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  1. #1
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Serious Question: For those over 50, why do you do it?

    Pretty much as it says in the title. I am genuinely interested in why and / or how you do it as it's not the fun that it used to be for me. The blah, blah, moan, bitch, woe-is-me text is below should you care.

    I used to love working out (primarily weight training and swimming) and peaked in my mid 30s. I likes the gains of size and strength. I liked how tailored suits fitted. Then work increasingly became more important (travel, long dinners, late nights and weekends). I accepted this shift in priorities for a very simple reason, the sooner I can hit my financial goals, the sooner I get to bow out of the misery that is corporate life - at least it is for me. My days start at around 7:30am and tend to ends around 6pm-6:30pm with a sprinkling of late calls for global clients. Yes, there are people who have the skills to get paid more than I do while working less. Well done you. Over time I have come to understand who I am and what I can or can't do or, more to the point, what I am morally prepared to do or not.

    So, here I am. On the wrong side of my 50s. Same body mass but a VERY different distribution of fat vs muscle. I have taken a few passes at getting back into shape over the years but (1) gains are limited at best, (2) strength or size isn't going to return without significant sacrifice (work comes first), (3) my genetics were never that good to begin with so recovery has always been long and painful (4) I remember living on steamed chicken, broccoli and brown rice and I'm not going back there and (5) who really cares? I'm not going to look like Mr Jackman nor am I looking for arm candy. Money is far more efficient at achieving that goal. I don't have family obligations and would much rather do something else (reading, watching some epic TV and movies, finally catching up on gaming and listening to so, so much music) with my limited free time.

    For those of you who made it this far, God bless you, that's some stamina. We're in the final stretch... I have marveled at people who wake up at the crack of dawn to get in a workout or a run before work. I tried it (not the running bit, not my jam) and it was the worst 6 months of my life. I'm a night owl which is a bit of a pain as evenings are either for customer dinners or I'm so mentally drained I can barely make it to the kitchen to prepare dinner.

    However, were I to have no work and financial obligations, yup, I would be back. I know that I am physically and mentally in a better place when I do hit the gym. Trying just 3 days per week and failing due to work is more depressing than I can articulate. So, I don't bother. For my reality, the cost of the trade off in lost income is just too high. There is a reason senior executives very seldom are buff (with the exception of endurance people, who are a different breed - that's where sheer bloody mindedness tends to triumph over ability).

    TL;DR: Old. Have other priorities. Why do you still hit the gym?
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  2. #2
    5'18" keyboardworkout's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Registered User Gandog's Avatar
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    For fun! 38 at the moment... Feels good to be able to push more weights then anyone in the area and be a good boxer lol... Big pushers find it fun most the time.. Not like its easy, everyone's different I guess..
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  4. #4
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Talking

    Feels good to keep increasing my PRs.
    Nice comments from women.
    At age 64, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

    My workout journal is here:
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=176385621
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  5. #5
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    Feels good to keep increasing my PRs.
    Nice comments from women.
    I totally get that! Great to hear about your PRs. I bow my head in admiration.
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  6. #6
    Age 61 MajorTendonitis's Avatar
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    I had a near death experience at work when I almost had to free fall off a hydro pole . I had no stamina left in my arms after my climbing belt got stuck on a down guy while trying to get past the phone services .
    I went back to weight lifting after that in order to hopefully grow stronger , and never stopped.
    I have no intentions of doing PR’s anymore , and just lift to keep my muscle mass up . At my age I’m more concerned about injuries , so I am raising my reps and lowering the weight I use.
    I have all these dumbbells and never go above 70 lbs anymore .

    I also find building a home gym has been a great hobby , and I’m always doing upgrades here and there .
    Here’s a few pics of my home gym. I’m changing everything that is yellow to orange eventually .







    This is the best solution I have seen for bumper plate storage . I used 1” floor flares with gas pipe



    My last upgrade . Purchased more bars and the bar rack from Rogue



    Now I’ve got everything torn apart for a new stereo upgrade
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  7. #7
    Registered User Gandog's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MajorTendonitis View Post
    I had a near death experience at work when I almost had to free fall off a hydro pole . I had no stamina left in my arms after my climbing belt got stuck on a down guy while trying to get past the phone services .
    I went back to weight lifting after that in order to hopefully grow stronger , and never stopped.
    I have no intentions of doing PR’s anymore , and just lift to keep my muscle mass up . At my age I’m more concerned about injuries , so I am raising my reps and lowering the weight I use.
    I have all these dumbbells and never go above 70 lbs anymore .

    I also find building a home gym has been a great hobby , and I’m always doing upgrades here and there .
    Here’s a few pics of my home gym. I’m changing everything that is yellow to orange eventually .


    This is the best solution I have seen for bumper plate storage . I used 1” floor flares with gas pipe



    My last upgrade . Purchased more bars and the bar rack from Rogue

    Now I’ve got everything torn apart for a new stereo upgrade
    So wish I could do a setup like yours... Keep it up, I will once I get over what ever is fking me at the moment lol... On top off the normal probs, life's too short to die small...

    Why the 5 straight bars though??

    I was also pushed off a gutter near death, set up by the QLD police and AFP in Aus probably by a family member and his friend for reasons unknown.. Good luck with your progress..
    Last edited by Gandog; 08-08-2022 at 02:47 AM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by MajorTendonitis View Post
    I had a near death experience at work when I almost had to free fall off a hydro pole . I had no stamina left in my arms after my climbing belt got stuck on a down guy while trying to get past the phone services .
    I went back to weight lifting after that in order to hopefully grow stronger , and never stopped.
    I have no intentions of doing PR’s anymore , and just lift to keep my muscle mass up . At my age I’m more concerned about injuries , so I am raising my reps and lowering the weight I use.
    I have all these dumbbells and never go above 70 lbs anymore .

    I also find building a home gym has been a great hobby , and I’m always doing upgrades here and there .
    Here’s a few pics of my home gym. I’m changing everything that is yellow to orange eventually .

    This is the best solution I have seen for bumper plate storage . I used 1” floor flares with gas pipe

    My last upgrade . Purchased more bars and the bar rack from Rogue

    Now I’ve got everything torn apart for a new stereo upgrade
    This is why I love forums. You think you've seen everything and then a next-level-dude, such as yourself, drops in. What you have build here, both physically and as part of your recovery, are staggering. Respect and thank you for sharing.
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  9. #9
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    All the reasons. Health. To answer 'what if' (I had really tried it), Fun. Feeling good about my self. Competition. Self-discipline. Being there for my family.
    Good luck bro.
    It's never too late!

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    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529/1311 @ 205lb
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  10. #10
    Age 61 MajorTendonitis's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gandog View Post
    So wish I could do a setup like yours... Keep it up, I will once I get over what ever is fking me at the moment lol... On top off the normal probs, life's too short to die small...

    Why the 5 straight bars though??

    I was also pushed off a gutter near death, set up by the QLD police and AFP in Aus probably by a family member and his friend for reasons unknown.. Good luck with your progress..
    Ones dedicated to squats , ones a deadlift bar , and well I only needed one more but wanted a different feel for bench .
    The orange one really has no purpose other than looks ,as that cerakote plating takes away too much of the knurling imo . Didn’t know that till I purchased it .
    So in reality 3 bars would have been fine .
    Asteroid 2022
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  11. #11
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    All the reasons. Health. To answer 'what if' (I had really tried it), Fun. Feeling good about my self. Competition. Self-discipline. Being there for my family.
    Good luck bro.
    Out of curiosity, how much time per day / per week are you investing in working out? In addition, how do you manage your diet and how clean are we talking? Given your results, you clearly know what you're doing and I couldn't even get close to eating clean at my best let alone with my current work demands.
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  12. #12
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Obsidian28 View Post
    Out of curiosity, how much time per day / per week are you investing in working out? In addition, how do you manage your diet and how clean are we talking? Given your results, you clearly know what you're doing and I couldn't even get close to eating clean at my best let alone with my current work demands.
    Everyone has priorities, and if working out & nutrition aren't two of yours, that's fine. But I think you have a misconception that most of us don't enjoy working out or that your life/work is much more busy & demanding than everyone else's.

    Proper diet/nutrition doesn't have to be "clean", certain things just have to be eaten in moderation.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Obsidian28 View Post

    TL;DR: Old. Have other priorities. Why do you still hit the gym?

    It's been a part of me since my teen years. It's as routine as eating breakfast or brushing my teeth. I spend about 4 to 6 hours a week lifting and a hell of a lot more doing cardio..
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  14. #14
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Everyone has priorities, and if working out & nutrition aren't two of yours, that's fine. But I think you have a misconception that most of us don't enjoy working out or that your life/work is much more busy & demanding than everyone else's.

    Proper diet/nutrition doesn't have to be "clean", certain things just have to be eaten in moderation.
    That's a very fair challenge. I don't assume that people dislike training but I am surprised / impressed by how many still get a kick out of it. There is also no way that my life is more busy or demanding than that of others. In many ways, I am exceptionally fortunate and privileged. I have hit a phase where when I pry myself from the final Zoom call or customer dinner, there are other things that I would prefer to do to replenish my energy rather than hit the weights. That may simply have to be the way that it is for me, for now. I'm looking to learn from others to see if there is a "reset" that, selfishly, I could practically apply.
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  15. #15
    Time to Work litljay's Avatar
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    Purely vain reasons. I don't want to get fat and sloppy. Though, I haven't been as consistent this summer. Need to get more consistent.

    Also not chasing PR's anymore. I'm running 15 rep sets currently.

    Home gym, though I do miss the atmosphere of the commercial space.
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by Obsidian28 View Post
    I don't have family obligations and would much rather do something else (reading, watching some epic TV and movies, finally catching up on gaming and listening to so, so much music) with my limited free time.
    Everyone has their priorities. Morrowind and Baldur's Gate 2 has been sitting on my to-play for close to 2 decades now but they sit lower on my list than training.
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  17. #17
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Obsidian28 View Post
    That's a very fair challenge. I don't assume that people dislike training but I am surprised / impressed by how many still get a kick out of it. There is also no way that my life is more busy or demanding than that of others. In many ways, I am exceptionally fortunate and privileged. I have hit a phase where when I pry myself from the final Zoom call or customer dinner, there are other things that I would prefer to do to replenish my energy rather than hit the weights. That may simply have to be the way that it is for me, for now. I'm looking to learn from others to see if there is a "reset" that, selfishly, I could practically apply.
    Not everyone "still gets a kick out of it"... at the bare minimum for some it's a part of their routine and they like the various health, mental & visible physical benefits. Like how you brush your teeth everyday even though you don't get a kick out of it because it's part of your routine and/or because you like having teeth.

    Regardless, it's not an "either or" situation... you have time to do things you want in whatever free time you have. Working out just isn't one of them for you. And that's ok.
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    I was a big mofo until I met this gal and we got a dog together. The gal left, and I spent time with my dog instead of spending time in the gym. The black Labrador lived to be 15. I started finding free weights, dumb bells, adjustable bunches and pull up bars in all my rental properties. So I built up my own free weight home gym for free.
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  19. #19
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Because I know what it is like to not do it.... I missed a decade and promised myself I would always take care of myself and workout.

    I set the bar pretty high for myself and probably will never be happy with where I am. I thing that is part of being in this for the long haul. To always demand more of your self.
    RAW lifts
    635 Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATRBZ0gwdg
    585x7 Dead reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yf2ZkdNNNQ
    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    535 Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgVaiTi4-8&feature=youtu.be
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  20. #20
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Obsidian28 View Post
    Out of curiosity, how much time per day / per week are you investing in working out? In addition, how do you manage your diet and how clean are we talking? Given your results, you clearly know what you're doing and I couldn't even get close to eating clean at my best let alone with my current work demands.
    I love your interest and follow up at least!
    Right now I have three firm(never miss) powerlifting workouts a week - about 90 minutes each including warmup/stretch. I do train pretty high intensity/tempo. I add a 4th workout most weeks that is lighter/less intense on sundays. Not too bad IMO for about 5.5-7 hours per week. I'd like to add a couple 30-45 min cardio sessions, still working on that.
    This past 18 months is the first in my life that I've truly 'gone clean' in the sense that I track everything I put in my mouth and have cut back drastically on unhealthy fats/fast food etc. I am very protein heavy since I'm trying to add muscle at my age (so about 200g of protein a day). I still drink alcohol on occasion, but typically less than once every couple weeks, usually 1-2 max.
    Yes there are sacrifices, but in general... the costs don't come close to the benefits!
    It's never too late!

    5'6", 215
    Age: 51

    Results:
    2/26/22 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 501/325/540/1366 @ 209lb
    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529/1311 @ 205lb
    6/20/21 USPA Western drug tested regionals: DQ (bombed squats) @ 192lb
    2/27/21 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 468/308/501/1278 @ 202lb
    10/10/2020 USPA FS meet: 407/303/474/1185 @ 212lb

    Gym PRs:
    513/335/555
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  21. #21
    Registered User Gandog's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Everyone has their priorities. Morrowind and Baldur's Gate 2 has been sitting on my to-play for close to 2 decades now but they sit lower on my list than training.
    Baldur's Gate 2 must be played by anyone who games, or knows how too.. Old school, but like us I guess.. good work on working out.. Leave it with that, dont judge a book by its cover they can be a nerd and hard.. Check out my user name on the American servers for SC 2 season 1 (maybe 2).. 24th 1v1 and top 50 random twos (was 12th and freaked out when I knew how well I was playing, losing last two games).. Not as big as I was or cut, but XL... Skip Morrowind, over rated..
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  22. #22
    on probation weiss1967's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Obsidian28 View Post
    ... I know that I am physically and mentally in a better place when I do hit the gym...

    TL;DR: Old. Have other priorities. Why do you still hit the gym?
    Fuark that was some blabbering, worst read in ages.

    Somewhere between excuses (genetics, money, work etc) you seem to have answered your own question. I won't be wrong if I say most regulars here lift because this is what they are. They are folks who lift. Transients, pretenders seem to weed themselves out of this over time.
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  23. #23
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by weiss1967 View Post
    Fuark that was some blabbering, worst read in ages.

    Somewhere between excuses (genetics, money, work etc) you seem to have answered your own question. I won't be wrong if I say most regulars here lift because this is what they are. They are folks who lift. Transients, pretenders seem to weed themselves out of this over time.
    Indeed. Priorities change as do life goals. I am simply asking to understand what keeps people doing what they've been doing for decades. Relentlessly. Unceasingly. Admirably. Like a a machine.

    For me and for now, other uses of my time have a greater, measurable benefit. The "brushing your teeth" analogy is pretty close to hitting it on the head - thank you for that. Perhaps I will reach a stage of being more prepared to invest time to prevent something from happening rather than achieving gains. For now though, that's not the case.

    For those who love lifting, or who have found that this pursuit drags you out of a dark space, or gives you confidence or quite literally puts you on your feet after life dealt you a crappy hand... Live long and prosper. And, thank you for taking the time to reply.
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  24. #24
    Registered User pondman's Avatar
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    Drops my blood pressure.
    Helps me mentally in life, dealing with life.
    I look kind of dangerous with the large forearms.
    Get lots of complements about my back.
    Woman flirt with me.
    I can do a lot of physical activities that I couldn't prior to lifting weights.
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  25. #25
    Registered User Obsidian28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pondman View Post
    Drops my blood pressure.
    Helps me mentally in life, dealing with life.
    I look kind of dangerous with the large forearms.
    Get lots of complements about my back.
    Woman flirt with me.
    I can do a lot of physical activities that I couldn't prior to lifting weights.
    Thank you for your candor. That really put a smile on my face and I totally respect those motivators. I have NEVER been concerned with looking threatening unless, of course, you have a fear of a shaved orangutan.
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  26. #26
    Registered User x-trainer ben's Avatar
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    i love the calming dopamine , i like what i see and the ability to modify it, i enjoy the stretch of certain exercises, the environment is fun(gym), and i like it when the young girls can't tell my age and hang around.

    the ability to jump from cardio focus and weights is also enjoyable.
    There is an unspoken thing, we are iron brothers and sisters, we are to support each other and...It is our duty to support our brothers and sisters in the iron game!
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  27. #27
    Registered User ENCBBQ's Avatar
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    I do it because I want a healthy old age, it feels good, and to role model to my kids. The average 50yo is quite embarrassing tbh. Most have given up and it’s sad.

    I probably don’t take it nearly as seriously as most here, but enough to be fit and healthy. It’s not a binary pursuit where your choices are to do nothing and atrophy or live in the gym.

    I lift 3 days a week and run three days a week, generally add a day or two of mountain biking. Don’t really do leg days, I tried but I can’t recover to do the other things I love. Some days I’m too tired to lift and don’t.

    It works for me, I’m a fairly strong and fit 51yo compared to humanity and I don’t stress over my program.
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  28. #28
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    I've been training since I was 14.
    Tried the home gym a few times and will never again; I like getting out to a gym where my only focus is my training.
    I still compete and having that show date is the best motivator around.

    Besides that, my wife and I like to kayak and hike so I feel my training, although not cardio based, helps me with these activities. We took the yaks to a big sandy beached state park today and I'm not gonna lie, it felt good to be, by far, the most muscular, most conditioned guy there; especially naturally and 53 yrs old.
    2017 OCB Men's Physique Open 4th place
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  29. #29
    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    OP, it honestly isn't for everyone, I'll say that. Speaking for myself, I'm not quite there yet but about to turn 44 and I don't plan to let myself go again. My reasons are basically health and sex.

    The sex aspect may seem shallow but consider that yeah, if you want a good-looking woman you can get one with money but she's not going to be into you like she would someone that she's physically attracted to. It just doesn't work that way, no matter how many women tell you they don't care about looks. I've seen the difference in the way women act around me now vs. when I was out of shape. They sometimes act downright ridiculous and I just laugh to myself, but it's still a good feeling.

    Oh and by the way I work 40 hours a week at my regular job and probably another 30-40 hours a week on my side hustle which will eventually be my regular job, plus find time to go out once in awhile and do things I enjoy. In reality I'm only spending about 6-8 hours a week in the gym and still getting great results. But as long as you're happy doing what you're doing that's all that really matters.
    Progress from February to August 2022

    1RM's @170 lbs.:
    Bench - 160 to 220
    Squat - 195 to 285
    Lat Pulldown - 195 to 275
    Overhead Press - 115 to 155
    Rack Pull - 320 to 500
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  30. #30
    All the way from the UK clive's Avatar
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    Two reasons.
    1- It's good for my physical health, I hope to continue to keep fit and strong as I move into old age.
    2- I'm not afraid to admit it, vanity, I like looking muscular. I enjoy the compliments, I can wear clothes that shows it off and it makes me feel good about myself.
    Tennis balls?...........my Biceps are as big as Grapefruits!
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