If I ask you to close your eyes and think about an old man, what do you see? What kind of clothes does an old man wear? What kind of hobbies does an old man have? What kind of TV-programs does an old man watch? How does an old man move? Does an old man play sports? What is an old man capable of doing with his body?
At what age do you become an old man? Does everyone become an old man at the same age?
I always say that “old man” is more about a mindset than a certain age. I know lots of men in my age, 44, that are more or less old men already and I also know many men , around 50 or even 60 years old, that are certainly not “old men”.
This isn´t about clothing style, taste regarding TV-programs, hobbies, interests or whatever. It is about how you choose to take care of your body in order to keep it strong and healthy. I often get the feeling that people accept some sort of “law of nature” around aging. Almost like you are supposed to get sore, gain weight and have some aches and pains when you reach a certain age. Some of the advice the “experts” hand out, about exercising with lower weights and lower intensity as soon as you pass 40 years are almost a little tragic in my opinion.
I am happy, and proud, that something like CrossFit has really made a difference in changing this mindset and “law of nature” for so many. Instead of giving up and accepting some sort of decay, lots of people now know that they are fully capable of building muscle mass, increase mobility, get faster and more energetic despite getting older. It is a matter of life and death that people see these opportunities and it is also financially beneficial for society if more of us stay really active as we get older.
I do believe, and I do understand, that your situation in life changes a lot when you reach thirty or forty. You start getting a more stable position at work, perhaps you even get a management role which means more responsibility and higher demands. You start growing a family and there are kids that need your attention and your time. What many seem to prioritize away is their own fitness and health and that is where you start doing yourself, and your near and dear ones, a great disservice. Some of the symptoms that men who don´t work out regularly, with high intensity as in higher pulse and heavier weights, run the risk of getting affected by are;
Lower brain capacity and lower memory capacity
Increased risk of different lifestyle diseases
Increased risk of becoming depressed or being burnt out
Decreased libido since your levels of testosterone will decrease if you don´t sleep well
All of these examples are sinkers of quality of life and real dangers to your health. Then there are other potential backsides of being inactive and not working out regularly.
Your performance at work will decrease
Your energy around your kids and spouse will decrease
As your muscles get more stiff, and you start feeling those aches and pains, you might not be able to keep doing your favourite hobbies or sports.
We could make these lists so much longer, you get my point! All in all, you will become more and more limited. This is very hard to relate to if you are an active person who takes good care of your body and health but it is the reality for many individuals out there.
We are constantly being fed a lot of inadequate and deficient advice on what is good for us and what we need. Also, there is a culture that tells us to put a lot of time and energy at work and our performance there. What about putting time and effort into feeling happier and healthier and performing great as a parent and family member? People end up thinking they don´t have time for training and focusing on their own health.
If “time” is a scarce commodity, there are lots of training programs and gyms, that will give you great results in shorter time and better bang for the bucks. At a CrossFit gym you will get a smart workout done in less than 60 minutes.
Doing that for three to five times a week will give you results you couldn´t dream of!
We have some members, between 35-50 years old, who are right in the middle of life with great careers and with families. They often get asked how they can find the time to workout so much. People call them “fitness freaks” or ”health freaks” and they even question whether it can be healthy to workout four to five times a week!
Imagine that, being questioned because you manage to prioritize your health so you can be a better parent and perform better at work!
You can ALWAYS find three to five hours in your week to workout. Of course, it is not going to be worth it if your training isn´t giving you results. Your training should make you stronger, faster, more flexible and give you better endurance. Your training program should also challenge you in a way that gives you better self esteem and makes you feel more happiness overall. If you haven´t found a training program or a gym that gives you that, go find something else!
Surround yourself with people who support your choice to stay young and healthy.
“old man” is a mindset and you choose how you want to feel and how you want to live.