Can you get fit and muscular at 45?

Ok, ok you’re kidding, right?

No wait! You really can’t be serious, can you?

I am just going to assume that this question is being asked by someone who is for real, has not spent much time in a gym or had much previous athletic experience …of any sort and is asking this question from a position of genuine doubt.

The reason that I am assuming this is logical, a person who has spent any appreciable time in a gym would have seen a lot of guys (and gals) over 45 years old. Some way, way over, sporting plenty of musculature.

Yes, perhaps for someone who has not spent much time around gyms and older athletes, the answer to the question would not seem so obvious.

So, allow me to me to kneel down, raise my right hand toward the heavens, do some testifying and rephrase this question in a more relevant form:

Is it possible to build muscle when you are 45 years old, even if you have never touched a weight or found yourself within shouting distance of a gym?

Yes, sure. Of course it is. Don’t be silly.

However, it’s a bit like learning any other skill when you are 45+y; there will be a great deal of reaching outside your comfort zone, hard work and perhaps a little humiliation involved.

Don’t whinge, whine, moan or bitch about this. Just put these discomforts down to the cost of doing business and get on with it.

I’ve recently answered a fairly similar question here not long ago. It was asked by someone who was 60+y and worried about getting fit. Listen to me, doing so at 45 is going to be a damn site easier (let me tell you). It will present less of a problem and be less of a of an issue than it will 15 years hence, believe you me.

I am going to include some of the same photos in this blog that were used in the previous one. I’ve also perused my backlog questions. And you know what? Training, age and being fit seem to be on a lot of people’s minds these days. Good. They should be.

My answer may at first appear a little harsh and more blunt than it was with the other related question. It is meant to be. Come on! You are 15 (or more) years younger!

Greece 2013. Age 55y.

2014. In my office at BodyWorks. Age 56y.

2015 Morro Bay. Age 57.

…and so on and so forth. And all this from a guy who has a lot of spare hardware installed in various key-locations of his anatomy (I won’t bore you with ugly photos of these items, unless there is a call for it).

2016. Explaining the benefits of LandMine Squats for people with back injuries at BodyWorks, my gym in Guernsey. Age 58y.

If we take a sharper blade and slice a little deeper, we can do a bit more damage to this question, as it is an important one. Simple questions often are.

Should I be swayed by other people’s and society-at-large’s opinion of when the right time is to throw up my hands, say I quit and forever become a skinny, pencil-necked non-person with no future prospects, with a chance estimate for any further progress and happiness in life being between nil and none, until such a time as I shall pass away without even so much as a squeak?

Why let someone else throw you away?

Why waste limited and precious time asking pathetic questions like these of anyone other than yourself?

Do you really need my or anyone else’s permission? Our unvetted and untested advice on a matter of such import concerning your own flesh and your everlasting soul? Why entrust your fate to the careless hands of strangers? Why are you worth so little and their opinion so much?

Why indulge yourself in the dubious luxuries of timidity and self doubt in the face of two stubbornly malicious adversaries like Age & Decay?

Undoubtably, one day they will get you. Creep up on you and wham! But as long as you are vigilant, it won’t be today and probably not tomorrow and when they do come, they’ll have to be cunning, sly and ambush you from behind.

A warrior’s prime duty is to ensure his spirit remains unbroken.

Just go out, train hard and get some muscles.

And that, brothers & sisters, is what I’m sayin’.

Ojai, 2014. Age 56y


As has been pointed out, the assumption here was that we are starting with a novice. The more interesting and difficult problem of getting more muscle onto an already healthy, fit and experienced individual would be an entirely different question.

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