Why “men’s fitness” and single-sport “enthusiast” magazines kind of suck

As a 40+ guy seeking balanced fitness, smart nutrition, and the well-being and joy these things contribute to…I’ll take all the help I can get. So, I’m always scouting the media and blog landscape on these topics.

My conclusion: the “media” world (old and new) is failing to truly help 40+ guys seeking a lifelong mix of endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, solid nutrition, tranquility-of-mind, and joy-of-spirit.


As a 40+ guy seeking balanced fitness, smart nutrition, and the well-being and joy these things contribute to…I’ll take all the help I can get.  So, I’m always scouting the media and blog landscape on these topics.

My conclusion:  the “media” world (old and new) is failing to truly help 40+ guys seeking a lifelong mix of endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, solid nutrition, tranquility-of-mind, and joy-of-spirit.

What “media” do I mean?

In the digital-only realm – blogs and specialized websites – 40+ guys have many fewer resources than women, or younger guys who are more “build muscles” or “single sport” focused.  For example, Google “40+ fitness blog” and you’ll see nearly all search results are blogs written by women, for women.   Or go on YouTube and you can find a large array of weightlifting-oriented enthusiast channels.

So, general-purpose men’s fitness- and health-oriented magazines are a big chunk of what’s out there – like Men’s Health and Men’s Journal.  Then there are narrower “enthusiast” ones – like Runner’s World and Bicycling.

How are these media sources failing us?

Topics include many that don’t resonate with the OlderBeast: The world’s finest cigars!New fall fashion looks!Three ways to get that girl at the office into bed with you this weekend!

Fitness advice is too muscle-building oriented and assumes you’re willing to spend all your time on that (Monster biceps in 28 days!). By the way…show me a 40+ guys with monster biceps, and often times that guy can’t touch his toes or run three miles.

Or, advice assumes you’re focused on just one primary fitness activity (10 great stretches for distance runners!)

There is a short-term, “follow this magic plan” orientation (Get ripped in 45 days!)

Articles have a “more is more” orientation that is the enemy of simplicity and actually reduces usefulness and likelihood you can consistently stick with a plan (1,476 tips for being a better man!)


But as the saying goes, “it’s easier to be a critic than a craftsman.”  So, constructively, here’s what I hope to do about the shortcomings discussed above.

1. Keep improving OlderBeast.com as a resource for 40+ guys seeking a balanced, long-term approach. An OlderBeast wants to feel great, look (at least) pretty good for his age, keep getting happier, and live long. OlderBeast.com’s heartfelt mission is to help.

2. Inspire you to be “architect” of your own unique fitness and wellness plan for life. Use some of what you find at OlderBeast.com, the best of what you get out of magazines and other sources (which DO have a lot of great stuff)…what you learn from friends…and the personalized “what works?” wisdom you are best-qualified to have for yourself. This post might be a useful place to start.

3. Perhaps, over time, motivate existing media companies to focus more of their impressive, capable resources on the needs of the OlderBeast. If they do, we’ll be grateful.

“Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book.” (Elvis Costello, song of the same title)

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1. You plan to work out that day. Then as the planned time nears, you start to feel a physical and/or mental sluggishness. Nothing dramatic, but you just don’t feel like working out. You start to flirt with the idea of taking the day off, considering various possible justifications.

2. But rather than explicitly, decisively declaring a day off – sometimes you need one, even if unplanned – you let minutes tick by without moving toward your workout OR deciding not to. Deep down, you might know what you’re doing, but you don’t admit it to yourself.

3. Then all of a sudden, voila, it’s “too late” for your workout. You missed the window of time you had before your next work, family or personal obligation. Even though you caused this, you don’t feel glad about the “can’t workout now” reality. You immediately feel like you’ve let yourself down.

This ever happen to you?  If so, you just fell victim to That Sluggish Feeling (“TSF”).  

I’ve devised a new response to TSF when it strikes. I don’t seek to move directly from sluggishness to exercise. Instead, I do a short, easy “bridge” activity in-between, to change my energy and get me into a better frame-of-mind to decide if I’m really, intentionally going to skip that workout. Here’s how it works.

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Digital Detox: Less Screen Time, More Body-and-Soul Time

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Major challenge: “We never have enough time” is a truism that is nonetheless true. But if you’re determined to feel great, look good, be happy and live long…exercise needs to be a non-negotiable part of who you are.

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How Aging Reduces Your Calorie Burn Rate – and How Being Active Reverses The Decline

If you’re a 40+ guy paying at least casual attention to nutrition science, you know this: as we get older, our bodies naturally burn fewer calories.

Given this reality about “base metabolic rate” (BMR), our choices are: (1) Slowly gain weight; (2) Get more active, to counter-balance the BMR decline; or (3) Reduce calories consumed.

I flirted with the first path in my 30’s but ultimately chose to reject Outcome #1, do everything I can toward Outcome #2, and also accept that a bit of Outcome #3 will be needed over time.

Whatever choice you make (and you are making a choice, man), I want it to be an informed one. So please invest a few minutes to learn about your current calorie burn rate, how it’s changing, and how your activity level affects that trajectory. Preview: getting more active can more than offset BMR decline, for many years!

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In our quest to stay fit and vital as we age, sometimes we can’t help but experience feelings that counter-productively undermine our resolve.

It’s natural to fear and lament that our basic physical capabilities are diminished compared to our younger selves. But while this is true, you’re less over-the-hill than you think, man. This should be a manageable fear. Anyway, what are you gonna do about this – exercise less and let yourself get less fit because you can’t run a mile as fast as you could 20 years ago?

Also, like people of any age, we sometimes battle that sluggish feeling that whispers “don’t work out today…there’s always tomorrow.” But as we age, doubling down on fitness becomes ever more important, so effectively responding to that sluggish feeling is key.

Here’s the feeling that threatens our long-term body-and-soul health more than any other: the fear that we are getting more fragile, more VULNERABLE to injury and other activity-limiting aches and pains.

This is so dangerous because we can observe that it’s least partly true…but at the same time we can’t let it dictate our fitness habits and start a self-fulfilling downward trend. So how to deal with this shadow of vulnerability we feel? The trick is to neither ignore nor surrender to it.

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