Getting fit when you reach middle age can often times be an uphill battle. It’s not so much that you suddenly lack the physicality to perform the way you once did, but it’s the tedium of the daily grind that can cause you to lose focus and adopt habits that are counterproductive.
Your mind is a powerful ally in the battle of the bulge, but it can also be your worst enemy when it fills you with self-doubt, apathy and complacency.
We’ve all experienced this kind of mental negativity and when it does creep into your life, it can rob you of your motivation by making the possible seem impossible. Whenever this defeatist attitude overtakes me, I push back against it by looking to others who inspire and motivate me to break through my self-imposed barriers and accomplish my goals.
Below are six men who inspire me with their work ethic and attitude, because they refuse to allow their age to determine who they are and what they can accomplish!
Dwayne Johnson – Age 42
Dwayne Johnson (better known as his WWE persona “The Rock”) seems to be hitting full stride when it comes to his acting career. This year alone he starred in five big budget films that included box office hits G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Fast & Furious 6.
Johnson played college football for the Miami Hurricanes National Championship team and went on to a brief career in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Calgary Stampeders. After being cut from the CFL, he decided to follow in his Father’s footsteps and became a professional wrestler, eventually joining the World Wrestling Federation in 1996. Super-stardom followed shortly thereafter.
Johnson is currently in Hungary filming the action/adventure movie Hercules: The Thracian Wars, a role that has him training in the gym six days a week, sometimes twice a day when adding in cardio. These hardcore workouts combined with a strict 7-meals-a-day diet high in protein, complex carbs and vegetables has allowed him to drop from 14% body-fat to just 7%, while gaining even more muscle than his WWE wrestling days. Hard to believe, but video doesn’t lie!
Hugh Jackman – Age 44
This Australian born actor/producer has made an international name for himself in film, musical theatre and television. He earned an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe for best actor in the film Les Misérables, as well as an Emmy for hosting the Tony Awards. As if all that wasn’t enough, Jackman was once named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine.
But he is most well known for his role as the superhero mutant Wolverine, who possesses enhanced physical capabilities, accelerated wound healing and a nearly indestructible metal alloy adamantium skeleton.
In order to prepare for such a physically demanding role, Jackman endured grueling two hour per day workouts of weight lifting, flexibility and agility training spread out over six days with one day off for rest. His diet consisted of 4,000 calories per day with meals eaten every 2-3 hours consisting of lean meat, fish, whey protein shakes, steamed vegetables and rice.
This type of intense fitness and nutrition program was designed to get Jackman in top shape in three months time for the filming of Wolverine and it appears to have done just that!
Hershel Walker – Age 51
Hershel Walker was one of seven children born into a working class family in Wrightsville Georgia U.S.A. in 1962. As an overweight child, walker didn’t excel athletically until he joined his high school football team where he ended up running 3,167 yards in his senior year, leading his team to win the state championship.
Walker eventually went on to have a successful football career in both college and the NFL, as he was named a three time All-American, won the Heisman trophy and earned the distinction of being ranked as one of the all-time leaders in total yardage for NFL players.
A fifth-degree black belt in Taekwondo, Walker decided that he wanted a new challenge after retiring from football, so he entered the competitive (and sometimes brutal) world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) at the tender age of 48!
Walker is well known for his eccentric fitness and nutrition regime, which consists of 1,500 pushups and 2000 sit-ups performed everyday upon waking – a routine he has done religiously since high school. His diet consists of one vegetarian meal per day and he forgoes high protein foods such as meat and fish that are often staples of most athlete’s diets. His methods may seem unorthodox, but whatever he’s doing it’s definitely working!
Dave Goodin – Age 54
Nicknamed “The Texas Shredder” Dave Goodin holds a Masters in Exercise Physiology and has been competing in bodybuilding contests since the early 1980′s, entering his first official contest after training for only seven months – and he’s never looked back.
Goodin eventually went on to become a professional bodybuilding competitor winning the IFBB World Champion Masters Over-50, the NPC Team Universe Welterweight Championship and the IFBB North American Championships 50+ Middleweight and Overall Champion. As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, he also competed in power-lifting competitions, winning four Texas State
titles and one drug-free National Championship!
An enthusiastic advocate for a fitness lifestyle, Goodin shares his training and nutrition knowledge with the world as a monthly columnist for Iron Magazine, a NPC bodybuilding contest promoter and as a personal trainer through his company Shredderbuilt in Austin Texas.
To stay in top shape year round Goodin’s workouts are designed around a four day split, with Legs on Monday, Chest on Tuesday, Abs and Cardio on Wednesday, Back on Thursday and Shoulders and Arms on Friday – Saturday and Sundays are rest days. His diet consists of 42% protein, 42% carbohydrates and 16% fat for macronutrient ratios, with staples being oatmeal, eggs, lean ground beef, chicken breast, salads and fruit.
Dave Goodin is a prime example that if you set goals for yourself, work hard and stay focused, you really can get better with age!
Sylvester Stallone – Age 67
No compilation of fit men over 40 years of age would be complete without the inclusion of Sylvester Stallone. As an actor, screenwriter and director, he has been entertaining and inspiring legions of young men around the world for over four decades, motivating them to workout and emulate the incredible conditioning of the characters he portrayed such as Rocky Balboa and John Rambo.
As a struggling actor in the early seventies, Stallone had limited success playing minor roles in film and television. But on March 4, 1975 he watched a relatively unknown boxer named Chuck Wepner fight the heavy weight champion of the world Muhammad Ali for fifteen grueling rounds. Inspiration struck and Stallone rushed home to begin writing a story about an underdog boxer from the wrong side of the tracks, who gets an opportunity to fight the heavyweight champion of the world.
After three days of non-stop writing, he had completed the screenplay that would become the smash hit Rocky. Nominated for ten Academy Awards (including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for Stallone), it eventually ended up winning Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film-Editing. Not bad for a first major film role!
“I led a very unhealthy regimen while working to develop my body for the later Rocky movies.” he openly admits. But after decades of discipline in the gym and the kitchen, Stallone has found his comfort zone when it comes to diet and exercise. He eats a high protein diet of mostly fish, eggs and skinless chicken breast, steering away from red meat. Steamed vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and wholegrain bread makes up the rest of his diet. He is also a strong advocate of nutritional supplements, taking six vitamin and mineral tablets with each meal.
When preparing for a film, Stallone will perform an intense two day double split:
Morning: Chest, back, abs
Afternoon: Shoulders, arms, abs
Morning: Calves, thighs
Afternoon: Rear delts, traps, abs
It’s this kind of dedication and hard work that has made Sylvester Stallone the benchmark for today’s Hollywood action heroes!
Dr. Jeffry Life – Age 74
At 59 years old, Dr. Jeffry Life had a successful family practice helping patients to overcome illness and live healthier more productive lives. But when it came to his own health, something was seriously out of order.
“I had a poorly conditioned body and rapidly declining health. I couldn’t tie my shoes without being out of breath. My stomach was huge, my muscles and joints ached, and I was miserable. I decided it was time to focus some medical attention on myself.” Dr. Life recalls.
After reading a number of fitness magazines for guidance and inspiration, he came across a contest called Body-For-Life, where contestants were given 12 weeks to get into the best shape of their lives. Dr. Life entered the contest and committed fully to a low-glycemic/low-fat diet, a balanced supplement plan and an intense exercise regimen coached by a former Navy Seal personal trainer. Not surprisingly, he ending up winning the contest and becoming the 1998 Body-For-Life Grand Champion.
Today at 74 years of age, Dr. Life feels that he is in the best shape of his life. He strength trains five day a week at the gym, but also finds time to pursue his passion for martial arts, training in Muay Thai and Taekwondo where he is close to earning his Black Belt. In terms of nutrition, Dr Life believes that controlling insulin is the key to healthy weight-loss and he recommends eating a diet comprised of lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Dr. Life has written two best selling books titled The Life Plan and Mastering the Life Plan, which detail his personal health journey, along with his fitness, nutrition and lifestyle program. He was also selected by Men’s Fitness Magazine as one of the 25 Fittest Men of the Year for 2012 – a list by the way, that is mostly populated with professional athletes in their 20′s and 30′s!
Dr. Life serves as a shining example that achieving optimal health is the only true way to get the most out of life!
If you know of a fit man over 40 years age who inspires you, feel free to leave a shout out in the comment box below!
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Persons with any health-related issues should consult a qualified healthcare provider.