Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Look Better Than Ever At 50 Years Old!

Dean Colfax has been bodybuilding for over a decade. At age 50, he still plans to compete and continue his pursuit of perfection.

How did your fitness
journey begin?

I've lived and breathed in iron from the weight room since I first hit my teenage years. My dad owned this old Weider plastic and concrete weight set along with a bench. If I remember correctly, the weight set totaled 110 pounds. He set it up in the garage and installed a pull-up bar for me as well. Looking back, my dad really helped ignite that passion and love for weight training in my early years.

When I started junior high as a fresh-faced teen, I started lifting quite obsessively. Because I had my own set of weights in the garage, I lost myself in countless thousands of reps of bench presses, hand stand push-ups, pull-ups, tricep exercises, and push-ups. When I outgrew the weights, I bought two 25-pound plates to throw onto my bench. By the time I hit my sophomore year in high school, I weighed 140 pounds and benched 190. I never looked back.

Weight lifting—and later bodybuilding—kept me healthy and, in many ways, sane. At 50, I am confident, healthy, and very strong. I can look in the mirror and be content with what I see year round. No doubt that age has laid down obstacles, but they only strengthen my resolve to stay on this path and journey I've chosen. If I were to quit, I might as well sit down in a rocking chair and give up as well; as long as I have the energy, I will continue to train. I control my appearance now; it does not control me. As long as I provide for my body, it responds favorably and appropriately. This degree of commitment takes discipline, but the rewards are far greater than the sacrifices. I will pass from this world still training in some form or another.

"I will pass from this world still training in some form or another."

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

I am still changing training routines to adapt to deficiencies and trying to manipulate changes that will improve my physique.

Day 1: Chest

Day 2: Back

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Legs

Day 5: Biceps/Triceps

Day 6: Shoulders

Day 7: Off

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What nutrition plan fueled your body?

During bulking season (off-season), my goal is to not only gain additional pounds; it is to add lean muscle by over providing properly nourishing my body. I allow myself cheat meals one day a week during any attempt to put on lean muscle mass. The proper nutrition plan allows training with more intensity, volume, and overall weight. What is most important is the quality of this food, not so much the volume. This is the time to put your energy into training as hard as you can to increase overall lean muscle size and weight.

For competitions, I adjust my diet weekly depending on current and target weight for whatever competition I do. Remember that as overall weight drops, so do calorie demands. If you continue to eat as much as you have the previous week, you will no longer lose weight. Stripping body fat and maintaining lean tissue are the science of manipulating calories to do both—a delicate balance. Learn how to determine calorie deficits without causing your body to savage lean muscle tissue searching for energy. Only you can know after practicing clean dieting what your body's limitations are.

Meal 1: Breakfast
Meal 2
Meal 3: Lunch
Meal 4
Meal 5: Dinner
Meal 6
Meal 7: If Needed Based On Weight Loss

What supplements gave you the greatest gains?

With Meal 2 & 4
With Meal 6 & 7

"I didn't discover my passion for bodybuilding until I competed in my first show in 2001 at the age of 38."

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

I've been weight lifting in my garage since my first teen years at 13. I didn't discover my passion for bodybuilding until later when I competed in my first show in 2001 at the age of 38. It just clicked when I realized how much control I have over my body. To see it transform from what it was to what it has become only inspired me to push the envelope further.

Where did you go for inspiration?

If there exists an overarching goal in bodybuilding, I would say it is the pursuit of perfection. For me, it is this ongoing pursuit. Perfection can be seen an unattainable destination, to be sure, but it is one we can come close to reaching through our own will and fire.

What is the most important fitness tip?

Learn how your body ticks and how it responds to training and dieting. When it tells you something, listen to it.

What are your future bodybuilding plans?

At my age, I keep it to one show a year because of the enormous strain on life that committing to a contest can create. As some of my fellow bodybuilders can attest to, family tends to deal with the mood swings that come from carb depletion just as painfully. Because my job is quite physical the job itself becomes more difficult on my body and psyche, especially with disciplined eating and training thrown atop the existing workload.

For me, competing simply isn't so much for the glory as it is the structure. Enduring months of training for a specific physical look keeps me focused and motivated. It helps my wife stick to her routine as well, since we train together. The time we spend together is quality time, and we both benefit from the results.

I last competed in June 2013 at the age of 50. I'm not finished yet. I have no doubt that I will compete in 2014.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com is quite simply a great resource for information on workouts and competition.

Dean's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Till I Collapse" by Eminem
  2. "Little Talks" by Of Monsters And Men
  3. "The Last Chance" by Soil
  4. "Pieces" by Dark New Day
  5. "Rectifier" by Ra
Contest History
  • 2001 SNBF Championships - SNBF, Middleweight, 2nd
  • 2001 SNBF Championships - SNBF, Middleweight, 3rd
  • 2003 Atlanta Championships - NPC, Middleweight, 1st
  • 2003 Atlantic USA Championships - NPC, Middleweight, 2nd
  • 2003 Atlantic USA Championships - NPC, Masters 35+, 3rd
  • 2004 Eastern Seaboard - NPC, Masters 35+ Middleweight, 1st
  • 2005 Southeastern - NPC, Open Light Heavyweight, 9th
  • 2007 All South Championships - NPC, Masters 40+, 6th
  • 2008 Southern States - NPC, Masters 40+ Middleweight, 6th
  • 2012 Orlando Metropolitan - NPC, Masters 40+, 1st and Overall Open Middleweight 2nd
  • 2013 Oklahoma State - NPC, Masters 50+, 2nd

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