Ending Strength

One of the consequences of youth culture is that there is not a lot of thought put into the fitness of old people. What little there is on the subject is either aimed at peddling drugs or peddling the crackpot idea that you are as young as you feel. The former looks at the swelling population of geezers the same way they looked at Covid. They are just looking for a way to steal more money. The latter tends to promote activities that have dubious fitness benefits and mostly sell good vibes.

The main reason for this is Americans are terrible at being old. The obsession with youth is a core part of the culture. Every political cycle, billions of words are wasted on what the youth have to say about things, as if being young makes you wise and smart, when in reality you are at your dumbest when young. Of course, young people are encouraged to set new trends and then old people are encouraged to adopt those trends so they can pretend to be young.

This was not always the way. For most of human history, youth was a thing humans were quickly ushered through so that they could become productive members of the family and community. Once children could do useful things, they were put on a course to learn to be an adult. In the modern age, it is the reverse. Once someone hits the age of majority, they are put on a course to maintain the illusion of perpetual youth in order to avoid thinking much about what comes after youth.

The thing is though, you will spend most of your life living outside of your physical prime, so preparing for it and maximizing that time should be important. The old Mickey Mantle joke about how if he knew he would live as long as he did, he would have taken better care of himself was funny because it is true. Good fitness habits in the twenties and thirties are what make for good health in the middle years possible. Good habits in the middle years are what set up productive later years.

Instead of a fitness culture aimed at maximizing fitness over the long arc of your life, the focus is on unrealistically preserving youth. Gyms profit from people hoping to attain a physique that they never had in their youth and probably never would have attained in their youth if they tried their best. In their post-youth they are struggling and failing to attain a goal that makes no sense. Worst of all are the weight trainers who strive to look like Greek statues, so they can post shirtless pics on Twitter.

Years ago, a smart guy named Mark Rippetoe wrote a book titled Starting Strength, in which he laid out his scheme for basic weight training. It remains a classic in the weight training world as it explains all of the important exercises and how they strengthen specific muscle groups. It made a lot of money for him, but it would have been better if it were called Ending Strength. The reason is the point of exercise in general is to extend the useful years of your body to the furthers possible limit.

The proposition with regards to fitness is quite simple. If you are thirty years old, would you trade a few years of looking buff right now for not being able to climb stairs in the final ten years of your life. Sadly, most thirty-year-olds would go with looking buff, but no fifty-year-old worried about such an outcome would take that deal. Yet, that is the way fitness culture is structured and the thumb is on the scale to encourage people to take the buff option, long after buff is plausible.

You can probably blame this on the boomers as the obsession with perpetual youth started with that generation. Prior to the post-war years, youth culture was limited to jazz clubs and the degenerates who frequented them. In fairness, boomers did not invent youth culture, but they embraced it, and they still embrace it. Every potion, product and promotion are sold to them as the fountain of youth. It will not be long before lifestyle companies are claiming eighty is the new thirty.

The thing is though, eighty can be a better eighty, if all along the arc of life the person is encouraged to do the things that pay those dividends in old age. Regular weight training in the middle years with the goal of maintaining muscle mass will mean climbing the stairs when you are eighty rather than buying a stair lift. Functional exercise aimed at maintaining cardiovascular capacity in your thirties will mean being able to walk the museum with your grandchildren.

Of course, the reason no one tries to sell a program like this to middle aged people is the target audience fears old age more than death, so anything that reminds them that they will one day be old is a no sale. Still, it seems like there could be some audience for a program that focuses on extended quality years. The typical white person in American is in his fifties. This is a guy thinking about how many quality years he has left and what he can do with them.

That is the warping power of youth culture and a good example of what happens when the wrong people gain cultural power. Peddling potions and programs that promise to make you look young and buff is good for the sort of people who work at card tables in temporary offices where all the cars in the parking lot are left running in case they have to make a quick escape. They do not care about the long-term health of the population, just the short-term profit to be gained from them.

In a way, fitness is a microcosm for the current crisis in that it focuses all of the attention on the here and now, usually on unattainable or pointless goals, without thinking about what comes around the next bend. Most of what ails present day America is the result of not thinking at all about the second order effects of present actions. Youth culture has created a population with no sense of time. Instead of building something to last, it aims for living fast and leaving behind a good-looking corpse.

What this suggests is that the antidote to what ails us in this age is the rejection of youth culture and the short-term thinking that comes with it. Instead of maximizing the moment, the focus must be on ending strength. The long arc of life, politics and the culture is to be the best at the end rather than the beginning. People who live with the end in mind have full lives and a culture full of such people is one that avoids the present troubles and endeavors to sustain itself for the long haul.


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Xman
Xman
1 month ago

Great topic. One of the things I discovered as a college professor is that most youth are mindlessly conformist. Very few think independently. The entire “youth movement” of the Sixties was not only an anomaly based in Boomer demographics, but the majority of kids involved in it were just following the herd. As an early Gen Xer I have always been frustrated by the cultural hegemony of the Boomers and the youth culture. I got sick of hearing Boomer music like Led Zeppelin and Hendrix by 1980 or so. I never really had an interest in using drugs or sport-fucking… Read more »

Xman
Xman
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

Staying off drugs, not eating yourself into morbid obesity, not getting STDs and not stressing yourself out at work just so you can buy more Chinese-manufactured shit just like the Joneses has a lot to do with it. I smoked in my 20s, I wanted to quit before I was 30. So I did. I drank too much in my early 20s so I quit for ten years. When I was more mature I limited myself to two beers. I did some running, but mostly you just need to stay active and not park yourself in front to the Talmudvision… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Good post. Really leaves little room for more posts or elaboration. Having come from an academic background as well, I might add a bit of conciliatory comment for those “old geezers” out there who are broken-down, sick wrecks. In my youth and now in old age, there are any number of such people (old, sick wrecks) I’ve known. Manual labor, as vs White Collar, is a killer in many occupations. We as a country treat/abuse our workforce and when they “break down” discard them. I sympathize when I meet such people. Much of this opinion is also generated by some… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Compsci
Xman
Xman
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

I think that’s true. Blue-collar laborers are treated like shit and the job does take a toll on their bodies. At the same time most of them have absorbed the Sixties hedonistic ethos and smoke dope, smoke cigarettes, drink too much, eat crap, and have to work overtime to pay for the bastards they have spawned by fucking skanks in the trailer park. In other words, they’re Aristotle’s “slaves by nature.” Sure… roofing is hard on the body, but when you see the roofers at a gas station at 11:00 buying a case of beer, a carton of cigarettes and… Read more »

Jannie
Jannie
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Hard drinking and blue-collar labor go together like baked potatoes and sour cream. It was ever thus, and thus it shall ever be. I remember once a construction worker buddy and I (we both worked for the same firm) were asked by our boss to be the bouncers at one of our clients’ events: kind of a “thank you” to their subbies. We weren’t drinking, but the caterers running the event kept having to rush out and buy more alcohol from the nearest supermarket as they were constantly being drunk dry. I was like “the attendees are all builders, how… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Jannie
1 month ago

And this is one of the huge reasons I despise when you people think the answer is to push young white kids into the trades. Not only do you consign your kid to a trailer park lifestyle, but we also don’t have a seat at the table when they decide we have to drive wind-up cars and eat bugs.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

It depends what you mean by “trades”. I am working with Tool & Die makers who own nice houses, camps, airplanes and such. One has made it into upper management and another is making excellent money as a manufacturing engineer. Many have retired in comfort and health.

Anyone who learns HVAC, Electricity or Precision Machining will be set for life and never have to worry about getting a job or telling man to F.O., because there will always be another job waiting.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
1 month ago

I can go anywhere in the world with my trade and don’t ever have to worry about being outsourced… I make mid six figures just from primary income and my investments are in the 7 figure range…

Xman
Xman
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
1 month ago

Yep. The devil is in the details. My dad was a unionized tool and die maker for one of the Big Three. He had a good life and his body was not beat up. On the other hand if you are working for an independent non-union roofer, paver, concrete contractor, framer, mason, auto repair shop, or trucking company and all they do is slam out job after job after job as fast as they can doing 12-hour days, you will be wrecked at 45 or 50. Some trade jobs provide an good wage and a good life. Others just grind… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Xman
Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Fuck off I guarantee I make more than you and live in a better place than you…I advocate for the trades because I want what’s best for our White Kids…

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Lineman
1 month ago

I did 42 years of hvac and I told my kids to get professional jobs cause its a hard life. Its hard to get cardio or strength exercise when you work out in the extreme heat and cold all the time. You have to make a real effort to at least eat well and get rest when you can. I made it, but by the end I was just physically burnt out. Kids are teacher, actuary and architect and they’re doing quite well early in their careers.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  cg2
1 month ago

My dad was a union carpenter. I guess his title was “floor mechanic”, I.e. installer of wood and computer floors. He used to drag my brother and me to jobs with him. The object was so that we could see what he does so we wouldn’t end up doing what he does. There is nothing romantic about being Joe Lunchbucket. I won’t say what I do, but my brother’s a doctor. In other words, his scheming worked out pretty well.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Lineman
1 month ago

Then you are pushing them into being serfs that serve as high-paid gophers for the (((chosen))) and all your new brown overlords that got dumped into this country.

And, not that I’d share with you, but I’m pretty confident you don’t make what I make. You may have a better house, but that’s because I’m cheap and don’t want to pay the kind of property taxes other people pay.

Jewish mothers don’t push their kids to be welders and I give them credit for that.

Mitchell Lange
Mitchell Lange
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

I know a handy man who is 82, and stronger than I am in my 20s. I’m not weak either, I lift etc. He’s had no vices except sugar and been building old man strength for decades.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

I suggest doing pushups. I routinely do a round of 165–one set of 100, a second set of 65–and this certainly helps to keep the upper body tone and strong. Doesn’t elminiate the middle-age spread, however. Not a whole lot one can do about that outside of an extremely austere diet.

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Good post. Im 61, my dad is 85. He refurbished a kitchen last year, including installing all new cabinets by himself. (He fabricated a mobile lift for just such tasks.) At the end, he could barely lift his arms. The thing is, he thinks, and I agree, that if he stops moving, he’s finished. He’s just wearing out. He smoked 3 packs of Camels (no filter), from his 20’s to the age of 30. Had a widowmaker in his 60’s. Dr said he should have died. I think the reality is that genetics is the main factor in longevity, and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Bartleby the Scrivner
Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

Physical fitness, as well as avoiding stupid behaviors such as drug addiction, alcoholism and wanton gluttony, are certainly essential to aging well. However, one cannot ignore genetics. I come from a line of people–especially on the maternal side–who almost all look much younger than they are. Fortunately, I’ve inherited that trait, even to the point of occasionally getting carded at the age of 56.

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

XMan: “I never really had an interest in using drugs or sport-fucking as many chicks as I could. It’s bizarre to see fat, gray, longhaired 70-year olds still trying to carry on like that.” XMan, the only problem with your analysis is that DA BISHES WANT TO BE SPORT-PHμCKED!!! They NEED to be sport-phμcked. Da bishes be having brutally vicious catfights over the men at The Villages. Clawing & scratching & gouging one-anothers’ eyes out for a mere one-night-stand hop-in-the-sack slam-bang-thank-you-ma’am with a quality septuagenarian Chad. Plus people simply get lonely. An yuge percentage of all Normies are of a… Read more »

Outdoorspro
Outdoorspro
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

I’m the same age and have found the same things to be true. I used to meet a lot of people my age or near it on a daily basis. I always wondered how nearly all of them were so much “older” than me, while being the same age. It’s not like I’ve always lived a healthy life (quite the opposite), but I’ve always managed to stay quite active. I never had to work at staying fit, it just happened.

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Outdoorspro
1 month ago

Yep. All the fitness freak stuff irritates me as much as the slobfesting. You don’t have to do hours of cardio and jogging every day. Just keep active, keep moving and try not to eat and drink too much crap.

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Great comment. The real rebels in the 60s were the ones who died young. What the boomer generation did was to turn “rebellion” into a marketing brand. Just grow your hair long, get some tats and listen to Pink Floyd (ooh, edgy!) and you were giving it good and hard to The Man. This trend has continued to this day. Nearly everyone I know around me who looks like a rebel and has all the right appendages caved to the Covid mess. The people who stood up to it and refused the death shot were usually very ordinary workaday people.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Robbo
1 month ago

The 60s counterculture is now the culture. The anti-establishment rebels are now the establishment. And the results have been disastrous.

David
David
Reply to  Xman
28 days ago

This is a great insight and Zman insightful post hits this overlooked pop culture issue. I am early Gen X- yes, the Boomers had a significant impact on the culture- particularly with the health and aging; It is ironic they hated parents and invented nursing home/assisted living culture. The now are in horror of that reality. My mom is 95 and has dementia- I gave up all to be home and care for her. i can tell you if time would allow the number of times Boomers have told me to put her in a facility, or get in home… Read more »

Maxda
Maxda
1 month ago

I still do some of the Rippetoe barbell stuff along with lots of stretching and maintenance work.

I can understand why people want to hold on on their youth. I’m more shocked at the fat soft youngsters I see. Why be so fat in your 20s that you walk around like an old man? You’ll be there soon enough.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

“Stretching”. Is the biggie. You’ll find out…. 😉

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

Yep. Stretching is maybe the single most beneficial activity that people tend to ignore. I’m convinced certain stretches, done regularly, can obviate most back problems.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Yep, and for some particular deficiencies in posture and such, appropriate strength building in weak areas. Here’s another story (you knew this was coming…). Somewhere along the line a few years back, I tore my right knee meniscus doing some heavy yard work on new house. The pain was the worse I’ve ever had—it dropped me like a stone and I simply screamed until the pain subsided enough to crawl to front door. After a week or rest and hobbling around, I recovered (?)—not really, Next year on the roof, same thing, and this time I could not even get… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

You have learned well, compsci-san…

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Maxda
1 month ago

Obesity has to be viewed as self-harm. I feel the same way about tattoos and piercings. The Indians turned to booze, Heritage Americans and other Westerners to self-mutilation along with the more traditional varieties.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 month ago

Booze is bad, but there is an interaction with genetics. Earlier civilizations that learned to farm grain and afterwards, fermentation, have had millennia more to “adjust” to alcohol. Our indigenous population did not.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

Yes. A stupid observation, maybe, but Ireland and Russia have had cultivated grains a long time and it didn’t seem to limit alcoholism rates there. It certainly is true of Indians and others.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 month ago

There is a lot of culture effect I admit, but I’ll still bet that the incidence of what we’d call “alcoholism” and premature death is/was higher in these naive societies. But that’s only from some authors I’ve read, not actual study or experience. It also makes sense from a view of strict, and harsh, Darwinian evolution. Those not able to “hold the liquor”, don’t make it to the next round.

Forever Templar
Forever Templar
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 month ago

Tattoos I really don’t get. Self expression sure, but man tats usually don’t age well, especially on women. Really only they can be justified if you go through some personal hell or hellacious accomplishment, like you graduate Ranger or SEAL school or win the Tour de France. Otherwise they’re just dumb.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

It is an age thing, maybe, but even beautiful women with tats and piercings are repellent to me.

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 month ago

I don’t automatically write off any one who has tats, because I’ve known some decent people with them. However, they still give off a certain image.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

Tattoos are an element of savage cultures. There’s really no reason for our oeople to have them.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

Or marriage?

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

An amusing image is to imagine a bunch of old ladies at a retirement home all leaning forward in their chairs to taste their soup. As they all lean forward, you see a row of faded tramp stamps above their asses.

Last edited 1 month ago by LineInTheSand
LFMayor
LFMayor
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

Sounds hawt. You have an address to that fishing hole or are you selfish? 😉

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

I do not envy those who will be working in such places 30 years from now.

BigJimSportCamper
BigJimSportCamper
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

They’ll all be minorities, mostly from 3rd world shitholes, a good portion of them are already. I do not envy those who will be chained to their ‘care’.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

Tattoos on chicks, especially pretty ones, are levelling agents. Because we’re all supposed to be equal, beautiful girls, particularly white ones, disfigure themselves in order to sink to the mean. Few of them are even conscious of why they’re doing it, which speaks to the power of the propaganda firehose.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

It was a short ride from pretty chicks thinking tats looked good on them to the same ones believing they could become a man if they wished it hard enough. Humanity is FUBAR.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Tattoos on Women: One doesn’t put a bumper sticker on a Porsche.

BigJimSportCamper
BigJimSportCamper
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

To me, a tattoo on a beautiful woman is like smearing shit on the Mona Lisa.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Slut signalling. Women need a way to advertise to the Chads and thugs that they’re easy. Before the tat craze it mean low cut outfits, tight miniskirts, etc… The problem is that a woman needs to be at least passably attractive to make this work. Even an ugly girl can get all tatted up and every Chad knows he can bang her for the price of a drink. It’s another case of democracy’s race to the bottom in everything. This is also why the number of tats a woman has is inversely proportional to her attractiveness. Tats also tell the… Read more »

Steve W
Steve W
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

Tattoos are to the body – male or female, but especially female – what spray paint is to public monuments. A pretty girl can only be damaged by ink and piercings; an ugly girl can of course “own the ugly” and render herself repulsive, as a protest against nature, which draws my sympathy up to a point. One assumes that all girls with normal hormones want to be sorta kinda pretty. When that is denied to them – pitilessly, by the natural course of things – then, yeah, I understand the anger, the self-loathing, the desire to lash out against… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve W
Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve W
1 month ago

Great post. I will say this, however. “Owning the ugly” is pathetic behavior, not just because it is bad citizenship–such people inflict aesthetic/psychic pain wherever they go–but because it is needless capitulation. Hence, while it’s true we can’t all look like Cary Grant or Angie Dickinson, we can make the most of what we’ve got, even if it’s not a lot. And I would contend that even homely people can, through dint of time, effort and modest monetary expenditure, make themselves at least presentable. I really admire a girl who, although not endowed with natural beauty, does her dead level… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

I consider it a “look at me thing” for the most part. However, as I look at you, it’s sort of a “tell”. To me it implies a narcissistic trait, coupled with insecurity, that I’d rather not deal with. You might be a good lay, but not wife/mother material. No real experience here as the woman who I chased—until she caught me—was naturally beautiful and needed no adornments. She chose me and that was enough for this ugly guy.

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Steve W
1 month ago

I think most aren’t “owning the ugly,” I feel that they truly believe the ink and other disfigurements make them attractive, thus making it unnecessary to put down the fork or hit the gym.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  cg2
1 month ago

If that is the case–and I’ll grant you it’s not impossible–then they are quite insane.

Ponsonby
Member
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 month ago

I read somewhere that the only people who should get tattoos were those who had been in the Navy, the merchant marine, or prison.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Maxda
1 month ago

Excellent advice in this thread, especially the points about stretching to maintain flexibility and range-of-motion as one ages. Most people forget about that entirely.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
1 month ago

Enlightening post. Some of the activities encouraged for “peak fitness” in youth turn out to take their toll later in life — too much pounding the pavement now in distance running and you’ll likely have back and knee problems a couple of decades later. Somehow everything has to be competitive and focused on the here and now — no real conception of the passage of time. Activities like walking an hour a day and the basic yoga poses tend not to get emphasised enough.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 month ago

Kamala tried to tell us: “We were all doing a tour of the library here and talking about the significance of the passage of time right. The significance of the passage of time, so when you think about it there is great significance to passage of time,” Harris said.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

Kamala Harris is the perfect exemplar of the zeitgeist, isn’t she? A vapid old whore elevated while young and attractive, her once-ignored banality and stupidity no longer is overshadowed by good looks. That’s America in a nutshell.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

Heh heh. When it comes to philosophy, Kamaltoe is right up there with the pros!

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Yep. The word “Kant” comes to mind. I’m dyslexic, so I’d probably spell that wrong.

Pozymandias
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

Good to know that the bong water fountain in the White house is working.

Outdoorspro
Outdoorspro
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 month ago

Very true about running. I used to be a decent runner and a pretty comfortable 10-miler. Until the day came that when a ran five miles, my lower back would hurt for two days. I guess all those years doing ski patrol for a living killed my back. So now I ride bikes, hike and paddle for cardio exercise. I does help that I live in a place where those activities (along with winter stuff) are wonderful.

Forever Templar
Forever Templar
Reply to  Outdoorspro
1 month ago

Same, har to stop in my mid-sixties. Cycled all my life, though. Still backpack and hike around with the grandkids. Getting old isn’t all bad, just you have to re-gear some things.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Outdoorspro
1 month ago

Riding a bike, swimming, the elliptic machine — all these give cardio without the wear and tear on joints that running does. Have to admit, though, that nothing quite gives the “high” that running does.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 month ago

I gave up running a few years ago when my knees told me too. Thank you, knees! I hated running. “High?” Never felt it and was always glad when the run was over. I would never run a marathon because thinking “This sucks” for three and a half hours is no way to live.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
1 month ago

Same here. I never understood the supposed joy of running. Different strokes, I suppose.

usNthem
usNthem
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

I always a sprinter – no long distance running for me – long distance walking I do enjoy however.

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Outdoorspro
1 month ago

You Bros who are still sufficiently insane to get on asphalt-paved surfaces and try to compete with internal combustion engines; y’all are literally clinically insane.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13547977/Texas-cyclists-mowed-airport.html

If you can watch a vidya like that and still get back on a bicycle on an asphalt or concrete surface, then I can’t help you, Bros.

Y’all are on your own.

And I don’t want my tax dollars paying for any portion whatsoever of your multi-million-dollar hospital bills.

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Bourbon
1 month ago

WE got deadly bus drivers on suspended licenses around here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7DSi2amJLE

Nick Nolte's Mugshot
Nick Nolte's Mugshot
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 month ago

I hurt my back with barbell training (sciatica). I am currently doing an old program from the 80’s called heavy hands. Walking and doing exercises with light hand weight. It probably died out because it does look goofy doing it in public. I do it by marching in place 30 minutes a day in my basement. I read in a forum that some guy said that he uses a cinder block to do step ups. Combined with some extra body weight exercises, I feel like I am maintaining good muscle tone and my cardiovascular health has improved. Also, my back… Read more »

TomA
TomA
1 month ago

I know some old-time ranchers in their 80s who look old (sun weathered skin) and act old (cantankerous) but can still throw a hay bale. Their super power is robustness and humility. They lead simple lives of internal peace and measure success in hard labor. They see the sunrise almost every day. God has blessed them with a life built around daily physicality that is a natural component of survival. They appreciate the taste of every meal they eat because it was hard earned. To them, a beautiful woman wears no makeup whatsoever. The only way that all of this… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  TomA
1 month ago

The only way that all of this can be reborn is through a collapse-driven return of real hardship. There lies salvation.
As each day passes I’m beginning to think it’s really the only way at this juncture in time…I just know also though if we don’t have Tribe when it does then the dustbin of the future is our fate
I hope that you have that TomA because you need to survive as do the rest of you on this site who have their head on straight…

TomA
TomA
Reply to  Lineman
1 month ago

Yes, I value community and my people as much as you do. And that is essential to surviving the interregnum of chaos that will accompany the collapse. Where I live, enough cattle are raised to feed the whole valley if need be, but game hunting is also plentiful. We have enough arable land to grow a variety of crops, which can include grains and vegetables when the supply chain breaks down. Our water aquifer is huge and easily replenished with mountain runoff. No treatment required. We can generate electricity with wind turbines if push comes to shove. Finally, there are… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  TomA
1 month ago

Excellent Brother sounds like my neck of the woods…

usNthem
usNthem
1 month ago

Nice thoughtful post. I’m on the downhill side of life, but I try to walk a few miles a day, either on the links or in the hilly hood. Even with that you can feel the old strength and agility slipping away. Oh well, it is what it is. One of the things I hate going about going to the doctor (and I won’t unless I absolutely have to) is all the decrepit old goats shuffling around the lobby waiting for the next verdict or pill to perhaps keep them going a while longer. Seems no one moves on with… Read more »

OrangeFrog
OrangeFrog
Reply to  usNthem
1 month ago

Your observations made of Spain (Madrid is one of the most pleasant and safest cities I have been to) seems to be generally true of all the countries in that general region. Most certainly Greece and Italy although, as custom (or EU) dictates, Leftist cancer is moving in. It is my view that, seeing as mortal life is just a stage of existence, statements like “live fast today for you may be dead tomorrow” are some of the worse things to happen to humanity. I mean, an individual does their fast living, with no time for reflection and repentance, and… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  OrangeFrog
1 month ago

That’s really it, isn’t it—getting right with God.

BoomerMCMXLVII
BoomerMCMXLVII
Reply to  usNthem
1 month ago

Great post. Summarized all my thoughts, especially the creepy old bikers.
Moved to Central America 10 years ago, it is much like you noticed in Spain,
very nice to see. Reminds me of when I was a kid 3 score and 10 years ago.
Speaking of walking…get a big dog and you will be out walking come rain or shine
cold or heat.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  usNthem
1 month ago

everyone is off doing their own thing – kinda sad.
When you’re in competition with everyone then it’s really hard to just enjoy each others company… Putting the rat race as our highest priority has made most pretty damn miserable…

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  usNthem
1 month ago

I envy a lot about the Spanish lifestyle. However, the united generations bit isn’t always rosy. It’s often due to unemployment, which means that the young can’t leave home till their mid thirties.

Jack Boniface
Jack Boniface
Member
1 month ago

One thing you can’t blame on us boomers is the “low calorie” diet pushed on us starting about 1970 and lasting till about 2010. It’s a concentration camp diet that only makes you fatter because of all the carbs — and you can’t stay on it. It was promoted by a guy named Ancel Keyes at Harvard, the NY Times and other media and almost the whole medical establishment. As Gary Taubes detailed in his books, most recently “Rethinking Diabetes,” Keyes and Harvard were paid off by the sugar industry to “prove” sugar is good for you. No kidding. That’s… Read more »

Ploppy
Ploppy
1 month ago

From my observation what gets old people is protein intake. Once they hit the age where their appetite diminishes they don’t even realize that they’re taking in far too little, and are likely going to even be bragging about how they’re losing weight (its just their legs getting thinner while the flab remains). Right now I have a friend who’s my age but suffers from cirrhosis. Ok no alcohol yet the doctors say nothing about sugar intake despite fructose being metabolized through the liver just like ethanol. Of course she “doesn’t like meat”, and fails to make the connection between… Read more »

BerndV
BerndV
1 month ago

In my youth I wrestled, spending many hours running and lifting weights. This continued during my six years in the Marine Corps. After college I worked sixty hours a week to provide for a stay at home wife and three children. I didn’t exercise in any significant way for twenty five years. Then came the empty nest, early retirement and being 59 staring down the barrel at sixty. I had gained 4″ in trouser waist size and my muscles had atrophied significantly. I looked like I used to be strong but the first hint of sarcopenia was obviously creeping up… Read more »

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  BerndV
1 month ago

“I also walked three to five miles every day.”

Yep, walking is one of the foundations. Too many nincompoops think getting into shape is to start jogging or running immediately — and these people have no foundation of steady regular walking. They’re asking for physical injuries by staerting to jog or run immediately.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  BerndV
1 month ago

“..got on TRT and got back in the weight room with a vengeance.” I was gonna just hit “like”, but in fairness to the group will verbally confirm all the good advice of “BerndV”. I did the same. I measure fitness in pants sizes. Now wear same as in HS. Stopped running as the knees and joints can’t handle constant pounding, but replaced it with a mountain bike—easier on the ass as well. Amazing stuff can be done with a bench and set of adjustable dumbbells. Luckily, I am in a semi rural area and walking is great without much… Read more »

Coalclinker
Coalclinker
1 month ago

LOL, many of the youth gang nowadays, including the fitness fanatics, are going to have major health problems by the time they’re 40. They all eat out all the time like they can’t get enough of that poison, and few know how to cook or even care to.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
1 month ago

One of the reasons I enjoy the western film genre, at least from the 40s to the 80s, is that it reveres the wisdom and toughness that come with age and experience, and mocks the silly pretensions of youth. A common trope in this genre is the cocky, arrogant young gun who gets his comeuppance at the hands of elders he belittles, and in the process, matures into a much better man. But those films were made when America was much farther to the right than AINO. Rightwing societies, I believe, respect and honor old age. Leftist societies condemn the… Read more »

JiminAlaska
JiminAlaska
1 month ago

At 85 stairs and/or museum walks aren’t, yet, real problems for me. I can still cut, buck and split a couple of cords of firewood before winter though I readily admit it takes a lot longer to do so than when I was younger.

Mid life exercise is fine but I suspect the real secret of a comfortable productive old age is to have picked the right parents and grandparents. 🙂

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  JiminAlaska
1 month ago

What of my health is up to me is well. My blood is the envy of my athlete friends, fertile women still treat me kindly based on my looks, and I have all the outward markers of a man who’ll live to a hundred.

My mother’s genes have other ideas. I feel brutally shitty all the time, there’s nothing I can do to change it, and every morning I wake up surprised to see another day.

Fate is underrated, especially by the conservatively inclined. Everyone who lived before the 20th century would find this ironic—and baffling.

OrangeFrog
OrangeFrog
1 month ago

Interesting, Z. Interesting. Certainly here in The Isles I’ve noticed the obsession with fitness from people in the age range 20 to 60. The funny thing is, these folks always seem to have something wrong with them: permanent muscle pain, dodgy tendons or something else. Many men I’ve worked with spend most of their year training for marathons – I’m confident that by the time they’re seventy, they’ll be in a very bad way. I used to swim, climb do ‘the calisthenics’ and, to be honest, I did it to get women. Now, becoming a father and, most importantly, a… Read more »

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  OrangeFrog
1 month ago

The obsession with fitness is the other side of the coin of the tats n fats trend: an obsession with the body and with external appearance. FFS, it’s not hard: just walk a lot and eat and drink (reasonably) well. And avoid all the stupid fad diets like “no carbs” or “no cholesterol”.

Stephen Dowling Botts, Dec'd
Stephen Dowling Botts, Dec'd
1 month ago

How apropos. I started a dedicated weight lifting regimen about 6 weeks ago. As Z says, I’m not going to get ripped like the guys in the supplements ads. But I am very interested in maintaining as much strength and mobility as possible, and honestly find certain daily tasks / movements easier than they were 6 weeks ago. For example, twisting at the waist to look over my shoulder to check for traffic as I back out of my driveway. The results have already motivated me to continue. I recently moved to what I consider a fairly rural area; the… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Stephen Dowling Botts, Dec'd
1 month ago

A few years ago, I thought I’d do some sprints. So, I got down into my sprinter’s stance at the neighborhood junior high track, bolted out, ran about 10 yards and pulled up lame with a bad hammy. Even though I hadn’t sprinted in decades, I was still shocked by this injury. I mean, hell, as a kid I ran pellmell all over the place without a care in the world. Never occurred to me that sprinting is not forever.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Well you can still sprint you just have to have a little longer warm up time before you get to it Brother…
Also anytime you want to meet up for steaks in meat space I’m game for that…

Last edited 1 month ago by Lineman
Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Lineman
1 month ago

Whichever of us runs the slower 40 time, buys. (-; Must say, made myself the helluva fine steak dinner last night. Salted and peppered a NY strip, drizzled it with a bit of good olive oil, grilled it to medium-rare over pecan wood, topped it with a mixture of Danish blue cheese, fresh breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic and chives, then ran it under the broiler until the cheese began to melt. Served that puppy with some sauteed mushrooms and a decent zinfandel. All in all, a square meal. If there’s ever a DR meetup, I’ll be happy to handle preparations… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Ahh my favorite steak Brother and I like it plain Jane with just some salt to bring out the flavor of my grass fed beef…

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Lineman
1 month ago

Down here in Texas people are crazy about their ribeyes. Can’t swing a dead cat what that you hit one. But I’ve always preferred the strip. Nothing but pure, tasty beef without all that connective tissue and gristle.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Yea a ribeye is a good steak and it was my favorite for awhile before I had a good New York… Going to be trying out raising a half wagyu half Angus breed this fall and see how that taste because Wagyu is just to fatty for my liking…

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Lineman
1 month ago

I’ve never sprung for Wagyu or Kobe. Hell, never even had a dry-aged steak, although I aim to try one here directly. Just hard for me to imagine beef costing $60 per pound can really be that much better than beef costing $14 per pound. The whole boutique steak thing just smacks of a PR con-job to me, and I don’t want to get taken.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

That’s why you do it yourself Brother because from the farm to the table if it isn’t direct has a lot of grasping hands trying to get their cut…

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

If I’d thought about it, I would have assumed that Willie Mays was already dead if I hadn’t heard the other day that he passed. His prime was 60-70 years ago. He was an early Silent. This is a reminder that, for better or for worse, the boomers are going to be with us a for a long time to come. Discussion of their passing from the scene is premature. Regarding media angst over their aging, we haven’t seen anything yet. I anticipate a flood of “memoirs” from octogenerian boomer women about how they made peace with their elderly infirmities… Read more »

DaBears
DaBears
1 month ago

I played competitive rugby into my late twenties and ran tens of full marathons with competitive times to keep up with my wife until ten years ago. I am in my fifties. Now I bike up to 47 miles in the mornings, and swim up to five miles a week whenI can find the time. I backpack/trek and consider Alaska my second and ultimate home. Diet is the ally of exercise and training. I have focused on dietary intake and the natures of foods and food ingredients since I was a high school wrestler. Particularly in the US, it’s clear… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
1 month ago

AINO is the world’s largest nursery school, and it is ruled by school marms hellbent on ensuring that its subjects remain feeble infants their entire lives.

Behold the wages of feminization.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
1 month ago

I never liked weight training until I had a roommate who gave me Starting Strength to read. I recommend it to anybody interested, because it’s about good mechanics and functional strength, rather than getting shredded. With that said, I don’t try to get stronger anymore, because even if your mechanics are good, it’ll wear out your joints. Find that functional strength and stay there imo. (And rest, stretch, massage, crack your joints, drink water, imo.) The end vs. The End. We’re all going to die someday. If you believe the world was created, it makes sense it will end at… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Paintersforms
Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 month ago

Weight training has become so popular today, it’s hard to believe. When I was a Freshman there was a single weight room in the stadium complex for the scholarship athletes. We, even as students—not athletes, shared. Today? Well, when I left separate facilities had been built and were filled with both male and female students with long wait times for some equipment.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

It’s good stuff just for developing your physique. So far it seems like you never lose all your gains— you’ve just leveled up your baseline. Age will tell, but totally worthwhile for that alone.

Guest
Guest
1 month ago

I am nearly sixty years old and have been an athlete my entire life. In my youth and twenties I was a competitive distance runner then, like many distance runners, I morphed into cycling, triathlons, then obstacle races. The accumulated injuries from years of pounding pavement and other activities now prevent me from running, but I am still cycling and in the gym nearly every day. I am stronger and have a better build than most men in their twenties and thirties–still sporting a six pack. The problem with Rippetoe crowd is that they focus on maximizing strength and bulk… Read more »

whatever
1 month ago

I think this analysis leaves out some US regionalism. I am a mid Gen X and live in Coastal California. Most guys my age here (and me) are in pretty good shape and do various age-appropriate activities ranging from pickleball to golf to hiking/walking. I don’t see a lot of “old-looking” guys my age, and in fact I would say most 50 year olds look 10 years younger here. Some of this is the nutty California culture, and usually there is some sort of dietary fad that goes with this like organic this or probiotic that. Sure there is plastic… Read more »

Jannie
Jannie
Reply to  whatever
1 month ago

It seems to be part of the culture in Texas and the South. Men just blob out after high school and spend their unhealthy adult years reminiscing in front of the TV about that touchdown they scored in the varsity game, while stuffing their faces with fast food. Even guys in their 20s with manboobs and pot bellies. Health & fitness/body beautiful culture is one of the good SoCal exports.

G Lordon Giddy
G Lordon Giddy
1 month ago

I used to jog and then do moderate weights in middle age, no smoking and moderate alcohol.
In younger years i always kept in shape.
I gave up jogging now in my 60’s its fast walking and moderate weights.
I am in my 60’s but can still out work much younger men doing physical activity.
The key is getting in shape and being consistent with routine exercise to maintain that shape.
Nothing extreme as you get older, just maintenance.
Good essay.

Jannie
Jannie
Reply to  G Lordon Giddy
1 month ago

I have friends in their sixties who can smoke the vast majority of men in their twenties.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jannie
1 month ago

Given the sad and pathetic state of today’s twenty-somethings…

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
1 month ago

the target audience fears old age more than death True and good stuff, but isn’t all this just a second order effect of fleeting and unprecedented affluence? Other cultures seem to celebrate old age more, and one likely reason is prolonged life is or until recently was not a given. As life expectancy declines in the West in general and the United States in particular, I would expect reverence for old age to return. Supply, demand, that sort of thing. Obviously some very affluent and ancient cultures such as Japan revere the elderly, but in the West, at least, wealth… Read more »

Tars Tarkas
Member
1 month ago

This is one of the things wrong with the culture that rarely gets any attention. Putting so much emphasis on the youth is a way of pushing through the changes they want. They are the easiest to fool and just spent most of their lives being propagandized in educational institutions.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

A population that can be convinced to have colonostopies every three years can be convinced of anything.

Say NO to colonostopies. The Hershey Highway is built as a one-way street. All strength to Colo-gard.

Why suffer the indignities, when you can poop in a box and have someone else root through it?

I’ve tried to talk sense to people but they are as attached to their colonostopies as some people are attached to their Covid masks. They will never give it up. Fools!

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
1 month ago

I had one c-scope and do not look forward to the next. The whole dam’ thing is a major pain in the ass, so to speak…

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Don’t ignore your colonic health. Have your stool tested *and* get a colonoscopy *when* there are *secondary* signs of illness. You need not immediately jump to colonoscopy. Why do I say this? Guess. I put this off for 10+ years after the first signs appeared. When I finally got a colonoscopy, what they found and removed was large and cancerous. I refused to have a colorectal removal and was not going to live my life with a bag of shit attached to my body (as was the fate of my father). I even planned how I was going to handle… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

Thanks for that, and I’m very happy it all worked out for the best. I do know something about the dangers of colon cancer, though–it killed my pappy at the age of 62. He was not a man who took care of himself, even a little. And his lifestyle choices and innatention to his health bit him.

Tars Tarkas
Member
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

Glad it all worked out for you. That really sucks.

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

I don’t know about the chest shot. You don’t want to end up like Count Vronsky

Dad Bones
Dad Bones
1 month ago

Being 79 I remember our family doctor smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey. For exercise it was smoking, drinking and playing poker. He was a good doctor who had no trouble removing my tonsils and appendix and lived to 86. I’ve been doing Chinese Qicong for close to 40 years to get my somewhat lazy ass pumped up for work every day but have no reason to believe I’ll make it to 80 but it’s worth a try. Good luck to all of you who are giving it your best shot.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
1 month ago

I finished the comments so far. Golly, there are a lot of oldsters here. Like me. I do pull-ups, push-ups and free weights and farm chores. A busy day on the farm puts in 30,000 steps according to the fit bit. I would eat crap except my wife is a fabulous cook using the best ingredients that keep me chronically ten pounds over my target weight. I drink way too much. Can’t seem to kick that one. Like the ten extra pounds, it is due to just pure lack of will-power. As far as looking young, that’s hard to do… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
1 month ago

If you’re going to gain weight, do so eating good food, not garbage, and if you’re going to go deaf, do it listening to good music, not crap. Or so I have always said.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Load up on homemade chicken and dumplings and listen to Bruckner until your ears bleed.

fakeemail
fakeemail
1 month ago

One of the reasons Xers can’t grow up is that they were relentlessly marketed too. “The Toys that Made Us” on Netflix really lays how TV shows and toys were pushed on young minds to trap them in a world of fantasy and consumerism. Ironically, entertainment might have been TOO GOOD for a brief period there. If you’re a kid in say ’75 to ’85 you’re growing up with such magnificent entertainment year after year like Jaws, Rocky, Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Conan, Ghostbusters, Rambo, Terminator, etc. 40 and 50 year old guys still talking about that stuff and… Read more »

Tars Tarkas
Member
Reply to  fakeemail
1 month ago

The Gen-X failing to grow up is real. Even myself, I still play old video games occasionally and own a number of consoles from the late 70s to early 80s. But it was not until the era of social media where I found out I am pretty restrained in this area. It is an absolute sickness. It’s even worse for Millennials. When I was still on twitter and following retrogaming, people were uploading pictures where they live in a 2 bedroom apartment and 1 of the bedrooms is designed to look like a Walmart electronics section. All kinds of retail… Read more »

Fakeemail
Fakeemail
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

I also have the compulsion, but within reason compared to some of the superfans you can find online.

The merch is endless, but I’m satisfied I have enough robocop and back to the future posters!

Tars Tarkas
Member
Reply to  Fakeemail
1 month ago

We became our Toys R Us commercial. We don’t want to grow up we’re Toys R Us kids…….

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

The only thing I’ve really done along these lines is reconstitute the entire Hot Wheels/Matchbox/Corgi, etc. collection I had when I was a li’l shaver. Found all of it on eBay.

Tars Tarkas
Member
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

I used to make pretty good money on ebay. You would not believe how well betamax VCRs were selling in 2005. I trash picked a decent Sony model and got like 800 Dollars for it. Even film projectors were fetching hundreds of Dollars. Old computers. Old video games. All kinds of stuff. This is crap I picked up at the flea market for $10. It wasn’t even like working because I’m a flea market junkie. There’s a lot of stuff that was present in the flea markets in abundance that (I had no idea at the time) would fetch large… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

Yeah, my wife, whenever she gets around to it, makes decent little chunks of change selling stuff on eBay. Bras, believe it or not, sell like hotcakes.

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago

started CrossFit about 14 years ago. Couldn’t do a pushup and running wasn’t interesting any more. I’d donated a kidney to a brother 18 years ago and felt like I’d never recovered my fitness. Now I can do 80-100 pushup, 150+ squats and deadlifts in 15 minutes and outdo my younger gym mates. I took up motorbiking when our effing government put in vid restrictions in ’20. I deadlifted 355# on my 70th birthday. Should be at 400# by age 80 but maybe I’m a delusional boomer described by Zman.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
1 month ago

It’s never too late to get started on exercise.

There’s a great story about a 93 year old Irish man who started rowing in his 70’s. He’s now 93 and has the VO2 Max of a 30-40 year old. Never exercised prior to this. (Richard Morgan)

Weights are great for useful strength; this kind of aerobic work in increase V02 Max is generally considered optimum for brain function as we age.

c matt
c matt
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

You can still be pretty buff at 60 with weights, but the key is not to overdo it. You don’t need to be benching 300, just enough to where the end of your set requires real effort. Will you be an Ahnuld in his twenties? No. But you will look respectably fit and, more import, still have good mobility and strength. You will also avoid the flabby arms, a nice bonus. The biggest problem I come across for the older set is if you did not weight train when younger (even late 30s or early 40s) it is hard to… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  c matt
1 month ago

Best summary yet wrt weight training.

Forever Templar
Forever Templar
1 month ago

when in reality you are at your dumbest when young.

And oddly remains a constant state of being when you’re married. Sorry, boomer joke.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Forever Templar
1 month ago

I told my wife “I’m not stupid”

She responded, “No, but you act stupid”.

KingKong
KingKong
1 month ago

The pursuit of the infinite (e.g. growth of SV companies, ever-higher BTC and RE valuations) negates the consideration of zero.

Everything has to end…despite all the different variations of “to infinity and beyond”. People have forgotten this.

People are pursuing their own version of eternal (infinite time) utopias. It is only people who have experienced the horrors of nothingness (nihilism) who understand that all things must end and all debts must be paid off.

hokkoda
Member
1 month ago

Lots of good advice here. To these I would add: If you’re a runner, stick to dirt and minimize pavement running. I hate biking and prefer running. My knees are fine because a) I run on dirt and b) I don’t race people. I run for me. If I run 4 miles and my heart rate isn’t quickly below 90bpm when I’m done, I’ve run too hard. If you’re trying to lose a few pounds: Weight Watchers’ app is terrific. Writing down what I eat holds me accountable (and frequently keeps me from eating junk). The app itself doesn’t force… Read more »

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  hokkoda
1 month ago

Humping cement bags and lumber is also helpful.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Bartleby the Scrivner
1 month ago

Albeit a bit hard on the ol’ schlong…

Vegetius
Vegetius
1 month ago

Bill Mitchell’s teeth are the zeitgeist manifest.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Vegetius
1 month ago

That made me really laugh. I think of Z’s fantastic line about Cernovich when looking at a pic of Bill Mitchell: he’s the type who would break into your shed at night. No one would leave their kids/grandkids alone five minutes with either of those two.

RealityRules
RealityRules
1 month ago

This is an excellent topic. I am the guy who got carded to prove I was young enough to play in the xyz league. I was smart enough to realize when it was time to stop playing a sport that gave me that cardio, testosterone and muscle conditioning and flexibility when injuries were lurking around every corner – even though my performance was as good as ever. I found the best doctors to fix up the recurring injury spots and resolved to focus on ending strength. I feel fortunate that I had the intuition to not go for the training… Read more »

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  RealityRules
1 month ago

“Stretching is absolutely critical to ending strength – and feeling great.”

The basic yoga poses — shoulder stand, cobra, bow, forward bend and two or three others. I’ve been doing these for literally half a century (started in 1974). Of course by themselves they’re not enough — you need some cardio and some calisthenics/ resistance training. Proper diet, avoiding stress, getting enough sleep. This’ll slow down the process of aging and more importantly make your time in this world better.

Outdoorspro
Outdoorspro
Reply to  RealityRules
1 month ago

One of the best things that has happened to me in my 50s is to start playing competitive sports again. Well, if you can call beer league hockey a competitive sport. I play with lots of people younger and older than I, and it’s quite humbling. It’s great cardio with intense “sprint” sessions. Also, getting roughed up occasionally reminds me of why I like to stay in shape, but also reminds me of my limitations (which every older man should be intimately aware of).

Phil Ossifer
Phil Ossifer
Reply to  Outdoorspro
1 month ago

Was goaded into playing on the men’s church softball team. Haven’t played softball since the 90s (I’m 51). First at bat of the season: hit a sharp grounder toward the hole at short. As I ran to first, I sank into the hole where the little league base had been taken out and filled with (not enough) dirt. My foot hit the post where the base attaches. Hairline fracture of fibula, grade 2 LCL sprain. I have run nearly 3000 miles in the past few years with no injuries. 60 feet toward first base, out for the season. But I… Read more »

Mycale
Mycale
1 month ago

I still remember, in my early 20s, out of college, as I shifted from being an active college student to a sedentary office worker, I was putting on weight fast. Rather than freaking out and looking for a diet I could do to take the weight off, I decided to change my habits one-by-one, provided I could make those changes permanently, as in for the rest of my life. Despite scientists saying that it is impossible, the weight has stayed off me since and I’ve been pretty healthy with very few of the weird aches and pains that my peers… Read more »

mountaindogsix
mountaindogsix
1 month ago

I think its absolutely important that folks maintain some type of exercise routine. I spent nearly 26 years in the military and most guys stop…get fat and fall apart quickly after retirement. If u cant weight train, grab bands, do push ups and find a place to do pull ups. I spent most of my career deployed and treated each like prison. I also competed in powerlifting and strongman. I have issue with Rip and his program but as a baseline it works well. Most programs work well if you stick to them. Diet plays a huge part. Avoid belly… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by mountaindogsix
Whiskey
Whiskey
1 month ago

As my other comment awaits approval, the general lack of fitness is a result of:

A. Really, really bad commercial food including very bad franken-gmo fruits and veggies and protein. Chicken is so bad it is literally inedible now — awful rough slimy fibers through everything.
B. Vibrancy making Walking impossible, to be safe you need to drive 5 miles to a “safe” store.
C. Vibrancy reducing the amount of local sports-playing etc for kids AND adults (recreational softball, etc) that adults used to participate in.

Hilariously, fitness is now seen as a right-wing marker.

Mycale
Mycale
Reply to  Whiskey
1 month ago

Obviously, our sacred liberal democracy is highly leftist, so let’s look at what it defines as right wing markers. Working out and caring about your health is a right wing marker. Not smoking weed is a right wing marker. Going to church is a right wing marker. Not watching porn is a right wing marker. Wanting to get married and have kids in a monogamous relationship is a right wing marker. Really makes you think.

Tom K
Tom K
1 month ago

I don’t know, and maybe it’s because I’m old myself, but from my perspective I see a hell of a lot of thought put into the fitness of old people. It’s true our culture is a youth culture, but that fact doesn’t take away from, in fact it reinforces the notion of trying to act like you’re 25 when you’re 75, including working out the same way a 25 year old works out. Not to deny that going to the gym, thereby reducing the decline of muscle mass, cardio health and all that isn’t important, but I’ll give you something… Read more »

My Comment
My Comment
1 month ago

Excellent post. As a 70 year old fitness buff, I highly recommend a book called Outlive by a doctor who specializes in longevity. His theory is in sync with Z’s viewpoint that fitness should be focused on quality of life throughout your life and targeting old age. Consequently he places a high priority on grip strength as an example. The idea is when you are 80, you should want to pick up your grandkids and carry your own groceries. He lays down practical targets of what you want to be able to do exercise wise at different decades of your… Read more »

Robbo
Robbo
1 month ago

I have several books about the history of football (soccer), and it’s interesting to contrast the photos of 1930s players and those of today. Back then, everyone wanted to look older. You get players who were in their mid twenties looking like late 30s with their carefully slicked hair and moustaches. I suppose smoking 100 untipped a day didn’t keep your skin looking younger either. Contrast that today where ex-footballers in their 50s try to look like 20-somethings. Ah, the Cult of Youth!

cg2
cg2
1 month ago

The thing I’ve started working on lately is sleep. I finally broke down and did the cpap thing and track sleep with an Oura ring. I think its helping so far.

Last edited 1 month ago by cg2
Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  cg2
1 month ago

Among other benefits, it’s incredible how much better I feel after seven hours of sleep compared with six hours.

The Greek
The Greek
1 month ago

Hmm, what race is overwhelmingly oriented towards living life in the fast lane in the here and now…Shocker our national culture has aped that.

PS Mega kudos for mentioning Mark Rippetoe. I’ve been reading and following him for years. He’s phenomenal and BTW, still does regular YouTube videos and Q&A.

Bloated Boomer
Bloated Boomer
Reply to  The Greek
1 month ago

“Our national culture has aped that”

Based.

jrod
jrod
1 month ago

Early Boomer here. I started lifting weights 3 times a week in high school in conjunction with sports. Kept lifting for 50+ years. Went to twice a week once I hit my 50s. Lighter weights as I aged. Tennis during my 30s and 40s. Got into yoga in my late 50s and found it to be a nice adjunct. Have had dogs for long time and always have done two 20-30 min. walks daily (3 on weekends).  During brief periods between dogs I never walked. Now aching joints from age and sequelae from a motorcycle accident make weights no longer attractive. I’ve started working with kettlebells,… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  jrod
1 month ago

Walking dogs is…ahem…Lab work.

Hi-ya!
Hi-ya!
1 month ago

Son of Latona, grant me health and enjoyment
of what I have, I pray you, and a sound mind.

And let me live out an old age
neither decrepit nor lacking in music.

Filthie
Filthie
Member
1 month ago

Regular weight training in the middle years with the goal of maintaining muscle mass will mean climbing the stairs when you are eighty…

Nothing’s guaranteed Z. You could wake up dead tomorrow. Your body might make 80…but your mind? Creepy Joe Biden’s legendary problems with stairs come to mind.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Filthie
1 month ago

Actually, Creepy Joe would be having a pretty good quality of life right now for an 81 year old, if he was in an assisted living facility where he belongs, playing with the 6/7 grandkids he cares about.

Bunny
Bunny
Reply to  Filthie
1 month ago

True words, Mr. Filthie. Years ago I read that one wants the body to be completely functional until it breaks down at the bitter end in one fell swoop, like the one horse shay of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ eponymous poem.
“How it went to pieces all at once,
All at once, and nothing first,
Just as bubbles do when they burst.
Just as bubbles do when they burst.”
Alas, the collapse is unpredictable and often comes in fits and starts and in surprisingly unpleasant ways.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Mike G
Mike G
1 month ago

The Medicare Advantage plans that I looked at had a perk called Silver Sneakers. They pay for a gym membership. This tells me that their bean counters are telling them that they will save money on medical bills if you exercise.

Whiskey
Whiskey
1 month ago

Talking about youth, apparently a few Republican Senators like Vance and Rand Paul and some others want to stop the effort to amend the House Draft bill to include women 18-26, also. But Mitch McConnell is dead set on drafting them. So it looks like “Draft Our Daughters” is happening. So there you go. The draft is going to be taking everyone White. If you are not in the combat cohort (likely the terms of the service will be ten years minimum) you can expect to labor in Defense production. Meanwhile the Disney Tapes from O’Keefe have been released, basically… Read more »

vxxc
vxxc
1 month ago

Got old?
well at least this doesn’t blame the kids.

trackback
1 month ago

[…] ZMan points out some problems. […]

mbradley
mbradley
1 month ago

Excellent post.

If you wish to use the concepts in Starting Strength, but in a much more joint friendly fashion, you can substitute machines for barbells. A good leg press, chest press and row or pulldown machine would get you there.

Last edited 1 month ago by mbradley
Phineas McSneed
Phineas McSneed
Reply to  mbradley
1 month ago

Machines are far worse for your joints than free weights and far worse for functional fitness. They lock your limbs into artificial movement paths and remove the stabilization components of the movement. They were mostly designed and promoted as part of a 70’s exercise fad called Nautilis and HIT. Nowadays, they are mostly for advanced bodybuilders looking to refine and customize muscle appearance, not general weight trainers. Even barbell bench press is basically a machine exercise in this sense – wedging your scapulae against a bench and locking your arms into a weird position – and it’s the #1 cause… Read more »

mbradley
mbradley
Reply to  Phineas McSneed
27 days ago

Why stop at dumbbells when you can use rocks?