91-year-old bodybuilder

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91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Tom on Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:28 pm

Thanks to Tim Cartmell's Shenwu.com discussion forum for the link. http://www.shenwu.com/discus/messages/25/12029.html?1301762832

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/apr/02/i-am-a-90-year-old-bodybuilder

'I am a 91-year-old bodybuilder'

At 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me. I looked like a wreck'

Image

'I'm not chasing youthfulness. I'm chasing health.' Photograph: Gian Paul Lozza for the Guardian

My personal trainer and I are always getting into arguments about what part of my body needs the most work. I'm not happy with my abs – I have the remains of a small spare tyre – but she says my bottom is a catastrophe because it's so flat. What we both agree on is that bodies can be remodelled, no matter how old you are.

I was a very sickly child. From the age of six I had constant headaches and chronic tonsilitis. I became pale, sluggish and my growth was slow. I remember noticing one day that my best friend, who was a year younger than me, was slightly taller and that I was very upset about it.

At 13, I had my tonsils removed and as my health improved, everything changed. I shot up and suddenly I was full of energy. I thought back to myself as a frail, sickly boy, and vowed never to be like that again. I took up boxing, rowing and rugby. Staying fit and strong became my priority.

After school I trained to be a dentist, but sport remained an important hobby. I only once let myself go. As I crept into my 40s, I adopted my wife's sedentary lifestyle. We spent a lot of time doing nothing. Inevitably, my blood pressure plummeted and one day I felt a sharp pain in my legs – only to discover the dark, earthworm-like patterns of varicose veins across my calves. It was my first brush with old age, and I didn't like it. Immediately I resumed rowing to stay fit.

Life went on. My wife and I divorced. At 60, I discovered veteran's rowing and started competing internationally, eventually winning 36 gold medals. I'm not a particularly talented sportsman, but I've always been a great trier. At 75, many of my friends began to pass away. People were getting older around me, but I was only just ready to retire. I carried on rowing and publishing a dentistry newsletter until I was 82.

Then at 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror one day, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me where muscle used to be. I looked like a wreck. I started to consider the fact that I was probably going to die soon. I knew I was supposed to slow down, but I'm vain. I missed my old body and wanted to be able to strut across the beach, turning heads.

I was already rowing six times a week, and there didn't seem any harm in pushing myself a bit harder to rebuild my muscles. So in my late-80s I joined a bodybuilding club.

There's no research into bodybuilding for the over-80s, so it's been an experiment. With weight-lifting and protein shakes, my body began to change. It became broader, more v-shaped, and my shoulders and biceps became more defined. People began to comment on how much younger I looked, and my new muscular frame drew a lot of admiring glances from women.

Everything I learned was tailored to help my body cope with old age. I took up judo to teach me how to fall properly. My circulation and posture improved, and I was told that there was a chance more muscle mass could protect my brain from Alzheimer's. I stopped thinking about dying. As I approached 90, my focus was on getting my body back.

In 2008, I signed up for my first championship. I was nervous, but although I was the oldest contestant by around 20 years, everyone was very welcoming. I got higher scores than all the women taking part, and a lot of the men. Then, at last year's event in Germany, I triumphed, scoring higher than any contestant in any age category for my 57 dips, 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups and 48 abdominal crunches, each in 45 seconds. As I'm over 70, they did make allowances – I could do the push-ups on my knees, for example – but I proved I wasn't past it.

I'm not chasing youthfulness. I'm chasing health. People have been brainwashed to think that after you're 65, you're finished. We're told that old age is a continuous state of decline, and that we should stop working, slow down and prepare to die. I disagree. To me, a 65-year-old is young. I turn 92 this year. It is a frightening prospect – the law of averages is against me, and, yes, one day something will happen and that will be it. But until that day comes, I'm going to carry on working on my abs.

• As told to Rhianon Howells
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.

---Vernon Law
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby shawnsegler on Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:34 pm

That's awesome.

S
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Steve James on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:06 pm

To me, a 65-year-old is young. I turn 92 this year. It is a frightening prospect – the law of averages is against me, and, yes, one day something will happen and that will be it. But until that day comes, I'm going to carry on working on my abs.


Inspirational.
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Strange on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:19 pm

oh yes!
天官指星 单对月 风摆荷叶 影成双

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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby everything on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:42 pm

Dang! Wow!
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby .Q. on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:54 pm

Impressive, but a bit odd that rowing wasn't keeping him fit. Isn't it a pretty strenuous sport?
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby everything on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:58 pm

.Q. wrote:Impressive, but a bit odd that rowing wasn't keeping him fit. Isn't it a pretty strenuous sport?


I was wondering that too. It seems like strength endurance where he needed more strength workouts???
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Adam S on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:03 pm

Inspiration indeed
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Felipe Bidó on Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:40 pm

Amazing
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Darthwing Teorist on Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:19 am

I was a very sickly child. From the age of six I had constant headaches and chronic tonsilitis. I became pale, sluggish and my growth was slow. I remember noticing one day that my best friend, who was a year younger than me, was slightly taller and that I was very upset about it.


Typical Kung Fu master introduction plot. ;D
И ам тхе террор тхат флапс ин тхе нигхт! И ам тхе црамп тхат руинс ёур форм! И ам... ДАРКWИНГ ДУЦК!
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby everything on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:12 pm

Charles died last year in April at age 97.

This video was published a little before:


What an inspirational dude. He gave a TED talk as well.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Steve James on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:30 pm

What we both agree on is that bodies can be remodelled, no matter how old you are.


Yup :)
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby .Q. on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:54 pm

Steve James wrote:
What we both agree on is that bodies can be remodelled, no matter how old you are.


Yup :)

Just make sure to be more careful when you're older. One of my private students has some good years on him and a few times when I worked specifically on footwork his knees would cause him problems later. I had to both reduce the amount and try to modify drills in order to minimize chances for injury. It's kind of sad because footwork is one of my most favorite aspect of Bagua.
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby Steve James on Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:02 pm

Imo, it's really a question of listening carefully to your body, no matter what age you are. It's true that one can't train the same way at 60 as one did at 16, but the basic principles are the same. Over-training is bad at any age, though recovery from over-training takes much longer if one is older.

There are very few things that one cannot do or start simply because of age. There are lots of things that one can't do or start because of one's physical condition.
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Re: 91-year-old bodybuilder

Postby nicklinjm on Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:05 pm

Amazing, a real testatement to the benefits of staying active well into old age!
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