Stronger than ever … at age 45

In January, I’ll turn 45 years-old. I intend to make it my strongest year.

Young me

When I was a teenager, I played sports, including football and wrestling. I was skinny, and fast and strong. I don’t recall specifics. In terms of speed, I was typically the 2nd or 3rd fastest (10, 40, and 100 yard “sprints”) kid on most teams. In terms of strength, I could perform more than 10 reps of both dips and pull-ups. In terms of lower body exercises, I recall squatting at least 225 pounds for 10 reps. During this period I weighed 170 pounds to 190 pounds.

Less young me

After high school, I weight trained, on and off until my mid-20’s, then nothing.

40 year-old me

When I turned 40, I started focusing on my health and fitness again. As part of that, I started strength training. These last 4 to 5 years have been a journey. At 40, I started weight training on machines, and tried to hit each muscle group (back, legs, arms, etc.) weekly. This worked well. I gained strength and avoided injuries. In 2016, when I started training for my first triathlon, I simplified my weight training: standing overhead dumbbell press and deadlift, both performed 1x weekly. I finished my first triathlon and made good strength progress, lifting 100 pounds and 305 pounds respectively, for 1 rep and avoided injury.

Owning turning 45 years-old

Logically, there’s nothing special about being 45 years-old. But that’s not how I feel about it. It feels like a major milestone to me. And I am going to treat it as a milestone.

If you follow my blog, you know that I intend to complete a second triathlon, but this time a Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13 mile run). That feels pretty badass, worthy of a major milestone. While triathlons require strength, it’s a different kind of strength: endurance. Endurance is about enduring something … enduring the water, enduring the bike ride, enduring the run, enduring the pain … it’s mind over body.

I am also interested in strength, and relative strength. How much weight can you lift? How does that compare to your body weight. As we age, strength … the ability to lift a weight through a range of motion … is more important than endurance. Why? It impacts your ability to function day to day. Simple tasks like getting out of bed require strength. I intend to hit old age being as strong as possible and maintain my strength for as long as possible. That will require intention and attention. This is my opening salvo.

The Program

I will aim to achieve a series of progressive feats of strength throughout the year. Here we go:

Pull-up

  • 1 rep (unaided)
  • 4 reps
  • 8 reps

Push-up

  • 25 reps
  • 35 reps
  • 50 reps

Air squats

  • 100 reps
  • 125 reps
  • 150 reps

Planks

  • 2 minutes
  • 4 minutes
  • 5 minutes

Deadlift

  • 1.5x body-weight
  • 1.75x body-weight
  • 2x body-weight

Check back for progress updates …

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