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Clarence Bass: Everyday Condition at 76

No dieting, no body hair removal, no body color, no oil, and no change in training routine. The result is everyday condition, how you look day in and day out.

Age is one thing you can’t turn on and off—and 75 is when exercise physiologists say decline begins in earnest for those who start training early and never stop. In his book Bending the Aging Curve, University of Miami Professor Joseph Signorile included graphs showing the neuromuscular aging curves for the untrained person, for the person who starts exercising at about 40, and finally the trajectory of men and women who have been exercising their entire life.

The loss of neuromuscular function for untrained individuals begins in earnest at about 40 and drops more and more rapidly with each passing decade; the decline is exponential. The person who begins exercising at 40 shows a relatively flat curve until about 60, and then begins a slow decline. The lifelong exerciser, however, soars above the others at every decade of life. The regular exerciser will have a curve that begins at a much higher level than the other two—and stays there. The inevitable decline that does occur leaves the 75-year-old lifelong exerciser at a level equivalent to an untrained person at 20. At 90, the lifelong trainer is at a level equivalent to an untrained person 30 years younger.

I’m now one year into the “inevitable decline.” Using my condition at 75, as shown in my book Take Charge, as the baseline, my 76th birthday would seem to be a good time to begin tracking decline, if any.

With that in mind, Carol photographed me in the pose used on our “Training Pictorial” page at ages 65, 70, and 75. We call it the Bass Pose, because it shows me at my best. The difference is that the latest photo shows everyday condition and those on our pictorial page were taken after months of preparation. 

My training regimen is basically the same as described in Take Charge, with a trend toward higher intensity and less volume in both strength and endurance training. I still walk several times a day to bring blood and oxygen to all parts of my body and promote repair and recovery.

The result appears below. I weigh about five pounds more than a year ago; my body fat as shown by our Tanita scale is unchanged at 5%. The other difference is that the earlier photos were taken by professional photographers, Pat Berrett at 65 and 70, and Laszlo Bencze at 75.

You might call the new photo a Mom and Pop effort, but it does the job, showing my condition at 76. Not much change so far. My training is still doing the job. I’m going to keep doing my part, and we’ll see what the future holds.



Clarence on his 76th birthday
Photo by Carol Bass 

Compare the photos of Clarence from 15 to 75: http://www.cbass.com/PICTORAL.HTM

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