Men Over 50 Gain Muscle and Lose Weight

Over 50 Prostate Cancer Survivor Rides On

Now over 50, multi-sport athlete Sam Pearson was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago and has persevered.  Sam recently sat down with bestMastersFitness.com to share his story.

Over 50 Athlete Sam Pearson

Over 50 Athlete Sam Pearson 

bMF.c:  Sam, tell us about the physical activities you stay involved in.

SP: I really enjoy riding Mountains Bikes with my son; he and I race in 6 to 7 events per year. I also enjoy running 10Ks or half’s.

bMF.c: Why the interest in this area?

SP: I really enjoy being in shape, I know this means different things to different people, but by doing this, I can make adjustments in my training and prepare for MTB racing season, competing in a Triathlon, running a half marathon or just about any activity.

bMF.c: How do you stay in shape for your activities?

SP: I do cross training of MTB & road biking, running and swimming. My one area that I really am slack in is weights. However I do have a pull bar in my kitchen (I have an understanding wife) it’s great when my daughter would bring home a new boyfriend I would challenge him to pulls. Old bulls.

bMF.c: Tell us about your workouts. What do you do? How often?

SP: I ride MTB (20 to 40 miles per week) Road Bike (30 to 50 miles) and run (10 to 15 miles per week), during the summer I add in swimming 2 days a week of 1000 to 2000 meters. I try to swim or run at lunch and ride in the afternoon after work. This time of year, we use lights and MTB at night.

bMF.c: How do you keep yourself motivated?

SP: Fear! The fear of being like the guys my age I see in the airports or in meetings. I don’t want my pants size to be bigger than my jacket size.

bMF.c: What is your biggest personal challenge to achieving and maintaining fitness over 50? How do you overcome that challenge?

SP: Keeping the right people around me. I prefer to workout/ride with guys my age but that is not always possible, so I ride with my sons friends (16 & 17 years olds), or with guys that are in there 30’s and 40’s. The other is making my workouts a priority and keeping it fun. It’s easy to let your workouts become drudgery, so I keep mine diverse. There are times I just don’t run, and will concentrate on biking and vice-versa.

bMF.c: How do you approach diet and nutrition? What are your meals like? What kind of supplements do you take, if any?

SP: All things in balance. I love cheesecake, but I only eat it once a month or less. I eat a very hearty breakfast everyday (steel cut oatmeal with fresh fruit) and a light snack mid-morning (Cliff bar or mixed unsalted nuts or Ezekiel bread), lunch varies from salads to hummus, healthy crackers  with hard cheese, spinach & kale smoothie (it has fruit so it’s not green), dinner whatever my wife makes. She is a very healthy minded person so it’s always good.

Most of my supplements are in my smoothies (flax, chia seeds and so on) and a men’s multi vitamin. We have an outstanding blender which allows us to make great healthy drinks smoothies.

bMF.c: Have you overcome injuries and/or surgeries? What were they? How did you overcome them?

SP: I have been very blessed to have had few injuries, however at age 48 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had just competed in the National Adventure Race Championship and felt 10 feet tall and bullet proof. I had no real symptoms. I had to do blood work for insurance and my Doc just added a PSA to the test. Mine came back with a PSA of 26 not 2.6 but a 26. Long story short, I was in a world of hurt and did not know it. After many additional tests I had surgery (Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy) which means old school surgery not the robotic. Doc did say that during recover from my surgery I had a heart rate of 50, which showed I was in good shape and handled the 3.5 hour surgery well.  A year after my surgery (almost to the day) I ran a half marathon (8.22 per mile) not fast but I was just happy to be alive. However it came back and I did 3 months of radiation.

bMF.c: Do you have a target weight and/or body fat level you maintain?  What is it? How do you achieve it?

SP: My weight stays are 175 – I just don’t eat junk or drink any kind of soft drink or energy drink. I got off sugar/sweets years ago and really don’t like any kind of sweets. If I do eat sweets it’s a very small piece.

bMF.c: What are your health and fitness goals for the future?

SP: I race MTB’s, we have three Categories: CAT3 Beginner, CAT2 good/great rider, Cat 1 Expert/Pro, inside each CAT there are age groups. We have a group of men who ride CAT1 Pro Age Group 60 plus – I want to one day race in that group. We also have riders in their 70’s. These men are my hero’s, in the sports world.

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