Friday, July 30, 2010

Age ain't nothin' but a number

I really enjoyed reading this article from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch about this 62 year old man who continues to train harder every day!

Like fine wine, man improves with age
By Harry Jackson Jr.
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:00 am

If Spartan soldiers still trained today, they'd do it in J.R. Moore's basement.

"I call it 'The Dungeon,'" Moore said.

"They say when you reach a certain age, you're done. Well, I'm stronger now than I was at 50, and I was stronger at 50 than I was at 40. That's what I'm telling people, age is only a number; you can always get stronger."

Step into the basement and find the walls lined with exercise weights and pictures of prize-winning bodybuilders, hundreds of both.

In the midst of the photos are proverbs and sayings. His favorite is "Steroid free since 1947."

"I was born in 1947," he said, laughing.

And while his body is in superb condition, the closest he has come to competing has been as an impersonator of Macho Man Randy Savage, a professional wrestling icon. Moore stands about 5 feet 10 inches and has the same muscular, prize-wrestler build. He still has the replica of the championship wrestling belt.

Every few minutes he takes a drink from a bottle of water.

His meals consist of oatmeal every morning, tuna, salmon and fruits and vegetables for lunch and dinner. He sleeps eight hours a night. "Gotta get sleep," he said.

Although he worked at an earlier age in a gym that closed years ago, he has never had professional training. And he still practices the simple resistance exercises that he used in the '60s.

"I'm old school; I compete against myself," he said. "Every year I try to do more than I did the year before. And the only person I have to impress is me."

Why? "I love it; I just love it," he said, curling up a big, smooth muscle from his left biceps.

With all of the memorabilia, weights, photos and benches in the room, something is curiously absent: no electronic entertainment, no TV, no radio, no stereo, no treadmill or other modern "essential."

"I don't want any distractions," he said.

The closest thing to an exercise machine is a 30-year-old bench-press stand that catches the weights when he's done so he doesn't need a spotter.

He ignores trends. One of his three exercise benches he bought when he was 15.

He likes to experience every move he makes. He spends 90 minutes a day exercising.

"This is training," he said. "... Sometimes I have friends down here working with me, but that's it."

A large, institutional clock hangs on the wall.

"You want to work? Compete against the clock. You can't cheat the clock."

Some of the signs on his wall testify to that: 1,033 pushups in one hour in 1990; 1,261 squats in an hour in 2005; 148 bench reps totaling 4,380 pounds in 2008.

One secret to longevity is to stay healthy, he said. So he rarely lifts more than 40 pounds per arm.

"I never lift heavy," he said. "You have to avoid injury. One little twinge and I stop.

"Repetitions. Just repetitions."

The light reps also take care of aerobic workouts, he said; he doesn't do roadwork.

He demonstrated his warm up: "Here, sit here and for three minutes." As he sat, he punched, not hard, about 45 degrees upward.

"You can do this sitting on the couch watching TV," he said. "You can do this from a wheelchair.

"Here, you try it."

A short time later, not three minutes, he was laughing.

"See that's tough, ain't it? But you made it to 45 seconds, next time, do 50 seconds, and keep going.

"You'll just keep getting stronger."

Moore is not so unusual, other than his intense enthusiasm, said Dr. Scott Kaar, an orthopedic surgeon and director of sports medicine at St. Louis University. Someone who works out continuously will continue to get stronger, he said. "Keep working safely ... avoid injury, and there's nothing that says you can't continue to (stay strong) your entire life."

Start slow, check with your doctor and don't overdo it, he said.

Meanwhile, Moore said he has no plans to quit; as long as he sets his own records, he plans to break them.

"It's my thing," he said. "Everybody should have a thing, something they love."

He took another drink. "People make it so complicated. They say when you get old you go down hill. Well I'm going uphill."

1 comment: