Since the beginning of recorded history man has been looking for immortality. Ponce de León was believed to have been searching for the magic fountain of youth when he discovered Florida, and while we know that water is essential to life, we have learned that we need a multifaceted approach to living healthfully if we’re going to have what I call “dynamic longevity.” Living a long time is really pointless if you can’t do the things you want to do.
In the final analysis, genetic predisposition is probably the single strongest factor that determines how long we live, but many other elements that we can control play a very large part in not only the length but also, more important, the quality of that life. In the mainstream media people often speak of quality of life, but the bar they set is low. There’s a long continuum from their definition to mine, just as there’s a line from being not sick to being healthy.
At IRON MAN, we say, “We know training,” and we have always defined training in a very open sense. While working out with weights— a.k.a. bodybuilding—is the cornerstone of IRON MAN’s multifaceted approach, we believe it enables all that follows. Without the workout the other factors involved will have greatly diminished effects or be ineffective. Anaerobic work—that is, weight training, bodybuilding—becomes the indispensable activity that lays the groundwork for physical transformation. The transformation that it creates in a teenager occurs at an astonishing rate, but, as we all know, the rate drops considerably as we get older. Even so, the bodybuilding workout remains the center of any possible transformation regardless of a trainee’s age.
We have seen a revolution in orthodox medicine as it has discovered what we already knew and IRON MAN has been saying since it was founded by Peary and Mabel Rader in 1936. Bodybuilding benefits every body. The marvelous thing about bodybuilding is that it is totally adaptable. Do you want to put on more weight or take it off? You can be in a wheelchair or in a power rack—the tools and effect are the same. When you work a muscle anaerobically, it gets stronger, and whether you’re a young trainee, an older trainee or training from a wheelchair, it’s the road to self-sufficiency.
In future editorials I’ll elaborate on IRON MAN’s definition of training. IM