Someone asked me the other day1 if I thought going to gym was a waste of time since I “clearly wasn’t ripped” and I’m getting older. I originally thought the person was just trying to get in a jab out of some misplaced shortcomings. Then I got to wondering if other gay guys really think that way.
First, I don’t go to the gym to get ripped. I go to keep myself in shape. And while I tend to fall off the wagon from time to time, I don’t see that as a failure. I don’t live for the gym. It isn’t my sole focus. And my own shortcomings, be it laziness or my schedule, are part of the equation. I don’t have an expectation I always have to be at my fittest or that others have to constantly validate my attendance with compliments. If you’re going to the gym for any of those reasons, you’re doing it wrong! I gave that up in my mid 20’s.
To answer the main question, I do not feel going to the gym is ‘wasted’ because I’m not ripped. I don’t want to be ripped. That has never been my goal. I like to eat way too much to ever get to that level. I’m ok with that. I go to the gym, regardless of my current weight set, to stay in shape. I get lazy, complacent, or just willful at times and don’t go. I always seem to gravitate back though. I like how I feel after a hard workout. And as much as a bitch and moan about cardio, I’m getting used to it. I like feeling in shape and fit.
As for my age, I don’t see that as a deterrent. If anything, it motivates me more. Study after study after study has shown that working out prolongs your health and life into old age. Is it a silver bullet? Of course not. However, if it helps me stay active and healthy longer, I’m all for it.
On a totally narcissistic view, I hate droopy skin. Lawd baby jeebus help me stave it off as long as possible! I’m not kicking anyone as it eventually comes to us all, but I hope to avoid it as long as I can. Call it one of my few vanities.2 And don’t even get me started on the flabby booty. Oh, hell naw!
Joking aside, I hope no one reading this thinks they are too old to go to the gym or that it isn’t worth it because they can’t achieve perfection.
In the utterly mundane and shallow, I hit a new personal best at the gym the other day! I’ve come close a few times in the past but now I’ve officially hit 200lbs using dumbbells on the flat bench. And for some that is probably no big deal, for me it is. When I started weight lifting I could barely bench a 45lb barbell by itself.1 To have come this far is very rewarding.
I was actually giddy picking up the 100lb dumbbells for the first time. Hahaha You always see those weights at the end of the rack but being able to actually lift them is completely different! I was grinning ear to ear I was so excited. I know it was silly but I couldn’t help myself. I’m sure I looked like a proud peacock at the time.
I’ve been focused this last year on totally revamping my workouts and focusing on pushing my muscles to exhaustion vs doing a set routine. I’m definitely doing much better than years past. I’ve actually noticed the growth in my arms visually, which is hard to do when you see yourself every day in the mirror. I’ve let go of the idea of how much weight I’m doing and focusing purely on consistency and timed reps. I’ve been working out 4-6 days a week and I’m proud to see some good results.
I’m very happy with where I am, especially since I’m working around an old shoulder injury and two metal plates in my collarbones. And speaking of injuries, my arm tendons have all but healed up. Sadly, one of my triceps’ ligaments is sore in its place. UGH! It is hell getting old. I had to cut my arm workout short yesterday. The ligament has been a little sore the last couple weeks. I’ve been stretching it to minimize the soreness; however, I could tell yesterday it was on the verge of a real injury so I stopped. Sadly, my abs are still covered in a layer of fat. I blame those damn girl scouts! They setup every corner in the gayto and they make a killing! Devils in skirts I tell ya!
In other news, we are headed to Hawaii next week to see my buddy Rick! I probably won’t see the inside of a gym the whole time I’m there. I haven’t been to Hawaii since I was like 18 so I barely remember it. We’re hitting the big island where Kona is. That is where my buddy lives. He was kind enough to offer us a free place to stay so we are saving a shit-ton of money on travel expenses. I can’t take Cooper but he’ll be in good hands with my neighbor Chuck.
Well, I never switched to my cardio routine. hehehe I’m still working on bulking. I just like the momentum I have right now and hate to waste it. I’m doing a routine of mixed regular and drop sets. It isn’t as intense as my last bulking routine but I’m liking it. I’m hititng the gym at least 5 days a week with a 3-4 rest period days every 2 weeks. The rest period lets my body recover. Without ‘assistance’, over-training can retard muscle growth.
I have tendonitis in my left forearm right now. Which is odd because I used to always get it in my right forearm. Go figure?! Being on this type of routine is definitely helping me recover. The forearm band helps alleviate stress. I ice/heat it as well.
I have been doing my legs too! I’m not neglecting them for once. hehehe I’ve been so guilty of neglecting my legs for years. While they aren’t boney, I can still see the difference in my pics now. I baked my legs so hard the other day I could barely walk home afterwards. Lawd baby jeebus, it was rough. I’m kinda getting into my leg workouts though. Large muscle groups often ‘feel’ easier to workout.
My schedule is still my damn enemy. Being on a 10-hour work schedule is a real pain. I have to be dedicated every day otherwise I miss my window of opportunity. The up-side is my schedule is such that I find it easier to stay on track. I get home with just enough time to get Cooper settled from his mid-day walk and then hit the gym right before the 5:00 rush. I’m usually 2/3s of the way thru my workout before the big crowd hits.
I find myself less tolerant of folks that selfishly spend tons of time on a bench while not using it. I always start out polite to get their attention and alert them someone is waiting. If that doesn’t work, I have no problem calling you out for your selfish behavior. In no routine should it take you 20 mins to get thru a single bench set. NONE! Do us all a favor and be courteous to your fellow gym-goers. You aren’t there alone and it isn’t yours. Share like yo momma taught you.
Funny tangent, people often act surprised when I offer to share or let them work in. Sure it might throw off my timer a little bit but that shouldn’t trump manners. There are some exceptions but you should be willing to share if you workout in a public gym. You might learn something or you might be able to impart knowledge to someone who needs it.
Anyhoo, I’m sure I’ll get to my cardio routine eventually. heehee I’m justliking the pump I’m getting these days!
Someone asked me the other day if I thought I was too old to workout? Uh, no. Is that a thing? Is there an imaginary age where [gay] guys just give up working out?
I guess if you’re doing it for the attention or admiration I can see a shelf life. And I’m not judging here. Many of us develop an obsession with working out as a coping mechanism to combat deeper issues.Who am I to cast stones? It’s kind of a natural progression honestly. We used to be thought of as weak so working out breaks that stereotype. That said, I never stuck with working out when I did it to impress others. It wasn’t until my mid to late 20s when I decided I really wanted to be better than I was that I finally stuck with it. I took a real interest and got over my anxiety. Lawd, I was a scrawny turd back then.hehee
Fast forward, to my mid 40s and I still enjoy working out. I’m in excellent shape without being ripped or massive.The latter were never my goals anyway. I feel better after a good workout. Of course, the narcissist in me likes that I get more attention, but that is a side benefit. It would be silly to pretend I don’t enjoy attention.1 I think anyone who works out would tell you the same if they are honest. However, I don’t personally think there is a shelf life for working out. I’m not Miss Cleo so I can’t see the future, but I hope I continue working out well into old age. Working out has proven to help keep you healthy and fight off aging. I might end up an old doddering fool but I’ll be a strong doddering old fool!
So no, I don’t think I have reached an age where I’ll be giving it up. And it’s never too late to start.
Now that I’ve been back in the gym pretty consistently for months now, my dedication is slowly paying off. I’ve put on some more muscle. Nothing extraordinary as I’m doing it the natural route, but every little bit counts, right? I’m currently 215lbs, which is the heaviest I’ve ever been (I think. I’m having a total brain fart right now Lol) Unfortunately, at least 15lbs of that is fat I wanna get rid of, but I’d still be at 200 so I’m happy. I’ve mentioned before my ultimate goal is to hit 230 with around 210 being muscle.
I originally focused on trying to trim back down after my hiatus and shoulder/back injuries. I had the grand idea of developing some baby abs. Needless to say, I quickly discarded that notion for bulk. I can see little changes but since I see myself every day, it is harder to notice the difference. At least others are noticing, which is a good sign. Vain much? Lol And while my abs are still covered under a layer of fat, I’m happy with where I am. I’ve got a couple more months to this routine and then I’m hitting a trim-down plan.
Cutting back on the extra sugar in my diet always seems to help a lot. I found out a few months ago I’m one of those people genetically predisposed to diabetes.1 Not the best news, but since I work out and take care of myself it isn’t a problem yet. However, it does mean I don’t have the luxury of poor eating habits, especially as I age. It is quite frustrating as I don’t eat awful at all. And, I’m also approaching the age where such things become more important. My blood pressure is only slightly higher than normal for a person my age. Unfortunately, it means I have to work harder on my diet. My weakness isn’t eating fast food as much as just eating out. And my schedule is always the enemy. Hehe If I don’t get meal preps done during the weekend, I end up screwed for the whole week. There just isn’t enough time after a 10-hour work day and then the gym to do meal prep.
Anyway, I’m slowly working myself into better eating habits. It is of course a never ending struggle but hope springs eternal…
Since I was adopted, I know very little of my medical history [↩]
I’m trying to find more gay social groups to interact with related to working out and fitness. I use an app called Jefit, which I love.1 It offers online forums and an in-app feed but seem rarely used. BB.com has the BodySpace app, which also has online forums and again sparsely used. *le sigh* Anyone else out there use forums or online fitness groups? Help a brotha out?! So far, Instagram seems to be the best inspiration for me. Sadly, it isn’t really built for 2-way social interaction or groups. That and everyone in fitness there is trying to make money or get "famous". Ugh. Don’t even get me started on some of the bogus ‘fitness brograms’ for sale. Anyyyyyway…..
I’ve jumped from 206 to 214 lbs since I started hitting the gym again. I assume that is muscle since I’ve been hitting the weights and cardio consistently. This is the heaviest I’ve ever been (I think). I got chunky once in my early 20’s and was in a size 35 jean. Yup, size 35! lol I was still under 200 lbs as I had very little muscle then. But I digress, I might have gotten a little heavier after the break up with he who shall not be named but I don’t think I did. Anyway, I could always eat better but I’m doing ok in that dept. I work on eating healthy foods all week by doing meal prep. Shawn and I tend to splurge on weekends; however, my splurges are often richer quality food vs really fatty food. I try not to focus on my scale weight right now as I’m losing and gaining.
I giggled out loud the other day because I was doing arms and I really did feel swole, as the popular hashtag goes. I’m sure anyone watching would have thought I was the most narcissistic bitch ever! And speaking of, I need to sit down and take all my body measurements again so I can create new goals. I’ve incorporated all the muscles I’ve neglected for years ie my legs. lol I’ve always neglected my legs and while they aren’t scrawny, I clearly need to bring them in line with my upper torso. (I’ve said it before but this time I’ve actually built them into a routine and am sticking with it!)
In a related tangent, my buddy Charles has been hitting the gym after several bouts of medical issues. He is an older fella and has really gotten into fitness. I’m always happy when he sends me is new personal bests! Keep it up Charles!
So back to my original rant, anyone know some good fitness groups or apps?
schedule in the gym again! Lawd baby jeebus I am so happy. haha
You’ll remember back around the new year I sprained my back. Well, I also had some minor rotator cuff issues going on at the time. I didn’t think much of it; however, I somehow managed to make it worse. I honestly do not remember doing anything that aggravated it but it got a lot worse. It was serious enough I had to stop working out heavy completely. I spent a couple months maintaining and just doing light weights with exercises that helped stretch the area w/o over-working it. Lo and behold, I appear to have recovered completely. I’ve slowly been working back up to heavy weights in the gym with no complications. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. That "tight" feeling is returning to my muscles.
I’m not overweight by any means but I’m not happy with where I am. That doesn’t stop me from "feeling" fat. Having been back in the gym for 3 weeks in a row now has been very invigorating. I’ve missed it. I’ll never be a meathead but I like feeling strong and fit. Complacency is the devil and greasy food are his minions. heehee I can already see changes in my belly fat even though I’ve put on weight. As of yesterday I’m 211 lbs. Granted a chunk of that is fat but my goal was always 230.1 I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach that goal, but it doesn’t mean I’ll give up.
My fat ass is finally seeing some weight loss. Matrimonial bliss and 2 surgeries put me on the complacent path some time ago. I’m better at getting back to the gym on a regular basis but still don’t consider myself on a consistent schedule yet.1 It is good to see results of my efforts so far and I’m inspired to keep at it.
I’m down about 15 lbs to 202. I could actually put on my "regular" jeans yesterday for the first time in months. To be fair, I could still wear them before but they looked like they were sprayed on body paint. And the idea of camel toe for guys was a major concern. heehee Yesterday, they were snug for sure but looked pretty normal.
I hate feeling out of shape but the complacency has been strong. Video games and erratic schedules makes for a lot of impromptu (read ‘not very healthy’) meals as well. The combo of bad eating and no gym has made for a fat Moby. I can clearly relate to how often you see straight guys get married and then blow up in size. It’s so damn easy.
It doesn’t help that our society focuses on convenience over health in our diet. But that is only an excuse so no need to go down that path. Hope springs eternal….
The desire to get my butt into the gym regularly seems to finally be overcoming my desire to sit on my ass and be lazy. I’ve been slowly getting back into the gym on a more consistent basis.
OY, my muscles ache! Even doing super light weights, I almost couldn’t walk the next day after my chest workout.1 I’ve even been getting up in the mornings to go before work! If that doesn’t signal how my motivation is returning, nothing will. haha Joking aside, I really have missed it. I walk into the gym and I instantly feel better. I look around and see others working out and I’m inspired. Plus, I miss the tightness my muscles used to have. Nothing is sagging or dragging but everything has clearly ‘settled’ and I hate it.
I wouldn’t say I’m back on a completely consistent schedule yet, but I’m on my way. Speaking of, I knew I’d be weak but boy was I ever. Doing a full 3 sets of a measly 135 lbs left me weak. (That is one 45 on each side of a 45 lb bar.)
You should expect more posts about my progress, and a few pics too. I tend to post quick pics to Instagram these days. So if you follow me there, you’ll see more pics.
Wish me fat-ass luck!
If you wan’t to maximize the release of growth hormones for that lovely buff chest, you better be doing at least 1 squat exercise on chest day. The posterior chain is the largest muscle group on the body. [↩]
I’m still struggling to get back into a consistent gym schedule. I just can’t seem to find the motivation I used to have. hehe I’ve gained a few pounds but overall I’m just squishy vs being over-weight.
I guess being in a relationship will do that to ya. It isn’t that I feel I don’t need to workout anymore so much as I just seem not to prioritize it like I used to. Being on a 4-day 10-hour schedule didn’t work very well for me last time I did it so I’m sure being on said shift now isn’t helping. But that is a bit of a cop-out. lol If it was important to me, I’d make it happen. I still go at least once a week, it is the consistency that is the struggle.
The irony is anytime I go to the gym, I immediately miss all the things about it that I like. I’ve just gotten complacent and content. Said duo are turning out to be a powerful combo to overcome.
Yet, I keep trying. I’ll eventually find my groove again. It may not be as intense as it was in the past but I know eventually my desire will override the complacency.