We like to post success stories from time to time so our readers can read, learn and possibly relate to real life examples of how SCT has helped other readers. This latest story comes to us from Tom Strong, who is a frequent contributor to the blog. As someone who is 70 years old and is active as ever, we can all learn a lesson or two from Tom, who says . . .
I have been active most of my life. Growing up in mining towns we spent a lot of time outdoors hiking, climbing rocks and exploring old mines. When I graduated from High School at 18 I was 6 ft. tall and a thin 155 pounds. Four months of Marine Corps boot camp added 20 pounds of muscle to 175 pounds. I stayed at that weight during my 8 years in the Marine Corps. Going to a college and working as an accountant I gradually worked up to 195 pounds; the 20 pounds that I added was fat primarily around my waist. At age 40 I quit smoking and took up walking, running and hiking in the mountains in Southern California; dropping to 165 pounds – no upper body muscle to be seen but no fat either. About age 47 I stopped running and by age 50 had gained 20 pounds of fat and went to 185 pounds. At 50 I became a vegan, dropped 20 pounds quickly but over the next 17 years I gradually added those 20 pounds back on.
At age 54 my wife and I opened a small Print Shop and while most of my duties were selling I also took care of moving paper around and delivering to our largest customers. I joked that I didn’t lift iron but I lifted a lot of paper. Unfortunately I didn’t use my left arm as much as my right and while both arms lost muscle over the years the left lost more muscle.
We sold our print shop in January of 2008 at the age of 67 and I determined to get back into shape. I began walking, my right knee hurt if I ran. I also bought at Total Gym 1500 and began using that. In June I started a membership at LA Fitness and had a personal trainer twice a month for six months. In January of 2009 I began to study and become certified as a Personal Trainer, Nutritional and Wellness Consultant, Advanced Personal Trainer and Sports Conditioning Consultant. My time at the gym consisted of the standard 3 days of strength training and 3 days of cardio. The strength training did help me gain muscle, I became able to run with no pain again and I lost 10 pounds; going down to 175 pounds again.
However I reached a plateau with most of my exercises and didn’t see myself going past that point. I began looking on the internet for help. I found and purchased Pete Sisco’s [Static Contraction workout] and began SCT October, 19, 2010.
Over the last five and a half months the biggest size gain has been in my shoulders; 4 inches going up to 44 inches, my right arm gained ½ inch to 12 ¾ inches, left arm gained ½ inch to 12 ¼ inch. My chest actually lost an inch (now 42 inches) while my waist lost 2 inches (now 34 inches). My right and left thigh each gained ½ an inch to 21 inches, my right and left calf are now 15 inches, my right calf had been 2 inches larger than my left, I lost an inch in my right calf and gained an inch in my left calf. My weight and height remained constant at 175 pounds and 6 feet.
Some recent lifts:
Bench press: 345 lbs
Shrugs: 425 lbs
Leg press: 900 lbs
My upper arms (biceps and triceps) were shaped somewhat like a 2X4 but sort of concave. They are now fuller. When I flex in the mirror it looks like more of a gain that the ½ inch reflected on the tape measure. I am expecting that my arms will both see gains in the upcoming months. In addition to doing the SCT arm exercises I have recently been doing a one armed dumbbell biceps press for the left arm; I use both hands to get into position then hold with the left arm for 5 seconds.
My chest did have some fat where I measured around my nipple area which caused the inch loss. The upper and inner parts of my chest have seen the biggest gain, but not measurable with the tape. In addition to the flat bench press I am doing an incline bench press, both close grip and wide grip. I have noticed that I am lifting at least as much weight on the incline as I lift on the flat bench press.
I’m still not where I expect to be; but I am proving to myself that at regardless of my age and Vegan diet I can get stronger!
Tom, those are gains you can be proud of at any age, never mind at seventy. Well done.