We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's not the cost of gyms and trainers. It's about clothing, mainly dress clothing.
I never had a flab or weight problem, but before I got into my program I had a weakness and endurance problem which kinda depressed me. Sarcopenia due to physical neglect.
After around 4 years of my almost-daily weights/calisthenics/cardio program, I have gained only about 6 lbs. Probably lost some fat that was not obvious to me so maybe 7-8 lbs. of meat. I do not have a beefy build, so there are natural limits.
Also, probably from weights, my neck size has gone up over an inch. I can't button my dress shirts. Is that bragging? Also, my sports jackets are tight in the shoulders. Trust me, I am not over-muscled by a long shot, just fit, energetic, and functional.
I have enough dress clothing (and every other sort of clothing) to last the rest of my life and more, whether it fits perfectly or not. I am done with new clothing forever. Except maybe workout stuff - they seem to wear out fast. The sneakers, mainly.
IIRC last November or thereabouts you said you were 5'11" and 162 lbs. A random BMI calculator I found says you are at a BMI of 22.6. That's downright skinny for a grown man in many peoples' eyes. And it's something you (well, most people anyway) really have to work at, considering al the exercise you do, so I assume it is your goal to stay at that weight. My question is why is this your goal? I don't understand why someone would want to put as much effort as you do in staying small and not getting close to as strong as you could be. But that's just me.
However, I think it's a fairly well-proven fact that as we age, carrying around a bit of extra weight is a good thing. Here's a paper that says the risk of mortality increased in older people with a BMI
Hmm, rest of my comment didn't post for some reason. (Ah, I had an actual 'less than' sign in there. Changed it to the words 'less than" and there we are.)
Here's the rest:
However, I think it's a fairly well-proven fact that as we age, carrying around a bit of extra weight is a good thing. Here's a paper that says the risk of mortality increased in older people with a BMI of less than 23.0: BMI and all-cause mortality. I'm not saying bulk up to 250-275 or anything ridiculous like that, of course, but 180-190 wouldn't hurt, especially if you get your deadlift up to three plates while you're doing so.
I've gained 30 pounds or so to get to my current 218 since I started lifting about 5 years ago at the age of 54. All my blood work numbers are good, especially since I got a CPAP to deal with my long-term obstructive sleep apnea issue. Only medication I'm on is for hypothyroidism. I actually have abs. Not cut by any stretch of the imagination, but there is no denying that the rectus abdominis are visible (less so right now due to the unavoidable layoff). My resting heart rate is in the mid-50's and I regularly (briefly) hit a heart rate in the high 160's during my heavy deadlift sets. This is what having a mid-300's squat and a mid-400's deadlift will do for you. It also makes it very hard to find shirts and pants that fit correctly.
I've asked before, but you've never given an answer as to why you won't try for just a couple of months to really focus on strength and weight gain (once everyone is allowed back in the gyms,of course) and give your endless cardio work a break. Worst that would happen is you don't like the results and you stop. You'd be back to your old self in no time. Or, more likely, you'll find that all your activities, like hiking and calisthenics classes, will be easier for you.
I knew I was out of shape but boy howdy! Walking with the grand daughter yesterday, I decided to jump up and snatch a leaf from a sycamore tree to show her how big it was. It appeared to be about 4 inches beyond my reach. As I crouched to leap my brain whispered, "watch those old knees". Then, as I extended, my muscle memory went blank. I couldn't even remember HOW to jump. My vertical leap was about an inch.