THE HAPPY BODY  THE SIMPLE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION, EXERCISE, AND RELAXATION

Going for Gold

Tom Weary (47-year-old portfolio advisor)

In 2003, after thirty years of running and weightlifting, I measured 14.6% body fat. At that point, I thought that to lower my body fat even more to be competitive I had to do long-distance running. However, that was counterproductive because I didn't lose any fat and actually lost muscle. After that failure, I thought that I would have to take megadoses of supplements and steroids, but that was not an option because I wanted to improve naturally and not harm my body in the long run.

Looking for professional help, I contacted USA Weightlifting's national headquarters in Colorado Springs, which referred me to the UCLA weightlifting team. That's how I met Jerzy, the head coach, who accepted me to the team. In the first three years of working with him, I gained ten pounds of muscle, and five more pounds in the last year alone, while losing eleven pounds of fat.

Two weeks ago, I won the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships. Ever since I was 16, I have wanted to win a Gold Medal at the World Weightlifting Championships. Now I have every intention of bringing home the gold at the 2011 World Masters Weightlifting Championships. In order to do that, however, I need to gain another fifteen pounds of lean muscle mass while keeping my body fat down. After all my work with Jerzy, I know I can do it.

Last week, for my birthday, I had a "dunk" test to measure my body fat. At a weight of 171 pounds, I measured 7.7% body fat, which is half the level that is generally considered "ideal" for a man of 47. I am in the best shape of my life and feel less than half my chronological age. If I can find the time to train like this on top of running my own business and helping my wife to raise five kids, anyone can find the time.

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