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Defying Expectations

A small piece on Clarence’s new book morphed into the cover story in Mature Life, a monthly magazine published by the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico’s largest newspaper. The magazine cover with Clarence's photo was displayed on the front page of the Sunday Journal.

The way this happened was a delightful revelation to everyone concerned. It defied everyone’s expectations—including ours.

We sent a copy of Great Expectations to the Journal in December and weeks went by with no response. We had just about given up hope, when writer Raymond Watt called for an interview the second week in February . Clarence spent an encouraging hour or two with Watt, but we still had no idea what was about to happen. Raymond called again about a week later to ask Clarence a few more questions and, in the course of the conversation, mentioned that the story was longer than his editor had expected—but it looked like they were going to use all of it. About a weeks later, Journal photographer Dean Hanson came by to get some shots to add to those we had already provided. A few minutes into his visit, he announced that his main assignment was to take a photo for the cover. That was a surprise, to put it mildly. Dean had lots of experience, but none taking muscle photos. He was very friendly, however, and easy to work with. We tried hard to give him what he needed—and hoped for the best. As he was leaving, he told us the magazine would be in the March 16, 2008, issue of the Journal. 

So we waited, wondering how the story--and cover photo--would come out.

On Thursday before the story was scheduled to appear, we received an excited call from our old friend Bill Michael. (We hadn’t told him or anyone else the story was coming.) Bill said the new Mature Life was promoed in the first section of the Journal--and that Clarence is on the cover. We had missed it, but we dug out our copy and there it was. Carol’s sister, Cheryl, called on Saturday to tell us the promo for Mature Life was in the paper again. (We hadn't told her it was coming either.) The story was clearly getting a big play. By then we were all excited.

As they say, the rest is history.

The story is called (what else?) Defying Expectations--and it is terrific. You can checkout the magazine cover and the complete layout with photos on the Journal’s website (click on Magazines, Mature Life, and then use the “search” feature for "Clarence"):  www.abqjournal.com  We suggest that you do it right away, because the website is subscriber based and you may only be able to access the story for a short time, probably until the next issue of Mature Life appears on or about April 20.

Raymond Watt, who had been out of town on assignment, emailed two weeks later to tell us, among other things, that he had no idea that the story would be on the cover.

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Resurfacing Site Adds Clarence’s Story

Even though Clarence had a total hip replacement, a website providing information on hip resurfacing has added a page telling his story. Jennifer and Clay Primrose, the developers and managers of the site, thought the whole story—especially Clarence’s search for a doctor who does the anterior approach and how he prepared before and after the surgery—would be helpful and inspiring to people considering the resurfacing option.  

The site contains two valuable databases: a patient registry and a surgeon registry. They also tell the stories of selected patients and their surgeons. They did a wonderful job adapting Clarence’s “Miracle in Houston” article (161 in the Fitness & Health category on our site) to suit their needs. Checkout their presentation of Clarence’s story: http://hipresurfacinginfo.com/featured_story8.html 

In addition, Clarence’s surgeon, Stefan Kreuzer, is a featured surgeon. A highlight of Dr. Kreuzer’s page is an animated demonstration of his Direct Anterior Resurfacing technique. Anyone familiar with the traditional posterior or lateral approaches to resurfacing will appreciate the ground-breaking nature of Kreuzer’s minimally invasive technique: http://hipresurfacinginfo.com/kreuzer_3      

Anyone considering having their hip replaced using the resurfacing method is encouraged to visit this informative site. Those who have had resurfacing can register themselves and perhaps recommend their surgeon.

Patients can search for someone their age or diagnosis or who went to their surgeon or who lives nearby. Or they can search for a surgeon in their area or one who uses a certain device or procedure. As the databases fill with information, they’ll become more and more valuable to those who come along in the future.

Thank you, Jenny and Clay, for giving more people an opportunity to hear my story.

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Journalist Visits to Interview Clarence for Upcoming Book

Publication Date Set…Press Kit Released

Lee Bergquist, a reporter for 28 years on “just about everything but sports” for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, first interviewed Clarence by phone on January 3, 2005, when he was beginning a book about older athletes. His plan was to profile a series of older men and women at the top of their sport, delving into their motivation and what can be learned from them. He has been in touch with Clarence from time to time since then and came to Albuquerque to interview him on December 2, 2007, for what we believe will be the final chapter of his book, Second Wind: Rise of the Ageless Athlete. Human Kinetics, the publisher, has scheduled the book for release in late 2008. (See below)

Bergquist is the first mainstream journalist to interview Clarence in depth. He is obviously interested in fitness, but is not a bodybuilder or a serious weight trainer. Lee did his homework and came prepared. He discovered Clarence in Physical Dimensions of Aging, co-authored by Dr. Waneen Spirduso, and had read most of Clarence’s books, including an advance copy of Great Expectations, and watched one or two of his DVDs. After spending a full day with us, he did telephone interviews with photographer Laszlo Bencze, former US Olympic weightlifting coach Carl Miller, physical culture historian Dr.Terry Todd, and Albuquerque Journal sports columnist Rick Wright, who wrote a feature story on Clarence several years back.

In order to double check his facts, Lee sent us a draft of the “Fabulous Abs” chapter about Clarence. It was interesting to read an outsider’s view of our lifestyle and why anyone should care. While we may not agree with everything--he writes that our “Old Reliable” breakfast mixture looked absolutely awful, and characterizes the beautiful open space above our home as a moonscape flecked with withered grasses and cacti--he has the important things right. For instance, after initially viewing Clarence’s musculature as “excessive” and otherworldly, he “came around to the notion that if a seventy-year-old man can sprint 100 meters or run a marathon, why couldn’t he try seeking physical perfection?”

We believe readers will find Lee’s book fascinating and eagerly look forward to the publication of Second Wind. We’ll keep you posted on the release date.

Human Kinetics Sets Publication Date

Lee Bergquist tells us that his book Second Wind: Rise of the Ageless Athlete will be published in May 2009. As we understand it, the delay is to allow time for final editing by his publisher Human Kinetics. He gave us another chance to read the chapter on Clarence and update him on new developments, which we have done. The second reading has reinforced our view that Bergquist has done an excellent job presenting Clarence through the eyes of an outsider, an experienced journalist who's interested in staying fit and healthy, but clearly not a bodybuilder or a physical culturist. We are eager to see it in the context of the entire book, with other "ageless" athletes. We expect Second Wind be a worthy addition to Human Kinetics' impressive portfolio of books on physical activity and sports.

Publisher Releases Excerpt from “Fabulous Abs” Chapter on Clarence

Human Kinetics has released a fact filled “Press Kit” on Second Wind: Rise of the Ageless Athlete, the coming book by journalist Lee Bergquist we’ve been telling our visitors about for some time (see above). The Kit includes Contents, Authors Bio, Excerpts, Facts, and other info. Second Wind will have 12 chapters, including chapters on at least six featured athletes. Chapter 9 "Fabulous Abs" is about Clarence. The release date is still May 2009, but may slip into June.

In response to our request for news not in the Press Kit, Bergquist wrote: After interviewing scores of people for Second Wind, I came to the conclusion that your approach: lifting weights twice a week, getting another two days of aerobic exercise and taking lots of walks is a balanced, common sense way to staying healthy.”

Checkout the Press Kit http://www.humankinetics.com/press/PressContents.cfm?k=42 and the excerpt from the chapter on Clarence.  http://www.humankinetics.com/press/Bergquist/Excerpt-Fabulous%20Abs.pdf . We believe the full chapter will be about 17 pages.)

To get a sense of the quality of the athletes covered and the power of Lee's writing, we urge you to also read the excerpts from the chapters on Ironwoman Laura Sophiea and swimming icon Gail Roper http://www.humankinetics.com/press/PressFiles.cfm?k=42&c=2

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Listen-in as Clarence Is Interviewed on 70th Birthday

Jürgen Reis, the super-lean sport climber who visited with us last year (article 181 in our Personalities category), interviewed Clarence on Internet radio from Austria. The introduction, which lasts about 8 minutes and 30 seconds, is in German, but the interview itself, which runs a little over 26 minutes, is in English. Topics are wide-ranging, covering secret of success, motivation workout-to-workout, improving at 70, eating satisfaction, staying lean, current training, his new book, and much more. Listen-in and enjoy. It’s Podcast 7 on Jürgen’s site: www.power-quest.cc   

Iron Man Magazine Interviews Clarence--Again 

Iron Man magazine interviewed Clarence in the February 2008 issue. Check out the first two pages of the multi-page spread (eventually the entire interview) on the Iron Man website: www.ironmanmagazine.com. Click on “research” and type in "Clarence Bass, Still Ripped After All These Years.”

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Albuquerque Weekly Interviews Clarence

Weekly Alibi, which bills itself as “Albuquerque’s Only Alternative,” is our third largest newspaper. Free, it’s distributed all over the city and probably beyond. “Blow Hards Since 1992,” says their masthead, so they have legs. We don’t read it very often, but we probably should because they just did an excellent interview with Clarence.

We don’t really know how it came about. Thomas Gilchrist, an editorial intern, called out of the blue. Someone on their staff apparently told him about Clarence. He prowled our website site for a while and decided Clarence would be an interesting person to interview. Gilchrist did his homework, got the back-story right, asked good questions and presented Clarence’s answers accurately. Can't ask for more. 

Alibi also sent Xavier Mascarenas out to photograph Clarence. He was here for more than an hour and seemed to really warm to the task. We liked him. He worked hard and came up with a weird-angle shot that should catch a reader's eye.

Checkout the final result: http://www.alibi.com/index.php?story=19758&scn=news. We were pleased and think you’ll enjoy it.

Take a look at the rest of Alibi while you’re there. You’ll find a lot of interesting features, news, films, arts, food, the works--it’s a first-rate, full service publication.

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Clarence Recognized by Steve Speyrer’s Classic Anatomy Gym

Bodybuilding Hall of Fame 2006

(CAM’s Interview with Clarence)





By Steve Speyrer

Many people involved in bodybuilding, work endlessly to promote the best of the sport, but are sometimes never recognized for their efforts.

I want to show my support and appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

The most important consideration for their membership is their personality.

Someone willing to help out and never expect anything in return is a rare thing in today’s world.

There are many “un-sung” heroes in our sport. Some are past greats, which are now forgotten. People, that inspired a whole generation of bodybuilders, to reach their full potential.

Newcomers to the sport only know current names and faces. 

There are writers and photographers, which deserve to be remembered and small gym and health food store owners.

People who led the way before fitness became “big business.”

Classic Anatomy Gym - Bodybuilding Hall of Fame is proud to recognize its members and hopes to continue adding to the list.

COPYRIGHT 2006 by Steve Speyrer

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CAM Interview - October 2006



Q: What have you been up to, lately?

A: First, thanks for thinking of me. All the best, with your online magazine. It's wonderful to live in a time when we can be in communication with the world over the Internet.

I've made a full recovery after my hip replacement; you can read all about it on our website (www.cbass.com) in an article called "Miracle in Houston." A wonderful new technique where the surgeon goes between the muscles (rather than detaching the quads and glutes from the bone) made my almost miraculous recovery possible. My outstanding physical condition before the surgery also speeded the rehab process.

I am now training for new physique photos after I turn 69 in November. Based on my current condition, I expect to look as good or better than I did at 60 and 65. You'll find photos on me from 15 to 65 in the "Short Pictorial of Clarence's Training Career" near the top of our Home Page.

Q: What got you started in bodybuilding?

A: My Dad was an outstanding athlete in his youth and brought home a barbell set for his own use when I was about 12. I wanted to be like my Dad, so I started to train with weights too. It was the best decision I ever made. It changed my life forever to learn that I could work hard at something and achieve my goals. I've never stopped training. 

I tell this story in more detail in my book Ripped 2 and in our Second Ripped DVD.

Q: What’s your training program?

A: I follow a balanced diet of mostly whole foods; I generally avoid refined and highly processed foods. I have always taken a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement, and now eat the high-protein oatmeal that we offer after workouts, but do not rely on supplements otherwise.

My training is high intensity, low volume, both weights and aerobics. I currently do hard aerobics (intervals mostly) on Saturday, hard weights on Sunday (whole body), and a combination of the two on Wednesday. I walk and stay active on off days.

I've written eight books explaining my diet and training; they are described on our website. Each book has its own focus. I've tried to put what I've learned about training and nutrition during the course of my long training career into the books, and I'm pleased that all of them have 5 star ratings on Amazon.com.  

Q: What’s your best memory of bodybuilding?

A: Probably, a photo shoot at Gold's Gym in Santa Monica shortly after winning the Most Muscular Man title at the Past-40 Mr. USA. The light was magic under the skylight in one part of the gym. I knew I was looking pretty good when Mike Mentzer came over and asked if he could pinch the skin on my waistline. When you attract a crowd at Gold's Gym you know you're doing something right.

Bill Reynolds, then Editor-In-Chief at Muscle & Fitness magazine, was the photographer. He told me later that it was his best-ever day of physique photography. (Bill was a good friend. I miss him.) 

I love my training and try to make every workout a positive and reinforcing experience. I believe that's a big part of my success.

Q: What advice would you give to the newcomer?

A: To judge success based your own progress, and not what others are saying or doing. If you are improving from month to month, be happy; you are a success. The only competitor that really counts is you.

I also warn people not to bite off more than they can chew. Plan meals and workouts based on what you are willing to do for the foreseeable future. The only diet and workout plan that will work is one you enjoy and stick with. 

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Ripped Enterprises, P.O. Box 51236, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236 or street address: 528 Chama, N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, Phone (505) 266-5858, e-mail:  cncbass@aol.com, FAX:  (505) 266-9123.  Office hours:  Monday-Friday, 8-5, Mountain time.  FAX for international orders: Please check with your local phone book and add the following: 505 266-9123

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Copyright © 2006 Clarence and Carol Bass.  All rights reserved.