Former pro bodybuilder Tom Terwilliger has been training for most of his 54 years, and he’s got the knowledge base to go with it. Below, he shares three important tips that you can take to the gym (or wherever you train) to make sure you keep your body both healthy and strong whether you’re 25, 54, or 74.

We’ve always tried to help you find ways around cardio, but as you age, it may bean easy way to stay in shape without stressing your body. “If you’re relatively injury-free, cycling is great because it’s non-weight bearing for most of the joints,” he says. He also recommends swimming.

You don’t need to radically change your diet as you grow older, but you should start adding a few more key nutrients. “One of the things mature men need to do is increase (their consumption) of essential fatty acids,” he says. Terwilliger likes flaxseed, mixed nuts, and cold-water fish for his fatty acids.

Let’s get one thing straight: Forty isn’t old, and if you’re thinking that way, you’re already way behind. You shouldn’t compare yourself with your all-time best. Instead, compare yourself with the average guy at your age. You have to set a higher standard than the norm,” he says. “The norm sucks.”

Muscle & Fitness