In  today’s Old Man Conjugate I’m going to talk about why strength is a lifestyle and why you must play the long game. I am also not talking about just competition, but strength overall.

I was having this discussion the other day with Wayne, one of my training partners. Let’s call him Training Buddy. Wayne is the same age as me and is as banged up as me but is still going.

We’ve both torn tons of shit, had multiple surgeries, but we still get right back in the gym.


Because Strength is a lifestyle. We’re still both here every session giving it the best we can. And so are many of you. That is awesome. We need to pass this on to others.

When I say Strength is a lifestyle, it will mean different things to different people.

Some of you want to be the strongest mofo in the world. Some want to win a strength contest in whatever discipline you choose. Others may want to be an adventure race or triathlon beast. Many of you are like me now and want to be unkillable.

I used to want to be the strongest guy in the world but goals have changed, as you know if you are a regular reader. The fact that I always play the long game with strength has allowed me to stay healthy, resilient and be stronger than most guys my age now. Wayne too.

Getting back to unkillable, what I mean is my current goals are to be mobile, have great GPP, be agile and be at least twice as strong as the average 30 year old. And playing the long game in the strength world has allowed me to be successful.

Sure, my “cardio” is not as good as it needs to be, my mobility is not either. But my strength levels are good. I’m not winning any meets or Strongman shows, but I can handle whatever life throws at me, Wayne too. And, GPP and Cardio are easy to improve at any age. I am doing that too.

shop band packs

So, what does play the long game mean here?

Great question.

I’d like you to absorb this and spread it to your children, grandchildren and  everyone else in your world that doesn’t train because chances are that if you are reading this, you do. You play the long game.

Having a lifelong commitment to consistent exercise that includes strength training, mobility and  cardiovascular training will set you on a path to be:

  • More resistant to injury
  • Lower risk of many health issues
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Higher physical function as you age
  • Greater longevity
  • Brain function that stay high and doesn’t degrade as much as you age
  • So many more great things

The younger generation did not grow up the way us old guys did. We got kicked out of the house with the dog and a hockey stick or a baseball and glove and were told to stay out until the street lights came on. We ran, jumped, climbed, fell, rode bikes, played sports and got tons of sunlight. When many of us hit our teens we found the gym.

And we are still in the gym today. It’s a part of us. Exercise, strength and health is our lifestyle. We play the long game and many of us did it without even knowing it.  

Today’s younger generation, for the most part are inactive, less athletic, less physical and weaker than all those who came before them.

They spend hours and hours on electronic devices either playing games or watching other people live their lives on social media, instead of living their own life.

They are slaves to screens.

And the worst part, is that the brain doesn’t fully develop until the mid twenties. And to make it worse, the last part to fully develop is the pre frontal cortex which is responsible for all of the “adult” stuff, like planning, prioritizing and a few other beauties. This is why so many kids don’t seem to care about what we as adults value. It’s science. And it’s not their fault.

So if we have so many challenges in our attempt get the youth in our life to play the long game, what do we do?

I wish I had the answer. I don’t.

But, I do have suggestions.

  • Lead by your example
  • Teach them (don’t nag) about the benefits of making strength a lifestyle
  • Include them in your exercise-especially when they are young  
  • If they are your kids, LIMIT screen time
  • You can make them earn screen time too through physical work or tasks  

There’s gotta be more but that’s all I can come up with now.   

Getting back to me and Training Buddy’s conversation the other day, we both realized that it is pretty likely that we are in the top 10% of men our age in the world’s population for strength and fitness.

Not for the lifting community, I mean for the world population of 55 year old men. Our goal is to get to the top 5%, and maybe higher.

My goal for you is to get there too, but also to spread the word about the importance of playing the long game.

Your kids will than you when they are old.

Did you see my episode of Table Talk?

Watch it here

Did you miss last week’s log?

Read it here.



Vincere vel mori

C.J. Murphy

September 21, 2023   


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