90-year-old Jim Arrington started hitting the gym as a teenager to get as strong as his favorite superheroes.
70 years later - he’s still gettin’ after it. He invests roughly two hours twice per week at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach. And he still competes in bodybuilding competitions. Giving him the Guinness World Record title: Oldest pro bodybuilder in the world.
In a recent interview, Jim shared one secret to his uncommon level of fitness (and his longevity in the sport):
And this lesson applies, whether you’re an aspiring bodybuilder, powerlifter, pickler (pickleball addict) or none of the above. If you simply want to have longevity in fitness – and make the shift to lasting transformation, heed this advice.
Here it is:
"What works for a person at one time in their life isn't the same. And that's the whole thing about bodybuilding: it's adaption.”- Jim Arrington
Reminds me of a timeless fitness quote:
Some things work better than others.
Nothing works forever.
It’s the ability to adapt and recognize what worked at one stage of your life (or fitness) will not necessarily work at the next. It may be completely different. And if you’re open and willing to adapt, then you will continue to climb higher.
Jim shared a golden example of this with his nutrition.
Apparently, he used to eat a ton of beef and slam cartons of milk in order to bulk up. This worked like a charm early in his career, but he found out he had to let go of this approach:
"But they lead to inflammation, [so] I changed my diet entirely. I figured if I did that, I could continue training, and I could keep this thing up."
This is a mega-lesson for longevity in fitness.
Because often people will find something that works (whether it’s a certain diet, certain routine, certain equipment) and then hold on tightly to it like a life raft in the ocean. And won’t let go. But over time, it will have diminishing returns unless they adapt their routine. And if they don’t, many people will get frustrated and think to themselves, This used to work. It should work.
But it doesn’t.
And that’s where if you let go of the idea of what ‘should’ work and seek out what actually works - you will have the flexibility required to keep adjusting your approach to higher and higher levels of fitness.
And this is one reason why Jim is still kickin’ butt, taking names and breaking records where most people his age have virtually stopped exercising altogether.
P.S. I can’t speak for Jim, but many top endurance athletes (including a few Olympians) talk about a fighting spirit that goes beyond willpower, determination and grit for taking their performance to higher levels. This is not something that only a few people are born with. It’s a powerful form of inner strength that you can awaken and call upon when needed. But it is elusive. And few people understand it (it doesn’t even translate well in English). To learn more about it, check out the August 2023 Issue of Mind-Body Breakthroughs.
Get Serious About Fitness Again
For taking your fitness journey further, faster and achieving lasting transformation - grab a free issue of the Mind-Body Breakthroughs newsletter.