World's Oldest Bodybuilder Fitness Secret
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.
The Mindset that Helped Her Lose 96 Pounds
Two things kicked Melissa Paluch over the edge to make a change.
#1: Her dad recently died of cancer, and she made a promise to him to get healthy (and not struggle with the health problems he did).
#2: She discovered something when she went to get a physical before a procedure.
She was shocked when her tests came back. They revealed she had high cholesterol… high blood pressure… and diabetes. Her health had gotten to such a point where the surgeon couldn’t do the procedure because they also found out she had sleep apnea on top of it.
This was a breaking point for Melissa:
‘This is enough. I need to do something, and clearly, weight is an issue. I’m done feeling unhealthy. I’m done having no energy. I need to finally get on board” - Melissa Paluch
At first, she decided to focus more on her weight. So she pulled out her scale and stepped on it 3-4x per day. If it wasn’t moving in the right direction, she’d try to make it up by skipping a meal.
She found out quickly that this strategy wasn’t going to work for her.
Instead, she threw her scale in the closet and only took it out at the end of the week. She also started to realize that there would inevitably be weight-loss plateaus and that she needed to focus on something else. She decided to focus on non-scale victories as well.
So she made a list of these victories such as:
“It started off as a weight-loss journey and then turned into so much more than that.”
These non-scale victories are some of the most powerful tools for lasting transformation. They expand your ‘measuring sticks’ for success and show you all the different ways you are making progress on your journey.
And something else happens…
They expand your belief for what you can do physically. They show you, I can climb several flights of stairs without getting winded… I can run a 5k… I can do a push-up… I can do a pull-up.
Sometimes you can’t start there. But you better believe you can work your way up to all those milestones and so much more.
If you’re willing to progressively climb and reach for these non-scale victories along the way. Make your list – and start climbing your way to higher and higher levels of athleticism
(Whatever that looks like for you)
"Remind yourself that you’re worth the hard work it takes to reach your goals,"
P.S. Non-scale victories are one of my absolute favorite ways to break through plateaus and climb to higher levels of fitness. For 51 more tips, insights and strategies to help you breakthrough plateaus and keep charging forward on your fitness journey – check out my latest program Breakthrough Fitness Strategies.
Crush 10k Steps Per Day With This Tip
Recently, Kate Gugerli shared a genius strategy that helped her hit 10,000 steps per day.
(Which ultimately helped her drop 70lbs)
Gugerli calls 10k steps per day a ‘fat loss non-negotiable.’
While there’s some controversy over this ‘magic number’, most people could make a bullfrog-like leap towards their fitness goals with this habit alone.
Problem is, it’s a tall mountain to climb for many people. And they find it tough to pound out that many steps – especially if they have a desk job.
So what’s Gugerli’s secret?
She inserts ‘bursts of walking’ in place during the day.
Apparently, one day, she pulled out a stopwatch and timed how quickly she could do 100 steps. She discovered she could do it in less than 40 seconds.
''That means it takes me a little over six minutes to get 1,000 steps. By doing that 10 times through the day, I can get 10,000 steps in a day when I am otherwise sedentary.' – Kate Gugerli
There’s enormous power in breaking down big goals this way.
For instance, if you aren’t getting enough protein each day… or servings of vegetables… or drinking enough water - break it down - and you may find it’s much more in your reach than you realized.
Also, if 10,000 steps is still daunting in your mind, climb a smaller mountain first.
No one says you have to start at 10k. Take on 8k… 7k… 6k… 5k… even less if that’s where you are starting at.
There’s no shame in starting small.
In fact, I have more respect for those who are willing to start small because they are willing to fit the plan to their individual starting point.
I have a private coaching client whose ultimate goal is 10,000 steps each day. They recently hit 7,800 steps which for them was a huge improvement.
There’s no reason you can’t start small and work on simply bettering your best.
P.S. For much more advanced training on a unique methodology of mindset, nutrition and exercise for taking your fitness journey further, faster and achieving lasting transformation - check out a free issue of the Mind-Body Breakthroughs newsletter.
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.