Does anyone know about sports nutrition and muscle strength?


Hi - I really am unnaturally weak in terms of muscle strength, and I really always have been. I’m pretty sure it’s not any kind of actual illness or disease process. Even when I was a lot younger, in my 20s and 30s I would struggle with handling amounts of weights most men could handle easily.

I did get a lot of physical exercise during periods of my life, but I just never got the strength I saw other guys have.

I know my diet is crap now, but I had a period in my 40s when I was eating really carefully, doing strength training with a professional trainer at a gym, and still couldn’t get anywhere - really struggled with bench press anything over 80 lbs, most I ever did was 120 (maybe 130) a few reps. Now I probably couldn’t do 50, but I’m really out of shape again.

I do have problems with low iron levels and B and D levels, so I took supplements when I was working at the gym, but still not much change.

I also know my diet is too carb heavy, low in trace elements (not enough colorful produce, too much processed food) and I definitely don’t eat enough protein, so that all needs to change.

EDITED just to add this: I really want to see if I can get at least a little stronger now for pragmatic reasons, not vanity or much to do with my self-image. I’m just struggling with a lot of things I need to do in life that take some muscle, like yard work or carry water softener salt down the basement stairs.
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If you have the option, get your testosterone level checked. Like, I can't say that's an issue for sure from one post of course, but with you saying you would struggle with handling weights that most men could handle even when you were younger, it might be an issue.

I second the lean protein and dark leafy greens.
If you struggle with vegetables, remember you don't have to eat them plain. Extra seasoning, sauces, heck, some cheese all help make the most boring veggies more palatable. And tossing a bunch of veggies plus some chicken or salmon into the oven takes as little effort as eating highly processed food and can be super tasty.

As for the functional strength... I'm just gonna be that guy and say give CrossFit a try. It's a great sport because everything is scaleable and to a certain level adaptable to your needs.
You're unlikely to end up super bulky or anything but it really is functional fitness.

I'm also seconding the hiking suggestion, it's great for the body and the mind.


T is actually pretty high, it was 796, the lab’s standard range is 240-890 for “normal” on the report. But all I could talk my current PCP into checking was total, wouldn’t do the tests to see how much is available and how much bound.

I would like to rejoin a gym, but I’m going to wait and see how Covid plays out first, because I can see how it would spread easily with heavy breathing and spit flying everywhere.
OMG, a few years ago, I would have started off saying the same thing.

I believed my entire life that I was unnaturally weak. The abuse taught me that. It told me I wasn’t a real boy, any comparison to other boys proved it. I was average size, but so much less.

It was really toxic thinking.

I started with a trainer 7 years ago. He set out to prove that I wasn’t weak, only undertrained. It sounds like stupid semantics…but it opened the door for real improvement. And that’s what we have been doing. There is nothing wrong with my body. It responds to proper nutrition and training just like any other man! Your’s will too.

My bench sucks. I used to be embarrassed by how much I struggled to break the 100 lbs ceiling. What coach pointed out was how the specifics of my physical mechanics are playing out in that one exercise. And he was right, I am just as strong as other men doing auxiliary dumbbell exercises.

Turns out, my demons are all to willing to exploit anything they can bite into. Another weird thing was, during my weekly session with the coach, I couldn’t lift as much as I did on my own. Why? I didn’t dare assert my strength in front of a “real” man…I could literally sense my demons holding me back.

I have so much more I want to say, but need to get to work.
I post a lot about my fitness stuff on Facebook. About a year ago I started a fitness/survivors group, Survivor's Forge. I haven't posted much in it because I am now more open on my general feel about trauma and my fitness, so I don't need the privacy. But I monitor it all the time.