Dr Meschino’s Personal Strength Training Success Story
At age 16 my hockey coach took me aside and explained that it would be helpful if I gained some upper and lower body strength, as way to be more effective in my role as a left winger on the team. With some knowledge and experience himself, he showed a few other team mates and me how to perform some basic weight training exercises, using free weights. I followed his instructions and was amazed to see that I was able to gain some initial strength and muscles size in just the first few months. Over the next 25 years of my life I always tried to include some strength training into my overall conditioning program, but in my late 30’s I was primarily focusing on medium distance jogging (5-10 miles per session) and playing some tennis, as my main exercise activities.
As I approached my late 30’s I became intrigued by the anti-aging articles I was reading in various scientific journals, noting that my anabolic hormones were about to decline starting at about age 40, in accordance with body’s natural aging clock. I could see that if I didn’t get more aggressive with a strength training program I would soon start to look and feel like the older guys I knew who had lost a fair bit of lean mass and strength during their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond, and whose bodies looked much older than mine at that time.
Refusing to allow the same thing to happen to me I started taking my strength training program more seriously, and during my early 40’s worked up to performing a split-routine strength training program (see advanced strength training program in this month’s free download), 6 days per week. I was also sure to ingest at least 125 gms of protein each day (the amount suited to my body weight) to help gain muscle mass. I also took, and still often use, creatine supplementation to enable me to train as hard as possible for the 50-60 minutes each day I was in the gym lifting weights.
As a result of this effort, and even though I was still running 3 miles per day, I added 12-15 pounds of muscle mass to my body during my early 40’s (something many doctors will tell you is impossible to do because you’re too old – They Are Wrong!). My bench press went from 170 pounds to 250 pounds (6-8 repetitions per set), my incline press went from using 45 pound dumbbells to using 80 pound dumbbells, and my overhead press went from using 35 pound dumbbells to using 70 pound dumbbells, as examples of the strength I gained in barely a two year period. Today, in my late 50’s I have maintained much of the lean mass I gained in my early 40’s and although my travel schedule is now very demanding, I have lost only a small percentage of the strength I acquired 12-15 years ago.
You Have A Choice: Grow Older Or Grow Younger (there’s no standing still once you’re older than 25)
You can allow yourself to lose muscle mass, which actually begins to occur after age 25, but really speeds up after 40. Or, at a young enough age, you can get on track with a strength training routine that will build some lean mass, sculpt your body, and guarantee that you will defy the aging process as the decades tick away. I am living proof that it can be done, and it really doesn’t take that much to build muscle, or to maintain it actually.
Or you can decide to be like many of the aging men we see around us - flabby skin, flabby muscles, pot belly, slowed metabolism, losing your butt muscles, losing your strength and predisposing yourself to joint strains every time you use a hammer, a baseball bat, a golf club, or a screwdriver. I encourage you to adopt my approach by deciding to help maintain a highly functional and great looking body, by adding strength training to your overall wellness regime. My friends and colleagues who embrace strength training as part of their lifestyle, have all experienced the better bodies and related benefits I have discovered through my own personal involvement in this activity.