40 Is The New 20

In the video below, you will see a reader of the site who is 41 years old and still going strong. He demonstrates countless exercise variations that would humble most men half his age.

This man is not just physically strong however. What I liked most about his video is the creativity that accompanies his strength. He is clearly capable of training almost anywhere with almost anything. He is not dependent on any particular facility. The bulk of his training is performed with nothing but a pull-up bar and ordinary household items such as chairs. This man certainly subscribes to the idea that the world is his gym. It is always open and can be found wherever he goes.

It is also great to see yet another example of a 40+ year old man who possesses such strength and athleticism. So many adults in our world today have been fooled to believe that 40 is over the hill. Sadly, it has become the norm for parents in their late 30s and early 40s to label themselves as old. Speaking as someone in this age group, I literally hear these words uttered on a weekly basis. I am always left speechless when a man or woman who is younger than me describes themselves as being too old for brisk exercise.

40 is the new 20

Personally, I think it is pathetic that society is surprised whenever a 40+ year old displays above average strength and athleticism. I wish I could share these stories as just another day in the neighborhood. There should be no need to highlight this man’s age. We should just be able to appreciate his strength and creativity.

Unfortunately, much of society still believes otherwise. It is not as if people want to become sedentary and unable to enjoy the world around them. The real problem is that many intelligent adults honestly believe that they are too old for exercise. This notion has become somewhat of a wives’ tale that has been passed on from generation to generation.

With that in mind, it is videos such as that above which truly need more widespread attention. Not only do you see a 40+ year old who is strong and capable, but also one who can train anywhere with almost anything. He is truly self sufficient. Wherever he goes, you can be sure that strength and vitality will accompany him.

Yet, perhaps most importantly, these priceless attributes are not just available to him. Strength is readily available to almost anyone who desires it. Ultimately, it boils down to an individual’s willingness to display hard work, consistency, and dedication. And fortunately, you can work hard regularly without feeling miserable. It is not difficult to see that this man is enjoying himself. He obviously enjoys his time outdoors.

In summary, the man above provides yet another example that exercise can be fun at any age, and doesn’t need to break the bank. If you wish to stay active as the years pass, you need to stay active. It is as simple as that. There is no secret formula or equation that is yet to be solved. Strength and vitality are there for the taking.

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“Growing old is a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form.” – Andre Maurois

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14 comments:

  1. I love that quote at the end of this piece. I’ve always love your use of quotes since buying and then seeing them in “Never Gymless” years ago.

    Another favorite quote of mine relative to this topic is, “Never let an old person move into your body.”

    I believe the majority of people use age as an excuse to not exercise. The bullshit idea that “exercise is for young people with energy and flexibility” lets them feel okay with wasting away.

    And then something wakes their ass up – a health scare, which surprisingly doesn’t work as much as you would think or… something like getting divorced at the age of 40, which probably gets more people off their ass than having survived a heart attack does.

    So because this person is “back on the market” they feel the need to stop being disgusting and take on a fitness routine and I trust the majority of them experience more pain than is necessary to experience as the result of doing so.

    Yeah, some of the people are working out wrong and working out too hard and too frequently and they experience pain due to this, but I think this is a minority.

    What I believe to be the death blow of the majority of many a new fitness plans is the severely screwed up deep postural muscles of the person jumping back into the game.

    A good way to think of this is having a mountain bike that you haven’t ridden for 20+ years that has a dull chain on it, tires with small cracks in them and thinking you’ll be fine to take it on the mountain trail. Nope. That’s a recipe for having a bike that will leave your ass walking back to your car.

    The affects of ignored and deprived postural muscles are just as visible as a dull chain and cracked tires and if ignored, will make your new fitness routine a living hell.

    When your body is out of alignment and you start taxing it, it will break down on you and start firing off joint pain signals. These signals, not the muscle fatigue signals, are the ones that make people tap out on their new fitness routines – and even the simple beginner’s act of just walking around the block can activate these signals.

    These signals shouldn’t be worked through with the same routine you’re currently doing that brought them to the light, nor should they taken as a sign that you shouldn’t be working out at all.

    These signals, more often than not, are your body saying, “Hey buddy, your slumped shoulders and non-existent core muscles, and flexed hips and duck feet are making this work a thousand times harder on us than it needs to be because some muscles are compensating for others and they can’t handle the work load so we’re screaming at you to stop making the wrong muscles do the wrong job.”

    The best advice I’ve ever gotten for making sure that exercise could be a consistent source of progress in your life was given to me at the hand of Tony Robbins, who turned me onto a man by the name of Pete Egoscue, the developer of The Egoscue Method.

    When I was around the age of 20, a sports doctor attempted to make me feel old by telling me I had Patelar Tendinitis after I’d started experiencing knee pain.

    He gave me some steroids to take and told me to stop running for the time being and see what happens which wasn’t all that helpful because I was also working for a construction company at the time where I had to be on my feet for 7 hours or more a day with bouts of heavy lifting and pushing. Had I taken his advice, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do the 9 straight months of the 4 days on, 1 day off circuit training routines I did from Never Gymless.

    Instead of listening to the doctor, I listened to Tony and went and bought Pete’s $14 dollar book, “Pain Free” and in probably less than a week, I didn’t have any knee pain.

    I’m 35 now and I have never experienced knee pain, nor had any other consistent pain bother me again, even after sprinting and plyometrics and this is the reason I recommend Pete’s book to any and everyone who will listen.

    Thank you Ross for reminding me of such an important lesson – You don’t have to let an old person move into your body. 🙂

  2. I am 37 years old. I’ve nothing athletic for my whole life, until at 35 my friends persuaded me to join karate classes. Karate didn’t work out, but I started playing football and lift instead. Now, two years later, I have just finished a successful season played as a starting offensive lineman and I can deadlift 200kgs (440lbs) without immediately going to ER. My 18 years old friends on the team call me Grandpa, but I honestly don’t care, as long as I can do it I’m gonna do it.

    Age is just a number 🙂

  3. You know an actor who really surprised the hell out of me? The late Michael Ashe in Cautionary Tales of Swords. He actually gets an action piece where he’s shown throwing a head level spinning kick! And this is a guy we suspect was showing early signs of Alzheimer’s!

  4. Not just the strength but the agility – muscle ups, one leg squats aren’t easy to do and require skill, and the rollouts with 2 skateboards? Impressive, very impressive.

  5. Whoa! I wanna do that! I’m 58 and I’ve decided I’m going to do car rollouts on my 70th birthday and send Ross the video! Gotta go, my ab roller is taunting me again! Pschyed up! Thnx Ross.

  6. Great article, Ross, as usual.

    Human beings are designed to follow the path of least resistance, it takes a certain amount of willpower to fight through that natural tendency and maintain good health through exercise.

    I think what it all comes down to in reality is that most people are just lazy. Plain and simple. Age gives them the perfect excuse to not exercise and instead of blaming their slow decline on a lazy attitude they instead tell everybody something like ‘ohh well you know when I was young I was the fittest man in the gym, but kid once you hit a certain age everything is downhill and you cannot make anymore progress, it’s a fact of life’

    What a disgusting and poisonous mentality to teach the young, to give them the idea that an unhealthy future is inevitable. Absolutely horrible, up their with hypnotising the young into religious ideology.

    When you see a man in his forties or fifties (which from a health perspective in this day and age is actually pretty damn young) who is fat and can hardly walk up the stairs, that isn’t a reflection of his age per se but a reflection of doing fuck all but sitting on the sofa for the past 20 odd years. A reflection of waking up in the morning, having a shitty breakfast, sitting on the train for 1 hr, walking into the office, then sitting on his office chair for 6 hours, then sitting on the train for another hour, before arriving home in the evening to sit down on the sofa, crack open a bear and eat some chicken nuggets and tomato sauce while he watches the television. Most people do fuck all their entire lives, how do the expect to
    end up? Pathetic that they blame it all on age in and of itself.

    The human body will mirror what you do with it. You will end up with the body that you deserve based upon how you treated it.

    Older people with poor fitness are the result and inevitability of mistreating the body for x amount of years. Their poor health and fat body was created through years of no training and mistreating the body. They did that to themselves. Age has very little to do with it.

  7. Great article and video Ross. I really enjoy these inspirational postings as I am approaching 50 myself. Those car roll-outs were absolutely sick!

  8. This is a great article, the opinions written are very close to my own. Love the first comments too, btw I’m 41 and been doing calisthenics for the past 3 years not up to this guys level but this kinda post keeps the fires burning strong.

  9. Ross Im 46 in the next month, Ive trained since my early teens and my passion is still as strong. The body has the ability to adapt and repair to the stresses placed upon it and that continues until you die, and I will train until that day arrives. Training keeps me looking young and feeling strong,More importantly there is no better feeling that knocking out some pushups and along comes your 2 year old daughter who tries to do some herself. Yea been an inspiration to your kids thats a great feeling. So thanks Sly to that first every Rocky movie, you inspired me, Ive been training ever since. Nick

  10. I love posts like this. I agree wholeheartedly with Ross and all the commenters – especially @Jake. I hate when older people blame age for being weak and out of shape. The only thing age has to do with being out of shape is that your body has had more time to atrophy. Yeah, maybe you are 60, and at 25 you were in better shape. But that is only because at 25 it was only 5 years since you last got off the couch, but now it has been 40 years!!!

    I am 47 and have done some form of exercise since college. I regret stopping martial arts training in my mid-20s but I always did something, such as running, biking or gym workouts. At 42 I got back into martial arts and a year or two later shifted from kickboxing to Brazilian jiu-jitsu despite never having done any grappling before. I now do that two or three times per week, including sparring with just about all opponents being much younger and many also heavier. I hit the gym two or three times per week for a combination of strength training and conditioning/metcon. Five to six workouts per week in total between BJJ and gym. Hope that inspires everyone to keep moving! It is about finding and keeping your edge at any age. The “edge” is a relative place, different for everyone depending not only on age but other factors. Doesn’t matter where that edge is, only that you continue to push it!

  11. Wow, the stuff that he does in that video is amazing. I love the comments here as well.

    I am 41 unfit and want to get myself back into being fit and healthy. I have around 60lbs to lose.

    I don’t drink, smoke, watch much TV but I need to sort my diet out.

    Where do I start with heading towards being able to lose this weight and do the things he does in the video? I realise it’ll take plenty of time but I’m just not sure where to begin!

    I looked at the Beach Body P90 videos and thought that might be an OK start point and to maybe do a keto diet alongside it, but this bodyweight kind of stuff looks good.

    Please can someone point me in the right direction re: what resource would be best to use (and doable!) to get me heading in the right direction!

    I’m going to read around your site now Ross, but if anyone an share any thoughts I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks!

    1. I wouldn’t jump into any drastic diets. Instead, I’d focus more on cleaning up your existing choices so that you can continue on indefinitely. Health/fitness isn’t about deprivation, but rather creating a lifestyle that you can continue to live and enjoy. With that in mind, start by trying to eliminate much of the processed/man-made junk from your diet (food and drink). You’ll be better off eating real food (i.e. items that once flew, grew, swam, or walked).

      As for exercise, almost anything will work initially. You just need to invest your time and efforts in movement. Whether that means walking, biking, swimming, running, etc., it will all work as long as there is consistent effort. I’d also consider adding some calisthenics to your routine, as such work can be performed anywhere. There’s no excuse about not getting to the gym when you become your own gym. You can find loads if ideas within my blog, forum, etc.

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