I’m not saying I’m old, by any means. I’m 41 and I feel great. I made it past those years where guys can’t resist doing dumb shit without doing any real permanent damage to myself. So that’s good.
If you’re in your 30s, 40s, or above here are some of the things you can enjoy about being “mature” as you train. If you’re younger and still in what I’ll affectionately call “the meathead years”, this is what you can look forward to.
- “How much do you bench?” You no longer put all your self esteem in your one-rep max on the bench press. Nor do you care about anyone else’s. You can concentrate on more meaningful metrics.
- All that grownup responsibility makes you better at time management. You know you can get in all the training you need in a few hours a week. No more just hanging out at the gym for hours just ‘cause.
- Vegetables! At some point when you weren’t looking, they started tasting better. Now you can enjoy them on the regular, and not just as a slice of lettuce on top of your burger. You have a better understanding of how to be healthy overall.
- Knowledge. By now, you have a good handle on what types of training works better for you. Instead of hopping on the latest fad you hear about every few weeks, you understand the fundamentals that drive continued progress.
- Focus. You can finally focus for more than 30 seconds at a time without your hormones turning your head to check someone out.
- Patience. After you’ve been dinged up a few times you learn to listen to your body. You understand that “no pain, no gain” isn’t an effective long-term strategy. The long game is about making sure you’re able to train for years to come, not recklessly pushing for a single great workout.
- Appreciation. You value all the things training can give you. Besides keeping you active and strong, it’s a mental break from the stress of real life.
- Bigger Picture. You realize that fitness encompasses more than just lifting the most weight. Your training allows you to be more effective in your life outside the gym.
- Setting an example. Finally now you can be the wise old guy that the young kids at the gym may or may not roll their eyes at.
- You still got it! It’s one thing to be in the best shape of your life at 19. It’s a lot more impressive when you’re still in shape over 20 years later.
Bonus: Old man strength. It’s real and now you get to be the one to use it!
So if you’re entering your silverback phase, it doesn’t have to mean you’re automatically over the hill. Here’s to many more years of making gains.