Staying Gym Motivated in your late 30’s, but how?

An Interview with Derek Candelore

Last week we did a telephone Interview with Derek Candelore of Pittsburgh, Pa to help us try to understand the psychology of how to remain gym motivated in your late 30’s while juggling additional life challenges.

From our viewpoint, It is easier to be motivated when you’re training for sports, single, and in your 20’s or even early 30’s.

But what about those who have less time and less motivation to work out, what Motivates them?

In the case of Derek Candelore, he’s a former Health Club owner, former competitive athlete, in his late 30’s, Married, has 2 Children, owns and runs a successful contracting company, and no longer competing athletically.

Derek told us “Of course it’s much easier when you’re single, unmarried, with no kids. You can live in the gym. But there also needs to be a balance there as well… You don’t want to be, so gym obsessed that it becomes toxic.”

“You need to find a balance; even when you’re young and free, the gym isn’t everything.”

“I used to be motivated athletically by football or trying to break records, If I had a fight on a certain date or want to be able to rep so much weight for so many reps, etc. But that all goes away at some point” he said.

“I’m not really into weightlifting- so the desire to take my shirt off in cold Pittsburgh in February isn’t a motivator either.”

So, we asked Derek what keeps him going?

“At this point it’s about Heart health, staying lean and setting goals such as body fat related goals, Diet-related goals, Fasting goals, Whatever it is- I play with it. Like, This month I will keep my carb count under a certain amount or fast for 72 hours or perform high heart rate/high-intensity moves, stuff like that.”

“The psychology behind staying motivated is the desire to not let inactivity and poor diet overcome your life to the point where it causes health problems. I just want to be healthy.” Derek added.

In visiting Derek’s website we found he also uses prayer, deep meditation techniques, visualization, and HIIT training to keep him going.

“The jump rope and running sprints should be your best friends. Lifting heavy weights does me no good, I bloat, I get tight, and my joints hurt, so for me, it’s not productive. You physically look good, but I end up getting so tight that It’s not functional. If I do any weights, it’s high reps or bodyweight, no slow twitch  fiber moves.”

“It’s hard with kids” he added. “I’m not going to deprive them of snacks and sweets or chicken fingers and fries. And that stuff just sits there and says – eat me… So it’s hard.”

Obviously, Diet is just as important and working out, so we asked Derek about how his eating habits have changed over the years.

He added “I remember being able to eat a Pizza all by myself and still waking up having ripped abs in my twenties, those days are long gone. I eat 2 pieces of Pizza now, and I pay for it! I try to eat clean throughout the week, I use Intermittent Fasting, and up my caloric intake on the weekends for fuel during the week.”

By Derek’s perspective, the older you get, your motivation becomes more about health than about esthetics.

Our last question we asked him was whether esthetics matter at all at this point? He ended our Interview by saying “Of course- You don’t want to lose your Stud Status.”

Special thanks to Derek Candelore of Pittsburgh, Pa for taking the time to share his insight with us on the subject of staying motivated into your late 30’s.

Feel free to drop Derek a line at

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