190 even though my muscle was fading fast
    - At the age of 30 I started playing hockey and that slowly became my main focus
    - By the age of 33 my workouts were centered around hockey performance, but did include some strength training
    - A year and a half ago at age 36, I started running to improve my endurance and mental health and that started taking precedence

    It's been a slow slide so that may be why I didn't realize what was going on but I found myself in a situation where I felt terrible. I was hesitant to look up the symptoms of low T but when I did, it was obvious. Constant fatigue, trouble sleeping, lack of motivation, feeling down. I've had nagging injuries that just never seem to go away and frequent headaches. I would feel great after going for a run but I would feel the worst at night before bed and in the morning prior to my run. Now that I know that even running produces a temporary T boost, that makes sense. (I think I was caught in a damaging addiction to running.) And when I looked at the causes of low T, I was checking almost all of those boxes.

    I was running 2 miles almost every day, which may not be a ton, but I would use whatever energy I had left to renovate houses, play hockey, trying to be the best husband and family member I could be, and stay as productive as possible with my other sources of income. I was addicted to accomplishment, always looking to get the most out of myself as possible. This means I also was carrying too much stress. I also was under the impression that saturated fat was bad for your mental health, cholesterol, and longevity so I was cutting that essential nutrient for T production. I spattered in multiple diets that always failed as I ended up completely exhausted and in a bad place mentally only to rebound with a higher weight than I started with. I also thought moderate alcohol was good for you, so I was drinking almost daily and pushing the bounds of what was "moderate", getting up to 3 or 4 standard drinks on too many days.

    I had more down days than I'd like to admit. I wasn't suicidal but I had a frequent empirical thought "What is the point of all the things we do to increase the length of our life. The days are less enjoyable AND we get to have more of them." This could easily be explained by the lack of bacon... just kidding.. or am I? I think all the information about health that's out there is confusing because most of the studies focus on longevity and not many of them focus on vitality. It fits in with the general direction of society as men's T levels slide among other things. And why all the focus on quantity of life instead of quality?

    Anyways, everything led me to believe I was suffering from low T. I didn't have it measured but I don't think I need to. I cut back on how much work I'm doing, curbed my desire for accomplishments, and I took a 2 week break from most exercise. Now I wake up with motivation to do the things I need to do and I'm having moments where I would say I feel great! I feel like I'm back to my version of square 1 and ready to rebuild and reclaim my vitality.

    The research that I've been doing lately leads me to believe that the muscle gains that come from a training program aren't necessarily due to the tearing of the muscles but more the hormonal stimulation that comes from that program. It seems like the goal should be getting yourself into the sweet spot of that positive feedback loop where T stimulates muscle growth and existing muscle stimulates T. I have a totally different view of bodybuilding where it used to seem superficial and now it seems necessary for every man. My impression from the studies I've read is that while training for strength with low reps can stimulate the greatest acute hormonal response, training for size with varying rep ranges will produce the highest continual T levels. However, I think compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench presses etc are the best for both strength and size.

    I think my goal is going to be to stay around the same weight but gain muscle while losing fat and do it naturally. I'd like to be a healthy 15%BF and have my routine centered around feeling great (rather than looking great). I love hockey too much to quit completely and I have 1 official game per week and I need to get on the ice one additional time per week to work on skills by myself (or I will lose all my skills) but that doesn't necessarily have to be an intense workout.

    I never do well with diets but I pack on muscle fast. When I add multiple whey shakes through the day, I intuitively eat less and I think that's a better goal for me. That and eat more veggies. I already avoid added sugar, gluten, and fried foods. I don't really crave carbs but I usually have a banana and some rice involved in my diet. I'm taking 4000IU of vitamin D in the morning. Fish oil during the day. A multi if I haven't been eating enough plants. I was taking magnesium before bed but it seems to cause me to wake up with a headache. I'm afraid of any supplement that claims to boost T because I'm afraid of any long term damage it would do to the testicles/fertility.

    I started a "break-in routine" yesterday found on the Muscle and Strength website (the Start From Scratch Beginner Routine)

    When I was 16 and I started lifting, I did something very similar in the beginning and it worked really well for me until I started more advanced programs. Anyways, that's my long intro. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! If you have any comments on my conclusions/plan then they would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to being part of the community and restoring my vitality!
    Last edited by VitalitySeeker; 02-11-2020 at 09:38 AM.
    Reply With Quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts