Built for Life.” Kind of an interesting title, if you think about it, because it has two meanings. The first is staying in attention-grabbing muscular shape for as long as you’re alive and able to exercise—you will remain “built” your entire life, never embarrassed to peel off your shirt at the beach, lake or pool. And as my colleague 60-plus-year-old bodybuilder Tony DiCosta so aptly put it, “You’ll usually be the best built guy in the room.” (Talk about a conversation piece!)
The second meaning is that you’re mentally and physically tough, prepared for whatever life throws at you. You’re “built” to withstand the stress, pressures and problems that come your way throughout your time on this planet—almost like you’ve created a bulletproof mental and physical fortress, able to deflect any negatives, that attitude-altering artillery shot at all of us every day.
Proper weight training can give you both of those—and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take joint-busting, spine-crushing poundages to make it happen.
In fact, training with max weights can be a negative, especially as you get older. Sure, if you’re a young ego-driven dude looking for a monster bench press, training heavy is where it’s at. Low reps and lots of sets will build your strength to the extreme—but not necessarily lots of muscle, as I’ll explain in future blogs—just be careful. There’s a cumulative cost. I’m still dealing with injuries I sustained during my powerlifting years.
I’m not saying powerlifting or power bodybuilding are bad training models—just that throwing around mega weights is NOT necessary for you to build an impressive bodybuilder-type physique, a body so muscular that people comment on the size of your arms or the width of your back or the vascularity streaking down your forearms. You can have a muscular look for a lifetime, and it doesn’t take soft-tissue damage or as much work as you think—if you train smart.
Whether you’re 18 (that’s Jonathan Lawson, my former training parter, in his 20s in the photo above with us) and just starting the muscle-building journey or a 50-something trainee who’s been lifting for decades (like me), lifting smart means training in the most efficient, safest and fastest ways to build muscle and burn fat.
I promise you that Old School New Body is a no-B.S. program—that’s because my sole goal is for you to have all the ammunition you need to own a physique that turns heads and raises eyebrows and one that supports your health and well being. I want you to be able to keep that attention-grabbing, muscular look—and feel healthy doing it—for the rest of your days.
Stay tuned, train smart and be Built For Life.
Editor in Chief Iron Man Magazine and co-creator of the Old School New Body program