From The Desk Of Clarence Bass
83 and Counting
Selected Visitor Comments Below
While Clarence is feeling and showing age, he is doing quite well for 83.
Fortunately, we have body composition measurements beginning with those by Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research in August of 1977, at age 39, and continuing to the present with weekly weighing on our Tanita Body Composition scale. We also have a photographic record beginning at 15 and continuing to the present, with the photos below taken as he was turning 83.
Dr. Ulrich C. Luft, MD, and his team at Lovelace weighed Clarence under water and found his gross weight to be just under 156 pounds, with fat 2.4 percent and lean body mass just under 152 pounds. We didn’t understand the significance of this until they informed us that the average fat level for men his age is 16 percent. Top marathon runners are around 6 percent; lean with less muscle.
Moving on 36 years to November, 2013, when Clarence turned 76—and the “inevitable decline” in neuromuscular function is said to begin in earnest for the lifetime trainer. (See Bending the Aging Curve by Professor Joseph F. Signorile, PhD)
The Tanita scale showed Clarence’s body weight to be 143.2, with fat 6%, and muscle 127.8.
His fat percentage moved up, as muscle mass declined a fraction of a pound each year.
While the loss of muscle is substantial, his numbers were still far better than the 16% average fat level for men at 39, and out of the ball park for men over 75, who average 31% fat according to Google.
Clarence’s numbers at 83 are still in the stratosphere: body weight 140, fat unchanged at 6%, and muscle mass down slightly at 125.
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We are especially pleased with the strength and muscularity of his hips and thighs, where research tells us strength plummets at 80:
He has done reps in the leg press with up to 500 pounds, and is now well on his way to 20 reps with 200 on our newly acquired hip-belt squat machine. The machine counts reps making you hit parallel on every rep. It also records peak power on each set. You're challenged to make progress in every workout--for him twice a month on the Squat machine. He does the back raise, glute-ham raise, leg extension, and leg curl in the off weeks.
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Carol took this photo with her phone during our birthday celebration.
We really like our new Hip-Belt Squat machine; it allows both of us to work the glutes and quads like never before.
Abs and quads
The Bass pose at 83
December 1, 2020
Visitor Speak Out
Glad to see you in super fine shape Clarence. I look forward to your progress photos every year.
500 lb leg press. !!! Nobody does it better - Stay golden!
Interest in Hip-Belt SquatAs always you are truly inspirational. I am interested in that Hip - Belt Squat machine.
Keep up your great work please.
Useful Month after Month
Having just read your December entries on your site, I want to congratulate you on continually providing a mine of useful information, month after month.
The pictures of you at 83 are just remarkable. At 'only' 75, I know how hard it is to maintain good body composition let alone the fantastic condition you are in.
Just learned you recently turned 83. You have been kind enough to answer a few of my workout-related questions over the last few years, and I just wanted to take a moment to wish you the very best. At 62, I am doing my best to follow in your footsteps.
Have been training for 45 years and followed your advice from Ripped One to now, because you always wrote the truth also about the use of anabolics, thank you. Stay clean is the message.
*Might* Show First Decline
All in all, it's been amazing what you've done since you were 75, and so-called "inevitable decline" was meant to begin. If anything you've looked a bit thicker and stronger in a number of your yearly photo updates since 75. The photos this year, at 83, are the first that *might* show some very slight loss of thickness around the thighs, tris and delts, but it might just be the light/the photos this time.
Obese at 200!
At this rate, you will be obese by the time you're 200!
I first read your column in Muscle and Fitness in the early 1990’s while in high school. Your column was the first thing I read each month. I’m even more impressed by you now then I was back then. You are proving that exercise is the best medicine. The thing I admire the most about you is your consistency. Most people can follow a fitness lifestyle for a few months or a few years, but you have made it a permanent part of who you are. Your message is even more important today because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for sharing your incredible life story with the world!
The Bible Speaks
You are one-of-a-kind. You have created a case study of your lifestyle and share insightful research information about health studies which has helped many understand an alternative option to living a healthy physical life.
there is a flip side to sharing your successes to help
others. I have shared your website to many
people and they dismiss it as an anomaly.
Greetings from the UK
It was great to see your update at 83 - incredibly inspiring but also refreshingly honest. I am sure that the comments that you receive are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the people you have influenced and encouraged over the years.
Belt Squat Experience
I was excited to see that you endorse belt squats. I stumbled onto the belt squat about a year and half ago after I aggravated an old lumber disc injury when I stupidly attempted and failed at a 510lb single rep hex bar deadlift. After looking at the MRI, and having me ask when I could return to hex bar deadlifts, my chiropractor said, “you can do whatever doesn’t hurt but, if you want my advice, I’d prefer that you never load the lumbar again.”
Belt squats have been my lower body savior. I am
using a Spud Inc belt and Hog Legs collar on a Land Mine. To get
adequate squat depth and to keep from having to start from the
bottom of the lift, I built myself a pair of 9” high platform
blocks to stand on. In between them I mounted a retractable jack
stand which, at max extension serves as a rack for the bar. I
release and re-extend the jack with a pair of cords that I keep
clipped to the belt. It works well.
Posing Trunks at 83
You are unique in your willingness to share with the world what you look like in posing trunks at age 83! I think it’s impressive, courageous and encouraging, all at the same time.
Looking Ahead to 84
What a truly inspiring piece. I have been following you for
years and own all of your books. So I was delighted to read the
article on your outstanding health and fitness at 83.
January 1, 2021
Ripped Enterprises, P.O. Box 51236, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236
Copyright © 2020 Clarence and Carol Bass. All rights reserved.