Getting (and staying) ripped is a bastard of a task at any age. But when you hit 50, the weights start feeling heavier, your muscles start fatiguing faster, and you start feeling like life is an uphill battle on a viciously inclined treadmill.
That’s the cynic’s take, anyway.
Joe Rogan is no cynic when it comes to health though. In fact, America’s most iconic podcaster is a kind of beefy Peter Pan. The man is 53 years old and counting, and has sustained (and recovered from) all sorts of injuries, including two knee reconstructions and various back issues.
And he’s still going strong.
Despite his work commitments, his schedule is as full of nootropics, vitamins and workouts as Hunter S. Thompson’s was of coffee and cocaine. Suffice to say: Rogan always finds time to, in his words, oil his engine. His philosophy? Unless sick or injured, there are no excuses.
He regularly takes to Instagram to promote this message. The most recent example of this is a post from 6 hours ago, in which he gives followers a glimpse at part of his kettlebell workout.
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At the time of writing the post has 138,902 likes and 801 comments.
“A wonderful mind-cleansing morning with the great and powerful @coachjohnwolf at @onnitgymatx!” Rogan captioned the post.
Rogan has also taken to Instagram in previous weeks with posts like “morning iron worship” and “late night mental health session with my favourite tools.”
A lifelong athlete and former martial arts competitor, Rogan has built his physique over decades using a dedicated weightlifting program, primarily using kettlebells, Sports Joe reports.
A few years ago he talked about how he approaches lifting on an episode of his podcast.
“I follow the Pavel Tsatsouline protocol,” Rogan said. “Where say if I can do 10 reps of something, I never do 10. I do five.”
“If I’m doing something heavy. Like if I’m doing 90lbs clean press squats where I’m holding 90lbs over my head, I could probably do 10 of those but I’ll only do four or maybe five.”
“I don’t go to failure. I don’t believe in going to failure. What I think you’re best off doing is less repetitions but more often. So instead of doing one day where you blow your whole fucking system out and you do ‘ONE MORE BRO, COME ON. ONE MORE!!’ And then the next day you can barely walk.”
“So instead of having one workout every three days where you blow your body out, have one workout every day where you don’t blow your body out. And you’ll get stronger quicker.”
“There’s no reason in nature why you would go to failure. Why would you go to failure in nature? You wouldn’t!”
“How do animals and people and farmers get strong? Farmers don’t get ridiculously fucking strong from going to failure every day. They get ridiculously strong from consistently taxing their bodies, moving bales of hay and picking up heavy things.”
“You do that consistently and you get stronger and stronger so that’s mostly what I do.”
Rogan’s incredible lust for life is one component of staying ripped in your 50s (as well as keeping your workouts fun – something which Hugh Jackman has also demonstrated in recent years).
Another is organisation. Rogan schedules his workout goals every week on a Sunday. Even if his plans change, he tries to always find a way to fit whatever challenge he has set himself for that week in, whether it be two yoga sessions and four gym sessions, or something else entirely.
If you want to stay ripped into your 50s – a time where life’s demands, be that career or family, are often at their peak – this can be a game-changing strategy.
Dr Tony McGirr, a medical professional from BIOV8, told DMARGE: “As we hit middle age, a common complaint is, ‘I just don’t recover from training as quickly as I did in my 20’s and 30’s.’ This loss of ‘elasticity’ is due to many factors associated with the aging process and can lead to chronic injuries.”
“It is extremely important to have a solid injury plan in place, especially if you are working out frequently.”
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Rogan’s fitness posts have also come amid some vulnerable revelations. Yesterday Rogan took to Instagram after having come straight out of the sauna, writing: “I’m very aware that I’ve been disproportionately successful in this very strange and often confusing life. I don’t take it for granted though. I don’t think I totally understand what’s happening sometimes, but I do care a lot, and I try my best.”
“These fresh-out-of-the-sauna moments make me want to put that out there. I think maybe I’m inclined to believe that if I put it out there publicly like this it will make me focus even more.”
There’s your Tuesday motivation, served steaming. Now drop and give us 20…