Know your limitations but don’t throw in the towel. Mind-muscle connection is also key; he “commands” his muscles to grow (pictured).
If you haven’t heard the story of CT Fletcher, visit YouTube and enter his name in the search engine; it’s best to hear him tell it in his own words, provided you’re not offended by excessive cursing.
The Cliff Notes version is this: Fletcher was a world-champion powerlifter in his younger years. He lifted like a beast, but he also ate one of the unhealthiest diets ever, consisting of the same meal every day at McDonald’s for over 20 years: four Big Macs, four orders of fries, two milkshakes, and four personal-size apple pies—a lunch that topped 5,000 calories. Not surprisingly, emergency open-heart surgery ensued.
Fletcher nearly expired multiple times, but he somehow made it through. Now, at age 54, Fletcher is a lean 235 pounds at 5'11", down from 300-plus during his powerlifting days. Things are different—namely, he makes very few trips to McDonald’s and goes much lighter in the gym than he used to. But one thing hasn’t changed: his no-excuses attitude.
“I flatlined three times on the operating table, and it took me 18 months to recover,” Fletcher says. “But I manage to get my ass upandgotothe gym, so I don’t accept many excuses from the over-40 guys. If I can go do my workouts, you can. And I’m not just an over-40 guy—I’m over 50. No matter what life throws at you, or what you're going through or how hard it goes, it's still your motherf—n set."
Train Your Mind Too
Fletcher's Super-High Rep Set:
One of Fletcher’s favorite workouts entails doing a 200-rep set on a given exercise, using a light weight and resting when necessary. “It pumps high volume but it’s also a test of mental capability,” he says. “It’s like running a marathon, only on the bench press. Along the way, when you’re doing those 200 reps, you have a lot of chances for your mind to give up.” He recommends using partner rest “if you can find someone else dumb enough to do it with you.”