Middle Aged Men In Lycra

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Suddenly they are everywhere you turn – the Rise of the MAMILS (middle aged men in lycra.)

In the last ten days they’ve made the cover of Time magazine (Manopause: Aging, Insecurity, and the Ten Billion Testosterone Industry) and the pages of several of the big British newspapers.

The Daily Mail blamed the phenomenon of men donning lycra and mounting $1000 road bikes or getting bulked up at the gym as the fault of muscular role models including Hugh Jackman, 45, Gerard Butler, 44, and current ‘Hercules’ actor, 42-year-old Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Souped Up Bikes Are In

A much-shared BBC piece announced “Flashy sports cars are out, now no mid-life crisis is complete without a souped-up road bike”

And The Guardian pointed out that Mamils were first defined in 2010 by Michael Oliver, a marketing man who described this male segment as well paid businessmen and professionals in their 30s and 40s for whom owning a bike was a way of displaying their affluence rather than a mode of transport.

Key Trends in Mamil Lifestyles

Some key trends in fitness and aging:

  • 40 somethings are taking up body building more than any other age group in the last 12 months in Britain
  • 36 per cent of the men who work out take daily supplements like protein shakes to improve their performance
  • Men who work out have a 30 per cent lower risk of erectile problems than those who don’t
  • Most people lose 10 per cent of their aerobic capacity a year from the age of 30
  • People who work out have more energy,  muscle strength and aerobic capacity than those who don’t
  • Working out improves sex drive, capacity and satisfaction and short intense exercise bouts increase testosterone
  • Magazines like Men’s Health sell more copies these days than the girlie mags

Role Model for Pumped Older Men

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Actor Hugh Jackman, 45, who is reprising his role as Wolverine in The Days of Future Past, says he works out “all the time.”

For a June cover story for Men’s Health magazine the Australian actor said he constantly pushed himself to get the body shape he needed for his movie “close ups.”

“You want to get somewhere you’re not physically? It’s going to be uncomfortable. The end result is good, but it’s uncomfortable to change.

“And it is harder at 45 than it was at 30.”

Health and Fitness specialist Rich Sturia has advice for 40 somethings wanting to get in shape:

  • Maintain a High Protein Intake – As you age, your ability to digest protein gradually declines, requiring a higher protein intake than you needed when you were younger.
  • Choose the Right Activities – Find training movements and/or sports that you can do safely, and ideally, succeed at.
  • Reset Your Expectations – Base your expectations on your current status and rate of progress, not on what you did ‘back in the day’.
  • Specialize, But Don’t Be ‘Bad’ At Anything – As an older exercise enthusiast, you shouldn’t let any physical quality or capacity erode to ‘bad’ levels. You may Deadlift 200kg, but you also need the aerobic capacity to be capable of climbing stairs, and the flexibility to touch your toes with ease.
  • Never End A Sentence With “For My Age.” If you’re 40-plus, your body isn’t the same as it was in your 20’s. However it’s not all bad.  In most respects many can be fitter and more capable than ever.

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