Philip J. Hoffman is arguably one of the most interesting and inspiring fitness models I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. He is also a best-selling author and an expert in fitness and nutrition and holds not one but two master’s degrees.
Philip’s distinguished looks and chiselled body prove that age is no barrier to maintaining a cover model physique.
Would you introduce yourself please?
My name is Philip J. Hoffman. I recently turned 54 years old and live in Scottsdale, Arizona [USA]. I’m 5’11, 172 lbs. I am a fitness and nutrition professional specializing in sports nutrition with two Master’s degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology. I am a published best-selling author with a major book due to be released mid 2014. I am also a commercial print fitness and lifestyle model.
You come from a different background to most fitness models. Would you tell us a little bit about it and how that’s helped your career evolve through the years?
I really can’t speak in terms of years because I didn’t become a professional fitness model until 50 years old a few years ago. What I can say is that both my modelling work and my fitness career have helped each other.
Would you give us an example of your routine and how it’s changed over the years?
My workouts are basic and have remained relatively the same for over 35 years. I adhere to an eight-day schedule training on a split routine that looks like the following:
- Day 1: Back-biceps-abs
- Day 2: Legs
- Day 3: Chest-triceps
- Day 4: Shoulders-abs
- Repeat the cycle starting with Day 1 again.
Each major muscle group is worked two times in eight days. There are four days between workouts of the same muscle so plenty of time for recovery. Abs get worked on average every other day.
Rest periods between sets are minimal and I adhere to a HIT protocol. I do not waste time and talk while training and rarely train with a partner. I prefer training alone so no one gets in my way. I like to mentally focus and I don’t need motivation.
Good exercise form and technique are very important for muscular gains. This is one of the most critical mistakes I see so many lifters commit. I attribute my physique to adhering to great execution of form.
You are qualified in sports nutrition and you have done a lot of research on dieting and its importance to our health and body shape. Would you share some of your basic principles with our readers?
Mainstream nutritional information, for the most part, does nothing but confuse, contradict and complicate consumers. Everything is based on whether a product can be developed from the advice.
There is no money in marketing broccoli for example. If companies could take a bowl of broccoli and create a fun commercial out of it and there were big profits to take, I’m sure food manufacturers would create it. The problem is there are no profits in fresh produce because nothing is manufactured, boxed and labelled to place on shelves in the supermarket.
Here are a few of the basic principles. They are boring yet the most effective means for getting a lean, healthy body:
- Eat fresh, whole foods; mostly produce like vegetables and fruits such as berries.
- Eat high-quality lean meats, fish, poultry and eggs.
- Avoid processed foods that are packaged with long list of ingredients.
- Stay within your caloric requirements to prevent excess storage of calories as fat.
These are the minimal basic principles that, if followed, would wipe out obesity and many other diseases overnight.
Consistency is a major factor in any success story. Would you tell us what’s kept you going and how you’ve managed to stay motivated all these years?
In my younger years, I trained to be muscular and didn’t pay so much attention to health. When I reached 50, my mortality looked me in the face and I stepped up the level of both workouts and nutrition to the level I’m at today. I’ve immersed myself into the sciences related to nutrition and ageing and have used my knowledge to advance not only my career but my health.
Today, I continue to consistently devote a part of my day to staying fit, healthy and strong. The attention and acknowledgement I receive from the public is incredible and this keeps me going strong every day. I’ve also built a following of people that have become inspired by me so I want to continue to provide that inspiration to others.
You are in the best shape of your life and you are busier than ever. Would you tell us a little bit about fitness modelling when over 50?
The crazy thing is I didn’t become a fitness model until I reached 50 years old! I was contacted by the founder of Ford Modeling Agency in Scottsdale, AZ [USA].
I think my look combined with a defined physique contributed to my modelling career. Competition in my niche is minimal since very fit guys over 50 years old are hard to come by.
The demand for a 50+ model is high because of the number of baby boomers to market to. There are more than 70 million baby boomers in the U.S. that hold large purchasing power. There are tons of ads to model for. Anything from marketing of financial services to vacation cruises contributes to the demand for modelling work.
Life is ironic. In my 20’s it would have been impossible to land modelling jobs because there are tons of young, good-looking, fit guys. When I got older, the idea of modelling became a reality. I think the fit, chiselled and distinguished look has greatly helped me to enter the world of modelling. I’ve been very fortunate.
What other projects are you working on at the moment?
I continue to build subscribers to my blog as well as my social media platforms such as Facebook.
I published a book on Amazon titled “The 9 Principles for a Lean & Defined Body” that has been quite successful. I also translated the book to Portuguese and listed it on Amazon Brazil. Last week it became the number one best seller during a promotion and continues to stay in the top five books in the health category.
My focus now is to complete a major publication I’m working on and have it on the market by mid 2014. My goal is to be the top authority on six-pack abs development and losing belly fat. My book will set the standard in quality information for this niche.
The title of my book is: “HD Six-Pack Abs: The Art & Science of Six-Pack Abs and a Flat Belly”.
I’m also seeking a few higher-end modelling opportunities.
What’s your advice to anyone who is working out and wants to stay in shape beyond their 30’s?
This is one of the top questions I’m asked. The number of people that stay fit as they age drops exponentially due to a condition termed sarcopenia. This is an aging phenomena in which we lose an increased amount of muscle tissue every year. As a consequence, our basal metabolic rate decreases and we become fatter.
It’s a spiral effect that really dooms both males and females beginning around 40. I’ve seen guys that were really fit completely fall apart at middle age due to this. The number of very fit men over the age of 50 is minimal.
My advice is first to continue weight training as you get older. Second, do not make the mistake of bulking up by overeating and increasing fat storage because it will come back to haunt you when you’re older. You gain size through muscular gains, not by increasing fat storage by eating more than required.
If there’s anything else you’d like to mention, please feel free to do so here.
I always say the name of the fitness game is to stay in the game. Every guy believes because he trains today and looks great that he will make it to middle age and remain fit, lean and muscular. Statistically speaking, the probability of doing so is minimal.
Knowing how to reduce the effects of the ageing process is the most difficult thing you’ll ever encounter in your quest to stay fit. Not even Arnold could make it past middle age.
[quote_box_center]My advice is to remember this moment. Take heed and don’t allow yourself to get too far out of shape.