Just a normal 40-something Just a normal 40-something

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Thread: Just a normal 40-something

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Just a normal 40-something

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    I have been on this site for a long time. I have read about people training through cancer, training through serious injuries (not lifting related injuries, life threatening stuff like car accidents and falling off buildings). I am not one of those people. However, I am truly impressed by those people. I am just a normal guy, 44years old now with a full time job, wife and kids, etc... I don't have any genetic gifts, my standing vertical is about 22inches the last time I checked a few years ago. I have never received any professional in person coaching, but I have read several of Mark's books, and I have asked for form checks on here a long time ago, and I have watched a ton of youtube content to try and learn more about lifting.

    I squatted 405 for the first time ever on my 40th birthday. I "lifted" in college, which I am almost embarrassed by what we did back then, but we didn't know any better and it wasn't as easy to get information as it is today. Fortunately, we didn't hurt ourselves and we had the recovery powers of a super hero at that age and so we made decent progress nonetheless. The only lift I remember from those days was benching 225 for a triple and then 245 for a touch and go single at a bodyweight of 170'ish pounds. We didn't squat or deadlift then because we had no idea how to use a barbell for anything other than a bench press and even for that we did a lot of work on the universal because it seemed more idiot proof. Anyways fast forward 15 years later and I was weighing almost 210 pounds, was married with a full time job and finally realized that I had man boobs and not pecs anymore. It was a sad day for me. Like many others on here, I started looking for information and came across Stronglifts which is what got me started. And then with more research I came across the StartingStrength model.

    Being a naturally self motivated person, I set some goals for myself that I wasn't sure I would ever be able to achieve. I wanted to be able to bench 225 for a couple of reps again, squat 315 and deadlift 315. Not long after that, with more reading, I changed my deadlift goal to 405. Hitting those goals sometimes seemed unobtainable. Linear progression was hard. Plateaus from lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, or lack of training due to life getting in the way, or setbacks from injuries or work and family trips were all real things. But in the end, I would always get back in my garage and start over from where I could and start grinding away again. For me, lifting weights is my outlet, my time to work on me, my time to think about lots of different things, to push myself, to learn more about myself...

    Fast forward another few years and I had ballooned back up to 210 pounds. I had been chasing new goals for years now. I wanted to bench 300 and deadlift 500. My bench would always get stuck at 280'ish and my pulls would stall at 440'ish. run after run, something would get in the way, an injury, a vacation, poor programming plan, etc... I changed around some programming and was finally making continued progress, and I wasn't going to sabotage it by under eating. I was feeling strong and healthy and I wanted hit those numbers before I got too old. And I have no idea how too old is, but I know that I'm not as a capable as my former 20 something body and so there was an extra urgency about it. I did finally hit those goals, actually I benched 315 a few weeks after hitting 300 for the first time. I couldn't believe that I had done it. It was a long journey to hit those numbers and now that I had succeeded I kind of lost my way for a while. I went to the gym out of habit, but was no longer really pushing myself like before. My eating got sloppier and I got even heavier all the way up to 216 pounds at my heaviest.

    Then I realized, being fat(ter) and kinda strong wasn't a look that I liked. I didn't feel good, and I definitely didn't like looking at my big belly in the mirror every morning. I put a bodyweight of 185 pounds on my goal board and I am still working towards that number. I signed up for another powerlifting meet with some friends for additional motivation to try and make the 183 pound weight class. I cut out junk food from my diet, cleaned up portion sizes, cut way back on processed foods, and even stopped drinking alcohol (I know, but when you are really committed to something you are willing to make the sacrifices you need to for the goal at hand). It was hard. Real hard. And in the back of my mind, I remember reading on these very forums that if you cut weight you are going to get weaker, that it was impossible to get stronger while losing weight, etc...In the end I didn't care, I wanted to look better and would worry about my strength numbers later.

    The whole point of this long winded post, is that you can cut massive amounts of weight and maintain or even slightly improve your strength numbers. I lost 1 to 2 pounds every week for about 5 months, dropping from a bodyweight of 216 pounds to 190 pounds. I dropped the last 7 pounds with a water/salt/carb manipulation the week before the meet and weighed in at exactly 83.0kg (182.9 pounds). I didn't do any additional cardio or conditioning work. I stuck with my programming plan that had been working and just ate less. At the PL meet I set my all time squat PR of 430 pounds. I benched 281 with a competition pause and this was after a minor shoulder tweak leading up to the meet (and have missed a rep at 275 about 6 weeks earlier because I just wasn't strong enough). I deadlifted 485 pounds which is the most I have ever pulled without straps on a stiff bar.

    If I can do it, you can definitely do it too. You just have to make it happen and you need to figure out what will work for you.

    Good luck and good lifting!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    Love hearing these reports. Nice work, man


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