How To Remain Exceptionally Fit For Life

Once you are no longer in the thick of a competitive athletic pursuit, a new philosophy for long term sustainable fitness is worth consideration. High level competitive sport will only be viable for so long in a man’s life. At some point a change in thinking about one’s physical development is warranted. Moving from a peak specialized nature to a more functional and well-rounded level of conditioning is necessary to become a complete man.

After all, the vast majority of a man’s life will be spent outside of those glorious years when he is at his absolute physical prime. And of course, there is much more to a complete life than sport and physical bearing. Eventually family, career, finances, education, faith and fulfillment will pervade your character and require significant attention.

However, physical conditioning should always play a significant role in the foundation for pursuing and becoming the very best you can be over your lifetime. To that end, developing and maintaining power, explosiveness, speed and endurance will pay tremendous dividends. These qualities will bleed into every aspect of your long term success. They will provide you with exceptional energy and the capacity for going all out mentally, physically and spiritually when necessary.

Follow a year round sustainable regimen

Follow a year round sustainable regimen

Here are the 5 considerations required to maintain a high level of physical conditioning over the long term, critical to maximizing your potential:

1. Sustainability

It always seems like such a shame to see the former greats in sport many years later, physically falling apart. Perhaps this is the price that has to be paid sometimes for athletic glory. Even for the rest of us who are not elite level athletes, the same fate of physical deterioration will result if we are not smart.

Consider your physical conditioning as a long term endeavor. Your training and practice should be viable for years, even decades. Employing improper form, overtraining or allowing your short term ego to drive your efforts can result in eventual breakdown and permanent injury. The overriding goal should be a sustainable year round regimen so that you can maintain the mental and physical momentum of exercise—and stay healthy, strong and fit for your whole life.

To start, always warm up properly and make the proper form in your workouts an obsession. Don’t ever subordinate form to performance as you might have as a competitor in the heat of battle. Second, resist the temptation to over train by making sure to recover properly between workouts; as such you will need to be smart about your training schedule. And finally, take the time to heal if you start realizing an injury or breakdown. Be patient and willing to recalibrate your progress so that you can avoid serious debilitating setbacks.

Eat masculine food

Eat masculine food

2. Nutrition

Underlying all the mechanics and scheduling of your training regimen is what you eat each and every day. Consider your nutrition as the fuel for all that you do both physically and mentally. Eating a typically rich modern diet will drain your immediate energy and sabotage your health in the long run.

Eat as a superior man with purpose and precision. Keep it simple by eating whole foods. Eliminate wheat and refined sugar and minimize the consumption of alcohol. Eat your fill of beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, vegetables, nuts and fruits. Restrict your beverages to water, coffee and tea.

Our evolutionary heritage will favor these types of foods. And as a man you will avoid the estrogenic nature of processed foods and consume the proper macro and micro nutrients to promote high levels of testosterone, growth hormone and insulin sensitivity. Eliminating wheat and the excess of other simple carbohydrates prevalent in modern consumption will also help to minimize inflammation and prevent injury.

If you happen to be overweight, go hardcore and cut weight like a man. Consume the same foods above, but at a 25% caloric deficit. There is no excuse for an intelligent masculine man to carry around excess body fat. Of special note is that excess visceral or belly fat will lead to increased estrogen levels. In contrast, maintaining a lean and muscular frame will minimize estrogen production and keep your testosterone and energy levels naturally elevated.

Recuperate properly and outlast them all

Recuperate properly and outlast them all

3. Schedule

In the prime of your youth, it is natural to push yourself to the limit. The competitive nature of year round training for excelling as an athlete encourages extreme levels of physical and skill development. As elite competitors many men will indeed go all out for many hours, five to six days a week. If you are a collegiate or professional athlete or have the opportunity to become one, then this type of commitment is certainly necessary and worthwhile.

For the long term, however, a more moderate and healthy program should be employed. When physical fitness becomes part of your complete character rather than necessary for a game, it is time to take the long view. Your goal should be to develop and maintain high levels of physical conditioning and “outlast them all.” It will do you no good to peak after several years and then start falling apart because of overtraining.

My philosophy is to schedule workouts every other day, alternating between High Intensity Interval Training and Resistance Training. This will give you 48 hours between each session and 4 days between each type of workout. You can go full throttle every other day and come back fully recuperated each time.

Make sure to work your abdominals every day to maintain focus and a rock solid core. Fifty to one hundred sit-ups or crunches will do. But giving yourself a day off between workouts will allow you to train hard for years, perhaps your whole life.

Besides the benefits from sufficient recuperation, this schedule is sustainable in terms of time management and mental fatigue as well. You will fresh and chomping at the bit, looking to forward to each workout for years.

Develop your explosiveness and recovery with HIIT

Develop your explosiveness and recovery with HIIT

4. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

As discussed above, as a man develops other priorities during his lifetime there are only so many hours to spend in the gym, at the track or on the road. So budget your time wisely to attain superior results by using High Intensity Interval Training.

With an appropriate warm up to avoid injury, you will realize superior life benefits by setting a time limit to your workouts and focusing on HIIT as opposed to traditional time intensive cardiovascular programs. Plus you are likely to be more consistent over the long term through a more modest time commitment.

Get in, get it done and get out. Lift, sprint and spar intensely. Increase your power, explosiveness and capacity. Add some muscle mass to your frame, look and feel great. This type of training will imbue you with energy and high levels of testosterone. Long durations of endurance exercise will reduce muscle mass, lower your testosterone, steal your valuable time and drain your energy.

In terms of HIIT there is nothing like carrying your own body weight to develop functional conditioning and explosiveness. Two of the simplest and easiest ways to do so at the “home gym” are through wind sprints and bag work. No expensive membership or fancy equipment necessary. Concentrate on these two training methods and you will distinguish yourself physically among men. You will develop and maintain the ability to go all out and recover quickly, a fine addition to your persona as you walk around day to day.

Invest in yourself

Invest in yourself

5. Resistance Training

In line with the home gym sprinting and bag work, get yourself 300 or more pounds of weights, a barbell and a weight bench or squat rack. Spend a few hundred dollars that will last you a lifetime and pay you back many times over.

By having a weight set at home to go along with your heavy bag, you will make it quick and easy to get 20 to 40 minutes of lifting or sparring in every other day. No drive out to the gym necessary, no membership dues, no waiting around for availability and no numbskulls. Get in and get out, no excuses.

Concentrate on compound barbell lifts. Put your frame under the duress of heavy weights and force it to adapt. Your body will do so by producing additional testosterone and adding muscle mass. The goal is not to be a bodybuilder or power lifter, but to add and maintain functional body strength throughout your lifetime.

Distinguish Yourself

Be smart about how you exercise to stay fit for the long term. Learn what to eat and avoid the seduction of wheat, sugar and alcohol. Create and follow a sustainable workout regimen designed for optimal masculine health, functional physical conditioning and proper recuperation. Combine the power from compound lifting with the explosiveness and aerobic recovery from High Intensity Interval Training. Follow this simple program and you will develop a formidable physical presence. You will distinguish yourself from the masses and maintain a rare physical prowess well into your later years.

Read Next: How To Balance Intense Physical Training With Living Life

152 thoughts on “How To Remain Exceptionally Fit For Life”

    1. ***WHISTLE***
      Flag on the play.
      Kratom jokes are only allowed in sponsored posts.
      10 yards, repeat first down.

  1. Keeping yourself fit should be the standard. I will never understand how guys can let themselves go so bad.
    Oh and don’t believe the lies that women like “dadbods”. They like it to see it on their beta-bitch-boyfriends (husbands) so they will be unattractive for other females.

    1. of course is a lie, the same lie when people say that men like chick with curve and they automatically think obese

      1. Men do like women with curves (boobs and hips), just very few like them with fat rolls and cottage cheese thighs.

    2. Anyone can fall in a rut. I’ve been 20lbs overweight in the past. Get a desk job, work a second job to get extra, lose time to work out and get exhausted mentally and anyone can fall from the true faith. It can sneak up on you like ninja, and you one day look in the mirror and go WTF Happened?!?!

      1. Word and honestly advice that works when you’re a teenager, when everything works, is the road to injury and ill health later.
        There is actually a dearth of real sensible workout and diet advice. Things like:
        You need to recover.
        Be honest about what you can commit to.
        Your personal genetics can have a huge influence on what you should or shouldn’t eat, lift, etc.
        Of course it’s not as sexy as being hardcore but…

        1. I pulled a muscle in my back yesterday doing barbell curls. A few months ago, I pulled the same muscle doing inclined flys.
          My personal genetics is telling me to take it a bit easier. I’d better listen.

        2. Sounds more like mineral deficiency and warming up poorly, rather than genetics tbh.

        3. More likely, poor form by failing to engage the abs at the end of a long workout.

        4. Nah. I know guys who never did the core training meme and avoid those kinds of setbacks.
          Nutrition and sleep are the most important thing. Warming up well before training hard and getting some at least decent stretching afterward are the next priorities.
          You won’t have to face set backs or settle for doing less than you desire if you can master the basics.

        5. This is exactly what scares the shit out of me, any credible reading sources you can share? There’s too much contradictory information out there.

        6. Hey it’s nothing to worry about, partner.
          If you’re interested in that still, I could link some government studies. Much of what I have learned is through trial and error. I got big and bulky in high school, training for hypertrophy instead of just building a base. That was a recipe for disaster that many men can attest to. It took time and effort to learn how this stuff works. I would pull muscles all the time, because I trained like a pissed-off teenager.
          As I got older, I kept getting blood work done until I got myself sorted out. Like most American men, I was almost always deficient in vitamins and minerals, specifically potassium and magnesium.
          As it turns out, some men’s hearts are different from others (depending on your Y-haplogroup, size, a few other factors), so I needed more electrolytes than the average man.
          But anyone on a conventional or even relatively healthy western diet is deficient in magnesium. This is just a given. It’s stripped out of most of the veggies by conventional farming, people who buy organic often wash it out of their veggies and nobody really uses bones and other things to cook with anymore, which is where our ancestors got their magnesium.
          Magnesium supplies one of the 3 neuro-muscular energy systems (ATP, quite essential for strength training). Men who’re deficient in this mineral will often have chronic issues with the muscles, like muscle pulling. It also effects the heart. In fact, prolonged magnesium deficiency has been determined to be the leading cause of cardiac arrest, although it’s usually a combination of that and blocked arteries.
          So I supplement with magnesium, some zinc and potassium occasionally. Plus, infrequently I use some vitamins. I avoid multi’s for quite a few reasons, but a decent (read expensive) b-vitamin complex tablet is a good investment, especially if you’re younger. If you’re older, check the labels and stay away from high amounts of folic acid, as it’s synthetic and too much will build up in your body. This build up has been associated with cognitive decline, but if you’re still growing, folic acid is good. If you’re older a quality liquid form of b12, or powder forms of biotin, pantothenic acid, paba or inositol with a high absorption rate are great.
          If you get a vitamin E supplement, make sure it’s a complete vitamin E. Usually, the cheap stuff will only have one or two of the eight components that make up the total vitamin E, and it’s terrible for you, especially your heart and prostate. It needs to be a complete E, with all eight parts, and you can see if that’s the case on the back of the label. A round or two of vitamin D is also a good investment, especially for men.
          Many swear by cod liver oil, but I’ve never tried it, and it has vitamin A as well as D and Omega 3 fatty acid. Vitamin A is great for skin, hair and eyes.

        7. I always end up hurting myself when I try heavy deadlifts. I’ve always suspected this is because my form is bad, although I find it difficult to figure out the correct form, even having watched countless youtube videos on the subject.

        8. While I never really struggled with poor form, I did have to re-learn how to do dead lifts and power cleans a few years back after some time off lifting.
          Mark Rippetoe has a couple of more lengthy videos on the topics on his StartingStrength youtube channel, and many powerlifters start out with his method. His book is highly recommended by powerlifters, detailed diagrams and illustrations, etc…
          Check out the free stuff first though. Look especially into correct hip drive and correct breathing, those are just as important as footing.

        9. You sure it’s not all that caffeine from coffee that is taking away all your magnesium

        10. That’s a solid point. But I don’t drink coffee or soda. Most Americans do, I’d wager. And most Americans are deficient in magnesium and have been for decades.
          I think mineral deficiencies like this compound social problems like obesity, mental health issues, etc…

    3. Remember when “dadbod” meant “dad strength”? I’ve found that most women like beefier dudes, but like corn-fed, barrel chested farm boy beefy as opposed to office job, pizza and beer, video game beefy.

      1. Isn’t a not-insubstantial part of the problem with the latter group you mention that they’re also “corn-fed”?

      2. I’ve noticed this as well. My wife is annoyed that I still hit the home gym four nights a week and Saturday mornings while maintaining my physique.

        1. My ex hated that I insisted on staying fit. It was very annoying. She’s married to a fat dude now. They seem happy.

    4. I spent the last 6mo dumping 40lbs that i porked on after a bad injury. And you are right: it is always better to be caring for yourself. Nobody can do it for you.

      1. Brings to mind a hokey old Stephen Baldwin scifi flick where people can switch bodies, and a booming industry is established where trainers will switch into your body and exercise for you.

  2. At 37 years old I finally got my diet in line (no booze, low low carb and dairy with full 30 day exclusions). You can’t out exercise a shit diet, but you can out exercise an old body, so after 20 years of battling tendinitis and pulled muscles, I have been sticking to less weights and more full body/kettle bell workouts, boxing workouts, daily walking of at least 2 miles, hiking, hunting, and summer bike riding. I’m below my high school weight, regularly wake up before my 5 a.m. alarm full of energy, and feel as if I have finally hit a productive, sustainable life.
    Take note young bucks, I look back with lots of regret on all the wasted damage done by booze and partying and in my 20’s. I wish I would have funneled that energy to more productive pursuits.

    1. Or is it : youth is wasted on the young ones?
      Somebody with English as their mother tongue give me advice, please.

    2. I wasted my 20s on being a flabby boor. Don’t do it. Regaining fitness is harder than maintaining it

    3. I play soccer with several twentysomethings who already have beer guts.
      The head, it shakes.

      1. If you play soccer consistently with some degree of competitiveness, such as playing 2×45 mins half, FIFA size pitches with 11 a side against semi pros with something at stake, e.g. money reward, I can bet you it will make you one fit cookie
        By the way, I may have plans that will require me to be in the US for a while. If you are in the US, where do u play?

        1. We play 2×30 minutes (league rules), full pitch, 11×11, two refs, nighttime lights. Some of the teams are semi-pros. Others, like mine, are not. Still, it’s thrilling to mix it up with really challenging players, like the Division I college varsity team we played last year.
          My ball handling skills are decent, but as a 6’2″ center back they’re not really necessary. Running, heading, tackling, and smart positioning are my strengths.
          I’m playing two games a week for the next two months. There are organized adult leagues in every major city in the U.S., if you come.

      1. Nope. None. As a bonus, flip the script on anyone who mocks you for it, by heavily implying they are weak and probably impotent.

        1. Same here. No booze. For some reason, alcohol is the only drug that, if you don’t ingest it, everyone assumes you’re the one with the problem. I’ve been asked on occasion if I’m a recovering alcoholic, which I’m not.
          I haven’t touched a drop for two-and-a-half years. I’ve never felt better and I’m 45. It’s ridiculous the time and health I wasted drinking.

        2. How do you deal with depression then?
          I drink to take my mind off the shittiness of my life.
          Also, to ease stress from commuting and work.
          I still exercise & try to eat right (most of the time).
          But booze helps me cope with the bullshit.
          What did you to to replace it?

        3. “For some reason, alcohol is the only drug that, if you don’t ingest it, everyone assumes you’re the one with the problem.”
          Very well said.

        4. Good on you mate. Im turning 36 and have “battled” with alcohol. Im not an alcoholic, never drank more than once or twice a week, but it would be consider excessive in portion. These days id rather avoid it, but i still feel like life is boring without it. Im unsure how ill over come that feeling.

        5. Alcohol is a depressant, its probably causing it. Like most drugs. Alcohol makes you lethargic and feel like shit, no offense but your question is very stupid.
          depression is caused by identifying with your thoughts too much. These thoughts are irrelevant, they should be ignored. The past and future do not exist and 98% of the garbage we think relates to either the the future or past, so if you can understand that deeply, depression dissolves. That way of thinking and daily physical activity to release endorphins and bring up your physical health and mental state, will eliminate depression. No drug will cure you, if you have serious depression you should take an anti-depressant and completely avoid alcohol, join a gym and you will feel better in a month or two.
          Life isnt shit, your outlook is and it sounds like you have been around some people who are hindering you.

        6. I don’t deal well with depression. I’m full of anxiety much of the time. I spend all kinds of time reading manosphere blogs while trying to improve my real life, but it’s a slow and actually quite lonely process rather than the quick fix you hope it will be. But I’ve always found the bullshit, my commute, my problems are there regardless of whether or not I drink. By removing alcohol, I at least remove one of the problems and some of the bullshit.

        7. “your outlook is and it sounds like you have been around some people who are hindering you.”
          An evil demon-witch for a mother who groomed me from infancy to be a bullied victim, an ultra alpha father who didn’t give a shit and never spent one second to train me to be like him, and 12 straight years in grade school & high school of being treated lower than dirt & less than human. How’s that for “hindering”. Been reeling from that for over 30 years.
          Booze & hookers is all I have. This won’t end well.

        8. OK then. Good for you.
          Sure booze is part of the problem. I admit that too. But I do not see it as a quick fix. I use it to make me forget. I do not believe there is a fix for me, quick or otherwise.

        9. yea i feel you man. But everyone is capable of improving their life. No one has it easy, theres always something to deal with you always have a choice. From what you have told me you havent had it “that bad”.
          Why dont you choose not to be a victim and take control of your life. I can tell you right now alcohol will not help. sex is great exercise so long as you are protecting yourself nothing wrong with the later, although a bit of pussy is not worth the money.

        10. Just try to improve a bit every day. It’s really your only option. I realize you’re dealing with some heavy stuff, but if you let that continue to drag you down well, you only get one chance at life. Don’t let it end poorly.
          One thing that helped me get to the relatively good place where I am now is remembering that although I suffered a lot, most other people suffer a lot too. What makes the difference is what you choose to do about it, and at the end of the day no one cares about you and much as you do.

        11. One thing you have to understand is that you have your health and be grateful that you still have it. Even if you are a billionaire and can have anything you want, you don’t have anything if you don’t have your health. Take care of it because that is something money can’t buy.
          Once you get yourself in shape, you’ll feel better and your mood will improve. Then you will attract others with good positive outlook. It’s a domino effect.

        12. I’ve stopped drinking at 20 years old, I think I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), after a night of drinking I get terrible left side of stomach pain for 2 days, feel like death.

        13. Lot of women blame depression on all their problems. Honestly depression is a state of being you can overcome. Compare that to guys on wheelchairs they got good reason to complain.

    4. There is truth to what you say. I would not have a problem telling young people that drinking heavy will harm your health and make you overweight. Me and my sister have work out machines at home. I also have a dog I walk. I heard yoga can keep you flexible. One thing I learn from my stepmom who is from China is practicing Kung Fu stretching and warm up routines help with flexibility too. (She does not see herself a fighter). If people ate better exercised at least thirty minutes a day we not only would have people at a healthy weight but happier people too. I would never expect all men and women to look like models from pictures you see on the internet but people at a healthy weight and women more incline to wear dresses ect would make the completion even out where being a worker, having traits of virtue etc would be more focused on. This would make some people upset though.

    5. Take heart, you are still a young buck according to some of us, and you still have three years to slay it before you turn 40. Not that 40 is even really that bad, as long as you continue to take care…in fact I am amazed at how many women like older men that are in shape.

      1. I would go as far as to say that the world is your oyster if you’re 40 and single. Just lift hard, work on your style and game and you should have a great life. Wine and milk, as the saying goes.

    6. I know the conventional wisdom is that you have to go low carbs to get ripped, but are there any dissenting opinions out there? I eat very little meat, usually just wild-caught fish and game meat (when I can get it) so it’s almost impossible for me to go low carbs. I’ve managed to get down to a 31″ waist and very toned with HIT and weights while eating this way, when I was in my early 40s. Now that I’m nearing 50, it’s tougher but I have some hope that I’ll be able to get good definition again through intermittent fasting (I started recently and seem to be already seeing results). Putting on size is even tougher for me, but I’m willing settle for lean and athletic.
      Anyway, there are any number of trainers on youtube who are massive and ripped who claim to be mostly vegan (The Golden One) or entirely vegan (Vegan Hustle, John Venus) and therefore, I assume, not eating a low carb diet. I know we hate vegans even more than the general public does, but no one here has ever been able to explain to me what these trainers’ endgame is, if they are lying about their diet.

      1. I’m 35, in good shape with a somewhat lean/athletic build (6’4″ 205lb give or take), and been a vegan for about 6-7 years – i.e. when I started giving a proper shit about my overall health. I eat like a normal healthy man (a lot), with a moderate to high carb intake mostly from raw fruit and cooked veggies, and I avoid bread as much as practical. I’m also big on beans and nuts. It’s easy for new vegans to overdo it on old staples like pasta and potatoes, and many will actually gain fat after the switch – and that’s without all the processed foods and fake meats that people like to gravitate towards. Pro tip: Whole Foods and their ilk are a marketing ploy targeted at yoga women and the men who seek to impress them somehow by being more like them (wtf???) – I get all my groceries from the local Kroegers.
        I’ve never been “ripped” in a fitness model way nor cared to be, so can’t speak to how to accomplish that on a vegan diet. My understanding is that it’s neither healthy nor sustainable apart from the occasional photo shoot or beach strut. If you’re big and strong with low body fat and without fucked up skin, you’ll look great. Lifting heavy and cooking your own food will get you 95% there.
        I think most folks hate the snowflake vegans whose MO is “Hey I’m a vegan and you’re a piece of shit carnist! NOTICE ME!” and who can’t even hang out with friends at a burger or steak joint or backyard BBQ because they’re all prissy about it. Normal vegans recognize they’re in the minority and plan ahead and don’t blather on about it. It makes sense to me on a philosophical and logical level, and frankly I don’t give a shit if anyone hates me for it.
        My $.02.

        1. I appreciate your courage in confessing to being vegan on here. Personally I’ve never understood the hatred but oh man, is it ever there. Incidentally, do you ever check out any of Black Pigeon Speaks’ videos on youtube? He’s a right-wing anti-feminist nationalist who sometimes hints at possibly being vegan or vegetarian and makes a lot of good points about the horrors of commercially farmed meat.
          I guess by ripped I basically mean low body fat. Defined abs, for example. I’d like to have them again, and the intermittent fasting I’m doing seems to being doing the trick. You’re probably right that sustaining the Hugh Jackman as Wolverine look for a long time wouldn’t even be healthy.
          Incidentally, I suspect a 100% vegan diet isn’t ideal for health either, based on the fact that you have to supplement vitamin B12 and that prehistoric humans seemed to have eaten mostly meat.

      2. You can increase the healthy fats. A diet that’s >50% healthy fats will eventually get you ripped. You’ll probably still get cravings, though, since your fat and protein aren’t in balance.

        1. I’ve heard similar things I know a guy who looks like Captain America who was on a high-fat diet for a while.
          Good thing I like avocados and live somewhere where they’re plentiful.

  3. Fight. Bottom line. I was thinking about this today. My experience and learned lack of fear through boxing and wrestling has completely calmed my nerves to any given situation.
    My family and colleagues variously describe me as so laid back it hurts. Being caught with a clean left hook from a guy who sparred world contender cruiserweights will without thought turn down the volume on life’s other shit.

    1. That specific hook retired me from sparring effectively, but the point stands

        1. By the way, that wasn’t a racist statement just then. Just the reality of backstreet boxing in England

    2. I was hitting the heavy sack today and realized that even though I have kept up with bag work, I haven’t even sparred against somebody in so long that I would probably have no chance if somebody threw a punch at me.

      1. There’s something almost orgasmic about getting punched. I worried myself so much I quit sparring because ultimately I’m a 35 year old software engineer with a wife and 2 kids and not Gennady Fucking Golovkin

        1. Do you think it is a good idea to start boxing at nearly age 40?
          Especially if one never boxed before? (Just some karate as a teenager). Because I am considering to take up boxing, as I can not help it but I find going to the gym pretty boring, and frankly, even with the best physique at age 40 I can not and want not compete with guys in their 20s. Game and personality, with having a solid financial background, is more to my fancy.

        2. There is no better cardio workout than a fight– the body is flooded with so many chemicals, focusing through them, using them before they burn you out, is incredible.
          You’ll be proud of yourself.

        3. Does box training help growing muscles, too?
          What I have in mind is letting off steam and agression in controlled environment, immerse myself in the warrior spirit, gain useful knowledge in self-defence. But gaining some extra muscles would not hurt, either.

        4. It grows the flexible, resilient kind of muscles that make you walk taller, but that don’t make you look like a douche trying to fill out the sleeves of his Affliction T-shirt. I think of that look as balloons of meat– useful for putting up iron for a set of two, but that’s it. I have practiced with guys far smaller than me who can wind up like a spring and deliver a blow that leaves me bruised for 3 weeks. That is the “sustainable” conditioning that I consider the most… Well, the most manly.

        5. I’ve went to several gyms and I’ll say this: Find a trainer that stresses fundamentals (Hands up, defense, conditioning, etc). Make sure you look at their sparring sessions before you commit: if they don’t wear headgear, its a no. Also, if someone catches another guy with a big shot and still presses hard, its a big no. The object is to learn the technique, but if a guy is stunned and they still do that stuff, it isn’t technique, its just barbarism. Most of these gyms just want money and competitive guys, so beware.

        6. Boxing, without a doubt, is the most Masculine fighting sport that exists in civilian life.
          The very reason why I considered taking it up, even at my age. I do not want to die without experiencing it.
          I will go next week, without a doubt – unfortunately the place is closed during the week-end, otherwise I would go tomorrow. I mean, what should I waiting for?

        7. Thanks for the advice.
          Actually the boxing gym I was considering is real cheap, however the trainer is one of the best ex-boxers in my country.
          Don’t know if it is an encouraging combination or no – we will see.

        8. My current trainer (who actually beat a few famous names) trained under a guy years ago who was real good with great knowledge. But that trainer put him up against beasts and was a tough luck kinda guy, had no sympathy if you got beat up. Trainers need to care about their people. Luckily, my trainer just teaches for the skills, although he will teach pros if they really want, avoiding as much damage as possible

        9. Many fighters that grew up watching Ali tried and got knocked out. It’s been said before, but a lot of trainers said “Don’t copy Ali!”. He just had the genetics to pull it off. If he fought the ‘right’ way, he could have been undefeated from the 50’s to 80’s.

        10. No need to bash bodybuilding folks. There’s a million attractions in the world and some people simply don’t have the time and energy for martial arts; it could even be counterproductive. When you’re at peace with yourself, you no longer care about the schoolyard stuff of who can kick whose ass, although it’s always there on some primal level but when you’re buff enough, you can hang with the vast majority of people in a physical confrontation. The idea that every man needs to devote hours every week into turning himself into a fighter is a bit strange to me; it makes some emotional sense but if you’ve grown up mentally, you’ll probably never get into a fight again so the investment is a bit suspicious, especially if your talents lie in something completely different. We’re always going to need a minority of men who dedicate themselves to that stuff so we can have reliable guards, bouncers, police officers and soldiers but the average guy? We’re always going to need some people to be dentists but I’m not sure if the average guy should practice dentistry several nights a week. I do not see the need to force guys into this restricted role of masculinity where everyone needs to clench their teeth in a martial arts gym several times a week to maintain their man card.

        11. One of my pals decided to try Muay Thai at age 45.
          One week of little muscle injuries, followed by a bigger one that took him out of action for a month.

        12. On the contrary, it’s a lovely way to maintain health– assuming you are inclined toward it, of course (and for the record, I am a guy who “even lifts”). I think it is unlikely that I will ever use violence as a problem solving tool. 100% of the guys in my practice group do it for positive personal reasons– not to train for a street fight.

        13. ehhmm headgear is unnecessary and counterproductive, it reduces your vision, gives additional weight on your head which makes it more difficult to slip punches and also distributes the impact of punches in a way that increases brain damage – the only good thing it does is preventing cuts. There is a reason they banned it from amateur olympic boxing you know

        14. Somewhat. It arguably reduces KOs, as it lessens the force concentrated in KO areas like the temple, for example, and spreads it instead. But it also does have the problems you mentioned, as well as being a larger target.

        15. yeah I don’t think the spreading of the impact is desirable when you factor in the additional brain damage it causes

        16. I do not disagree that it’s good for cardio but simply was not thrilled with your thinly veiled bashing of bodybuilding. It seems to me as if many people, even those with black belts, get insecure about guys with far more impressive physiques and it does not take long for the “ass kick, would choke out” blah blah shit to come out as compensation.

        17. 100% agreed on the punch. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Mike Tyson – “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
          Knowing exactly what it feels like physically and mentally will keep you sharp and focused.

        18. If they were both 19, yes, but I don’t think a ’67 Ali would lose to anyone

      2. Not wanting to get punched in the face is what motivated me to win my fights on the street as a cop. However, once I did get hit, it also taught me that I could take one and still keep my head.

  4. Great advice about sustainable. I’m in the process of putting weights in the garage so I don’t need to waste 40 minutes driving to the gym and back. Just barbell bumper plates for the time being.

    1. I’ve had a basement gym for over 30 years. Only time I miss workouts is when I’m extremely sick. It’s also great when you want to practice new lifts or movements any time.

  5. Offtopic: I’d recommend everyone to read the (e)book “The Flinch” by Julien Smith. Only 35 pages.
    It is about procrastinating and how to face fear like man.
    There’s this place near my house—a boxing gym called Hard Knox. Any day you want,
    you can go there, sit down, and watch people fight.
    The sign above the door says “VIP ENTRANCE,” because anyone who enters can be a
    champion. But to become one, you have to learn how to get hit.
    In a fight, there is a fundamental difference between boxers and everyone else. The
    guys who have trained are different. If you hit them, they don’t flinch. It takes practice to
    get there, but if you want to fight, you have no choice. It’s the only way to win.
    This is a book about being a champion, and what it takes to get there. It’s about
    decisions, and how to know when you’re making the right ones. It’s also about you: the
    current, present you; the potential, future you; and the one, single difference between
    It’s about an instinct—the flinch—and why mastering it is vital.
    This book is about how to stop flinching. It’s about facing pain.”

  6. To hell with your excuses, you can do it. This is pretty much exactly how I lost my 50#. I used a little more fasting but pretty close. Don’t be afraid to be a little hungry. If hunger made you fat, the third world would be obese and America would be thin.

  7. HIIT over 30, and definitely over 40 is a dumb idea, you’ll just hurt yourself.

    1. I’m boring, I just jog or run on trails for cardio. I also lift a little and practice a little IF

    2. It depends on the form of HIIT.
      Sprinting for any extensive period of time when you’re older, yeah. That does sound dumb. I’m in my 20’s, and a lot of the guys I know who were sprinters are already tapped out. Sprinters have a short career for quite a few reasons.
      But swimming workouts, bag work, calisthenics, some kind of fitness apparatus designed to protect the joints, or anything of that nature would be fine. Older men can do these things with no problem, if they are conditioned properly prior to attempting them, or training that way regularly.
      I would even say that short periods of consistent HIIT sprinting would be fine for a man in his 30’s or more, if he’s well conditioned, taking care of himself nutritionally and sleeping well.
      Older men’s biggest problem in terms of fitness is underestimating themselves and making excuses imo.

      1. Exercise has to become a part of your life, but you accumulate a lot of injuries if you aren’t a big pussy. I’m almost 60, need a hip replacement and it hurts just to walk. I could still kick the shit out of 98% of my 18-22 year old male students (exercise and contact sports are not very popular here in Taiwan). I hit the gym to lift and ride a stationary bike 3-5 days a week. Some days I take it easy a little bit, if I’m not up to a hard workout. I read a book on the bike and it’s almost like not exercising, except for the HI part.

        1. Its cool and all. You were not a pussy but you pay the price which fucking sucks. 60 is not really that old.

  8. I have one other piece of advice, and it has to do with a sad fact: at some point in time, you’ll find yourself out of shape. Perhaps it is because of pressing work demands, injury, travel, or some other life circumstance, but one day you’ll find yourself ten to twenty pounds over weight and looking like a sloth. When this happens, take it slow. Promise yourself to go to the gym only ten or twenty minutes a day for the first few days, and live up to both sides of that promise (both getting there and leaving). Lift some weights, break a sweat, and do just enough to get some muscle soreness. Your dopamine receptors will start to fire, your testosterone will begin to increase, and within a week or two you’ll find yourself becoming that old fitness addict you use to be.

  9. Lift every day.
    No recreational (and thats what we ALL are) lifter is going to go into clinical overtraining…ever.

  10. olympic style power lifting is the way to go in your 40s… Also add in yoga and bjj for flexibility. All that other cardio garbage wreaks havoc on your knees and feet. If you want to be lean show some self control and not indulge in food and drink so much.

      1. was thinking the same every guy i know that does a lot of grappling has a host of injuries – especially the older guys

    1. “All that other cardio garbage wreaks havoc on your knees and feet.”
      Only on concrete. You won’t have joint problems on turf, grass, or dirt.

  11. The male models they have in these photos are not very realistic when talking about staying in good shape. Most guys can work 2 hours a day 6 days a week and never look like that, unless PEDs are involved.
    To be built like that without the juice is quite rare, takes special genetics.

  12. People might not want to hear this, but for long term health you need to get your resting heart rate down below 60 pm. Google sympathetic and parasympathtic nervous system and low intensity long duration cardio.
    Cliff notes: excercise (any excercise) and get your hr to 180-age with a range of 10 below that for 60-90 mins. This allows the body to fill the left ventricle to its maximum volume before pumping eventually increasing its volume, thus lowering the number of times you heart needs to beat to pump the same amount of blood, also tunes your aerobic system, which is essential for health.
    Most will need to do this 3 times a week for at least a few months, good news is that once you achieve that then maintanance is easy.
    Ive gone from from 66 bpm to 60 bpm in one month, another couple of months and i should get to my goal 50-55 bpm.

    1. This guy gets it. There’s a lot more to conditioning and energy systems development than just “going hard.”

  13. Max Panzer presents a good article. He errs only in point five.
    One can do resistance training without barbells, weight bench or squat rack. The bench is a cheat for pec dev. Behind-the-neck squats are among the worst exercises as the load transfers through the spine to the hip, knee and ankle joints rather than the glutes, hams, quads and calves.
    You only need these:
    1. Pull ups, push ups (of all kinds), squats (step ups, split squats, Zerchers). Wear weighted vests, back packs.
    2. Hill sprints run at intervals.
    3. Elasticity work (base rotation, side-to-side jumping, split jumps, squat jumps).
    4. Abs/core work (bicycles, hanging crunches, etc).
    5. Stretching on off days is crucial to correct imbalances and release nerves.
    There are too many dopey comments below.
    1. No one needs steroids to become fit and strong. One needs only work and perseverance.
    2. Olympic lifts are specialized and require serious athletic training to perform such lifts right.
    3. Lifting everyday the same muscle groups is stupidity expressed.
    4. HIIT over 40 is not a dumb idea. Claiming it is, well, is stupidity expressed.

    1. Hercules, Achilles, Ajax did not lift weights.
      Calisthenics does it all. Pushups, pull-ups, handstand pushups, squats, lunges.
      Once this gets easy you work up to one-handed and one-legged.

  14. There is an additional reason for staying fit for many decades. It will increase your chances of achieving actuarial escape velocity.

    1. As I got older, I found it harder to cum. I have to be in good enough shape to give a girl a good 30-45 minute pounding.

  15. Having lifelong fitness and health has a lot to do with what one does to earn a living. Considering it takes up substantial time most days of week, one’s career has big bearing on physical & mental fitness in later life.
    Jobs that demand a lot of thinking and/or talking, mostly involve sitting down in front of screens, participating in meetings etc.. not going to benefit physical fitness unless specific time is allocated each day to fitness routine.
    When one gets older, priorities of time take bigger consideration than when young. Tending to family, personal relationships and just general relaxation outside of work use up most waking hours of 24 hr cycle.
    One of the most important things I’ve found in later life (early 50’s) is maintaining healthy testosterone levels as much as is practical. It’s a big motivator to being inspired for continuing male oriented healthy living. Having said that though, personality structure inclined to self discipline and focus is of major benefit to this pursuit.

  16. I’m 35. Lifelong weight lifter and former power lifter. I agree changes must be made as we age. I for one no longer train as heavy as I once did, because quite frankly, I’m no longer training for power lifting and my broken body and injuries can’t take it anymore. But I still lift hard, just with adjusted expectations. All things considered, I have a pretty damn good body for 35. I’m not shredded, but I’m mostly lean and very muscular. As you age, you can still train hard, but there are some adjustments in expectations

    1. Yes. I’ll be 37 in 2 weeks. You are correct; you must adjust as you get older. Be a little more careful, a little slower at times.

  17. I find nutrition to be one of those things that’s easy if you are consistent. For example, if I haven’t had any sweets in a few weeks, I don’t really crave it. If I have a sweet dessert or two, I want something sweet every day.
    Also another thing that I’ve noticed that worked best for me when it comes to weight lifting. High frequency and high volume with some sort of heavy compound lifts like squats and deadlifts at least 5x per week.

  18. I recommend Steve Maxwell site. 64 year old 5th degree bjj black belt, still on the mat.

    1. Used to train in Gracie JJ when Steve was a blue belt running his gym in Philly. The man is really passionate about his craft.

  19. Not relevant to the article, but I wanted to post an article here. I wanted to change my pass and log into my author profile but can’t. Seems like a technical issue. Can mods look into it ?
    I’ll try later as well.

  20. Good points. As a 33 year old who lost 50 pounds and kept it off for over 5 years, I’d like to tell the heavier guys:
    Everything gets better when you cut that body fat. Blood pressure is healthier. Sleep is better. Your dick works better. Your estrogen goes down. You feel unstoppable. And obviously you look great. Women start doing double takes. It feels great.
    All of that together equals crazy confidence. My sex life and business life skyrocketed. My friends see me now as this successful womanizer world traveler… which is what I always dreamed about as a chubby office jockey.
    If you’re worried about getting too skinny, don’t. The benefits of cutting fat far outweigh the benefits of being Overweight long term. Regardless, You can start building lean muscle slowly over the next couple years.
    I’m a ripped 172 now and my shirt comes up and off more on the dance floor and at parties than I can help. All the other average dudes look on in envy as their girls stop paying attention to them.
    Yes We all love carbs and drinking with girls but if you just take 3-5 months cutting back, you’ll add an infinite amount of happiness and success to the rest of your life!

  21. “Make sure to work your abdominals every day to maintain focus and a rock solid core. Fifty to one hundred sit-ups or crunches will do.”
    Opinions on this? I’ve had bodybuilders and other ripped guys tell me they do no abs work whatsoever and that abs are made in the kitchen. In addition, I’ve heard the opinion that sit-ups and crunches are next-to-useless. I find that how my abs look has a lot more to do with how I eat. I just started intermittent fasting hoping that will help get my toned abs back (I’m pushing 50, it’s tough at my age) among other supposed health benefits.

    1. Once I passed 50, diet became much more important to my physique than exercise. I work my abs with three exercises but, if I overdo the beer and pizza, it all goes to waist.
      (See what I did there…)

      1. I found that that happened after about 30. That is, when I was in my 20s my diet consisted mainly of pancakes and Arby’s and I still had flat abs and a lot of definition. Now I look pretty good for a guy pushing 50, but I could easily be obese in a month or so if I let myself go. Any definition in the abs seems to go away after a single cheat day.

  22. get a power tower with a pullup and dip station,get a duffel bag and fill it with gravel(for legs and full body lifts)… cheap,and will put you above 99 percent of the population.

    1. Pullup stations are great. I have one. Most come with dip bars, which are also an excellent tricep builder.

  23. 2 mile run a day with 30 minutes of high intensity cardio+ weight training with 2 days off a month is what got me into shape.. of course no booze, low carbs, maybe a cheat day on thanksgiving
    about 6 months difference. no pinning, although i do take a pro with liver protection. I do not need more muscle on a 5’8″ frame i am about 190 in after shot

  24. Great advice, I’ve just hit my mid 20s and am starting to realize the value of working out and eating healthy. I’ve had very many gym instructors but they all seem to have contradicting information with regards work out programs. Do you have any reading material you can recommend to me i just don’t want to hurt myself doing work outs.

  25. Don’t forget cycling to become Quadzilla. If you suffer from Flat-Assed Syndrome (FAS), or Triangle-Assed Syndrome (TAS), from working a desk job, cycling will help this. Use in conjunction with squats.

  26. Genetics are everything. You can’t make a silk purse….
    Longevity is in the genes. Gifted with a high metabolism, you will be thin till the day you die—no beer belly. Low metabolism and you have to work like an SOB to maintain your body.

  27. I’m 45 now. The doctor says I’m in great shape. I feel great. Maybe better than ever, and I spent many years serving a rigorous life in a Scout Platoon.
    All I do now is avoid sugar, eat my greens and lots of protein and STAY ACTIVE.
    I don’t “workout”, but I do lots of yard work, build furniture, restore engines, experiment with electronics and such. I’m always moving. I work at a desk all day as a mechanical engineer, but when I get home at 5:00pm I’m in a constant state of motion until 10:00pm usually. Never stop moving, never stop learning.

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