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Clarence at 78

Mirrors and Crossed Legs Tell the Tale

Clarence is now three years beyond the expected down turn at 75 for the lifetime trainer. He is not so foolish as to deny the inevitable decline, but neither is he going with the flow. Swimming hard against the tide is working well so far—as shown by three years of the “Bass pose” shown here.

Clarence at 76, 77, and now 78.

Other new photos were taken in the mirror, including this photo of Clarence’s torso.

78-year-old abs at the break of dawn.

As in the past, the new photos show everyday condition—no dieting, no body hair removal, no body color, no oil, and no change in training routine. The one exception is that body hair was removed for long term comparisons with peak condition. We looked back to 1979 and 1986 for a longer view that showed up in photos recently added to our documents file. While 36 years has had an effect, Clarence is far ahead of expectations for the untrained person.

As explained previously, lifelong exercisers soar above the untrained person at every decade of life—but must eventually pay the piper. The best depictions are by University of Miami Professor Joseph Signorile in his book Bending the Aging Curve. Signorile includes 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.

The newly scanned photos were taken by famous physique photographers Bill Reynolds and Chris Lund. Bill took the first photo in a San Jose park the day after Clarence won the “Most Muscular Man” award at the 1979 Past 40 Mr. USA. The second photo was taken by Chris Lund seven years later at the end of a photo shoot commissioned by Joe Weider in the Los Angeles area. As you can see, both show Clarence in a unique crossed-legs pose.

Coming on these superb photos gave us the idea of taking a similar photo of Clarence at 78. The quality is no match for the earlier photos, but we think Clarence holds up well for a spur of the moment shot taken in a bathroom mirror. (Note that the hair line appears unchanged.)


The one thing that didn't change is the determination to resist Father Time. Lifestyle can be an awesome weapon against the effects of aging.

November 1, 2015

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