Category Archives for "Anti-Aging"

Testosterone before and after

Dead or Alive: Rodger’s Incredible Story

In this article I interviewed Rodger Padgett. Rodger’s is a story of a man who wrestled with addiction and battled significant health problems. These things alone would have defeated lesser men. 

Rodger beat them all and completely turned life around – thanks in no small part to optimal testosterone levels and a great lifestyle to go with it! What’s more, he’s in his mid-60s and has the kind of physique men half his age would kill for it.

Rodger, please tell us a little bit about you and your background?

I was born on December 7th, 1951 in Eugene, Oregon. I was the youngest of twins and one of six boys in my family!  Growing up, I wasn’t athletic. I also wasn’t an athlete in school. And in the last year of high school I developed a drug dependency.

This continued for some years after, and I became dependent on methamphetamines and hallucinogens. Most of that stopped when I joined the U.S. Army in 1972 – except for the meth.  

Solider military

After getting assigned to my first duty station in Fort Hood, Texas, my meth habit came to an abrupt end. But not in the way I intended – I came down with hepatitis B and spent 30 days in ward “W” (a drug and alcohol recovery ward.) 

While I was there, one of my roommates was visited by a friend. It later turned out that this was actually a drug delivery. After his friend left, my roommate went into the toilet and was later found dead.

He had overdosed on heroin.

The visit was unlucky for him, but a major wake up call for me. I was 23 and decided I wanted to live to be 60. If I kept going like that I knew I wouldn’t make it to 24.

I spent the next year in drug and alcohol rehabilitation counseling. During my time in rehab, I learned to substitute healthy habits (running) for bad habits that had been plaguing me (drugs). 

I developed a newfound love for running and tackled it with the same enthusiasm I have with other things in my life. I trained for and ran 5, 10 and 15 km road races. I’ve also run 15 marathons, and clocked 14 of them in under three hours! 

I applied myself with renewed enthusiasm to the physical life in the army. Most soldiers would usually look to get by and meet the minimum physical standards – not me! I could do 100 push ups in 2 minutes, 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes and 1-mile run in less than 7 minutes. In July 2004 I retired after 32 years in the Army and stayed active until 2008. That’s when I began to have health issues.

You are in exceptional shape for your age. What drives you to maintain this level of health & fitness, at an age when most men have given up?

In October 2008 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had been suffering from frequent migraines and developed several autoimmune conditions. The worst of which was psoriasis ( a skin condition) over a significant portion of my body.  

The neurologist I was seeing sent me for a CAT scan of my neck to investigate. This resulted in a diagnosis of arthritis in my cervical spine, which explained the migraines. 

They also discovered lumps in my thyroid believed to be cancerous. The doctors moved quickly and I had my thyroid removed on December 23rd, 2008. 

That December marked my slow descent into the physical condition I had ever been in. After surgery energy levels were at an all-time low. I was overeating carbohydrates and quickly became overweight. Over the next four years I put on a whopping of 75 lbs (34 kg).

In October 2011 I was notified that my two oldest brothers went into the same hospital for the same thing, i.e. congestive heart failure, on the same day. A family affair you could say. One of them was overweight and sedentary, the other still had a drug problem. 

At the time I was a sloopy 245 lbs (111 kg) and on a similar path to my brothers. And I knew that if I didn’t do something about it I would share the same fate as them.

Nowadays people try to make health more complicated than it is. They obsess over complex macronutrient calculations and read countless books. At some point though you simply have to take action!

Sometimes, all it takes is a resolve to change and determination to do whatever it takes to see it through. 

Testosterone before and after

Before and after: How Rodger looks today

I began by totally revamping my nutrition and following a low-carb diet. I knew enough to appreciate that insulin resistance is associated with virtually every chronic disease. The idea of the new diet was to address my insulin resistance, balance my blood sugar, and above all lose weight! 

I also started taking metformin, which helps increase insulin sensitivity. Studies also demonstrate that testosterone increases your insulin sensitivity. If there’s one thing you can do for a longer, healthier life, it’s increase your insulin sensitivity!

In other words, the less circulating insulin you have in your bloodstream, the less toxicity you have in your body. 

In addition, I underwent a regular exercise program at the gym that was mostly functional and movement based. I did get to do multiple, multi-hour cardio sessions that year. 

 Over the next seven months I continued to drop body fat and gain lean muscle mass! The more muscle I gained, the better I felt. 

I hired a fitness coach to help me with my goals and it was the best decision I ever made! I would probably be six feet under by the time I figured it out myself. 

Working with a coach eliminated the confusion about what, when and why of nutrition and exercise to achieve the kind of health and body I always desired. 

I learned a lot more than “bro” science. I learned to challenge my muscles rather than lift weights. I also learned more can be accomplished with less damage to tendons and connective tissue. Whereas many people assume you have to beat your body into submission to get results!

What drives me to maintain my fitness now? A few things. First, it would have been a terrible waste of effort to fall back on bad habits. Second, I feel so much better mentally and physically with this lifestyle. Finally, I want to live my best life in the best body I ever had!

Why do you think that most men your age let their health deteriorate?

I think it’s a combination of factors. They’ve accepted they’re getting older and their physical condition has changed. Their responsibilities pile up; family, kids, work, etc, and they become ‘too busy’ to workout. Although in truth, being busy is usually a code word for ‘it’s not a priority.’

Many simply become complacent. They don’t realize they have hormonal issues and it’s wreaking havoc with their health. Instead, put it down to ‘age.’ Why does this happen? Because the never have their hormones checked!

Apart from this, some men are just plain lazy! Workout? That’s too hard! But I get it – the gym is not for everyone. You can achieve a lot simply by changing your diet and walking at a good pace for 30-45 minutes a day!

Can you tell us a little bit about your current lifestyle, training, nutrition and supplementation?

 In August 2018 my total (serum) testosterone plummeted to 45 ng/dL (1.6 nmol/L) – basically non-existent. My estrogen (E2) was even higher at 65 pg/mL. In October of the same year, after wrestling with depression and the myriad symptoms related to low T, I found a local doctor who prescribed me testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). 

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I haven’t looked back since! My health transformation didn’t stop there. I also cleaned up my diet. Big time. 

I want to stress that if you do take testosterone, it’s no magic bullet. You still need a solid nutrition plan and lifestyle if you want to live a Fully Optimized Life

Over the past 12 months I’ve experimented with a few different dietary approaches. This included the keto diet and I even went full carnivore for 12 weeks. 

I feel many men over 50. They don’t take up new hobbies or try new things and they lose their zest for life. One day morphs into the next and everything becomes a blur.

Henry David Thoreau summed up best this condition with his famous quote:

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them."

I think a lot of this malaise and indifference in older age stems from low testosterone.

It’s no secret that men’s testosterone levels drop as they age. After the age of 30, testosterone levels decline by as much as 1% per year!

At 67 I’m as energetic and as driven as I’ve ever been! 

And I know that much of it has to do with hormonal balance and the lifestyle I lead.

I’ve learned over the past few years that like everything else in life, change is what I respond to best. My training routine changes every six to eight weeks based on what my stimulus was the last period and what I think I need next.

What would you say to men in their 50s and 60s who look at you now and want to achieve something similar?

 Most older men are defeated before they start. They have limiting beliefs and think their age means they can’t have great health and a top-notch physique. Nonsense! I am proof positive of this. 

As I said, most people use ‘age’ as an excuse. In truth, they’re scared of the work it takes to get results! 

Getting into great shape, at any age, requires discipline, hard work and sacrifice – it’s nowhere near as much as people are led to believe. 

There seems to be this notion today that success in both health and life are mutually exclusive. That is, if you are going to have great health then you must give up everything else to focus on it. 

I’m here to tell you: 

You can have it all – a successful great, wonderful relationship AND incredible health. 

It simply requires an intelligent approach, much like my own story. 

If you put in the effort into your health – regardless of your age – you will be rewarded with a stronger body (invaluable to me while in recovery) and a longer life!

Final Thoughts

Rodger’s story is incredibly inspiring – not only to his peers but men of any age. It just goes to show, if you want the health and body of your dreams bad enough, then you’ll put in the work to make it happen. 

Now, if you’re an older man and you’re looking to get an edge in life do you need to take testosterone replacement therapy? Not necessarily, most men would do well to fix their poor nutrition and lifestyle habits first. Rather than expect testosterone to fix everything for them.

But if you’re a man over 50 who’s got his health and lifestyle otherwise dialed in? Then it can be a very positive adjunct to your life. However, in my experience these types of men are few and far between. 

The best testosterone booster is a great diet. I hope Rodger’s story inspired you to take action in your life. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Lifting at the gym

4 Fundamental Principles of Resistance Training

These days, people make resistance training far more complicated than it is. They obsess over reps, sets and most of the time spend far too long in the gym.

As a result, the progress of the average trainee is mediocre, so they become frustrated and inconsistent with their training. And sometimes, they give it up altogether. 

But as long as you understand some of the most fundamental principles of resistance training, you will always make progress.

In this article we'll look at four of these principles and how you can apply them to your training. This article is an excerpt taken from a chapter in mine and Jay Campbell's book, Living a Fully Optimized Life.

Principle #1: Training is relative to your age and goals.

This one is very simple. If you’re older than 50, your body will not be able to withstand tissue trauma (from training) the same way a 20 year old can.

Yet so many older men train classic bodybuilding style, four to five days per week, not recognizing their bodies and recovery ability have changed.  

Your recovery is very much dependent on your age. By and large, younger trainees will recover faster than older ones.

If you are an older trainee, you won't to focus on training smart instead of busting your balls every time you go to the gym. I wrote an article on this subject: 16 Weight Training Tips For Men Over 50.

As an older trainee, you should also ensure your cardiovascular efficiency (CE) and heart rate variability (HRV) are consistently being measured over time.

Daniel Kelly weight training

Principle #2:  You MUST maximally contract your muscle fibers while simultaneously removing ego and momentum from every aspect of your training.

This is arguably the most important principle out of the three, so pay close attention!If there is only one thing you take away from this book and apply to your training, let it be this principle

In your pursuit of an amazing physique, what others do in the gym is MEANINGLESS.  Removing EGO from your training will massively benefit you as you age.  You’ll also avoid injury from lifting too much weight to keep up with the Jones’ in the gym.

Never forget: The only REAL reason you should go to a gym is to grow muscle and look better naked.  And, if you don’t know how to properly contract muscle fibers while also training to positive muscular failure (PMF), you’re wasting your time.


Because you’ll never grow muscle and look the same as 90% of the people who go to gyms for 30-40 years and never change the way they look . I can’t be more serious... 

If you don’t know how to maximally contract your muscle fibers by blasting the targeted muscle to complete and total exhaustion, you will NEVER BUILD MUSCLE and ultimately change your physique.

Blasting a muscle to total and complete exhaustion is what we call “positive muscular failure” (PMF).  Better defined, PMF is training a muscle or body part to a point where you cannot lift another rep without help from a spotter or some form of machine assistance.

If anything, training to positive muscle failure teaches you the training intensity required to get real results. We can talk about the best workout program all day long. But the truth is that most people simply do not train hard enough to see results in the gym.

They live a life of comfort, devoid of pain. They have no concept of the brutal intensity and focus necessary to build muscle.

Another thing people tend to overlook when they learn how to contract their muscle fibers is “time under tension” (TUT). TUT is defined as the amount of time under which your muscles are maximally contracting. 

Increased TT adds to the overall volume (work performed) of the workout, ultimately leading to greater training adaptations and results.  Logically speaking, then, wouldn’t you want your muscles to be under as much tension for as long as it took to fully fatigue them?

Of course you would. But most people have no idea what no idea what time under tension is, let alone think about applying it in their training.

Rather than take the time to brutally contract their muscle fibers, they rush through every rep and set in the hope of being able to lift heavier weight through the force of momentum.

The greatest enemy to your progress in the gym is allowing momentum to dictate the flow and speed of your intended muscular contractions.

Think of it this way: If you do not maximally recruit muscle fibers, you are not working the muscle to its fullest extent.  In other words, you are not developing your physique to its maximum capacity. 

And this is precisely what happens when you train with ego and use momentum to jerk the weight around.

One interesting study, “Does Tempo of Resistance Exercise Impact Training Volume”, examined how merely changing the “rhythm” or tempo of each rep (i.e. fast, medium, slow) dramatically impacted how many reps subjects were able to perform, AND the total time spent under tension:

“The results of the study indicated that even a small (few seconds) modification in terms of tempo or cadence of particular movement phases can impact maximal number of performed repetitions, time under tension and, importantly, exercise volume in a set and in the whole training session. 

Movement tempo impacts training volume and, consequently, the level of post-exercise fatigue and adaptation patterns”

Long story short:

Maximal muscle fiber contraction via perfectly controlled reps executed with perfect technique is the secret to building a physique worthy of showing off. 

If you learn how to consistently train in this fashion, you can train the targeted muscle for two sets to complete and total exhaustion. That’s right: When you know what you’re doing, two sets is all you need.

What about novice trainees, though? A novice trainee has minimal neurological efficiency (i.e nervous system adaptation) and minimal muscle mass. By neurological efficiency, we refer to a fully functional central nervous system which has adapted to intense training over time. 

The best way to picture or understand this is when you see a young lifter violently shaking to execute a rep or specific training technique.

Lifting at the gym

If you are a newbie, you must train for at least a year to reach a point where you’ve built an appreciable level of muscle mass and neuromuscular efficiency.

Once a minimum of neuromuscular efficiency is achieved, there’s never a reason to stay in the gym for too long because you already understand how to stimulate maximum fiber recruitment and force production. 

If you follow the instructions in this book, you will be training intensely and maximally contracting your muscle fibers. 

Due to training in this manner, you will have a limited amount of natural growth hormone and muscle glycogen at your disposal to get you through more than 45 minutes (if training alone).

That means no more marathon workouts. They are unnecessary and counterproductive.

If you are truly serious about building a world-class physique and mastering your training, everything we’ve just told you won’t be enough. There are no shortcuts to success. You will need to consistently apply these principles for YEARS, and often decades.

Due to the influence of social media and living in an instant gratification world, many are deluded and believe they can acquire their dream physique in 12 weeks. These expectations are not grounded in reality. 

Philosopher Manly Hall said it best: 

“An unhealthy mind, even in a healthy body, will ultimately destroy health."

In addition, watching training videos online will not get you the body of your dreams. At some point you must get out there and train. Hone and master your craft. Learn from guys who are more experienced than you and work on refining your technique. 

There's a rhythm to all of this, and learning how to train with weights properly is a lot like learning how to dance.  (As an interesting aside, learning how to dance, or playing sports for that matter, is a great way to develop neurological coordination)

For your physique to work as a fully functional unit, you must be neurologically coordinated. The easiest way to summarize all we’ve just said is that you have to seek out a master and learn at their feet. 

Even if it's for a week, or a few days, it is an absolute must. Indeed, I can attest to this. I spent significant time in the past training with Jay Campbell, which dramatically improved his knowledge and shortened his learning curve with regard to training.

Jay himself learned from masters (i.e. pro bodybuilders) like Jim Brown and Markus Reinhardt.

Incidentally, I am a huge fan of Jim Brown's (another mentor of mine) Forged training program. If you're looking to learn how to brutally contract your muscle fibers and train to positive muscle failure, then Forged will show you how. I wrote an article about my experience training the Forged way here

Principle #3: You MUST engage in regular resistance training to build skeletal muscle mass.

Muscle is the single greatest deterrent to the diseases of aging.  Sadly, 95% of people who go to the gym have absolutely no idea how to build muscle. 

They have no real awareness of why they are there to begin with, because they are so focused on following an exact amount of sets and reps for a specific set of exercises. 

Muscle is a lot more than a storage depot for glycogen and an enhancer of bodily aesthetics.

Look at all the amazing things skeletal muscle mass does:

  • Increases insulin sensitivity via lowering blood sugar
  • Anti-inflammatory, strengthening your immune system
  • Significantly improves your odds of survival for dangerous surgeries 
  • Protects against sarcopenia, i.e. muscle wasting that comes with old age
  • Gives you a greater chance of survival against accidents
  • Protects against osteopenia (bone loss) by improving bone mineral density

You must lift weights if you want to live long and prosper. In the same way being lean is essential for far more than vanity, building muscle does far more for your health outside of looking good in the mirror...

Building muscle helps you live a fully optimized life that allows you to age gracefully, while keeping your mind and your body dialed in. It’s important to understand that people who become frail as they get older don’t do so because of age. 

It's because they haven't looked after their body by performing resistance training to maintain muscle mass and bone mineral density (BMD), both of which confer protection against age-related disease. 

Principle #4: You MUST Do Cardiovascular Exercise

Regardless whether you are hormonally optimized or not, you cannot afford to skip cardiovascular training. This is essential for training your organs to process and breakdown the food you eat. 

Regular and consistent cardiovascular training will also help scavenge free radicals found in your body that lead to inflammation and age-related disease. 

Cardiovascular training allows your body to effectively dispose of waste products that build up in your body and metabolize the nutrients you consume. 

Some people process food and macronutrients differently, but regardless of your unique biochemistry, your metabolism will change and slow down as you age. 

By performing regular cardiovascular training, you can offset - to a great degree - the slowdown in metabolism that comes from aging. Cardiovascular training becomes doubly important if you are on injectable therapeutic testosterone. 

As discussed in mine and Jay Campbell's books, injectable testosterone is heavily oxygenated.  Subsequently, your blood often becomes thicker (via a process called erythrocytosis), sometimes resulting in higher hemoglobin and higher hematocrit levels. 

This is a common occurrence, although contrary to what physicians used to believe, therapeutic phlebotomy is not required in most cases.  

The reason why cardio training is so important when you’re on injectable testosterone is because it helps push out the thicker blood and the metabolic and cellular waste produced by training with weights at high intensity. 

If you don’t perform regular cardio training, you’ll likely find yourself feeling winded and tired more often. 

Despite what the bros say on the Internet, weight training alone is NOT a sufficient form of cardiovascular training. So make sure you’re doing cardio on a regular basis! 

Final Thoughts

Your training must be designed relative to your age and goals. Older trainees will not recover at the same rate as younger trainees do from resistance training and cardio.

Learning how to maximally contract your muscle fibers while removing ego and momentum from your training is CRITICAL to forging an amazing physique. As you age, it is also imperative you understand how to manipulate time under tension (TUT).

If you are uncoordinated, unathletic, or devoid of any sport background, it is IMPERATIVE you hire a master teacher to coach you on how to utilize proper form and technique when training with weights. Watching videos on the Internet won’t cut it.

Your primary goal as you age is building muscle to resist the diseases of aging. The more muscle you possess, the better your insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial function, and an improved basal metabolic rate (BMR) while at rest.

Cardiovascular training allows your body to effectively dispose of waste products that build up in your body and metabolize the nutrients you consume. It becomes doubly important if you are on injectable therapeutic testosterone. 

If you enjoyed this chapter excerpt from mine and Jay Campbell's book, Living a Fully Optimized Life, you can get your copy here. 

secret to optimal health

The Secret to Optimal Health Pt.2

If you want to know how to go from stressed out of your brain, brain fog and fractured sleep to feeling of calm, boundless mental clarity and deep, refreshing sleep, then read on...

This is the second of a two part series where I reveal my coaching secrets. I'm giving you the inside track on what it takes to optimize someone's health from the inside out. 

You can read the first part here, but to briefly recap:

- My client Nick had been leading a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll as a way of managing the stress of building multiple businesses. So he reached out to me for help

- This lifestyle eventually caught up with him (as it always does) and he reached out to me for help.

- Prior to coaching we did a blood test to identify exactly what his health challenges were.

- The blood test results revealed a host of challenges, including digestive inflammation, liver issues and a possible parasite infection.

In this article I'm going show you exactly what Nick and I worked on to transform his health.

Why I do blood testing before any coaching

tell me why

We both know you like the Backstreet Boys.

Most men can dramatically improve the way they look and feel with nutritional and lifestyle changes, but without a blood test it can be difficult to know what these changes need to be.

Testing a client’s blood is an amazing tool to know exactly what is going on at a cellular level. If we have that information,  we can be much more specific when designing the most appropriate nutrition plan.

It also helps us identify  underlying problems that we may not have otherwise discovered. This is why most of my clients take a blood test before we do any coaching. 

Now, back to Nick's test...

You are what you absorb

Your gut is the gateway to the rest of your body, and it’s where all food must pass through. The gut is the foundation of your health and typically the first issue I address with my clients.

Your microbiome, also known as gut flora, is key to your digestive health. It is the combined genetic material of microorganisms lining your stomach and intestinal walls. The microbiome found in our stomach is delicately balanced and is vital to optimal health.

The gut microbiome is needed to maintain hormonal balance, digestive and central nervous system function. It is only when there is an overgrowth of the microorganisms – or a particular strain that is pathogenic – that problems occur.

Processed food, high sugar consumption, chronic stress and excessive alcohol intake can all lead to microorganism overgrowth and digestive inflammation. 

I imagine you’re familiar with the term, “You are what you eat.” Well, there’s a saying in nutrition that goes, “You are what you absorb.”

That means you can have the best diet in the world, but if your digestive system is inflamed, then you’re unlikely to to break down and absorb nutrients from it. 

For instance, digestive inflammation can lead to low stomach acid. Stomach acid is critical in the breakdown and absorption of food. 

Low stomach acid can also reduce your immunity, making you more susceptible to infections. This is because stomach acid is critical for killing pathogens.

This may also explain why Nick had a parasitic infection.  So, how do you know if your gut is inflamed?

You get stinky farts, brain fog, bloating, gas and trips to the bathroom that result in watery stools/diarrhea. 

To improve his gut health, I encouraged Nick to focus on two main areas:

1. Chewing his food

2. Changing his diet

One of the first questions I ask new clients is: “How do you chew your food?” Often, they tell me they chew quickly. 

Chewing your food properly is critical. Wolfing food down activates the sympathetic nervous system, i.e. 'fight or flight’ response, which leads to poor digestion and absorption of food.

All signs – both from his blood test and how he felt – pointed to Nick being in a highly inflamed state, not only in his digestive tract, but his body as a whole.

Thus one of my main goals in healing his gut was to bring down this systemic inflammation. 

Inflammation and chronic illness

Why is it important to reduce inflammation? Systemic inflammation is the underpinning of virtually all disease states.

That’s why being obese is terrible for your health, as it promotes massive systemic inflammation. 

Typical symptoms of inflammation include waking up in the middle of the night, sore joints, brain fog, fatigue and depression.

The simplest and most effective way to reduce inflammation is through your diet. As the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, famously said:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

In Nick’s case, this meant focusing primarily on whole foods and eliminating takeout food, soda drinks and sweeteners. 

For example, greasy takeout foods are typically cooked in vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower and grapeseed oil. These oils are full of omega-6 fatty acids, which can result in chronic inflammation and lowered sperm motility.

Soda drinks are sky-high in sugar that can trigger chronic, low-grade inflammation. 

You’re not out of the woods with diet sodas either, as the sweeteners they contain, such as aspartame, are neurotoxins (i.e. harmful to the brain). Your immune system recognizes these artificial sweeteners as foreign invaders and attacks them, resulting in an inflammatory response.

It was also important for Nick to avoid gluten because he showed signs of leaky gut. 

Through a protein known as zonulin, gluten can damage the intestinal lining and open up tiny spaces in it, allowing space for undigested food and bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

the effect of zonulin

Leaky gut can lead to autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease and thyroid Hashimoto’s (a condition where your immune system attacks the thyroid) – as was the case with Nick. 

Holding you accountable

Despite multiple health challenges, the first months of our work together concentrated primarily on diet. 

There’s no point in introducing exotic supplements and lifestyle hacks if you can’t master the basics of nutrition.

This is why people who go on fad diets often gain the weight back. Why? Because they didn’t grasp a basic understanding of calorie intake, food choices, 

If you’re serious about increasing your energy, getting refreshing sleep and boosting your sex drive, I can’t stress how vital it is to be held accountable for your food choices.

Changing your diet is a big deal and can involve a lot of upheaval and stress. Not to mention all the energy you need to expend cultivating new habits and behaviors.

Nick logged his food choices in My Fitness Pal (a food diary app) and I encouraged him to be as honest as possible. This way I could hold him accountable.

Whenever he didn’t make the right choices, it was my job not to scold him, but to help him understand what he could do better next time. That’s how we create sustainable change.

This may involve opting for a salad at a restaurant instead of fries, or preparing more meals in advance.

I don’t expect clients to turn on a dime and change their diet overnight. What we do aim for, though, is small, incremental improvements each week.

The way I achieve this is by encouraging my clients to focus on what they did well, as opposed to the one time they ‘fucked up.’

When you reframe your mistakes as opportunities for growth, instead of beating yourself up, you cultivate a positive mindset. This approach not only helps you make better food choices, but also transfers over to all other areas of your life.

Focusing on the few occasions you messed up can derail you for weeks on end, because you make yet more poor food choices to cope with the guilt and anxiety.

Changing your perspective is as close to magic as it gets –

You see, the more you focus on what you did well, especially when it comes to nutrition, the better you feel about things and the better choices you make.

It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Parasite cleanse

Once I felt confident Nick was sticking to his diet, we tackled his parasite issue. 

White blood cells are the backbone of the immune system and fight off foreeign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Most people don’t realize, however, that there are different types of white blood cells, each serving a separate purpose. 

Nick had two white blood cell markers – basophils and eosinophils – that were elevated well outside the normal range, indicating a chronic infection/intestinal parasite. 

elevated white blood cells

Parasite infections are more common than you think. If left untreated, they can lead to fatigue, joint pain, brain fog and depression. 

Research also suggests that parasite can affect sex hormone production (i.e., lower testosterone) and dramatically affect sexual behavior. 

And what do parasites do? They feed off their host. 

I’ve had clients who never felt satiated and would eat thousands of calories in one sitting – because something else was stealing the nutrients. But thankfully, after a parasite cleanse, they could eat a meal normally and feel full again.

It’s often important to identify exactly what type of parasite is present. This is because many parasites are extremely resilient and are resistant to specific drugs or treatment protocols.

Thus for Nick we did a stool test, known as a gastrointestinal map, to identify the parasite. Once we figured out what it was, we were able to come up with a specific treatment protocol to get rid of it.

Some people – albeit rarely – have chronic viral infections such as Epstein Barr (glandular fever) and Lyme disease that require a different approach.

But based on Nick’s symptoms and the rest of his blood test, I didn't suspect a viral infection was present.

Mindset matters

It’s hard to convey everything Nick and I worked on together over six months. In fact, it would take me several articles to do so.

Nonetheless, a core component of our coaching was working on Nick’s mindset.

In the first part of this series, I described Nick’s hard-charging, guns blazing personality. This meant that he would go balls to the wall, training five days a week, or go keto and cut out all carbs.

These extremes never resulted in lasting change. In most cases they were counterproductive, because they left him feeling mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.

Part of my job was to help Nick change his perspective and take a more moderate approach to things.

When driven, hard-charging guys hear the word ‘moderate’, they want to run for the hills. This is because they often think that doing less work is somehow weak or lazy.

Not so.

Doing as little as possible to get the result you want is optimal. If you’re always charging forward and never take time to rest, you will eventually crash and burn – as was the case with Nick.For example, he got annoyed with himself at the start of January because, like everyone else in the holiday season, he ate a lot of sugary treats.

Up until that point, though, he had been extremely consistent and diligent with his diet. Therefore, I encouraged him to relax and not be so hard on himself.

You can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re always at war with yourself. And after all, a week of holiday food isn’t going to undo months of good work. 

Another thing that I worked on with Nick was helping him simply to relax. You see, when you’re a driven and ambitious person, everything is goal-oriented.

Nick became so preoccupied with the end goal that he’d forgotten to do things for the sake of it. Therefore, I recommended Nick do things without any specific goal in mind. 

Now that doesn’t mean you wander off aimlessly into the wilderness, never to come back. It simply means doing activities without fretting over the outcome.

He went for walks in nature without his phone, took time to read books while savoring barista-style coffee, 

It was hard for him at first to relax and do these things, but after consistently doing them for several weeks, Nick felt much more balanced and relaxed. 

Which is what most of us are searching for anyway, right?

On the surface, these things may not appear to have much to do with ‘health optimization.’ You can have a perfect sleep schedule, ideal diet and world-class exercise routine, but if you’re constantly stressed, then it won’t count for much.

Before and after

After six months of coaching we do a second blood test to compare results.  I was extremely pleased to see Nick’s second set of test results.

To recap, the screenshot here is his first test that shows the main health concerns. 

Nick's blood test results

The report calculates the likelihood of a health concern using an algorithm that considers multiple biomarkers. For instance, it determined that Nick had a 100% probability of intestinal permeability (i.e. leaky gut) due to two separate markers.

leaky gut

The screenshot below are the health concerns from his second test: 

Nick blood test 2

As you can see, the health concerns this time around are dramatically reduced. He still has some gut issues to work on, which we’ll most likely address with supplementation. 

It also looks as though his kidneys are not working in the way that they should be. This is despite the fact he drinks a lot of water (hydration is vital to kidney function), so we need to investigate why this is. 

There’s nothing that truly concerns me in comparison to his previous test, although, his kidneys are still not functioning optimally. 

This is despite drinking plenty of water – which helps flush waste products from the body and support kidney function.

The kidneys perform multiple functions, including filtering out waste products and toxins from the blood, as well as helping maintain blood pressure.  

Therefore, we need to do everything we can to support his kidney function, both with supplementation and lifestyle adjustments.  As I said before, you’re not going to fix all of your health problems overnight. 

The neat thing about these reports is that it allows you to compare your results side by side. So here we have a comparison of Nick’s biomarker from the current and previous blood test.

blood test comparisons

Context is everything and there are  more markers in the optimal range, which means that the trend where we want it, i.e. upward.

Nick has seen the positive effects of coaching, both in personal life and in concrete numbers from the blood test, so he’s decided to work with me for another 12 months, and I'm super excited about it!

Want to find out more about my coaching? Then click the button below to learn more and schedule your FREE coaching consultation with me today.

The secret to optimal health

The Secret to Optimal Health Pt.1

In this blog I'm going to do something I haven't done before. 

I’m going to lift the lid and reveal the exact coaching process I've used to help over 100 clients overcome their debilitating daily fatigue, tanked energy levels, crippling back pain, and the silent killer... sky-high stress levels.

I’ll explain how I helped my client Nick (I’ve changed his name due to the story’s personal nature) overcome digestive issues, parasitic infection, and dangerous liver stress that led to brain fog, wretched sleep and 

Nick reached out to me in July last year. He said he was ready to take the next step in his journey toward optimal health.

Extremely driven, focused and ambitious; Nick freely admits he’s the classic type-A guy. That means he’s highly strung and never does things by halves.

That means five punishing CrossFit workouts a week until his body breaks. It means pulling 80 hour weeks to push his business forward. 

And that also means drug and alcohol-fueled benders for days on end. 

Nick’s innate drive had made him immensely successful. He owns multiple successful businesses, has plenty of cash and has a house in the hills in a scenic part of Texas.

On the brink

The hard-charging nature that made him successful was also a double-edged sword. You see, Nick only ever had one gear in life: Forward. He had no reverse and certainly no neutral. 

Nick had his fair share of stress over the years, and his coping strategies revolved around drugs, alcohol and food. Years of work hard, play harder had taken its toll on Nick’s body and his health was now nothing short of a train wreck. 

stressed man

He knew he had to change his ways or wind up six feet under earlier than anticipated. It’s vital that you learn how to manage stress properly, else you’ll end up paying dearly for it –

Whether it's medication, doctor’s fees, your sense of inner peace, or even your life.

Nick had experimented with elimination diets (i.e. getting rid of specific foods). However, he soon discovered he was out of his depth and that his expertise was in building businesses, not health optimization – hence contacting me.

Given his history of drinking and taking drugs, as well as Hashimoto's diagnosis – an autoimmune disease that is often triggered by poor lifestyle – I recommended a blood panel to see where his health was at. 

Adjusting your expectations

Nick had abandoned his old ways a few months before we spoke. Nevertheless, I explained it could take a year or more to undo the effects of the previous 30 years.

Let’s be real:

Years of booze-heavy nights out 4x per week, late-night pizzas, chronic sleep deprivation, skipping workouts for literally anything else, and unmanaged stress from family and career will wreak havoc with your body. 

I’m all for the occasional beer and pizza. But when these things become defining pillars of your lifestyle, your body and mind starts to become a product of these choices.

Fixing that is not an overnight job; both in terms of healing your body and developing the right habits and behaviors to prevent it happening again. I cannot ethically or honestly say you’ll turn things around in the next few weeks. It simply doesn’t work like that. 

I don’t want you to feel hopeless though. What’s important to understand is while it may have taken you 10-20 years to end up where you are now, it WON’T take you 10-20 years to get to where you want.

In fact, I’d say the average “turnaround time” for my clients is around six months.  With anything like this it’s vital that your expectations are grounded in reality. But, if you’re patient and committed, you will see the results you’re hoping for.

Normal vs optimal

Out of 101 markers of Nick’s test blood test, 55 were optimal. 

Nick's blood test optimal range

Nobody is going to be 100% optimal, especially in today’s world of toxins and pollution, but typically I’d like to see around 70/100 optimal markers.

A normal doctor’s test doesn’t distinguish between normal and optimal.  Which is why people visit the doctor with symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog and depression, only to get the results back and be told everything’s ‘normal.’

A classic example is the testosterone reference range. The ‘normal’ reference range for most testosterone tests is between 300-1000 ng/dL. Yet the difference between how you feel at 300 and 1000 is night and day. 

You can be 40 years old and have 301 ng/dL of total testosterone and feel like shit, but as far as medicine is concerned, you’re ‘normal!' This is precisely why the functional blood tests that I offer my clients have much narrower ranges:

testosterone reference range

His test results...

The first thing that jumped out from his blood test was his poor glucose metabolism. Despite fasting for over 12 hours, his blood sugar and insulin levels were still high. 

Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas and regulates blood sugar levels in your body. If it’s still high after an overnight fast, that means your body is struggling to deal with the sugar.

Elevated blood sugar is not a good look.

Picture what happens when you throw a lit match on a pool of gasoline – it ignites and eventually results in a blazing inferno.

In this case, elevated blood sugar is the matchstick and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are gasoline. Consequently, blood sugar is one of the first areas I address when working with clients.

Another concern was his liver. Despite giving up alcohol months prior, he showed early signs of fatty liver disease; a condition where fat builds up in the liver.

A primary function of the liver is to filter toxins from your bloodstream. Harmful substances build up in your body if the liver can’t do its job.

If your liver doesn’t work, you’re basically signing your own death warrant.  Below is an image that explains the role of the liver.

liver detoxification pathways

You may not care about yourself, but if you continue to avoid your health challenges, then it’s your wife and children who ultimately pay the price.  They won’t have a father to support them while they grow up and your spouse will have to bring them up alone.

Back to Nick... 

His test also showed signs of leaky gut and digestive inflammation.

Leaky gut syndrome means that food gets through the lining of the gut (which is normally sealed), leading to infections and all sorts of nasty problems.

Incidentally, having a leaky gut makes you much more prone to infection, as your immune system is already busy fighting off bacteria that gets through the tiny holes in your small intestine. This is vital to understand, especially during the coronavirus crisis – your gut health plays a crucial role in your immune function.

Inflammation in the gut can come from a number of things, but in most people these stem from poor diet, alcohol and stress.  This is where context is important and we'll get to this in a moment.

Earlier, I mentioned that Nick had thyroid Hashimoto's – an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid, resulting in low thyroid function. 

 Nick was already taking medication to manage his thyroid. However, the report indicated that his thyroid antibodies, also known as thyroid peroxidase, (a marker your doctor will probably not test for) were still extremely high.

This meant that his diet and lifestyle were contributing to poor thyroid function, despite being on medication.

thyroid antibodies

If you're curious to understand what Hashimoto's (i.e. an under active thyroid or hypothyroidism) looks like, then take a look at the chart below.

Hashimoto's autoimmune

Hashimoto's or hypothyroidism is surprisingly common. If you feel sluggish throughout the day and everything feels like a struggle, it may be worth investigating your thyroid function.

Although it must be noted, as I'll discuss in this article, that nothing happens in isolation. In other words, a poorly functioning thyroid doesn't happen by itself. It's often the result of poor gut health,  leading to malabsorption and lack of nutrients, which has a downstream negative impact on thyroid function.

For example, I see zinc deficiency an awful lot in my clients' blood tests. This either because they're not getting enough in their diet or they're simply not absorbing it because their gut health is compromised – maybe both.

Context is king

A blood test alone won’t tell you jack unless you understand someone’s lifestyle and medical history. 

It’s like evaluating a business from its profit and loss statement alone – without knowing anything about the business; it’s management, operations, marketing strategy, etc.

I knew Nick had given up alcohol, thus I could rule this out and our coaching would focus mainly on nutrition and stress management. 

The report also indicated a potential parasite infection.  People can get parasite infections in a number of ways – from food poisoning, to drinking contaminated water, to insect bites while on vacation. 

If you don’t deal with a parasite, it can linger, leading to brain fog, water stools / diarrhea, fatigue and even anxiety.

Final thoughts

There were a number of things we needed to work on. Nonetheless, as a coach it’s imperative to prioritize. 

Imagine you’ve been tasked with turning around a failing business that’s hemorrhaging money. After careful analysis you realize there’s much work to do.

You identify that the management has become complacent, and many of them are stuck in their ways. So you decide to hire hungry managers to get the business back on track.

Still, you recognize the business won’t stop losing money overnight. It will take time for the new management to get up speed and do their jobs effectively.

It’s exactly the same when making lifestyle changes that will improve your health.

Now, I’m the first to admit that not everything works straight away, such as changes in diet or specific supplements. So, part of my job as a coach is to adapt and change tact when things don’t always work. And I wouldn't be able to do it with a guns blazing approach.

This is why the minimum turnaround time for my clients is six months, as it takes time to improve crucial health markers such as liver, hormone and kidneys, as well as ingrained habits and behaviors.

The immediate priorities for Nick were a) his diet and b) improving his gut health. 

Getting these fixed will potentially add decades to his life by taking stress off his vital organs. So, if you're looking for a good anti-aging strategy, then your first port of call should be lifestyle change.

Below is a screenshot from the report so you get an idea of the work needed. The report gives us an idea of the main health concerns that you face. 

Anything above 50% is something we need to look at. As you can see from this screenshot, Nick has a lot of issues going on. In the next part in this series, we'll compare his first and second test side by side.

Nick's blood test results

Check out the second part of this series where  I reveal the coaching strategy we used. I’ll also share the results of his blood panel after six months of working together.

If you can relate to Nick's story and are keen to find out how my coaching might be able to help you, then click the button below to schedule your FREE "Fountain of Youth" coaching call.

abdominal pain test

A Simple Test Could Save Your Life

Close your eyes and imagine your doctor entering the room with a grim look. That’s what happened when Daren got a cancer diagnosis last year.

A construction manager in his mid-50s, Daren had been struggling short-term memory loss, brain fog, lack of focus and stomach cramps. 

Daren had recently had a long vacation in Cyprus, which gave plenty of time to reflect. He decided he finally wanted to do something about his health that had dogged him for years.

At his wits end

The brain fog, lack of focus and poor memory were negatively impacting Daren’s life. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t concentrate on tasks for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Whenever he had a conversation it was like his mind was in a distant land far away. And now his boss was breathing down his neck at work.

In addition, his stomach cramps meant he sometimes couldn’t eat for days on end. He became increasingly anxious about eating in case his body rejected the food, leaving him in agony. 

Eating big meals, especially ones with carbohydrates, were an ordeal for him. After eating a meal with potatoes or rice he would feel puffy, bloated and wanted to take a nap.

His stools were watery and bowel movements were erratic, often resulting in multiple trips a day to the bathroom. 

The combination of bowel issues and poor reaction to carbohydrates led me to suspect a parasite infection.

I had even more reason to believe this was the case when he said he hadn’t “felt right” ever since a trip to Cambodia two years ago. Traveling to exotic locations increases the likelihood of developing an infection.

Daren had exhausted every avenue prior to contacting me. His doctors told him, despite his obvious symptoms, that everything was ‘normal’ according to his blood tests. 

This is because nowadays doctors treat patients on lab numbers, rather than taking their symptoms into account – which is the most important factor after all. 

Stressed man

What’s happening inside your body?

I suggested that we run a blood test before we talked about coaching.

Now for most people, a blood test is something your doctor orders when he suspects something’s wrong. 

But, blood testing is not something you only do when things go wrong. In fact, it’s an incredible preventative tool that helps us identify things before they become serious problems. 

Taking a test is not for everyone and there's a lot you can do with lifestyle and nutritional changes alone. 

Nevertheless, blood tests provide much more data to work with so we can be very precise in the nutrition and lifestyle changes that we do make.

Blood testing is also an incredible tool that identifies problems before they become serious.

I’m a big believer in the old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Now Daren had taken blood tests in the past, however, I explained to him that typical lab tests are very basic. Each marker they test (e.g. testosterone) has only one reference range that doesn't distinguish between ‘normal’ and ‘optimal.’

The “Normal Range” is found through purely statistical means; it has absolutely nothing to do with health and happiness. —Dr. John Crisler

The blood test my clients do is not any old test, mind you. It’s an 80 page report that tests over 100 biomarkers and gives us a staggering amount of information on your health. 

And instead of one reference range, like run of the mill lab tests, there’s five reference ranges. This way you have a much more accurate picture of your overall health. 

We got Daren’s results back and it was clear there was significant work to do.

Blood test cancer overview

His hormones were imbalanced and his adrenals were shot to pieces, which came as no surprise given his job was stressful.

Adrenal fatigue can contribute to brain fog, low energy and mood swings, and Daren was struggling with all of these.

He was also exercising too much, especially for a man in his 50s, which contributed to his adrenal fatigue. 

If you’re a man in his 50s, I recommend ditching the marathon workouts. 

Many older men train classic bodybuilding style, four to five days per week, not recognizing their bodies and recovery ability have changed.  

Most training these days plans are designed for guys in their 20s. In your 50s your recovery ability has slowed down a fair bit, so training less is more productive for you.

(I’ve put together a list of weight training tips for men in their 50s here)

As suspected, the report also indicated a high probability of parasitic infection. This gave me the green light to come up with a protocol to get rid of it. 

The report also indicated that Daren had a high likelihood of prostate dysfunction (i.e.  benign prostate hypertrophy or BPH). Therefore, I recommended he visit his local GP to get his prostate checked. This is something you should do every year if you’re over 40.

Not the result he expected

Daren went to visit his GP for a prostate check. Basically, this is where they poke a finger up your backside to check the health of your prostate.

The doctor examined his prostate and discovered that it was hard and enlarged, as opposed to small and soft. 

The doctor was worried, so he ordered further tests, which included an MRI scan. It took a few weeks for the test results to arrive and they revealed shocking news:

Daren had stage 2A rectal cancer – specifically, squamous cell cancer.

When he got the result he was in a state of disbelief and it took him several days to process it.

He is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. According to the oncologist, the treatment plan has an 80% success rate. 

The downside, of course, is that chemotherapy and radiation therapy is extremely taxing on the body. 

The focus of our work together went from optimizing his health, to supporting his cancer treatment. 

In the video below Daren talks about his experience working with me and how it saved his life, and how he's actually better than before the diagnosis.

Final thoughts

You may have a hunch about what’s causing your brain fog, fatigue and low sex drive, but you won’t know until you take a blood test.

What you’ll find in most cases won’t be life-threatening. However, the chances of something being life-threatening are greater if you’re under-nourished, fatigued and stressed out.

And just because it’s not cancer doesn’t mean it’s not life-threatening. For example, obesity and diabetes won’t kill you straight away, but they’re just as deadly.

A blood test allows us to create a coaching plan with laser precision, because we have a clear idea of exactly what you need. 

And not only that, it can save your life. 

I hate to imagine what would have happened if Daren didn’t take the test. By the time his symptoms became obvious, it may have already been too late. 

If you're ready to escape the quagmire of perpetual exhaustion, head-steaming stress levels, a sex drive running on fumes, and potentially add decades to your life, a blood test may be right for you.

Find out more about blood testing:

Click here to schedule your FREE “Fountain of Youth” Kickstarter call with me

depression man

The Cause of Your Low Testosterone Symptoms

Back in late 2018, a young man in his early 20s contacted me because he felt stressed, depressed, anxious, lacked motivation and suffered regular panic attacks. His libido was low, and he had to take cialis to feel any sexual desire at all.

In short, he was not in a good place. And he was convinced this was due to low testosterone:

He was desperate in a desperate state, so we did a consultation to see how best I could help him.

Before the consultation I asked him to send me any previous blood tests along with detailed breakdown of his current lifestyle.

Context is everything. You can’t truly help someone until you can see the full picture.

A Verdict of Low Testosterone?

His prior blood tests revealed that he had low testosterone. I don’t put a lot of stock in the total testosterone number alone. This is because symptoms are the most important factor when it comes to hormonal balance.

However, his total testosterone ranged from 400-500 ng/dL (13.9 nmol/L – 17.3 nmol/L). This is very low for a man in his early 20s.

He also had low gonadotropin levels – luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Gonadotropins are hormones sent by the pituitary gland to the testes to produce testosterone.

This indicated that he likely had secondary hypogonadism. In secondary hypogonadism, the signal sent from the brain to the testes (via gonadotropin hormones) is weak. So because the testes don’t receive a strong signal, they fail to produce sufficient levels of testosterone.

In addition, he had low estradiol (a form of estrogen), which you would expect because his testosterone was so low. In men, estradiol is made predominantly from the conversion of testosterone. This process is known as aromatization. Essentially, the less testosterone you have, the less estrogen you produce.

Contrary to what many believe, estrogen is not a “female hormone.” Estrogen is crucial to male health and contributes to memory, mood, and libido among other things.

But that wasn’t all.

He also had elevated prolactin > 20 ng/mL (450 miu/L). Prolactin is another hormone produced in the pituitary gland. Elevated levels of prolactin can indicate a tumor in the pituitary gland, leads to the hypersecretion of prolactin.

High prolactin levels in men can also lead to erectile dysfunction, mood swings, low libido and even vision disturbances in some cases. However, his prolactin levels weren’t high enough to indicate a pituitary tumor (adenoma).

The Sickcare Solution

This young man was very exasperated. He had seen leading doctors, taken multiple blood tests, and even took an MRI scan.

His blood tests mostly “normal” (i.e. within range) and the MRI scans showed nothing wrong.

Yet he still felt like crap.

So due to his low testosterone symptoms and high prolactin levels, his doctor prescribed him clomid (a drug to elevate testosterone and maintain fertility) and cabergoline (a dopamine agonist) to bring prolactin down.

I’ve written extensively about clomid in my book Optimized Under 35. Research suggests clomid is a relatively safe and effective treatment option for hypogonadal men who want to elevate testosterone and maintain fertility.

One study looked at the effect of clomid treatment in young obese men with low testosterone aged 18-21. Eleven subjects were given 25mg of clomid every other day for three months.

Testosterone and gonadotropin hormones were measured before and after treatment. The average baseline testosterone levels were 233 ng/dL (8.1 nmol/L) and increased to 581 ng/dL (20.1 nmol/L) post treatment. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone levels (FSH) also increased.

Studies also show that cabergoline is effective at reducing high prolactin levels. One study gave a single dose of 300 mcg of cabergoline to 15 patients with hyperprolactinoma (i.e. a pituitary tumor). Prolactin levels were taken several hours before treatment and up to seven days after.


The authors of the study noted a significant reduction in serum prolactin levels; ranging from 49.2-55.2%. This occurred quickly – within two-five days of treatment.

These medications are clearly effective at treating low testosterone and high prolactin in men. Nevertheless, this young man wasn’t sure whether taking medication was the right thing for him.

Now, it’s not my place to advise on medications or give medical advise because I am not a doctor. However, I am a firm advocate of improving your health through diet and lifestyle changes.

The modern medical system is preoccupied with treating symptoms. I call this the Sickcare Solution. I believe we should aim to fix root causes instead.

I told him to be truly healthy and avoid long-term medication, he needed to find out what led to the low testosterone, high prolactin, and other symptoms.

So to investigate further, I needed to understand more about his lifestyle:

Sleep, diet, exercise, supplements – the whole shebang.

Living a Clean Lifestyle?

His symptoms of anxiety, depression, low motivation, low libido and lethargy are all linked with low testosterone. And his blood work showed that his testosterone was on the low end.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t necessarily mean he needed to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.

As a mentor of mine once told me:

“When you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

This man was under a lot of stress running his business. He was under extreme pressure every day, and this was clearly taking its toll on his health.

stressed man

That’s not really extraordinary, because who among us doesn’t deal with stress?

Now apart from this, he lifted weights 2-3 times a week, meditated daily, drank minimal alcohol, and slept at least eight hours a night. Although in spite of sleeping a lot, he never felt well rested and frequently woke up in the night to urinate.

I also asked him to record everything he ate. It looked something like this:

Breakfast: Eggs, fresh green juice, and an espresso.

Snacks: Nuts, fruit, or a fresh juice.

Lunch: Vegetables, a form of protein such as chicken, and some cheese.
Mid-afternoon: Same as before or a protein shake.
Dinner: Salmon and salad or a healthy takeaway
He also typically drank a breakfast smoothie consisting of spinach, kale, MCT oil, protein powder, greek yoghurt, and coconut water.

On the surface, it appears as though he led a healthy lifestyle. His diet was low-carb, and included good protein sources and green vegetables.

But something was not adding up. And as we’ll see in a moment, his diet isn’t as great as it appears.

After he filled me in on his lifestyle, I asked him to get a comprehensive blood panel done. At first, he was reluctant, as he’d done so many tests already.

I understood his reticence. However, here’s what I told him:

The tests I do for my 1on1 coaching clients are NOTHING like a normal doctor’s test. Let’s take a closer look…

A Normal Range For Normal Health

Taking a blood test is great for one main reason:

It gives you a clear and objective assessment of your current state of health.

A typical blood test will have a reference range for each marker of health. So if you’re within that range,  then as far as modern medicine is concerned you’re normal!

Normal health

However nowadays, “normal” is a byword for mediocre or failing health. And for the most part, blood tests in this format are deeply flawed.

Reference ranges are often arbitrary, or conjured up based on population averages. They’re rarely, if ever age-adjusted, so everyone gets lumped into the same range.

For example, the reference range for total testosterone is taken from the entire population. That means a 25 year old man is comparing his testosterone levels to an 80 year old man.

Subsequently, if a 25 year old man has 300 ng/dL (10.4 nmol/L) of total testosterone (comparable to an 80 year old); he is considered normal. This is simply because his testosterone is within the “normal” reference range.

Furthermore, no distinction is made between normal and optimal levels of testosterone. Yet surely, we should all be striving for optimal when it comes to health? Nope!

When it comes to hormones, and health in general, average doesn’t come into it. We are all biochemically unique, and this requires a more tailored approach.

Sadly, it appears modern medicine is utterly obsessed with averages.

Optimal is the Only Option

The blood tests my clients take have multiple reference ranges. This includes:

  • Below standard
  • Below optimal
  • Optimal
  • Above optimal
  • Above standardVitamin D optimal range

The aim for my clients is to get the majority of their markers into the “optimal” range.

For context, the doctor’s range is from below standard to above standard. So, he’ll only be concerned if your result comes back outside of those.

That leaves a whole lot in between!

Moreover, many lab tests don’t test enough markers. As a result, they fail to give you a comprehensive and accurate picture of your overall health.

Seldom do I see tests for folic acid (vitamin B9), zinc, free T3 (a thyroid hormone), progesterone (a precursor to testosterone), or even inflammatory markers like homocysteine.

These markers such as these are critical to your health, yet they’re completely overlooked.

Finally, even though blood tests have reference ranges, the data is only useful when interpreted properly.  Typical lab tests offer no interpretation of the data, i.e. the trends and what it could mean in the future if you don’t address them.

For example, if your blood tests show a trend toward cardiovascular disease, you can take preemptive action to prevent it. Modern medicine is extremely reactive and has no interest in preventative care.

Not Just Low Testosterone…

When this young man’s blood test came back, it was immediately clear there was more to it than just low testosterone.

This is why I always want to know about a client’s lifestyle factors, such as sleep, diet, exercise, and stress levels. They can have a dramatic impact, not only on your testosterone levels, but the rest of your health.

The trends on his blood test showed not only sex hormone dysfunction (which we knew), but also immune, cardiovascular, and blood sugar issues.

Today, there is a lot on the internet about low testosterone. More and more men are starting to understand its critical role to their health. Indeed, part of what I do is to educate and bring awareness to this topic.

However, there is also a tendency to compartmentalize things. As a result, people jump to the conclusion that low testosterone automatically means you need to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.

The body does not compartmentalize though. Everything in your body is linked. So if one area of your health isn’t optimal, this has a knock on effect elsewhere.

In this man’s case, there’s no doubt his low testosterone was partly explained by his blood sugar regulation, thyroid and immune system issues.

The Hormone Panel

First, let’s take a look at his hormone panel. As with previous tests, his testosterone was on the low side. Most doctors would likely say his testosterone was “OK,” simply because he was within the reference range.

However, if you’re in your early 20s then you are in the prime of life. You should not have 542 ng/dL (18.8 nmol/L) of total testosterone. Even for an older man, this is still pretty average.

His progesterone was very low. Low progesterone is often a sign of underlying inflammation. We’ll see more of this trend shortly.

In addition, his DHEA-S levels were slightly low – suggesting adrenal stress. He didn’t drink that much coffee, but his day to day life business work was highly stressful. Decreased DHEA-S levels are associated with low sex drive and low mood.

low testosterone


All Roads Lead to Insulin Resistance

One major thing that stood on his test was his elevated glucose (blood sugar) and fasted insulin levels.

His levels are high given the test was done fasted first thing in the morning. This indicates he has poor blood sugar regulation. And for some reason, he’s not metabolizing carbohydrates effectively.

These are the first signs of insulin resistance and the road to type 2 diabetes. Indeed, studies indicate that low testosterone is associated with insulin resistance and an adverse lipid profile.

We’ll see later that his lipid profile (i.e. cholesterol markers) is not great. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he had low testosterone, as cholesterol is a necessary precursor for testosterone production.

fasted glucose levels

fasted insulin

High blood sugar and insulin resistance is the genesis of many disease states. In addition to low testosterone and diabetes; it’s also associated with obesity and heart disease. Evidence even suggests that high blood glucose levels correlate with tumor malignancy in cancer patients.

Dehydration and Low Stomach Acid

The blood test also indicated his kidneys were under stress. Specifically, he had elevated urea levels.

When the body breaks down proteins, they turn into carbon dioxide, water, and ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to the body, so the body converts it into urea. This urea is then transported to the kidneys and excreted through urine.

This young man’s urea was on the high side. Urea can be elevated in the presence of high dietary protein intake. However, his protein intake was not dramatically high.

High urea can also be due to dehydration and low stomach acid. And given he had immune system issues; low stomach could have been a possibility

Stomach acid is vital to kill pathogens in foods. This stops you from getting bacterial infections and viruses. So if you have low stomach acid, this can compromise your immune system. Evidence suggests that up to 70% of our immune system is found in our gut – so this makes total sense.

He also had elevated hemoglobin, further demonstrating that he was likely dehydrated.

elevated hemoglobin

I also had reason to believe that he had digestive tract issues due to decreased globulin levels. Globulin are proteins in the blood that serve as the body’s antibody system.

Decreased globulin levels are associated with digestive system inflammation and immune deficiency.

total globulin

As part of his diet, he mentioned that he was taking protein shakes every day. Protein shakes can work well – but they aren’t for everyone. In some individuals it can lead to inflammation in the digestive tract. This is especially true if you’re lactose intolerant. This can cause bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Vitamin Deficiencies

The report indicated he had low alkaline phosphatase (ALP). ALP is a group of enzymes found in bone, liver and the intestines. Decreased levels are associate with zinc deficiency.

zinc deficiency

Zinc contributes to numerous vital functions in the body. Zinc deficiency is associated with low testosterone, low sperm count and immune system dysfunction.

Low zinc levels can also lead to sugar cravings. This means more you’re more likely to binge on sugar and junk food. Therefore, zinc’s importance cannot be overstated.

As part of his metabolic panel, we also did a test known as the “anion gap.” Basically, the anion gap checks the level of acid in your blood. Elevated levels are associated with metabolic acidosis and thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency.

Vitamin B1 is essential for glucose metabolism. Remember his glucose and fasting insulin levels? Among other things, thiamine deficiency may help explain why his glucose was high.

anion gap thiamine deficiency

We also discovered he was low in folic acid (vitamin B9). Folic acid deficiency can lead to fatigue, lethargy, and irritability. And guess what? He suffered from all these symptoms.

Now that’s not to say folic acid deficiency was solely responsible for how he was feeling. Nonetheless, it’s important to note it’s not just low testosterone that could contribute to the way he was feeling.

low folic acid


Cholesterol and Inflammatory Markers

Chronic inflammation is the underpinning of all disease. Although not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation is key to muscle growth, because it helps them grow back bigger and stronger.

This man’s lipid panel (cholesterol markers) and inflammatory markers pointed once again to high inflammation. Low testosterone is associated with high levels of inflammation.

When you’re inflamed, the last thing your body wants to do is produce testosterone.

His inflammatory markers showed elevated levels of c-reactive protein (CRP). Increased levels of CRP are associated with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

In addition, he also had high homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood. Elevated levels can increase the risk of heart disease, as it can damage the endothelial lining of the arteries.

High homocysteine is associated with vitamin B deficiency. And as we know in this case, he has multiple vitamin B deficiencies. Therefore, it’s no surprise that homocysteine is elevated.

high sensitivity c-reactive protein test

elevated homocysteine

The blood test showed he had low cholesterol. Low cholesterol is a strong indicator of inflammation and oxidative stress.

lipid panel

Decreased levels of HDL cholesterol are considered to be atherogenic, leading to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. This is the prelude to heart attack and stroke.

For most people, the elevation of LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, is the issue. In this case however, LDL cholesterol is on the low side.Low LDL cholesterol is associated with anxiety and depression; two symptoms he also struggled with.

Due to a high saturated fat western style diet, many people have high levels of triglycerides. Interestingly, his triglycerides were on the low side. Triglycerides are a storage molecule for fat.

This points to a few possibilities. It could be the result of liver dysfunction, however his liver markers were good. It may also be the result of not enough dietary fat.

it appears he gets adequate levels of fat through his diet. The remaining alternative is guess what? Excess inflammation.

Inflammation is a recurrent theme with this gentleman. And if he doesn’t get it under control, it will lead to serious health problems.

Arguably, you could say he already has serious problems. But I contend this is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember, this guy is only in his early 20s!

Immune System Issues

The blood test pointed to issues with his immune system function. His monocytes and eosinophil levels were both elevated.



Monocytes are a type of white blood cell. They act as the body’s second line of defense against infection. They also facilitate healing and repair. High levels of monocytes can point to the recovery phase of an infection.

For example, if you have the flu a few days prior to taking the blood test, then this may elevate monocytes. Alternatively, this could mean you have a chronic infection.

Eosinophils are another type of white blood cell. They fight disease and are typically elevated in the presence of a parasitic infection, allergies, or cancer.

It’s possible something in his diet is aggravating his gastrointestinal tract. He may have an allergy or sensitivity to the food he’s causing, which may require further testing.

But given he has elevated monocytes, eosinophils AND low white blood cells, it’s possible he has a parasitic infection.

Many people suffer from parasitic infections without knowing it. H.pylori is the most common type of bacterial infection, and can be tested for via a stool test.

In my book Optimized Under 35, I wrote about how parasites and infections can actually disrupt hormone production:

Research suggests that, in addition to fungal infections, parasites such as roundworm and tapeworm can cause endocrine disorders. Multiple animal studies have shown parasitic infection to affect sex hormone production (i.e., lower testosterone) and dramatically affect sexual behavior. Anecdotally, in humans it can cause fatigue, joint pain, and anxiety.

This individual would require further testing to determine whether he had a parasitic infection.

Most stool tests check for h.pylori only. However, there are a whole host of parasitic infections out there. So it’s better to spend money on getting a thorough test done to rule out other possibilities.

Oxalates Are No Bueno

Remember how I said earlier that his diet looked great but it really wasn’t? Well, he was taking in raw spinach every day from a green smoothie. Most people think this is a great idea, because green veggies right?

Actually, eating raw spinach is a bad idea because it’s full of oxalates. These are natural pesticides produced by plants to ward off pests. However, research suggests that oxalates can have a very negative effect on your health, which include:

  • Neurological issues, leading to sleep disruption and memory loss
  • Increased calcium excretion

To find out more on the hidden dangers of oxalates, I recommend you read this excellent article: Health Dangers of Oxalates.

According to nutrition and functional health expert Paul Burgess, eating spinach every day with its oxalate content could do considerable systemic damage. This is potentially what’s happening here.

Research suggests oxalates can also impair mitochondrial and monocyte function. As we saw above, he had elevated monocyte levels. It could be a parasitic infection, or it could be due to his oxalate intake.

Final Thoughts

We didn’t cover every single blood test marker here. Many of this man’s results were very good. However, he had multiple underlying issues.

He had low testosterone, but as you an see, low testosterone was the least of his problems. And it was likely a result of everything else going on in his body.

Taking a medication like clomid or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) would not have fixed things for him. It would have only masked the underlying problems he had.

This is why I say TRT is only for those who need it.

Time and again, I’ve seen guys go on TRT, only to still struggle with fatigue and other symptoms that they had before it.

Instead of worrying about TRT, this man needed to spend time on reducing the inflammation in his body. His stress levels need to be managed better, because that’s clearly having a profound impact on his health.

Similarly, we would have to look into what causing his immune system issues.

He would also need to address his probable low stomach acid, which would lead to malabsorption of nutrients. Even if your diet is immaculate – ultimately you aren’t what you eat, but you are what you absorb.

Getting this man into a good place could take anywhere from 6-12 months – possibly more. We’d have to overhaul many aspects of his lifestyle, including his nutrition, exercise regime, and improve his sleep.

But 6-12 months of getting this right is far better than the alternative:

Lifelong medication.

Taking medication isn’t going to fix you if you don’t address what got you into that state in the first place.

In the end, he chose not to work together with me. I understand he was very busy at work – and that’s fine. Although I dread to think how his health is going to be in the near future unless he changes something.

If you can relate to this story and recognize many of the symptoms, get in contact with me about my 1on1 coaching. We can take you through a comprehensive blood test and find out what’s really going on inside your body.


Ferrari C, Barbieri C, Caldara R, Mucci M, Codecasa F, Paracchi A, Romano C, Boghen M, Dubini A.”Long-lasting prolactin-lowering effect of cabergoline, a new dopamine agonist, in hyperprolactinemic patients.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1986 Oct;63(4):941-5.

Sachin V. Bendre, Pamela J. Murray, and Shehzad Basaria. “Clomiphene Citrate Effectively Increases Testosterone in Obese, Young, Hypogonadal Men.Reprod Syst Sex Disord. 2015 Dec; 4(4): 155. Published online 2015 Nov 13. doi: 10.4172/2161-038X.1000155.

Vakkat Muraleedharan and T. Hugh Jones. “Testosterone and the metabolic syndrome.” Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct; 1(5): 207–223. doi: 10.1177/2042018810390258.

Ge Cui, Ting Zhang, Fan Ren, Wen-Ming Feng, Yunliang Yao, Jie Cui,Guo-Liang Zhu, and Qi-Lin Shi. “High Blood Glucose Levels Correlate with Tumor Malignancy in Colorectal Cancer Patients.Med Sci Monit. 2015; 21: 3825–3833. Published online 2015 Dec 8. doi: 10.12659/MSM.894783.

Patel M, Yarlagadda V, Adedoyin O, Saini V, Assimos DG, Holmes RP, Mitchell T. “Oxalate induces mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupts redox homeostasis in a human monocyte derived cell line.Redox Biol. 2018 May;15:207-215. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2017.12.003. Epub 2017 Dec 15.







16 Weight Training Tips for Men Over 50


16 Weight Training Tips for Men Over 50

Want to know how to start working out in your 50s but don't know where to start? Don't worry, I've got your back!

Men of all ages are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of lifting weights. However, it seems that many men in their 50s didn't get the memo...

It’s almost as if men in their 50s think, “OK, I’ll stop looking after myself now!” Or perhaps it's because they think they're 'past it.'

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I know many men in their 50s and older who routinely defy age, and have better physiques than men half their age.

Just because other men your age are overweight, tired and have no sex drive doesn't mean you have to be the same way.

As long as you look after your mind and body, you can remain energetic and vigorous for most of your life, and lifting weights is key to this. 

In this article, I share 16 weight training tips for men over 50, and show you why age is in the eye of the beholder.

#1 Aim for brief and intense workouts

If you’re older than 50, your body will not be able to withstand tissue trauma (from training) the same way a 20 year old can.

Yet so many older men train classic bodybuilding style, four to five days per week, not recognizing their bodies and recovery ability have changed.  

The majority of guys who spend hours in the gym get nowhere anyway. They believe that the amount of time they spend in the gym is directly proportionate to their results.

Not so. 

As a man in his 50s, you’ve probably got a family and a bunch of responsibilities. Therefore, you don’t have the luxury of spending hours in the gym/

You’ve been around long enough to know that one life’s maxims is quality over quantity. And this applies as much to weight training as it does to anything else.

For men lifting weights over 50 years old, brief but intense training sessions 2-3 times a week are more than enough. Some guys can handle 4 sessions. But more than that is excessive as it starts to cut into your recovery ability.

Don't drink the koolaid

HIT-style training, i.e. training to positive muscle failure – is ideal for men over 50. This combines both brevity and intensity.

If you’re never trained HIT style before, it will wipe the floor with you. You’ll be begging for momma and reciting multiple Hail Mary’s.

But once you become accustomed to training with that kind of intensity, you’ll likely never look back.

I recommend you check out PD Mangan’s One-Hour Fitness program for an excellent primer on HIT training (use the  discount code: KELLY for a 50% discount at checkout).

Incidentally, here’s a picture of PD Mangan deadlifting - 

He's a pretty jacked for a guy in his 60s – so clearly he knows a thing or two.

pd mangan training over 50

#2 Injury avoidance is your #1 PRIORITY

Forget about building muscle or anything else, injury avoidance is #1 PRIORITY in the gym.

NEVER do an exercise that hurts. If it does, stop immediately and find an alternative exercise. This may be due to the angle you’re working the muscle at, poor posture, or simply poor form (I’ll cover these issues more later).

Whatever it is, don’t do that exercise until you figure out what the issue is.

Getting a muscle strain or tear may mean a few weeks out of the gym in your 20s, but if you're in your 50s, that could mean MONTHS out of the gym.

A few years back I traveled to China and stayed there for several months. At my local gym, I met an American guy in his 50s who had been training for years.

He seemed to know what he was doing and had a fantastic physique for a man of his age. One day, however, I saw him hobbling around the gym. I asked him what happened. With a sad look on his face, he confided that he broke his own rules and used too much weight on a machine and strained his calf muscle.

The result? His calf ballooned and it looked like someone went at it with a baseball bat. He couldn’t train his leg properly for several months. I’m sure he learned his lesson in the end.

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

#3 Machines are your best friend

 Many men in their 50s earned their stripes lifting weights the old school way. That means using predominantly free weights and training balls wall.

They may even say something like, “Machines are for weaklings!!”

So when you suggest to these men using machines might be a good thing for them, they’re almost offended. To them, machines conjure up images of guys dressed in cheesy sport attire and long socks.

weight lifting for men over 50

I don’t care what people say – machines are your best friend. In fact, I feel the majority of workouts for men over 50 should include machines.

Not only do machines prevent injury, but they minimize wear and tear on your joints. And as a trainee in his 50s, joint wear and tear is a BIG DEAL.

Many men in their 50s come to me and complain about joints that ache. If you want to prevent this scenario, and avoid aggravating any existing conditions – use machines.

Honestly, it’s hard to fuck things up or get an injury using a machine. And you’re not sure which machines to use, I recommend finding a gym that uses Hammer Strength.

Alternatively, start bodyweight training. You'll dramatically lower your injury risk because you're training the way your body was designed to.

#4 Use higher rep ranges

Ideally, workouts for men over 50 should mainly involve using higher rep ranges.

That means anywhere from 8-20 reps. Why you ask? Higher rep ranges mean less load and less strain on your joints and central nervous system.

Research indicates that moderate loads of 8-12 beneficial for hypertrophy (i.e. muscle gain). Where 15+ reps are ideal for developing muscle endurance.

Lower rep ranges may better in terms of pure strength training. But as a man in your 50s, the potential for injury and stress placed on your entire body is simply not worth the trade off.

Does that mean you’ll bench less? Maybe. But you’ll sure as hell look and feel better than 99% of men your age. What's more, you'll avoid many of the common shoulder problems and surgical procedures men in their 50s suffer with.

#5 Warm-up properly

In your 20s and 30s, you can get away with doing a single warm up set then jumping right into your workout. But in your 50s, you need to take your warm-ups seriously.

First off, warming up increases your overall body temperature. This will reduce the possibility of getting an injury. Warming up also increases muscle temperature. This means you can tap into the full potential of your muscle fibers. Otherwise you're only reaching half of your potential.

A proper warm up also ensures the proper release of hormones vital to a successful workout such as growth hormone, testosterone and insulin. These hormones play a key part in both your performance during your workout and the adaptation phase after.

Get on the treadmill or bike and get the blood flowing for 10-15 minutes before your workout. Ensure you warm-up adequately (i.e 2-3 sets) for every exercise.

#6 Do regular stretching and mobility drills

The axiom as you get older is: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

This applies not only to muscle mass, but to flexibility as well. When you’re younger, your body has a natural elasticity. But as you grow older, you must make a conscious effort to remain flexible.

man stretching

You should aim to stretch at least 2-3 times a week for 5 minutes at a time. You could also try some form of Yoga or Pilates.

Regular stretching will get rid of many of the aches and pains that creep up over time. I also highly recommend you spend some time foam rolling. This will help loosen up many of your muscles, in particular the side of your leg and your lower back.

But be warned:

The first time you foam roll won’t be a pleasant experience.

#7 Use correct form

This goes without saying and applies to guys of all ages: use proper form!

  I’ve seen many guys in their 50s load up the weights and perform exercises with terrible form.

Then they wonder why they need knee straps and their joints hurt. It’s not because of old age, it’s because they’re stupid when they train.

Even if you’re a seasoned trainee, you can sometimes let your ego get the better of you. And that one time decide to push it and use too much weight? You pay the price for it. 

But there’s more to it than simply being a form nazi. Using proper form means you target your muscles effectively and maximize your workouts.

For example, let’s say you don’t use proper on the squat, and you don’t squat to parallel. Doing it this way means you don’t the benefits and the muscle fibre contractions you get from a full squat.

In short, you’re leaving money on the table.

#8 You cannot afford to skip workouts

You can get away with it in your 20s and 30s, but this stuff  starts to compound as you ​age.

The work you put in now will directly affect your quality of life in your later years. That means remaining disease-free and ultimately staying out of a care home.

I’m sure you never dreamt about being in a vegetative state or forgetting your own name in the latter half of your life. But that’s exactly what will happen unless you put in the work now.

You must see your workouts as non-negotiable – as if your life depended on it. Because actually, it does.

#9 Utilize time under time tension

Because you’re using less weight and overall volume, you should increase your time under tension. This means slowing down your reps and focusing on quality muscle contractions.

This is especially important as you’ll be user higher rep ranges.

Focus on slowing down the cadence of your lifts. Spend 1-2 seconds lifting the weight and 3-4 seconds lowering it. Research suggests that the negative or lowering portion actually produces more force.

Slowing each repetition down places more tension on your muscle fibers; ultimately leading to greater contractions and more gains.

#10 Supplement diligently

In terms of supplements, I usually find most people are on one end of the spectrum or the other. They are either anti-supplements, because they think they can get everything through their diet. Or, they spend massive amounts on supplements

However, the truth lies somewhere in between. The food we eat today is treated with numerous chemicals in an attempt to extend its shelf-life.

As a result, it’s often deficient in vital micronutrients (e.g. Zinc, vitamin C, magnesium, etc.).

To make up the shortfall in micronutrients in today’s world, it's vital to supplement.


On the other hand, many people have a fixation on supplements, seeing them as some kind of magic bullet. But if your diet is crap, then it doesn’t matter how many supplements you take.

Supplements done the right way can not only boost your workouts, but can help with recovery, sleep and cognition. And if you’re weight training at 50, you need every advantage you can get.

#11 Optimize your testosterone levels

According to research, testosterone levels decline with age as much as 0.4-2% each year. So by the time you’re 50 years old, your testosterone levels could have declined by as much as 30%.

But given the fact our environment is so toxic, I suspect in practice this decline could be even greater.

Testosterone improves cognition, libido, muscle mass, bone density and heart health among other things. What's more, if you struggle with low testosterone then you will be spinning your wheels in the gym.

No matter how hard or how often you train, you will fail to gain strength or appreciable muscle mass.

Therefore, it’s in your best interests to ensure your testosterone levels are optimal.

I write about this in my upcoming book, Optimized Under 35. Though if you’re a man of any age, you will get something out of that book.

In this day and age, you simply cannot afford to overlook this aspect of your health. Testosterone is every man’s life blood.

 If you’re a man over 50 and you eat well, train hard, and generally look after your body,  testosterone replacement therapy may be a good choice for you.

It restores your hormone profile to that of a young man, but you have the experience and decision-making of an older man.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you need TRT, which means you're on a lifelong medication and all the costs and management associated with it.

Most men will go far simply by optimizing their diet and lifestyle alone.

If you truly care about optimizing your hormonal profile and finding on what's going on inside your body, I recommend you take a blood test. 

If you're on a budget, I recommend you use Discounted Labs. Alternatively, if you're looking for something in-depth, you can contact me about the functional blood testing that I offer for my coaching clients.

One of my clients in his 50s discovered he had stage 2A rectal cancer after doing a blood test with me. Truth be told, a normal lab test isn't going to cut it if you want an accurate picture of your health.

#12 Find a Routine and Stick with It

In my experience, this is one thing that holds people back most when trying to make progress in the gym:

Constantly changing routines. I wrote about this in my article 18 Ways to Get Stronger in 2019. Suffice to say, many people get “shiny object syndrome” and go from workout to the next.

Progressive overload is one of the basic tenets of building muscle and improving your body composition. Therefore, if you change workout every week, you won’t get the kind of progression required to get results.

Another reason guys jump from one routine to another is simply because they don’t know what to do. If you’re not experienced in the gym, or you’ve been out of the game for a while, it can be overwhelming.

That’s why I came up with my 28 Days to Shredded program. Your diet, training routine and supplementation routine are all laid out in plain English, so you don’t have to think about it.

All you need to do is show up and do the work. Obviously, I can’t help you with that part – but if you do follow the program, I promise you’ll get results. Want proof? Check out Chris’ results below.

28 Day Transformation Program Chris

#13 View training as part of your anti-aging strategy

There are no two ways about it. Your level of fitness determines your quality of life. But not only that, your level of fitness is correlated with how long you’ll live.

According to research, people with a low level of fitness have a 70% higher death rate than those with higher fitness levels.

That’s staggering.

In his excellent Anti-Aging Blueprint course, PD Mangan states that exercise is anti-cancerous. Indeed, it appears that it increases molecules in the bloodstream that can inhibit cancer cell growth.

He cites a study on hip fracture patients that followed a high intensity strength training routine, and received treatment for depression and vitamin D. This reduced death rates by 81% and reduced care home admissions by 84%.

Muscle is anti-inflammatory and protects against disease. This is because it acts as a storage depot for protein, and in disease states such as cancer, sepsis (a toxic response to infection), or traumatic injury, proteins are released from muscle tissue for wound healing.

Indeed, studies suggest that survival rates in cancer patients are associated with levels of skeletal muscle mass.

The bottom line:

The muscle you have, the better your chances of avoiding disease and surviving it. So, if you’re a man over 50 and you want to live longer; you need to build muscle mass and lift weights.

#14 Stop making excuses

This may be the first start weight training in your 50s (or even beyond). You may have been out the gym for a number of years. And now you’re looking to get back into shape.

Whatever it is, don’t let excuses get in your way. Understand this: your age is NOT a reason for you, go be in phenomenal shape.

Just because other men your age let themselves go shit doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Sure, your body may have more limitations now, but so what?

results excuses

Does that mean you can’t get in the gym and kick ass?

Absolutely not.

In my experience, most of the limitations for building muscle and strength for men over 50 is in their head.

Most men who get into their 50s are poor low testosterone saps. Do you know why? Because they CHOSE to be that way. Not because of their age or any other bullshit. They stopped caring and looking after themselves.

Now quit making excuses about what you can and can’t do.

#15 Fix Your Posture

If you haven’t paid any attention to posture in  recent years, then now is the time.

My experience with posture correction is: the longer you neglect your posture, the worse it gets. There are numerous benefits of good posture.

These include; less lower back pain (a common problem for men over 50), improved mood, less tension in your neck and back, and improved circulation.

The first step in improving your posture starts with being aware of it. Get someone to take a picture of you with a shirt off from the front, side and back.

That way, you can get an objective assessment of how your posture actually is.

You may find that your neck leans forward (kyphosis), or that your shoulders are internally rotated. This second one is especially common in men that drive and spend a lot of time at computers.

I recommend make postural correction exercises a staple in your workout routine. Great exercises for improved upper body.

#16 Pack on size

OK, you’re weight lifting at 50 years old, but so what? Does that hold you back from building muscle and improving your body composition?

Absolutely not. Getting jacked is not just for younger men.

As long as you have the right foundations in place, there is no reason you cannot put on a significant amount of muscle mass in your 50s.

Some men in their 50s and beyond have this idea that trying to gain muscle is somehow “beneath” them.

But let’s be clear, there is nothing immature or childish about wanting to build muscle. Sure, it’s vain, but I see NOTHING wrong with wanting to look after your appearance.

More muscle mass simply makes you look better, instead looking like a rake that’s better off in the garden.

You’re telling me you don’t want to look better naked? Come on now.

Looking the part, and being strong to boot makes you FEEL BETTER. But not only that, I guarantee you it will improve a whole lot of other areas of your life too.

Final Thoughts

Many of my coaching clients are men in their 50s. And when they come to me, they all have their own issues.

A lot of them are overweight. Many suffer with low libido and high levels of stress. Indeed, often these men have done well in their careers and made a lot of money, but at the expense of their health.

Making big changes to your health and your physique in your 50s is no mean feat. You simply don’t have the energy levels and recovery ability of a younger man.

But, with the right attitude, consistency and dedication, anything is possible. My clients are proof-positive of this.

Many have lost weight, gained muscle AND gained their life back. They no longer buy into the myth that being an older man is a handicap. Being in great health and top shape as a man in his 50s opens up a whole world of possibilities to you.

Possibilities you didn’t even think existed. But they were always there – you just didn’t see them.

And that’s the thing about getting into great shape that’s rarely discussed:

It gives you incredible mental clarity in your life. Maybe even for the first time. If you follow many of the tips I outline in this post, I promise you incredible results.

The Anti-Aging Blueprint: How to Beat Aging [Review]

It’s a sad indictment of our society that as many people enter their later years, they end up in care homes. That doesn’t mean I have anything against care homes. Because for some people, that’s the right option.

However, growing old doesn’t mean you need to retire to a care home and lose your health and your mind.

Far from it, in fact. Yet because so many people end up like this, we think it’s the norm.

There are several anti-aging strategies that you can follow to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. And in this article, I’ll share some of the strategies I learned from PD Mangan’s Anti-Aging Blueprint.

Man vs Machine

A machine can’t repair itself.

At the beginning of his course, PD Mangan poses the following question:

What’s the difference between a machine and a person?

It’s a great analogy and one that makes you think about the traditional view we have of aging. Many people think the human body is like a car that gets rusty and eventually gets worn out. A

However, what people fail to recognize is this:

Human beings get worn out too. But we can repair ourselves through mechanisms such as autophagy.

Although the key point Mangan emphasizes is that you must allow yourself to do so. And living an atypical couch potato, Netflix-binge lifestyle actually ages you faster.

Whereas the opposite (and you’d do well to do EXACTLY the opposite of mainstream health advice); i.e leading a fit and active lifestyle, protects against aging.

Indeed, the aging process can be likened to a computer that needs servicing. The components are faulty, and may need repairing or replacing. If nothing is done, eventually the system ceases to function entirely. In your case – that means death.

Mangan refers to this as the “Garbage Catastrophe of Aging.” That is, the detrimental effects has on the body if left unchecked.

Keep this idea at the forefront of your mind whenever you think about not taking care of your body. Because the less you do about it, the worse it gets.

Inflammation is necessary mechanism for the body to be able to repair itself. However, chronic low-level inflammation is terrible for your health.

What do most diseases have in common? Inflammation. And it’s also a characteristic of aging.

Mangan says that chronic Inflammation is: “like driving down the road with your feet on the accelerator and the brakes simultaneously.”

To reduce your chances of age-related disease, it’s important to reduce inflammation. And in a moment, we’ll see some of things you can do to reduce inflammation.

According to Mangan, in addition to inflammation, to fight aging, we must also stop oxidative stress. That means damage induced by free radicals.

There is no doubt about it that oxidative stress leads to the many of the diseases we find in aging.

In my book, Optimized Under 35, I wrote about the effect of oxidative stress on the testes. It appears that oxidative stress can be induced by poor lifestyles – not merely the result of “aging.”

And I believe this is why we have an untold epidemic of young men with low testosterone. Because their poor lifestyles (among other things) result in oxidative stress and damage to their sexual organ function.

Our bodies have their own protection to oxidative stress in the form of antioxidant. And among these antioxidants, one of the most noteworthy being glutathione, which declines with age.

The Big 5 of Long Life

In the Anti-Aging Blueprint course, there is a segment called, “The Big 5 of Long Life.” These are 5 basic anti-aging principles you should follow to ensure a long and healthy life.

  • No smoking
  • Lean and not overweight
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Regular exercise (and being strong)
  • Eat a healthy diet

And by following these basic rules; both men and women can several years to their life span.

You might be thinking: “These 5 anti-aging measures are obvious!” But ask yourself this – how many people actually apply them?

Very few.

And that’s exactly why so few people remain in good health as they age.

Instead, the vast majority of people (in the west at least) age horribly. Walk around any shopping center and you’ll see elderly people struggling to walk. Many are keeled over their zimmer frames and don’t even know their own name.

Now, is it simply because of their age? Or perhaps it has something to do with how they took care of themselves?

Want proof? Check out PD Mangan’s physique below. He’s in his 60s, an age when most people are retiring, ready to go quietly into the night. Yet he has a better physique than most men in their 20s.

How many people do you know in their 60s that are in that kind of shape? Likely none.

pd mangan physique

It comes as no surprise then that most people are in terrible condition when they enter their twilight years.

Make no mistake, following these principles will put you into the top 1% of people. This way, you’ll avoid the disastrous fate many find themselves in during old age.

As I’ve always said; maintaining good health is not difficult. It simply requires consistent, applied discipline.

We all grow old – that’s a fact of life. But it’s up to you whether you do it gracefully or in sickness.

And as Mangan says:

Average people have average lifespans.

They also have average health. And today, “average health” means sickness and dependence on multiple medications.

That’s no way to age gracefully.

So if you want to age well and avoid the disease of average; follow the Big 5 of Long Life.

Does Alcohol Age You?

Another interesting part of the course concerns alcohol and aging. This is a big topic for most people, particularly because our culture glorifies alcohol.

Drinking alcohol in our society is so widespread, that it has become a religion unto itself. Alcohol is so ingrained into our culture that expressing a desire to abstain is almost akin to heresy. I call this: “The Cult of Alcohol.”

alcohol and aging

I’ve written in the past about my own experience of quitting alcohol. Suffice to say, I gave up drinking alcohol altogether and this had a positive on both my health and quality of life.

However, many are simply not ready to give up alcohol. Now, we know that excessive alcohol consumption is bad news for your health.

But the question here is – does alcohol age you?

According to Mangan, low to moderate alcohol intake is associated with longer life. He cites numerous studies that show that those who drink 1-2 drinks a day have a lower death rate than those who don’t drink at all.

And if you didn’t know already, excessive drinking is bad news for your health and is associated with:

  • Higher death rates
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Low testosterone
  • Low sperm count
  • Depression

Mangan says that moderate alcohol drinkers is have up to an 18% lower death rate. That’s pretty big. Although he is quick to point out here that association doesn’t necessarily mean causation.

He goes on to say that maybe health causes drinking, not the other way round. In other words, healthy and intelligent people choose to drink alcohol in moderation.

What’s more, there is a broad definition as to what constitutes “non-drinkers.” Indeed, non-drinkers may be less health conscious and simply don’t drink. A non-drinker may also be a former alcoholic that damaged their health through excessive drinking.

However, in the studies once former alcoholics were removed the category of non-drinkers, there was still a positive association with alcohol intake and good health.

It appears that moderate alcohol consumption can improve a number of health markers. These include; lower cholesterol, increased insulin sensitivity

This all comes back to hormesis – fascinating concept that PD Mangan discusses at length in the course. Hormesis basically means toxins in small amounts can actually be good for you. And in this case alcohol.

Another example is broccoli. It contains a substance called sulforaphane, which in large enough amounts can lead to cancer. In small amounts, however, it can be very beneficial to your health.

Alcohol and Aging: My Grandfather’s Story

My grandfather Bill was born in the 1930s before the outbreak of WW2. Like many of his generation, the events of those times became etched deep into his psyche. I fondly remember him telling stories of those times, such as the Battle of Britain.

He was definitely a child of his time. And at that time in post-war Britain, regular alcohol consumption was the norm.

My grandfather had a lifelong career in large British firm (imagine that today!). Eventually, he worked his way up to management, and was fortunate enough to retire in his 50s.

This was great in many ways, because it meant that he could travel and enjoy life to the fullest. But that also meant he had a lot of time on his hands.

And what did people from his generation do to pass the time? Drink alcohol.

does alcohol age you?

Now, my grandfather was by no means an alcoholic, but he drank daily. As I recall, he drank 2-3 drinks – maybe more. And doing this over the course of several decades did serious damage to his body.

By the time he reached his 70s, Bill already had type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver. I’m convinced that his daily alcohol habit made him age significantly and played a big part in his poor health

Indeed, alcohol does age you, but as PD Mangan points out in the course; the type of alcohol you drink matters. My grandfather drank beer and whiskey. Whereas from the scientific literature, it appears the protective effects of alcohol derive mainly from red wine.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t just alcohol that contributed to the demise of his health. In his younger years, my grandfather was a fit and active man and often went cycling.

While he didn’t smoke, as he grew older he exercised little and paid scant attention to his diet. In short, he failed to follow the Big 5 of Long Life.

As a result, in 80s and in his final year of life Bill admitted himself to a care home. Mentally, he was still sharp, but at this point he had sarcopenia (muscle waste) and was very frail.

He was also on a laundry list of medication that he needed to manage his diabetes and other conditions. And I’m positive he had low testosterone, which contributed to his low muscle mass and sombre moods.

It was sad to see a proud, kind and intelligent man reduced to such a poor state of health. And he passed away in 2015. Yet his health had nothing to do with his age and everything to do with his lifestyle.

I am convinced that had he followed the Anti-Aging Blueprint, he would still be here today.

Aging: A Modern Phenomenon?

There is no doubt that today, if you want to avoid the Garbage Catastrophe of Aging, you MUST follow some sort of anti-aging strategy.

There are no two ways about it.

Our environment is full of toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors (EDCs) that conspire to lower your testosterone, lower sperm count and keep you in a poor state of health.

Poor nutrition choices – such as the western diet – and lack of exercise have led to an obesity epidemic. Yet this is in spite of all the information and technological advances we have made.

So what went wrong? We forgot how to take care of ourselves.

If you’re not convinced that aging in its current form is an entirely modern phenomenon, check out the pictures below.

These images are of veterans from the Napoleonic wars in the 1800s. When the photos were taken, these men were in their 70s and 80s. Yet they still manage to fit into their original uniforms. And they look as fierce as when they marched with Napoleon.

Does it look like “age” was a problem for these men?

Final Thoughts

There are two things that I enjoyed above all in both about this course.

Mangan backs up his assertions with scientific evidence. However, he like many “evidence-based” people today, he doesn’t simply take the studies at face value. He interprets them in an intelligent manner, tells you how they may be flawed and crucially; how they apply to you.

In addition, he breaks down complex scientific subjects and makes them easy to understand. And even as someone who had good understanding of anti-aging prior to the course, I got plenty of new insights.

The best thing about the Anti-Aging Blueprint is that it makes anti-aging interventions available to you from the comfort of your own home.

And that’s the incredible thing about the time we live in. Knowledge that was once only accessible to the rich and famous is now available for all.

No longer do you have to go to an expensive anti-aging clinic in Beverley Hills or Harley Street, and pay thousands of dollars for the privilege.

The quality of information contained in the Anti-Aging Blueprint is well worth the admission price alone. And what’s more, the bonuses in the course are fantastic. They include three of his best selling books, as well as a fascinating interview with physician Leo Zacharski.

This makes it an offer, you simply can’t refuse.

Remember, if you want to remain in average health, do what average people do. I believe in paying it forward when it comes to your health. Either way, you’re going to pay.

You can either do it now by paying for a gym membership, expert coaching, eating organic food or education.

Or you can pay for it later with care home fees and medication.

Invest in your health today by signing up for the Anti-Aging Blueprint here.