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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello! I am Steve Silver. I am 67 years young and I live in the country west of Philadelphia. I was born in Lakewood, NJ and raised early-on on a farm in Lakehurst, NJ and later outside of Washington, DC.
After graduating high school, I became kind of a nomad. I traveled the country and ultimately spent 30 years in Northern California. Then I returned to the Philadelphia area in 2001 to provide my family with a better life and to take care of my ageing parents.
Today, I live with my fiancé who is a nurse, an internationally published model and actress. I am very proud of what she is doing on the frontlines of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.
We are truly a team, supporting each other in our endeavors. We also raise two rescued loving Schnauzer/Schnauzer-mixed dogs.
For the last 50 years, I have been working in the corporate world and now I am pursuing my dream of being an actor.
In college, I majored in Communications and minored in Business Administration. I wanted to be in radio and production. Unfortunately, the demo reels I submitted to a number of stations in various markets were returned with a Thank You note.
Realizing that I had to eat, I changed my major to Business Administration and minored in Communications.
It seems that I have been training for almost my whole life. At the age of 10, I played baseball. In middle school, I added track and field as a sprinter and high jumper. I added football at the age of 12.
When I entered high school, weight training was added to the curriculum. My summers were spent at the shore where I learned surfing and water skiing. I was injured in my senior year and could not play sports, but I developed a love for weight training.
When I graduated college, I would go to the local gym and train. There I met a group of guys that played in a full contact flag football league and soon, I was playing as well.
I continued to train after I left football, but not as aggressively as I trained while I was playing. Work and travel interfered with a regular regiment.
When my youngest son wanted to play football in middle school and high school, we set up a gym in the basement.
Unfortunately, my work schedule interfered with his available training schedule. So, we trained together when time allowed, but we always trained.
In his junior year of high school, I met my son’s coach who was also a strength trainer. One day, I tagged along with my son on one of his training sessions in his coach’s house. His basement gym was well stocked with equipment and organized.
Soon I was a client, training with him 3 days and in my gym the rest of the week. He had my son benching 400 lbs and I was benching 300 pounds at 50 plus years of age.
One day, my strength coach commented that I should compete in Powerlifting. I started laughing, thinking that he was joking. All I could think about was the guys in bench suits coming to the stage looking like Frankenstein and throwing up 400 plus pounds. But he was serious.
He explained that there were competitions for lifters with and without equipment and a division for senior lifters over the age of 40.
In December 2011, at the age of 59, I entered my first USAPL sanctioned Powerlifting competition. I only entered in the Masters Raw Single Lift Bench Press event because I am not a fan of heavy squats and deadlifts.
I expecting to do a personal best of maybe 325, but to my surprise, I pressed 341.7 pounds (155 kg) which was a Pennsylvania State Record.
I was hooked and pretty soon, I was competing in events all over the state. In May 2012, I did my personal best and set another record at 347 pounds (157.5 kg) that still stands today.
At that point, I set a goal for myself to set a record in each Masters class until I could lift no more.
I built my own gym starting with a multi-station, self-spotting system known as ProSpot Fitness. The weight bar was suspended from a cable with an electronic sensor that would lock the bar if you let go of the sensor. It was better than a conventional Smith machine.
I was able to do a complete workout on all parts of my body with the ProSpot Fitness system. Then I added a full set of dumbbells and a preacher bench.
Finally, I added an elliptical machine and a TRX system. I am proud to say it was better than going to the gym as I didn’t have to fight for equipment.
During the fall of 2012, I started feeling a sharp pain radiating down my arm. It turned out to be cervical stenosis or a collapsing of the disks and pinching of the nerves. Usually relieved with a minor surgical procedure that results in limited neck movements.
However, I was lucky as a very talented neurosurgeon basically reconstructed my vertebrae, insulating the spinal cord and injecting gel to create artificial disks. That was a long and painful recovery where I had to remain inactive for 6 weeks.
When I could start training again, I couldn’t lift anything greater than 5 pounds. Needless to say, I was frustrated, but my neurosurgeon was encouraging but cautious.
Over time, I was able to start my strength training regiment in preparation for my next competition.
During the summer of 2015, I was training and ruptured my bicep tendon. Fortunately, I had become acquainted with an Orthopedic Surgeon that was associated with a number of professional athletic teams who had operated on my son.
He did the surgery immediately, but afterwards informed me that I would not be competing again. I looked at him and said “You operate on professional athletes all the time. I am expecting you to get me back in the gym training and competing!”
He set me up with a physical therapy regimen with a Physical Therapist that worked with professional athletes. It was grueling and painful but slowly, I got my strength back. I set my sights on a Masters National Record with the hopes of competing in a world event.
I reached out to Dennis Cieri, a world champion, world record holding powerlifter and CEO of SSP Nutrition, a supplement I had been using for years.
Dennis offered to train me at one of the gyms that he owned. I would travel an hour and a half each way, 3 days a week in order to train with him, Anthony Gargiulo and a number of other competitive powerlifters and trained at home the other 3 days.
I resumed competing again in 2017 at a Pennsylvania state event where I lifted 308.6 pounds (140 kg). I followed up two months later at an event in New Jersey where I lifted the same, just missing 330 pounds (150 kg).
I was training for a major event in Pennsylvania with the intention of attempting a National record lift. The week before the competition, I was going through my preparation routine when I felt a sharp pain radiate down my leg.
It was so bad, that I could not position myself properly on the bench, so I decided to miss the competition and rest.
The pain would not get better with pain meds or acupuncture. Finally, I went to a pain management doctor who ordered an MRI that revealed that I had herniated two lumbar disks which ended my powerlifting competition.
During my recovery, I would spend time on my elliptical for cardio and use dumbbells to retain muscle tone.
Once I recovered, I tried lifting but would become bored with the light weight. So, I would increase the weight and return to my old lifting style which resulted in aggravating my lumbar. Frustrated, I gave up lifting.
In June of 2017, I saw an ad for X3, an exercise system based on exercise bands, a plate and a bar with a daily routine lasting 10 minutes.
Being a gym rat working out twice a day anywhere from an hour to one and a half hours each workout, I was very skeptical.
Also, from my past experiences, systems based on rubber bands or rods lose their resistance as the bands and rods stretch out. I passed on the X3 system at first.
Then, thanks to Google, the banner kept appearing which led me to revisit the product’s website. Turns out the bands are made of high quality, thick silicone. The developer of X3, Dr. John Jaquish also developed a system to relieve the symptoms of Osteoporosis.
Dr. Jaquish claimed that by using X3 for 10 minutes each day, 6 days a week, I would gain the same benefit of my twice a day workout and without stressing my joints. Since I couldn’t workout in my gym and I missed working out, I figured that I would give it a try.
I started using my X3 in July 2018. There is a set of online videos that explain how to use the X3 system and how to do each exercise.
The program begins with 4 exercises a day. One day’s routine consisted of push exercises and another day was pull exercises.
Each exercise requires extension just before lockout and maintaining tension at the bottom of the movement. One set with the muscle going to total exhaustion.
Dr. Jaquish has also developed a set of nutritional videos.
When I started the program, I weighed 218 pounds with the typical six pack covered by a keg. Today, I weigh 190 pounds with 14-1/2 percent body fat.
I have lost more than 2 inches around my waist, gained almost 2 inches on my chest and an inch on my arms. I am almost as shredded as I was in college.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
Every day begins early in the morning. First thing is to get on the scale to measure my weight and body composition. Then I have my morning supplement drinks consisting of Cholesterade, In-Perium by Jaquish Biomedical and a number of supplement pills. I grab a bottle of water and head to my gym in the basement.
I begin my workout with a couple of minutes of planks and balancing moves. Then my routine begins.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday workouts are Push exercises which include the chest press, crossovers, shoulder presses, upright row, tricep press or hammers and squats.
Each exercise is performed until full extension cannot be achieved. Then shortened reps until I cannot do them anymore.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday workouts are Pull exercises that consist of bent over rows, bicep curls, deadlifts and calf raises, again following the one set until exhaustion regiment detailed above.
The team at X3 has developed an app to track performance, but it is limited to utilizing the bands provided with the X3 bar system.
Another group developed an app that allow you to track performance with additional, non-X3 bands, multiple bands together for an exercise and an advanced exercise routine.
Sunday morning is dedicated to 40 minutes on the elliptical.
Following my Monday through Saturday workouts, I prepare a shake consisting of Almond Cashew Milk, Collagen Powder and Keto Protein Powder.
My diet is based on Keto and intermittent fasting. I limit my intake of carbohydrates and maximize my intake of protein and healthy fats. I have removed bread, anything made with processed flour, gluten and high sugars.
I have reduced my alcohol intake to a rare pint of Guinness, a shot of Irish whiskey or a glass of red wine.
Monday through Saturday, I have lunch mid-afternoon. Around 5 pm or 6 pm I make myself a Fortagen drink.
Fortagen is a Anabolic Protein Replacement developed by Jaquish Biomedical. It provides the equivalent of 50 grams of ordinary protein and is GMO free, Gluten free and Vegan. I have another Fortagen drink 30 minutes before I go to bed.
On Sundays, I usually cook a high protein breakfast and have my lunch around 5 pm and a Fortagen drink before bedtime.
When my carb macros allow, my cheats are Fat Balls and Rebel Keto Ice Cream on a limited basis.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
As I said earlier, I have been a gym rat. Before my injuries, I would be in the gym first thing in the morning for an hour to an hour and one-half. Then, after work, I would return to the gym for one or two hours.
Now that I have found the X3 Bar system, 30 minutes in the gym, first thing in the morning is a snap. It’s also, my time to get my thoughts together for the day.
Since I have achieved the results that I have using the X3 Bar system, motivation to get into the gym and push harder is not required. My physique is my motivation.
My goal is to continue to be physically fit both in my appearance and internally and live to a ripe old age. My gym is equipped with mirrors so I watch each rep for form and affect, thereby watching my gains all the way.
In order to continue achieving gains, I need to press or pull each rep until I cannot do anymore.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
These days, I am winding down my corporate career and slowly ramping up my acting career. My training is a way of life and part of my daily routine.
I work a minimum of 30 hours a week at my corporate duties. I spend nights and weekends searching casting calls, in my studio recording voiceover auditions or video self-tapes for submission.
The next several years will be dedicated to honing my acting skills.
As this is early in my acting career, I am going to take as many classes as possible to develop my voiceover and on-camera acting skills, improve my auditioning techniques in order to become the best talent that I can be.
If I was able to go back to the early days of my fitness training, I would listen closer to my body when it told me to rest or stop.
When my body would have a minor ache or pain, I would treat it with respect and let it heal rather than push it until it breaks. This would allow me to pursue my fitness and competition goals on and off the field/podium.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
If only I knew then, what I know now. I didn’t listen to my body and continually pushed it to its limits and, in many cases, beyond.
Today, if I feel aches or pains during my workout, I slow down or stop all together.
Fortunately, the X3 system puts little to know pressure on your joints. You do not lockout on a rep nor do you take the stress off at the end of a rep.
It is a system designed with constant muscle resistance without stressing my joints. In addition, I wear a back brace to support my core.
However, when I do have an injury, I have it checked out and treated, medically or homeopathically. While the injury is healing, I continue to workout the rest of my body.
If a routine aggravates the injury, I immediately decrease the resistance and the number of repetitions, gradually increasing them as the injury can support the additional resistance or reps.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is designed to support my weight loss and shredding goals. As I am no longer competing, my diet habits are consistent throughout the year.
As I indicated earlier, I follow a diet based on Keto and intermittent fasting.
My supplements are comprised of:
- Glucosamine Chondroitin
- Nitric Oxide Muscle Matrix
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
My first inspiration (or should I say competition) was my son. At 16 he was benching 400 pounds for reps.
Next would have to be my son’s strength and fitness coach, Tom Batgos. He helped develop my strength and technique. Through his training, I was stronger at 50 than I was a 25.
When I began competing, Dennis Cieri was a great inspiration. His powerlifting accomplishments were my motivation. When he and his crew began to train me, my strength grew in leaps and bounds.
Over the years, two of my constant motivators were Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Terry Crews. Watching these guys kept me going when I felt dejected.
Dwayne Johnson was a great college football player with aspirations to play in the NFL. When that was not going to happen, he resorted to wrestling (following in his father’s footsteps). He always took adversity and turned it into a positive.
I am sure everyone knows the kind of person he is, so I will not reiterate his accolades here.
Terry Crews is another athlete, turned public figure. He too is a very humble, motivational, inspirational role model.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Most important, know your body and listen to it when it tells you that you have gone too far or you may have done an exercise incorrectly. Train within your limits. If you do it properly, your body will appreciate you and you will see great results.
If you decide to work with a personal trainer, be sure that the one you chose designs a program for your body and goals.
There are a lot of people out there that profess to be personal trainers and they put you through the same workout routine that everyone is using. You are not everyone, you are unique in your own way.
Choose a diet that will help you accomplish your goal without damaging your body. If you want to lose weight or you want to gain muscle, make sure that the diet does not damage your organs. Listen to your body and watch for abnormal changes.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My website is stevebsilver.com
💬 Steve Silver quotes
Steve shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍