Hammer and Nails: Building a Better Body as You Age

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You know, the gym is full of many different people. Each unique individual has a unique past to match.

You’ll find a pretty good mixture of age groups, races, and reasons for why they are even at the gym. There is a group, however, that I have always looked up to. This is the mid-30s, one that I now find myself in.

I call this collection of individuals the “hammer and nails” group.

Related: Bodybuilding Over 40: How to Train and Gain

When we were young, if we had shown any kind of decency and respect to our God-given bodies, we could do some pretty amazing things. Our strength was there. Our agility was trainable. Our motivation was high because our capability was limitless… it seemed.

When We Were Young…

Teenage LifterLet’s talk about the young crowd.  I am sure you’ve seen them. Maybe fresh out of high school, or perhaps even a college graduate. Their responsibilities in life are somewhat congruous with their age.

Now before you assume I am trying to insult the “younglings” of the gym, I am not. I am simply stating that this group is capable of grabbing our attention due to their ability to lift heavier weights, run longer distances, and eat whatever food they want.

They are young. They are unscathed by the ways of the world. They have not been challenged by responsibility in a way that many of us “older” folks have. I am sure some of the young ones know what I am talking about, and that they will even enjoy this article.

This group of people that simply rely on the age of their bodies, and go into the gym and just do whatever they want, are able to recover in a day. They are like a construction crew with all the latest and greatest tools and technology.

The young ones have everything at their disposal. They can do all the work they WANT to do.

Let’s focus on that word, “want.”

You “want” to try to bench 300 pounds. Or, you “want” to try to squat 400 pounds. You “want” to curl a barbell with 45s on each end. You’re young. You have the tools.

Why not!

When Life (And Age) Happens

But as we all know the inevitable happens. We get older. Life happens.

Our bodies remind us of a daily reality. We have fewer “tools” in our tool box. Our resources have started to dwindle.

Sooner or later we are left with just a “hammer and nails.” This is where the tried and true come to life, and rise to the occasion.

Both the men and women. You’ve had some kids. Maybe you got that job you wanted after graduating college.

Dumbbells were replaced with a beer can or baby bottle. Lack of activity caused your body to diminish, not just in look but in function. The gym you used to “own” just a few years ago is now but a memory, fogged up by the constant sound of phone calls, texts, bills, babies, and spouses

Before you know it, you’ve turned into the “I used to do this in the gym” people. You used to. “You used to” means nothing to me. It never has. What are you going to do now? What are you going to build with this hammer and nails?

This my friends is fitness. This my friends is work. This my friends is the true meaning of the messages you see on social media, with all the fit people posing as the back drop.

This is reality.

So if you find yourself in this group of people – this “hammer and nails” crew – you are the true motivation in the gym. The real grit-goers and dirty diggers.

You are the example of a future that has yet to come for the young folks. Show them how it is done. Anyone can build a house with power tools.

Can you build one with just a hammer and nails? Get to work!

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Name: Joshua Englehart

Bio: Joshua Englehart was born in 1981 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a husband and father of soon to be 6 children. He owns AIP Fitness Personal Training in Michigan. A personal trainer going on 13 years, fitness model, fitness professional and sports nutrition spokesmodel/distributor, Joshua has a deep rooted passion for fitness and bodybuilding and loves to work with people who are truly interested in changing their lives for the better.