Author Topic: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?  (Read 2461 times)

BOP Mustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« on: December 08, 2018, 09:12:26 AM »
Iíve just turned 30 and have joined a commercial 24 hour gym for the first time. I go there 3x per week to complement running training and to just stay generally healthy and injury free, plus look a bit better naked.

However, every time I go regardless of before work in the mornings, after work at night or weekend mornings, there is always the same buff guys there in their 20s. Yes they have admirable muscles, and their hard work shows, but what is the point in this? They spend all waking hours outside of work in the gym.

Anyone ever one of these people? I wonder how these guys will look back on the time they spent in the gym when they are 40 or 50 with kids and other commitments and wonít have the 25 year old body they used to? Will they regret not spending more time pursuing other things or will they look back with extreme pride?

Were you a gym junkie?

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 09:49:29 AM »
Nope. LOL

At our Y, the gym rat crowd is mostly down in the weight room. There are lots of bored teenagers skulking around, mostly to see and be seen. The exercise machine room is mostly old people like me.

I like that thereís such a mix!

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 634
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 09:52:43 AM »
Iíve just turned 30 and have joined a commercial 24 hour gym for the first time. I go there 3x per week to complement running training and to just stay generally healthy and injury free, plus look a bit better naked.

However, every time I go regardless of before work in the mornings, after work at night or weekend mornings, there is always the same buff guys there in their 20s. Yes they have admirable muscles, and their hard work shows, but what is the point in this? They spend all waking hours outside of work in the gym.

Anyone ever one of these people? I wonder how these guys will look back on the time they spent in the gym when they are 40 or 50 with kids and other commitments and wonít have the 25 year old body they used to? Will they regret not spending more time pursuing other things or will they look back with extreme pride?

Were you a gym junkie?

Often people enjoy working out.  These people often donít regret the time spent.  Some do, I suppose.  There is always a balancing act, but people who work out A LOT often do it for deeply held beliefs.

Older people often regret it when they didnt exercise much during younger years, when their health falls apart in older age.  Once you hit your 50s and have trouble doing stuff that used to be basic, you might regret not taking advantage of their prime.  For some, it is getting ripped.  For others, its playing competitive sports.  For some, itís being outside.

To each their own.  I think it is better to be a gym rat than a couch potato.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 10:39:11 AM by Case »

RePatriot

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 10:00:21 AM »
Given the lack of positive social spaces for young men, I think the gym serves as a gathering space for male comraderie in a lot of people's lives.  I think back on the gym in my home town and the 4-5:30 crew of guys that came in fondly.  There were a lot of great personalities, a lot of very helpful people, a lot of great afternoons spent there.

Many people would look at the FIRE lifestyle and say aren't you going to regret not doing xyz when you are 50?  The same applies here.  Their response to your question, which would probably mirror your own answer to the question above, would likely be, "I'd rather be in the gym doing what I enjoy, with the people I enjoy being around, rather than sitting at home eating cheetos."

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 10:01:37 AM »
Iím 30 and am one of those guys now. Iíve been weightlifting regularly since I was 14. In the 16 years Iíve had a few sabbaticals, maybe 2 years total off. Even when traveling the world or cross country, we find gyms.

When you do it so long and are actually ďgoodĒ at it (I.e. you know your body in and out) itís really not that time consuming. Iíve tried everything over the last decade. 5 days a week, 3 days on, 1 day off, etc. in my early 20ís I did a year or so of training legs twice as often as everything else and they really caught up. I have probably one of the more proportioned bodies in most gyms because of it (most guys legs suck). Itís actually one of my favorite days now, and Iím very proud of my big vascular legs that carry almost no body fat.

To touch back on one I mentioned, once you know your body, itís not that time consuming to look like a ďmeathead.Ē

My wife and I lift weights 3 days a week, approximately 1 hour/day. I think most people could easily fit that in their schedule. We have our sets, reps, exercises, etc down to where they need to be.

Whatís bigger than that, is our diet is pretty much down to a science. Like my lifting, Iíve experimented everywhere there as well. We proportion all our meals and adjust accordingly based on our goals. My wife cooks it all which isnít that challenging. We eat very delicious and healthy meals. This year weíve started intermittent fasting as a way to control hunger, which Iíve loved.

This year I also started running about 3 days/wk. prior to this year Iíve never done cardio in my life and itís not necessary to be big and muscular, but Iíve really been enjoying it. I hope to run a 20 minute 5k next year while still being able to squat 2x body weight and bench 1.5x body weight. That seems like an impressive goal to me (Iím there strengthwise, 5k time is hard for a newer runner, especially one my size)

I donít think any of this seems less attainable as I hit 40 and 50, and beings Iíll be working far less then, it should be even easier. Last winter I worked 700 hours of overtime over a 6-7 month period, and I donít think I missed a single day in the weight room, despite all the 80 hr weeks.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 11:46:09 AM by use2betrix »

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 10:10:27 AM »
Great posts above regarding the enjoyment and social aspects. Iíve been doing it forever, and love it, and honestly have a hard time even realizing people would be there and donít enjoy it lol. Have made many good friends at gyms over the years as well.

big_owl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 10:58:00 AM »
I was a huge bodybuilding buff in my 20s and spent probably 1.5hrs/day in the gym (I took off weekends though).  Went from 135lbs @ 19yo to 220lbs @ 24yo.  For me it completely changed my life.  I started out just wanting to look like Schwarzenegger in his prime.  Decided at about 23yo that steroids and going professional weren't for me so gave up on that particular dream (as if it were ever attainable haha). 

At 38yo I'm under no illusion that I'll look exactly like I did at 24yo but I'm generally just as strong in most of my lifts and when I'm in a serious streak of training I think my muscles look more mature than in my 20s even if the skin isn't quite as "tight" as it used to be.  You won't see me doing calf raises with 600lbs anymore or 400lb squats because I'm more cognisant of my aging spine.  My modern day bbing workout is about 30mins/day and I also add in things like kettle bells and rubber band exercises for the spine and pelvis.

1. Do I regret spending all that time and money in the gym?  Fuck no.  We had great friendships in the gym, lots of humor and hard work.  Over just the past 15yrs at the same gym I've gotten to know the guys who work out at the same time every day before work.  We've grown older together!  I know more than your average primary care physician about how the body works and the various muscles and exercises to improve any body part.  This especially comes in handy with injuries and self-PT.  Plus there's diet, I know exactly what I need to do to lose or gain weight whenever I want.  This is a tangible benefit in everyday life.

2. Having an awesome body did wonders for my self confidence and taught me a lot about life in general.  Before the gym I was a skinny little guy who never took his shirt off.  I can't lie, being at the top of the food chain for physical appearance was satisfying to the ego, though I never really used it to my advantage since I was in a long term relationship anyhow.  I'm certainly not worried about looking better naked lol. 

3. Also, nobody ever picked fights with me, dudes always showed respect for the hard work.  Not like I was out running drugs on the mean streets, but hey I'll take it where I can get it.

4. Women didn't really enter the equation - I was in a relationhip so it didn't matter - though of course it was nice on the eyes to be working out with fit ladies in the gym.   And naturally it feels nice to be oogled at by the opposite sex.

5. And as we learn more science about how important weightlifting is to overall health as we age, the real question is can you afford *NOT* to be a gym rat?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 11:01:04 AM by big_owl »

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12309
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 04:40:14 PM »
In my heyday I spent an awful lot of time in gyms . . . BJJ three times a week, judo once, and weights two or three times.  Each session was between an hour and a half and two hours.  It was really fun, I learned a ton, was ridiculously strong, has shredded abs with a pizza n' beer diet, won a lot of tournaments, and I'd still be doing it if I could recover the same way I used to.

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 06:55:45 PM »
Yes, one of those lifter guys in my 20's. I lifted more for strength and sport performance but was also lean, 6 pack, etc. I never spent multi hours in the gym though. 1 hour or less 3-4 times a week, good diet and a generally active lifestyle. 

Regret the time? Why would I? Being ripped in your 20's leads to all kinds of good times. I'm 100% sure it helped in attracting my hot wife. :D

I'm 44 now and still love lifting and sports. It will never end.

LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 704
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2018, 03:54:35 AM »
Worked for a large company in my 20s (the '90s) that had a very nice basement health club. CEO thought it would help employee health, build camaraderie, etc. They couldn't have made it easier, providing mesh bags you could throw your gym clothes in and they'd be washed and put back in a locker. (This was before the popularity of modern dry-fit clothing you don't put in a dryer). But they couldn't have made it more excuse-proof. Probably less than 5 percent of the company used it -- cost was $10 a month, deducted from your paycheck.

mizzourah2006

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
  • Location: NWA
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 07:28:16 AM »
Yes I was. I was a powerlifter/bodybuilder. I didnít spend that much time at the gym, other than my 1-1.5 hours 5-6x a week, but who cares? Iím sure theyíd say a hobby you spend 8-10 hours a week on is a waste of time too. A lot of those guys/gals social lives revolve around the gym too. So instead of going to a bar to catch up with friends they hang out at the gym.

tralfamadorian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1016
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2018, 12:33:43 PM »
Yes, I was/am. ~1hr 3x/wk. Going to the gym is like any other hobby as far as I'm concerned. Some hobbies come and go depending on other commitments; some you keep up throughout your life because it's important to you. Gym time is important to me not only because it makes me look and feel good but also because of the health benefits for the future.

beer-man

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2018, 12:43:32 PM »
I was and I still am. Great memories from my teens and 20’s with my gym buddies.
 People at work assume because I’m in good shape that I spend a ton of time in the gym. Truth is maintenance is a lot easier than the work it took to get here. 1.5hr of  concentrated work 2x a week is all the time I a lot these days


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

chemistk

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 293
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2018, 06:19:51 AM »
Nope!

I'm in my late-20s now and haven't spent much time working out at a gym. These days, I have enough time for about one hobby and I'm not that attracted to the gym that it's the top of my priority list.

Don't get me wrong, I keep fit. I try to walk a few miles a day, and do plenty of "weightlifting" - about 50 reps of 30lbs and 15 reps of 45 lbs daily. Evenly distributed among arms, core, and legs depending on the activity. Sometimes it's pony rides, other times piggy back rides, or some careful tossing in the air. My boys both love to play.

Eventually I'll get back to the gym. I worked out more regularly before my kids came into the picture, but I'll trade a chiseled physique for time spent with them any day.

Zola.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Location: UK
  • Let's do this.
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2018, 08:43:47 AM »
For many of these people it is a form of therapy.

Scratch the surface of a chiselled bodybuilder and you will often find insecurity and various personal issues which have led them on this path. Not all, but many!

Personally I like working out, and it is rewarding to see gains. I have been desperately lazy with lifting over the past 2 years though. You have to be consistent to get the rewards with bodybuilding thats the big thing! Its basically pointless to do unless you can commit to at least 3 times a week, most serious guys go 6 times a week...

undercover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2018, 09:43:05 AM »
I just started and I'm in my late twenties. I love it so far. 3-4 days a week for 1-1.5 hours per session adds up to not that much time at all. And right now I prefer going to the gym to stay motivated and also have an excuse to get out of the house since I don't work. Yeah I could brag about how I bought my own gym for $300 and never have to leave the house but then I probably wouldn't use it.

So far it's been really great both physically AND mentally and there's zero chance I'd ever regret the time spent. I've been catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while as well.

I'm not about to spend two hours a day every day though basically because there are diminishing returns with higher chance of injury.

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1601
  • Location: Minnesnowta
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 09:54:11 AM »
In my early twenties I couldn't bench 135lbs and I didn't know what a deadlift was.  I've since hit 300/400/500 in the powerlifts.  At peak times I was probably in the gym 3 hours a day 5 days a week.

I made lots of good friends and got strong.  Only regret was I wish I was a smarter about my training as now I'm dealing with some nagging injuries.

mveill1

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2018, 10:29:41 AM »
Interesting to see the camaraderie. I use the gym changing room at my work to change out of my cycling clothes and shower in mornings, and there's definitely banter and "working out" talk. But with a baby on the way, and living 10 miles from my work, and a wife that isn't interested in that stuff, I just can't justify the time. So I got me some cheap kettlebells and I swing away in the back garden, with music streaming into my skull...

beer-man

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2018, 11:35:23 AM »
For many of these people it is a form of therapy.

Scratch the surface of a chiselled bodybuilder and you will often find insecurity and various personal issues which have led them on this path. Not all, but many!

Personally I like working out, and it is rewarding to see gains. I have been desperately lazy with lifting over the past 2 years though. You have to be consistent to get the rewards with bodybuilding thats the big thing! Its basically pointless to do unless you can commit to at least 3 times a week, most serious guys go 6 times a week...
That last part is Not true in the slightest. 2x a week is all you need if you commit to some volume and intensity


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5982
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2018, 12:00:38 PM »
Was I  a gym junkie?  Yes.  Was I a big guy who lived for it and spent all my free time there?  No.

First, I'm not a dude.
Second, I was in the Navy in much of my 20's, so needed to stay fit.

I'm a moderately social person, and I like the social interaction from gyms and fitness.
I'm a dabbler, so I've done a bit of everything.

Now I'm in my late 40s, and I belong to 3 gyms, plus I have Beachbody on Demand.  I spend probably 45 min to 1 hour a day exercising, on average.  I'd do more but: job and kids.

Margie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: SW Ontario
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2018, 01:00:55 PM »
Yes definitely loved the gym in my 20's!   Socially it was fun working out with my friends (some just gym friends and some forever friends)  I was, if I do say so myself, smokin' hot....lol  Was dating my husband and then married him and I would sometimes message him that I turned myself on today and then he would message back I'll be home early...fun times.  That was in the days of pagers rather than cell phones...
Once we had kids, I would go to the gym (kids in playroom) and then have a picnic with them, drop the eldest off at school, take the baby home for nap and then have two hours to eat a good lunch, shower, etc...It was one of my best times of my life...My body bounced back in weeks, by the six week check up I had lost almost all weight and just needed to retone (kids are teenagers now!)  Got busy as they both got to school age so the gym time fell by the wayside.  I still weight lifted at home and walked a lot and played with kids so was always in decent shape.
Then, in my mid-thirties I was diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease.  That stopped my biking and many physical activities I loved.  It was surreal as I always used exercise as a way to deal with stress and this was definitely the most stressful time of my life and my regular coping mechanism was gone.  Or, it would frustrate me to try something and not be able to do it.
Now, in my mid-forties I am still walking (alas with a walker) but many people at this stage of weakness use wheelchairs or scooters.  (according to the limited research that exists).
I still walk a bit, swim a bit, and lift weights (5 pounds!!!  gah!) but anything more and my muscles ache so bad I could literally cry.
So, I guess the point of this is to strongly encourage any physical activity it will payoff with mental well being, physical well being, etc...I think I have the mobility I have because of some muscle memory.  I still look pretty good as I have never been over weight and even though my muscles are weak they are not flabby yet. 
The other good side effect is that my family is still active.   My kids are athletic and very fit.  They eat well and are very active.  I'd like to think the early days of parenthood have lead to this a bit!


o2bfree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 252
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2018, 02:27:25 PM »
Then, in my mid-thirties I was diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease.  That stopped my biking and many physical activities I loved.  It was surreal as I always used exercise as a way to deal with stress and this was definitely the most stressful time of my life and my regular coping mechanism was gone.  Or, it would frustrate me to try something and not be able to do it.
Now, in my mid-forties I am still walking (alas with a walker) but many people at this stage of weakness use wheelchairs or scooters.  (according to the limited research that exists).
I still walk a bit, swim a bit, and lift weights (5 pounds!!!  gah!) but anything more and my muscles ache so bad I could literally cry.
So, I guess the point of this is to strongly encourage any physical activity it will payoff with mental well being, physical well being, etc...I think I have the mobility I have because of some muscle memory.  I still look pretty good as I have never been over weight and even though my muscles are weak they are not flabby yet. 
The other good side effect is that my family is still active.   My kids are athletic and very fit.  They eat well and are very active.  I'd like to think the early days of parenthood have lead to this a bit!

Dang, sorry to hear that Margie! What a great lesson to hear how your fitness routine prepared you to deal with your condition better than most. You just never know what you're gonna get...

I've been hitting the gym 3x/week, doing mostly weight lifting, since I was 23 or 24. I'm now 56, and in better shape than most women my age. Many middle-aged women I know really blimped out during menopause, often in spite of dieting and cardio work. My shape has changed in some ways, but my weight hasn't. Also, my cardiovascular health is excellent.

On the down side, I've had surgery on both shoulders. This was partly due to having hooked acromion bones, which caused impingements that I was unaware of. Some bad falls skiing and in a martial arts course, along with doing military presses and other possibly harmful shoulder exercises in the gym, probably contributed to the damage, too. There's sometimes a price to pay for being active.

merlin7676

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2018, 07:55:34 AM »
Nope I was not. Joined many gyms many times throughout the years and after a month or two stopped going.

But right after I turned 42 in June (this year) I joined the gym and have been going religiously 3-4 days a week. In 6 months time I've increased my weights, my reps, my sets, number of machines and free weights I use, gained a ton of muscle, and feel so much better. I'm probably stronger and healthier now than I've ever been in my entire life.
Recently added swimming too as both cardio and to supplement my strength training. Try doing laps without stopping for several hundred meters and you'll find new muscles you didn't know you had.
I know I'm not as strong as I'd be if I worked out like this in my 20s and I definitely don't recover as quickly. On gym days (I usually go right after work) I'm pretty tired in the evenings so usually end up falling asleep earlier. But I know in the long run this will help me stay stronger and healthier as I age so it's def worth it.

As far as the younger crowd goes, yes there are those yng guys that are all about posing, strutting around, showing off, being "bros" ect.  I just ignore them. It became apparent very quickly who was there to work out and who was there to "show off". 

jrgtnre

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2018, 08:31:15 AM »
The premise of this question, that lifting weights or strength training is something done for vanity, and naturally something that might be regretted or seen as wasted time, is such a common viewpoint, and really a pet peeve of mine.

If you tell people you are a dedicated runner (half-marathon, marathon, triathalon, etc), it seems you get such respect for your healthy lifestyle, and dedication to fitness. If you tell people you are really into some variety of strength training, their eyes glaze over, and they assume you are just a vain meathead, who likes flexing in the mirror.

Just google the effects of strength training on health outcomes with aging. I'm 32 and have a decent base of strength built up over the last 15 years or so. I don't regret one minute of the time spent, and hope to continue it over the rest of my life.

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2018, 09:56:37 AM »
The premise of this question, that lifting weights or strength training is something done for vanity, and naturally something that might be regretted or seen as wasted time, is such a common viewpoint, and really a pet peeve of mine.

If you tell people you are a dedicated runner (half-marathon, marathon, triathalon, etc), it seems you get such respect for your healthy lifestyle, and dedication to fitness. If you tell people you are really into some variety of strength training, their eyes glaze over, and they assume you are just a vain meathead, who likes flexing in the mirror.

Just google the effects of strength training on health outcomes with aging. I'm 32 and have a decent base of strength built up over the last 15 years or so. I don't regret one minute of the time spent, and hope to continue it over the rest of my life.

Yup. Muscles are one thing, but bone density for aging adults is huge. And if you're smart as you age you transition more into strength maintenance and mobility work. Heavy squats may give way to TRX pistol squats, heavy deads into KB SLDs with hip hinging and so on. But having the base and not starting from scratch in your 40's, 50's or 60's is a big leg up.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5982
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2018, 10:41:23 AM »
The premise of this question, that lifting weights or strength training is something done for vanity, and naturally something that might be regretted or seen as wasted time, is such a common viewpoint, and really a pet peeve of mine.

If you tell people you are a dedicated runner (half-marathon, marathon, triathalon, etc), it seems you get such respect for your healthy lifestyle, and dedication to fitness. If you tell people you are really into some variety of strength training, their eyes glaze over, and they assume you are just a vain meathead, who likes flexing in the mirror.

Just google the effects of strength training on health outcomes with aging. I'm 32 and have a decent base of strength built up over the last 15 years or so. I don't regret one minute of the time spent, and hope to continue it over the rest of my life.
Probably perception depends on age.  I'm in my late 40s, and most people I know (who are reasonably fit) are much more likely to respect you for weightlifting.  Especially at my age, it's essential for women (men too) to lift.

They'll respect you too for distance running, but not before asking you how your joints are!

PhrugalPhan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
  • Age: 56
  • Location: No. VA
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2018, 11:20:00 AM »
I tried to work out in my 20s and 30, though I was very sporadic at best.  At 40 I was starting to put on serious weight and then had my first child.  I just started a new job that had a downstairs gym, and I decided I didn't want to be one of those dads that couldn't do anything physical with his child, so I made a point to go every day at lunch.  Didn't matter what I did, just so I went and did something.  And I've kept it up since.  Its now my therapy for dealing with a project from hell I have been stuck on for a few years.

15 years later I go to the gym twice most days (lunch & after work).  I weigh 70 lbs less then my worst point, tons more muscle, and was even interviewed for part of a video shown as part of new employees orientation.  My stamina is much much better than it was 20 years ago and have had very few physical problems in the past 10 years (mostly problems I would have had exercising or not) which has saved me a ton of money.  Also its easy now to go to yard sales and find good clothing that people bought then got too heavy to wear but fits me well.

OK, so bragging a bit, but at long as you aren't doing crazy hard exercising you should make yourself feel better, look better, and live better and longer.  What's not to like?

If you have any concerns, talk to a professional gym manager that has a training certification - they should be able to give you a good workout plan with just one visit - its what I have done.  And if you're concerned about long term issues, try to keep everything low impact.  I do that, as I even avoid treadmills and use cross-train machines that are easy on joints.

undercover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2018, 11:48:32 AM »
The premise of this question, that lifting weights or strength training is something done for vanity, and naturally something that might be regretted or seen as wasted time, is such a common viewpoint, and really a pet peeve of mine.

If you tell people you are a dedicated runner (half-marathon, marathon, triathalon, etc), it seems you get such respect for your healthy lifestyle, and dedication to fitness. If you tell people you are really into some variety of strength training, their eyes glaze over, and they assume you are just a vain meathead, who likes flexing in the mirror.

Just google the effects of strength training on health outcomes with aging. I'm 32 and have a decent base of strength built up over the last 15 years or so. I don't regret one minute of the time spent, and hope to continue it over the rest of my life.

Yup. Muscles are one thing, but bone density for aging adults is huge. And if you're smart as you age you transition more into strength maintenance and mobility work. Heavy squats may give way to TRX pistol squats, heavy deads into KB SLDs with hip hinging and so on. But having the base and not starting from scratch in your 40's, 50's or 60's is a big leg up.

( ͡į ͜ʖ ͡į) I see what you did there.

jlcnuke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 797
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2018, 04:11:13 PM »
Yes definitely loved the gym in my 20's!   Socially it was fun working out with my friends (some just gym friends and some forever friends)  I was, if I do say so myself, smokin' hot....lol  Was dating my husband and then married him and I would sometimes message him that I turned myself on today and then he would message back I'll be home early...fun times.  That was in the days of pagers rather than cell phones...
Once we had kids, I would go to the gym (kids in playroom) and then have a picnic with them, drop the eldest off at school, take the baby home for nap and then have two hours to eat a good lunch, shower, etc...It was one of my best times of my life...My body bounced back in weeks, by the six week check up I had lost almost all weight and just needed to retone (kids are teenagers now!)  Got busy as they both got to school age so the gym time fell by the wayside.  I still weight lifted at home and walked a lot and played with kids so was always in decent shape.
Then, in my mid-thirties I was diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease.  That stopped my biking and many physical activities I loved.  It was surreal as I always used exercise as a way to deal with stress and this was definitely the most stressful time of my life and my regular coping mechanism was gone.  Or, it would frustrate me to try something and not be able to do it.
Now, in my mid-forties I am still walking (alas with a walker) but many people at this stage of weakness use wheelchairs or scooters.  (according to the limited research that exists).
I still walk a bit, swim a bit, and lift weights (5 pounds!!!  gah!) but anything more and my muscles ache so bad I could literally cry.
So, I guess the point of this is to strongly encourage any physical activity it will payoff with mental well being, physical well being, etc...I think I have the mobility I have because of some muscle memory.  I still look pretty good as I have never been over weight and even though my muscles are weak they are not flabby yet. 
The other good side effect is that my family is still active.   My kids are athletic and very fit.  They eat well and are very active.  I'd like to think the early days of parenthood have lead to this a bit!

Good for you. Your condition sounds a lot like my mom's IBM... not pleasant but it seems you're staying positive and that's the most important part imo. Keep it up!

As for me, my workouts in my 20's were mostly curls, of the 12 oz variety.. now in my early 40's I spend more time at the gym in a week than I did in the entire year for most of my time in the Navy.

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2018, 09:59:41 PM »
Yep, I played a lot of sports and lifted a lot of weights until I was about 27 and some pretty rough injuries caught up to me. I took a couple years off from mostly everything, got a bit out of shape, then got into functional training around 30, and shortly after that got very into yoga. Right now in my mid-30s I still practice yoga most days but I also balance it out with a bit of high-intensity cardio/core stuff and have never felt better including when I played competitive soccer (though I do often miss the competition). I may add some weight lifting back to the mix as I get older, but for now, I really don't need it. At this point in my life, flexibility is far more important and a sweaty ashtanga-style yoga practice also provides more than enough strength training to boot. I highly recommend it.

spartana

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Retired at 42
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2018, 10:28:51 PM »
I started working out hard As a teen so I could be fit enough to play competitive sports and do a lot of the outdoor activities I love. Kept it up ever since for the same reasons but really ramped it up in my 30s when I got out of the military and even more so since I FIREd. Being able to do the more physically demanding activities while still youngish was the main reason I FIREd. So far I'm still going strong and can't see stopping until I'm ancient. I still do daily gym workouts (but not a body builder) if I'm at home but generally do more long distance endurance things outdoors now and play sports and supplement that with gym workouts most evenings.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 10:30:34 PM by spartana »

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3744
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2018, 02:41:29 AM »
I started lifting around 18, Joined a gym in my early 20's and eventually opened my office a block away. I worked out 2 hours in the morning, played BB over lunch and most nights worked out at night again. Did this for nearly 20 years. This was how I handled stress , stayed out of trouble and I just really enjoyed the commodore at the gym. Now I am 54 so I have been working out for 35+ years and the only thing I would say I regret is in those earlier years lifting so damn heavy that i affected some joints BUT the girls I met being in shape and health benefits was all worth it. Hell I even met my DW at the gym. We had some meat heads as well but to me those were the guys you knew were on the juice or seemed like there breaks between exercises were longer than the time the would put in. To each there own.

Dragonswan

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: Between realms
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2018, 09:13:33 AM »
Yep.  Though I'm strictly a group class person (I find machines and such boring) and need the group energy and camaraderie.  It's harder now in my fifties with the work commute and aging knees, but I can still beat a few young bucks when I've taken enough pain meds.

Ahem, leave the male twenty something eye candy alone.  These days, I need more than just my health as incentive to exercise.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5982
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2018, 12:20:51 PM »
I started working out hard As a teen so I could be fit enough to play competitive sports and do a lot of the outdoor activities I love. Kept it up ever since for the same reasons but really ramped it up in my 30s when I got out of the military and even more so since I FIREd. Being able to do the more physically demanding activities while still youngish was the main reason I FIREd. So far I'm still going strong and can't see stopping until I'm ancient. I still do daily gym workouts (but not a body builder) if I'm at home but generally do more long distance endurance things outdoors now and play sports and supplement that with gym workouts most evenings.
More details?  This kind of sounds like heaven to me. 

I spent most of this year training for and running half marathons (including one that is all uphill, 4000 ft elevation gain).  I don't *love* running and I'm not particularly fast (I was stoked to break a 10:00 mile on my last 10k), but it's efficient for stress relief.

So I'd then decided to move on to trail running/ hiking - then  I bit it and strained my hamstring.  I haven't been able to run wince, but I figure I will just start up hiking until I can add running again.  I think what appeals to me about trail running/ hiking is that it's less about speed and more about distance.

Since the injury I miss running but I've been enjoying going back to my old ADD ways.  I've been swimming laps, and started 3x a week weight training.  Also taking more lunch time strolls.  The occasional bike ride.  Elliptical once/week with my best friend (gab session).

spartana

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Retired at 42
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2018, 01:14:05 PM »
I started working out hard As a teen so I could be fit enough to play competitive sports and do a lot of the outdoor activities I love. Kept it up ever since for the same reasons but really ramped it up in my 30s when I got out of the military and even more so since I FIREd. Being able to do the more physically demanding activities while still youngish was the main reason I FIREd. So far I'm still going strong and can't see stopping until I'm ancient. I still do daily gym workouts (but not a body builder) if I'm at home but generally do more long distance endurance things outdoors now and play sports and supplement that with gym workouts most evenings.
More details?  This kind of sounds like heaven to me. 

I spent most of this year training for and running half marathons (including one that is all uphill, 4000 ft elevation gain).  I don't *love* running and I'm not particularly fast (I was stoked to break a 10:00 mile on my last 10k), but it's efficient for stress relief.

So I'd then decided to move on to trail running/ hiking - then  I bit it and strained my hamstring.  I haven't been able to run wince, but I figure I will just start up hiking until I can add running again.  I think what appeals to me about trail running/ hiking is that it's less about speed and more about distance.

Since the injury I miss running but I've been enjoying going back to my old ADD ways.  I've been swimming laps, and started 3x a week weight training.  Also taking more lunch time strolls.  The occasional bike ride.  Elliptical once/week with my best friend (gab session).
Yay for trail running - my favorite thing (after beach volleyball that is which I know you also play a lot). Former member @Stasher is also a long distance trail runner and you can read about his runs on his journal. I was a distance runner (ultras) for years and I agree its a good running sport as you age. I'm not as fast as I once was (which was never very fast) but I can go very long distances still. Same with century or longer bike rides. Being RE really helps as I never had time for that kind of distance stuff or multiple workouts (plus recovery time and feeding time) when working.  When I was home more I followed a strict workout schedule everyday (run, bike, volleyball, gym m-f and things like hiking etc on weekends) but now that I'm travelling more I stick with more outdoor rec stuff. It IS pretty heavenly!

ETA for OP I don't really socialize at the gym but I do with people I do other sports related activities with. I don't regret anytime I've spent working out even if it seemed excessive to other people. My ex DH and I (as well as any ex BFs) worked out/did sports together and it was a great bonding thing. It leaves me relaxed, sometimes dog tired, emotionally balanced, healthy (and hopefully reduces future age-related illnesses) and most importantly,  I can eat everything!!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 01:23:27 PM by spartana »

Threshkin

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 914
  • Location: Colorado
    • My Journal
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2018, 01:55:03 PM »
F No!!!

In my 20s I didn't need to exercise to keep fit.  Just normal activities kept me skinny and healthy.  That changed significantly as I got older though.

Philociraptor

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 838
  • Age: 29
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • FIRE Deadline: May 2029
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2018, 02:11:48 PM »
Never ran or touched a barbell until I was in my 20's, just a fat lump before then. Now I'm finishing off my 20's and have settled into doing an hour or two of work, 4 days a week (MTRF). Each day is generally focused around 1 or 2 big lifts (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press) with volume and/or accessories.

Why? Because strong people are harder to kill and more useful in general. Some people meditate, I spend time under tension. It does wonders to put mental distance between work and home each afternoon, and also allows me to get away from my phone and having to interact with others. By the time I head home and have dinner with the wife I'm excited to have a great meal, my head is clear, and I'm calm AF. Wife trains 4-5 days a week as well, olympic weightlifting. Based on the ages of the folks I see around the gym, I doubt we'll regret that time spent.

ol1970

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2018, 07:07:31 AM »
Just my $0.02, but I see a ton of these FIRE bloggers and VLoggers who would be considered significantly overweight and in terrible shape.  That is one thing I like about MMM is that he realizes fitness is an essential part to overall happiness.  FIRE'ing by winning at the money aspect of life but looking and feeling like an old sack of potatoes isn't winning.  That being said I was never a junkie but always tried to stay relatively consistent...only bummer now is seeing the difference first hand of how hard it is to recover from injuries/aches/pains in your 40's than in your 20's & 30's.  I see even more clearly now how important fitness and proper eating is to your overall happiness, I'm super happy I made it a priority.

Dances With Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2018, 08:04:04 AM »
Given the lack of positive social spaces for young men, I think the gym serves as a gathering space for male comraderie in a lot of people's lives.  I think back on the gym in my home town and the 4-5:30 crew of guys that came in fondly.  There were a lot of great personalities, a lot of very helpful people, a lot of great afternoons spent there.

Many people would look at the FIRE lifestyle and say aren't you going to regret not doing xyz when you are 50?  The same applies here.  Their response to your question, which would probably mirror your own answer to the question above, would likely be, "I'd rather be in the gym doing what I enjoy, with the people I enjoy being around, rather than sitting at home eating cheetos."

I would rather be sitting at home eating Cheetos...

Seriously though, I wasn't into the gym thing as some of my friends were. (Many have had knee and/ or shoulder surgeries BTW.) However, a group of us got together often to water ski during the summer months followed by snow skiing in winter.

I am grateful to have had those experiences, the friendships, and keeping active.

Does being an active Ski Bum count?


Much Fishing to Do

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2018, 08:16:16 AM »
I ran ultramarathons and trained like 80 miles week.  I'm guessing its like that, as in some of that probably wasn't the healthiest for me to do, but I liked it (the running and the competition and the community) and was probably less of a waste of time than anything else I did outside of school/work....

Luck12

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2018, 08:35:14 AM »
I lifted and/or ran/biked 6 times a week in my 20's and now too, but I rarely went to the gym.  I lifted at home and still do.  Only times I went to the gym (I was and am a member of a gym that's $10 a month) was when I felt I needed a little variety or when I was helping out a friend.   Even then I would always try to go during non-rush time. 

Too many annoying things and people at the gym.  Arrogant gym bros, people hogging equipment, oblivious mofos doing exercises right in front of the dumbell rack, etc. 

I don't know how you regular gym goers don't just start hating humanity at some point. 

Home gym = Introvert dream. 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 08:38:47 AM by Luck12 »

PhrugalPhan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
  • Age: 56
  • Location: No. VA
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2018, 07:17:37 PM »
Too many annoying things and people at the gym.  Arrogant gym bros, people hogging equipment, oblivious mofos doing exercises right in front of the dumbell rack, etc. 
I'm an introvert, but mostly like going to my gym.  I think I am just lucky I workout at an employee gym and there are only a rare few like you describe, and the gym just isn't that crowded most days that you can't just work around people if needed.

11ducks

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
  • Location: Duckville, Australia
Re: Were you a gym/exercise junkie in your 20s?
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2018, 12:20:55 AM »
Exercise junkie in my 20s and still now, at 35.
I love the way that I feel- strong and flexible and capable of caring for myself. I work with people who are so overweight/have bad knees and can't use the stairs- that is terrifying to me. I think my fitness is giving myself the best chance of survival in the event of an emergency or accident.

I sleep so well and rarely get sick ( except for a few workout injuries). I think that like all other animals we are made to move, run and jump and bend, and that when we get so sedentary that we can't do those things, it is really sad.