In January, I’ll turn 45 years-old. I intend to make it my strongest year.
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.
I will aim to achieve a series of progressive feats of strength throughout the year. Here we go:
- 1 rep (unaided)
- 4 reps
- 8 reps
- 25 reps
- 35 reps
- 50 reps
- 100 reps
- 125 reps
- 150 reps
- 2 minutes
- 4 minutes
- 5 minutes
- 1.5x body-weight
- 1.75x body-weight
- 2x body-weight
Check back for progress updates …