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No Excuses, No Limits

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Motivation

ray-lewis“I’m getting old.”

“I can’t do the things I used to.”

“I’m over the hill.”

“I can’t train heavy anymore.”

“I can’t keep up with the twenty somethings anymore.”

“I’m starting to feel my age.”

“I’m too old for that.”

If you’re under the age of 40 and have been heard saying things like that you should be ashamed and embarrassed.

Ray Lewis just finished another season as one of the absolute best defensive players in the NFL and doesn’t seem to have lost a step. He’s 36.

So is Donald Driver who is still an outstanding wide receiver and training as hard as he ever has.

While Brett Favre fell apart this year he was still one of the best quarterbacks in the league during the 2009 season at 40 years old.

Warren Moon was a Pro Bowl quarterback at 41.

As impressive as what Donald Driver is doing (playing a speed position in the NFL at a high level at 36 years old) Jerry Rice has one up on him. The greatest wide receiver of all time played until he was 44 years old and had 1200 yards the year he turned 40.

Still think you’re too old?

Speaking of speed, Darrel Green, one of the fastest players in the NFL during his 19 seasons, played cornerback until he was 42.

The great quarterback, George Blanda played until he was 48 years old.

Yet you’re too old to go out and have a catch?

In baseball, Derek Jeter is still amongst the best players in the league and he’ll be 37 in June.

Nolan Ryan pitched four seasons after turning 40, during which time he struck out over 1400 batters and threw two no-hitters.

And in arguably the greatest moment in baseball history, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all time home run record at 40 years old.

Dara Torres competed in the 2008 summer Olympics at 40 years old. As did 19 other Americans.

In tennis Martina Navratilova won the grand slam a month before turning 50.

Karl Malone was still playing at a high level when he retired from professional basketball at 41, while Kareem Abdul Jabbar won an NBA title at 40.

On November 5th, 1994 at 45 years old, George Foreman knocked out 26 year old Michael Moorer to become heavyweight champion of the world.

Herschel Walker won his first professional MMA fight last year at 48 years old. Randy Couture is right around the same age and still competing. Just a few short years ago he was world champion.

Gordie Howe played professional hockey until he was 51!

Two Sunday’s ago, on pay per view, Jerry “The King” Lawler competed in a main event for the WWE Heavyweight Championship… at 61!

And the list goes on and on.

Get Inspired!

I don’t know about you, but just reading that list is inspiring. I’m ready to go out and train harder than ever right now. It makes me think about how I really need to step my game up and can never slack off for even a moment.

Do you think Derek Jeter is preparing for this season by taking it easy because he’s “too old to train that hard anymore?”

Do you think Randy Couture wouldn’t jump in the cage with a 25 year old world champion at the first shot he go? And do you think he would use age as an excuse when training for it?

Do you honestly think that Ray Lewis or Herschel Walker have ever thought they were “too old” to do something? Ray said on ESPN earlier this year that he’ll be able to play as long as he wants to based on his nutrition alone.

And those two things right there are what make all the difference in the world… attitude and lifestyle.

First of all, you have to get over that age excuse bullshit.

I’ll be 37 this year and I feel absolutely no different than I did at 22. In fact, because of my diet, training and lifestyle changes that I’ve made over the last decade I actually feel significantly better.

Three good friends and clients of mine, Ralph DeVito, Mark Crook and Paul Miller are all strong and jacked and could dominate guys half their age. They really don’t even let the age issue cross their mind.

My friend David Larkan is in his 50’s and still plays professional softball and semi pro FOOTBALL.

Erase the Age Excuse Forever

If you’re 35 and feel 60 that’s very likely due to the fact that you lived like Keith Richards for a few too many years. You have GOT to take care of yourself. Staying up all night jerking around on FaceBook or going out boozing and eating late night fried food isn’t gonna help you feel any younger.

Eating sugar and processed foods isn’t helping either.

One thing that people fail to consider is the cumulative effect of 40 years worth of unhealthy living.

Is it really the fact that you just turned 42 years old that’s holding you back from your training goals, or is it the 42 years of shitty eating that have finally caught up with you?

Who do you think is going to have higher testosterone at 42 years old; the guy who’s been eating fast food five times a week, drinking another three and surviving on six hours of sleep for his whole life or the guy who’s been eating nothing but healthy, organic meats and produce while minimizing alcohol consumption and getting to sleep by 11pm every night?

Remember what Ray Lewis said- based on his nutrition alone, he’ll play as long as he wants. If you want to feel and perform your best at any age you had damn sure be paying as much attention to your own nutrition and taking it that seriously.

Invest in what you put in your body and start spending the extra dough for organic food, grass fed beef, wild caught fish and high quality protein powders.

Shitty food makes you look and feel like shit. There’s no two ways about it.

Cut out sugar, conventional dairy, wheat, soy, corn and processed foods of any kind.

Get off the booze or at least limit it.

Drink tons of pure water.

Get 20 minutes of sunlight daily… but don’t cook yourself like George Hamilton. That’s never a good look.

Get 8-9 hours of sleep per day and a nap in the afternoon if possible.

Stretch and do mobility work every day. No wonder your hamstrings are tight and your lower back hurts. You haven’t stretched since 8th grade gym class and have been sitting in a chair hunched over a computer for the last 19 years straight. Get up and get loose once in a while.

What about the 42 year old guy who loves what he does for a living and is happy every day versus the 42 year old guy who hates his job and his life? Who’s gonna have higher testosterone? Who’s gonna look, feel and perform a whole lot better?

Reduce stress in your life.

Do what you love.

Find a hobby.

Stop working so much. By cutting down the amount of hours you work but focusing on getting more done during that time by giving yourself deadlines you will be far more productive.




Live how you want to live where you want to live.

Have fun.

And train hard.

There’s no law telling you that you have to cut your volume and frequency down to two 15 minute workouts per week the day after you turn 35.

If you really wanted to and made the necessary nutritional and lifestyle changes, there’s no reason you couldn’t train on the same schedule as Randy Couture or Ray Lewis. There’s no one stopping you from getting 7-14 hours of physical activity a week.

If you live clean and train smart anything’s possible.

Whatever you do, just don’t use age as an excuse.

Leave a Reply

59 Responses to No Excuses, No Limits

  1. Marc February 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    Great post! So much truth in your words! I would like to ad one more category if you don’t mind.

    I just became 29 last month and many guys my age are fat

    • Byron Carrell February 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      @Marc: I’m 52 and still play Rugby with the local club! You r right, in that if you eat right, live right and refuse to lose anything is possible! We have guys at work bitch about sore this and sore that. I can’t name all the injuries I’ve had and won’t because it would bore the shit out of everybody. Most guys nowadays are facebook pussies and thank God real men have places like yours Jason to kick ass!

    • Jason Ferruggia March 4, 2011 at 11:31 am #

      @Marc: Yeah, it’s sad how early so many people let themselves fall apart.

      @Chris- That’s aweseome.

      @Aaron- Glad I helped you get to the gym.

      @Dutchys- Letting life pass you by, indeed.

      @Ron- No need to be so mean.

      @Tracy- Awesome post. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

      @James- I’m not a Ravens fan but I get your point.

      @Byron- Still playing rugby. I love it!

      @Nick- Bottled water isn’t pure. You need to get a really good filter for your home. These will usually cost $1000 or so but when you add up the long term cost it’s well worth it.

      @Alex- It’s all about training smart and recovering optimally.

  2. Marc February 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Whoops, and I’m back.

    As I said, many guys to fat, with a beer belly and no muscles. Playing an hour of squash on friday evening. And the worst part is this: they’re blaming their age, like it’s some kind of a law, an unstoppable proces. After 25 you’re getting sloppy and weak, but hey, it’s just the way it is. Unbelievable!

    Great work Jason! Cheers!

  3. Chris February 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    I’m about to turn 44 and have never been more fit for my lifestyle.

    I follow a 100% “Paleo WOE”, haven’t had a cheat meal in almost 2 years and have no desire.

    I splitboard, bike or hike/hunt almost everyday. I try to get a heavy, full body, weight training session in every other or every 2 days using compound lifts, odd objects and Oly lift variations.

    This discipline/passion has rewarded me with 8% BF @ 6’1.75″ @ 230lbs.

    I wish I had the discipline and knowledge in my teens and twenties that I do now.

    Great Post!

  4. Aaron February 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Thanks Jay. I was going to skip my workout today, then I read this. I know at 35 I am not too old, but making excuses does get a bit easier with age.

  5. pete c. February 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Isn’t Ray Lewis getting investigated by the NFL right now for taking, of all the banned supps, deer antler, for 2 years? Which brings the question to mind, does deer antler really work? Lewis and some other NFLers swore by it before they found out its been banned. Just wondering if Jason has any knowledge on deer antler, with all the attention its gotten recently, and if it could help athletic performance

  6. Dutchys Fitness February 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Great post Jason and should be read by everyone that comes out with stupid excuses for letting life pass them by

  7. Ron February 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Listen here fuck face you mentioned all the players but you forgot to mention one of the most shredded players in the NFlt Terrell Owens who is still an elite level reciever at the age of 38

  8. Tracy Langford February 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I’m 37 and have been improving all the time. In 1 year, I improved my dead from 385 pounds to my current RM 570 pounds at a body weight of 210. People ask when I’ll stop on adding weight to my dead. Don’t know. I’ll just keep going till I hit a brickwall and take a step back and go at it again. I never get tired of planning my next plan of attack. People shake their heads at me when I tell them that I lift heavy weights and sprint. I do try to work more on mobility and flexibilty as I get older and focus on restoration, but it doesn’t stop the intensity of my workouts. I just work out smarter these days. Spent too many days doing things that wasted my time. Now when I leave the weight room, I feel like I have accomplished something. Keep up your insights and the great articles. Thanks. Tracy

  9. James February 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    The best part about being a Ravens fan is getting inspired by Ray Lewis every year. Ray Ray makes me want to be better at life. Or as Shannon Sharpe said on TV once after an interview with him, “I get tired listening to that man TALK.”

  10. Raymond- ZenMyFitness February 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Hey this sounds like an old folks convention ..haha I’m 47 this year and its all true above it took me awhile to find out though a few trial and errors but like the rest I don’t think I have ever been this strong, lean or fit as any other time.
    I wouldn’t want to get up or go to the gym but its all a habit now fact if I don’t train I do get a bit depressed ( ha that’s another issue I guess) so I’ll run in whenever if its pouring with rain I still go!
    No excuses I do something everyday ..even if I just go for walk!

  11. Nick Efthimiou February 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm #


    RE: pure water

    I’m not a fan of bottled water due to the environmental impact, is there any kind of filter you would recommend, or is a standard BRITA jug or whatever they are called OK?

  12. alex February 27, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    Awesome post, excuses can play a big role in life as fear also can..
    I was an athlete when i was young but let it all go from my 20’s untill my 30’s.. now im back in the game and feeling even better..
    Off course we cannot forget to train smart and allow proper recovery but i trully believe that you can allways get fitter then u are, so go for it..
    It is deffinitly the best addiction one can have !!

  13. Vaclav Gregor February 27, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    If everybody had this attitude there would be much more people like Jack LaLanne, Dara Torres etc.
    Amazing post today!

    • Jason Ferruggia March 4, 2011 at 11:37 am #

      @Vaclav Gregor: True.

      @Ryan McKane- Great video

      @Matt- Yup, you have to know when to back off.

      @Claudia- Glad to hear. Are you using bands and progressing down?

      @Jason- Great video. Thanks for posting.

      @The Swede- Awesome. I love that.

      @Peter- Yes, always listen to your body.

      @Vman- Thanks

      @Jamin- Good call. Bruce was badass.

      @Dean- I hear ya, man

      • Roby Mitchell M.D. July 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

        This is great!! I can just print and hand to every patient. I don’t have to chew anybody’s ass anymore or make any more women cry.

  14. Ryan McKane February 27, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Here is a great youtube video to reiterate your point, after seeing this I would say no one has a valid excuse

  15. Alex February 27, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Speaking of Darrell Green, last year he ran a 4.43 40. On his 50th birthday.

  16. Ryan February 27, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    great post…i can’t argue at all with anything said here…

    we can all stand to motivate and push ourselves more…no matter what age we are.

  17. Matt February 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Great Post! Thanks for the kick in the ass that we all need sometimes. I push it to the max but now know when to back off and not get injured. Age is no excuse! You can be whatever the hell you want to be. Its just a question of what your whiling to do to get there. Oh ya I heard that Herschel Walker was possibly making a comeback into the NFL. That would be crazy to see. I’m sure he would still kick ass.

  18. Claudia Hall Christian February 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Yea!! This is certainly my experience in life. Thanks for the reminder.

    BTW, my chin program is going really well. I know you were wondering. I haven’t been able to do one on my own, but I’m much stronger. Maybe by the end of the year? I bet sooner. I’ll let you know! Thank you, sir.

  19. Phil February 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Nailed it again Jason. My grandfather is in his early 70’s, and loves doing marathon adventure races/triathlons, eats well, comes up with crazy physical challenges, sets his goals and then works for it. And worse thing is it seems easier to live his lifestyle than a lot of unhealthy, sedentary people whom i see regularly.

  20. Jason - Muscle Building and Fitness Workouts February 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Great post. I hear that excuse all the time and it drives me crazy. I just saw this video, guy is 79 and he has 275 on the bench.

    I remember when I was in high school and hit 225 I thought I was all that back then. Sure you may not recover as fast when you age but you can still be active and strong.

  21. Clement February 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    I’m certainly not going to give up lifting heavy, however old I may get.

    It’s insane to think that some people make up all these excuses.

    The reality is that they just can’t get out of their comfort zone. They don’t want to make that effort. Maybe it shows that it’s not that important to them, or maybe they’re deluded into believing that they really have insurmountable obstacles in front of them.

    Well, that’s absolute bullshit. There’re MANY OTHERS out there who have had it worse than them.

  22. the swede February 28, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    Great post jason ! Id like to quote jack lallanne when asked how old he is ; i dont know i´f im 20 or a hundred .

  23. michael February 28, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    What is a good stretch and mobility routine for an over forty guy? “Stretch and do mobility work every day”

  24. Dan -P90X Coach February 28, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    This article is really inspiring and is highly helpful to motivate people. I agree that there is no age limit for exercise.

  25. Dean Stattmann February 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Sick Ray Lewis photo. We’re bringing him out to the Arnold Expo.

  26. Vman February 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm #


    Many have made the comments i would make already, all I can say is if I could, I would tattoo this and carry it round as a constant reminder!

    Great article!!

  27. Dean February 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Good stuff, well said.

    And George uses LOTS of bronzer. Haha, dude looks like clown no doubt!

    Hey Jason, so your not for Polyphasic sleep?

  28. peter March 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Absolutely no excuse! great post, your absolutely right! but sometimes listening to your body will pay off in the long run correct? I have noticed some knee pain that has come on due to heavy squats and deadlift in the same week, but I love them both, what would you recommend to split them up or replace with that would get me the same all round benefit?

  29. Jamin Thompson March 3, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    Brilliant post bro…just brilliant. I’ll be sharing this with everyone who bitched to me about their age this past week!

    Ray Ray is my boy (we go way back) but another one of my favorite old school, no excuse making, play until you’re 99 years old dudes is Bruce Matthews. 19 seasons, 14 pro bowls, started 229 consecutive games, played in the 2nd most NFL games ever I think Favre is first now, and never missed a game due to an injury. That’s a solid no excuse, no limits type of effort I’d say, especially for a lineman.

  30. Dean Coulson March 3, 2011 at 6:15 am #

    If I had a dollar everytime someone told me they were too old to train, r even worse telling me I am too old to train!!!!! I would be a very rich man.

    Training and lifestyle choices are key here, coming from a boxing and Martial arts background, another person who still performs at a high level is Bernard Hopkins.

    Punish your body and it WILL catch up with you!

    Look after it and there is no telling what you can achieve!

  31. Adam March 8, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    I love this article! I’m 37 years old now and I’m determined to be at my peak at 40. I’ve done kungfu for 10 years, and now I do Parkour and gymnastics. I have a buddy who isn’t even 30 yet and he whines about not being as fit as he used to be. Not to complain, but it drives me nuts. He often asks me how I keep doing what I do. I tell him, it’s really easy. You just do it. Stop talking about how you can’t do it, and just do it.
    I’m also losing weight with the program I’m using through Have you heard of them? Their system is really easy to use and it does everything. They have 1000’s of different recipes to choose from and they help you build a fitness and nutrition plan that suits your goals. They even send you printable daily meal plans and menus, as well as printable daily or weekly grocery lists, which are broken down by the area of the grocery store or supermarket. There’s no fad diets, pills, or required supplements, and they have a exercise program that’s great, too.

    On a completely different note – Has anyone tried Skechers Shape-Ups or Resistance Runners? Since Christmas I’ve been running for 30 minutes a day using the Resistance Runners. I think they’re really great. But I was wondering what other people think about them. Wow – Sorry, I’ve rambled on way too much.

  32. Mateusz June 14, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    Add Jason Kidd to that list. He just won his (first?) NBA title, at 46 (or something close).

  33. Adam Martin January 19, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Great article and I found myself shaking my head yes while reading this. All of this is true and I think a lot of people already know what to do. They just don’t want to do what it takes to get there.

    It has inspired me even more. Thank you!

  34. Chris January 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Why only ‘If you’re under the age of 40″?! I am over 40, as are many of the folks listed in your article, who are still doing amazing things…’*you* should be ashamed and embarrassed’! :)

  35. Zed Shah January 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow dude that was one seriously inspiring post. Ive really let myself go the past few years and only now solidly sticking to a complete rounded routine in terms of exercise, diet, etc

    I already feel 100 times better and if theers one thing thats ‘really’ helped MASSIVELY ..its Meditation :-)

    Thanks once agin for your post bro, youve given me that kick up the rear to get 100% committed to getting in shape

    Peace ~Z~

  36. Alex January 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Turning 35 this year, never felt better in my life !!
    Keep it up !!

  37. Ryan Critchett January 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Such good confirmation. This is what I think! Luckily, I’ve felt no inkling of age related impairments (I’m 28). But I do fully understand, (and have been secretly thinking and totally believing) that most of what’s “normal,” in terms of age related physical impairments, have to do with what you’ve eaten for the past 20 years (among other things).

    Thanks for the awesome post.

  38. Josh January 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    “One thing that people fail to consider is the cumulative effect of 40 years worth of unhealthy living.”

    Might be a little weird but that gave me goosebumps; never thought about it like that… I’m 22 and solid with the workouts but I only eat “sort of” clean… need to tighten it up. Thanks for the new perspective Jason.

  39. mitch January 20, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Im going to read this post every day!

  40. Craig L. January 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    The cumulative effect of unhealthy decisions is definitely something that we should all pay attention to. At the age of 60 my grandfather had emphysema, a lung transplant, diabetes and kidney problems – all of which could have been prevented with healthier lifestyle choices earlier in life.

    I have been diligent in taking care of my body since I was a teenager and hope that it leads to my being able to play competitive sports into my 50s or 60s. I dread the day that I can no longer crush a softball, dominate the WR position on the flag football field or just play some backyard basketball with my kids.

    Thanks for the inspirational examples of those who have defied the aging process through a little old fashioned hard work and dedication.

  41. Paul January 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Check out this guy, Ed Whitlock:
    Sub 3 hour marathon in his 70s and still running a 3:15 in his 80s.
    I know distance running ain’t gonna do it for most readers here, but nevertheless the guy is amazing and shows what you can do

  42. Shawn January 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Don’t forget about Kelly Slater! 11x World Champion surfer (yes, that’s a record). He’s now just ten days shy of his 40th birthday and still smokes EVERY LIVING SURFER.

  43. sean koon January 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    This was honest and awesome. Also find a way to make it easier for yourself. I juice a bunch of stuff and freeze it for work if I can’t get fresh veggies. If I’m reading, I’m often stretching (makes the stretching a little less chore). If I’m watching a video, its with a pile of veggies or smoothie and some breaks every 1/2 hour to get my blood moving. Not everyone’s going to be hard core, but make some good things work for you.
    Ritual is better than routine: forcing myself to ride a big loop every sunday is a routine. Riding with a friend, stopping at the same favorite tea/coffee spot at the end or in the middle, or taking a break at the same scenic spot–that stuff sticks in your head and brings you back.
    Heck, I’ve been motivated by donkeys: there a cute family of wild donkeys that travels home a couple miles from my house at sunset. I like to see them so when I get home, I’m in nike’s within seconds trying to get two miles to where they are before the sun goes now. Wierd stuff can motivate, just have to discover it.

  44. James January 28, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    Mostly American sport. Not hard they are all soft sports. I’m a 34 year old male and am hopeless at gymnastics.

  45. Anna May 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Love it! Sharing with everyone now :)

  46. Grsxboy May 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    I am 39 and thanks to your work out plans and the renegade diet I will have a six pack in 2 months and I am fitter than most 20 something’s at my work.

  47. branko May 10, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    excellent stuff jason ! unfortunately mediocrity has overtaken sociiety today and being fat or obese the norm largely to poor choices and an inactive lifestyle . its never to late to make a change so quit making excuses and DO SOMETHING TODAY !

  48. James August 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    At a fit 34 I was hit by a car when cycling.

    At 35 I was obese and in pain from the injuries.

    At 36 I’ve completed a few fun runs and lowered body fat.

    I’ll never stop until I’m back and fitter than I was at 25!

    You just have to want it badly and think smarter with recovery, nutrition and work/life balance.

    Stay positive!

  49. Joel January 20, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Hi, I just dropped by to say that this post inspired me last year to really go for it and train hard. Although I’m not really old (32), I feel that living a healthy and “athletic” life at any age should be the norm rather than the exception. Your body gives you life, it’s only normal to give it the best food and physical activity it deserve for the rest of your life. Although I’m still struggling with some less optimal foods from time to time, i can say now that I’m in the best shape of my life going 33 than I’ve ever been, sleeping better also and being more optimistic. So thanks for this post, this is inspiring and i think everyone should read it

  50. James Kent February 1, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    Dude, you missed out one seriously jacked cat from the list….Sir.Cliff Richard AKA Cliff Ripped-chard! Shreddy at Seventy!

  51. James Kent February 1, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    (fantastic post btw, not sure who some of these dudes are as I’m from the UK, but still v.inspiring!)

  52. Trey Dennis June 2, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Do you think some people’s bodies may peak naturally in their 30s instead of their mid-20s like most people.

  53. Steve Hancox September 1, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Ok so I’m 37,recovering alcoholic,5’10 and 125lbs…..I have been sober for 9 months and really want to get back in the gym….Could I really build a good physique that I can be proud of or am I destined to be skinny for life….I would appreciate any advice.