From The Desk Of Clarence Bass
Clarence at 80
Selected Visitor Comments Below
It’s report time again.
A few days into my ninth decade and I’m still fighting the “inevitable decline” that is said to begin at 75 for lifetime trainers. Something I’ve been writing about during my birthday month since turning 76. Having my other hip replaced and my nose straightened out has made the past year more challenging. Hip pain before the surgery and rehabbing afterward hampered my sleep and my training. Having my nose plugged for several weeks also slowed me down. But I never stopped moving and have had several months of good training leading up to my birthday.
Frankly, it almost seems like none of that happened. My new hip feels as good or better than the one replaced in 2006, and being able to breathe through both nostrils has me sleeping better than I have in a long time; Fitbit says 7 hours and 40 minutes on average.
We spent several days photographing me in everyday condition (no dieting, body color or hair removal) and got some good shots to compare with those taken at 76, 77, 78, and 79. We also took photos of me going all-out on the rower and ski erg. You can decide whether I look like an old guy in decline. Or someone swimming hard against the “relentless tide” of aging, a term found in the book Younger Next Year (Random House, 2004).
Co-author Henry S. Lodge, MD, takes the reader inside the body for a look at how exercise affects the process of growth or decay.
Every muscle cell in the body is replaced about every four months. “Your blood cells are replaced every three months, your platelets every ten days, your bones every couple of years.” That’s just scraping the surface, but you get the idea.
It’s an active process. Your body doesn’t wait for something to go wrong; it destroys and replaces the old parts on a regular schedule. Think of it as preemptive maintenance. “Biologists now believe that most cells in your body are designed to fall apart after relatively short life spans, partly to let you adapt to new circumstances and partly because older cells tend to get cancer.”
Challenge your body, and each renewal is likely to be an improvement; if you don’t, you may throw out more than you replace. Your muscles control growth or decay in the body. “The nerve impulse to contract a muscle also sends a tiny signal to build it up, creating a moment-to-moment chemical balance between growth and decay,” not only in the muscles but throughout the body. “If enough of the growth signals are sent at once, they overwhelm the signals to atrophy, and your body turns on the machinery to build up the muscles, heart, capillaries, tendons, bones, joints, coordination, and so on.”
“But let your muscles sit idle and decay takes over again.” (For more see http://www.cbass.com/YoungerNext.htm )
There may be more to it, but that’s a good way to think about fighting the aging process with exercise and healthy living. I’m fighting as hard as I know how. You decide how well I’m doing.
The photo in the middle was take when I turned 76. The two on the outside were taken a few days ago, at 80.
My favorite aerobic combination is the Concept 2 rower and Ski Erg. Doing sprint intervals on both in the same workout trains practically the entire body. Add the Schwinn Airdyne, with push-pull arm action, and you're there.
High intensity resistance training rounds out my progressive training regimen. Walking between workouts--in our neighborhood and in the foothills above our home--keeps my blood flowing and speeds recovery.
* * *
For everyday condition each year after my 75th birthday:
December 1, 2017
Selected Visitor Comments
I been following
your readings for about 30 years now. I remember when I was in my early
twenties reading your articles. I am now 50 and look forward to your
monthly articles. I also read many of your books. You are the first one
to convince me that less is better. I have been working out since I was
14 years old. I can't believe you are 80. Where does time go? You
convinced me that one can be in good shape at any age. You inspire me
and many more people than you will ever know. I also applaud you for the
courage to share photos of yourself without the tan, shaved hair etc. I
also applaud you for sharing the reality of your health problems. Many
people would hide all that and paint a picture of perfection. Keep up
the good work and thank you for all you do.
First off congratulations on turning 80 and being in phenomenal condition. I think the photo of you at 80 looks better than the one at 76. I think its awesome how you’ve continued the fitness lifestyle even when you’ve had setbacks. I have been following your progress for the last 15 years and have enjoyed all your books and website and look forward to your monthly posts. Keep up the great work you are a great role model to both young and old alike.
Andrew J, Melbourne Australia
Cheers from Scotland
It's great to see you doing so well and leading the way for us.
Just Like Jack
Clarence, the new pictures look great. You’re a true inspiration just like Jack Lalanne, always striving to improve. Fantastic job my friend.
Only one word adequately describes the 76 to 80 progression- incredible.
Fight the Tide
Happy Birthday! Looking great at
80! Way to "fight the relentless tide of aging."
The last few years you have been doing "everyday conditioning" photo's, which I think are great. Just curious was the going for totally ripped just too much drudgery? Or did you just want us to see what one looks like when the eat, exercise right under normal conditions? I still think you are the undisputed "Ripped" King anyway!! (At any age!)
Thank you for taking
the time for the feed back, I like the everyday conditioning as it is
more realistic to what the "average exercise enthusiast" would obtain
and maintain throughout out the year, as most would have no real need of
peak conditioning other than just to see if they could obtain that
condition, I would think!! Unless they are also competing!
So Little Training
I just wanted to wish you a hearty congratulations on reaching this most propitious milestone. Your picture as ever looks amazing and virtually indistinguishable from last year's. I can't tell you what an inspiration watching your progress is for me, lagging behind you by a mere 12 years or so. That you have shown such resistance to muscular deterioration is undoubtedly impressive in itself, but that you are doing it on so little training time is nothing short of transformative to our understanding of what's possible.
David N, UK
Preaching to the Minister
...You’re an inspiration to me. You’ll be pleased to know that since we last met in Austin a few years ago (with the Todd’s), I've begun to study aging and muscle and sarcopenia. I’m training men and women 50-70 y for 10 weeks...We have data indicating that fast-twitch muscle fibers are especially responsive to even an acute bout of acceleration exercise. Of course, sarcopenia is mostly a loss of fast-twitch fibers as most people stop moving fast and powerfully after age ? (25y ? 50 y ?). I'm sorry to be preaching to the ‘minister.’...
Edward F. Coyle, Ph.D.; Professor / Director: Human Performance Laboratory / Department of Kinesiology & Health Education / The University of Texas at Austin
Nice Touch--Fresh Start
...I also loved
the inclusion of the two action shots of you on the rower and the ski
erg. That was a nice touch, and a new angle for readers to see and
Dan Keating, Professor of Law
No Quick Fix
Congrats on maintaining your fitness, even through the hip replacements & other challenges. One of the things I’ve appreciated in all the years I’ve been following you is that you’ve never jumped on the “quick fix” bandwagon. You’ve always been a long-term, lifetime fitness guy. That’s the main reason you inspire me.
You and Bill Pearl are heroes.
You may not realize it but there are many of us who are inspired by you. I am sending this because it is important to let you know you are appreciated. Keep it up!
Pure inspiration! Lifestyle is indeed a choice. Onward!
January 1, 2018
Ripped Enterprises, P.O. Box 51236, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236
Copyright © 2017 Clarence and Carol Bass. All rights reserved.