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Determined to get as "ripped" as possible in my early forties.

I actually stopped wetshaving for years because I became addicted to fitness for a while (apparently I can only obsess over one thing at a time).

Last year after a health scare I was laying in a hospital bed and told myself, "If I ever make it out of this I want to get a six pack for the first time", so at 35 I spent the next six months doing so.

It was very rewarding and I learned a lot but ultimately unsustainable, at least the way I was doing it. I am lucky in that I have a fair amount of spare time and regular work hours. I did PSMF-lite (protein sparing modified fast) for about 3 months and got down to 12%ish bodyfat with a pretty decent six pack. I didn't do any direct ab work at all, just compound exercises and lots of kettlebell stuff. I actually became very focused while on that diet, you're essentially just eating chicken breast and some greens every day. I felt like a warrior monk. I didn't really socialize or pursue women during this time because it would inevitably lead to situations where I would end up eating carbs and interrupt my progress.

I went back to regular eating just before quarantine and puffed right back up to 18% even with exercise. Now I'm trying to get down to 10% eating like a normal person (2400cals a day) and just adding tons of cardio, namely bicycling and kettlebell swings, with a few days of compound exercises a week. I'm hoping to get there later in the fall.

I think something that gets overlooked is how important sleep is. Everything good comes after a proper sleep regimen. Your mindset, motivation, hormones levels, everything.

Keep in mind that us older guys need way more protein than younger guys. With every meal I think to myself, "How is this helping me reach my daily protein goals?". Thinking in these terms, snacking naturally falls to the wayside.

What bodyfat percentage are you now?
26% currently. And you got me on the sleep thing. I'm a 6 hour sleeper and I have been for years. I need to start going to bed earlier but I cherish my late night alone time.
Do you drink coffee? I was (am) a die hard coffee drinker but gave it up completely for a couple of months (which was very rough) and after that limit myself to exactly one cup early in the morning. My sleep quality has improved immeasurably.

I'm no expert but if you have any questions I'll do my best. I've pretty much tried everything in the book :)
Do you drink coffee? I was (am) a die hard coffee drinker but gave it up completely for a couple of months (which was very rough) and after that limit myself to exactly one cup early in the morning. My sleep quality has improved immeasurably.

I'm no expert but if you have any questions I'll do my best. I've pretty much tried everything in the book :)
I do. I love coffee. I drink two cups per day, both black. One as soon as I wake up and another between 1 - 3PM.
Diet > everything else, which means it should be much easier if you're busy, less time to make bad decisions. Be prepared, either prepare your food ahead of time (and have some already precooked so that you have something to nibble on), or look up quick and easy meal ideas.

You're almost 30%, just start eating cleaner. I'm sure you have plenty of wiggle room in your diet to just clean it up a bit but still enjoy some things you like. I wouldn't worry about counting every calorie right now, save that for when the going gets tough. Choose something you can stick to and don't try to unreasonably restrict yourself right now. Again, save that for getting off the last few pounds.

Anything works if you put in the time and consistency, which few ever do. If you don't have time for some in depth exercise routine, don't worry about it. Move around more and squeeze in a little when you can. Your diet will mean much more for your end results than the training unless you plan on starting a serious routine.

Eliminate (for the most part) the processed crap and empty calories. If you can't pick it, grow it or kill it, don't eat it. Eating better quality food that your body can better utilize will improve body composition by itself.


Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
have three kids at home ranging from 13 months old to 16 years old
kettlebell swings
I love kettlebells but ... with toddlers in the house IMHO a kettlebell isn't what one ought to be swinging around: those little kids will sneak up on you and walk right into the path of that huge cannonball, potentially leaving one with little or no chance of changing the trajectory away from squashing the poor kid like a bug.

But once all the kids are older, I'm sure this will work well for the OP just like it now works well for duderdo.


I did this in my late 30’s at the same time I was hanging out with strange number of people with backgrounds in exercise physiology.


Within reason and not misery it is extremely helpful to calorie count to the nearest say 100 calories. The reason I say this is it is really easily to accidentally eat way more than a 2K diet. Last time I checked the average US adult intake is something like 3300 calories ( so to be clear the avg person is eating a day and a half worth of food per day ). The important point here is every calorie you eat and do not use turns into fat.

Go slight under whatever your steady state caloric intake should be like 5% 10% max replaced with water. This will naturally burn off the fat without messing with muscle.

Go slight keto where you can ... what I mean is no bread, no pasta no rice, no potatoes ... don’t worry about the rest .. keeping caloric intake where you can. There are really boring reasons for why keto works but for general health do not go crazy. The reason for that is absolute keto can, if not properly monitored, lead to other issues ( cholesterol etc ) so by slight keto I mean .. do not eat glorified sugar by the cup load ( bread, potatoes, rice, pasta etc ) with abandon.

At this point your fat will melt away so you can do definition. For health reasons, that short sprint cardio is good for your heart. Do it do it often. The last is now definition, definition is by definition ( haha ) anerobic muscle exercises. This is the part the gym / the net have down. The anerobic muscle group exercises all work exactly the way they are described so whether you do the machines or the free weight schedules, it’s all good. Just pick one and have fun.

To be honest if you do that for a year or two, and vaguely keep that diet ( I do not calorie count but just eat until I am not hungry rather than eating until i am full ). The definition will stay far longer that you’d expect.
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Intermittent fasting will take the pounds off for sure. You don’t even need to do anything. Just take a few breaks from eating in the week. Easy, cheap, time efficient, healthy and very effective. I do it to control cholesterol. It’s not very hard. People always say “oh I couldn’t do that”. You can do a lot more than you think you can.

Have you made progress?
Not really, haha. No regression either though. Holding steady at 165 pounds down from 186 when I started this. Lifting weights a few times a week, but not as often as I'd like. I'm thinking things will pick up in the fall and winter though. I'm a cold weather person and love to walk/jog/run in the cold. Summer heat makes me sick.
I'm sure someone has said this before...It's %70 Diet %30 Excercise....After my divorce I became a gym rat and dropped 50lbs...Was fairly ripped at 51...Those last 10 pounds to get muscle tone you desire is All Diet...A extremely strict Paleo worked for me and some T boosting supplements too.
If you have the room, the motivation to use it, a power tower will get, and keep you in shape. They’re not good for building bulk, but if you’re willing to put in two thirty minutes sessions a day, and eat right. In six months you’ll be able to give Tarzan a run for his money.:)

I bought it several years ago to keep me in shape between windsurfing seasons. I sailed semi professionally for 25 years, and used to be able to sail all day with just a couple of breaks in between. 100-150 miles, no problem, but by the time I was into my fifties, I needed to start adding a little something to my daily regiment in between seasons.

I’d never use it if it was in a back room or the garage, but right there. With the Kamado on the other side of the door, and I do like to eat some tasty chow. I’ve got the Yin and Yang going on.

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