As I was immersing myself in the subject of longevity, I was struck by the parallels between longevity and bodybuilding-and-sports nutrition. In fact, the bodybuilding lifestyle'including intense exercise, quality calories and an array of specific supplements'is the best prescription for not only building muscle but also leading a long and physically active life. You'll reap the positive psychological aspects of physical accomplishment with that prescription. I just turned 60, and I value the workout and its effects more now than at any time in my 47 years of bodybuilding. For many years I said that bodybuilding is the closest thing to the fountain of youth we know of, and the latest research bears that out. Jerry Brainum has done a masterful job of compiling that research as part of our superfeature on over-40 bodybuilding. Then John Hansen, Mr. Natural Olympia, discusses how his training has evolved over the years and gives some excellent advice on how to continue to train hard and heavy as long as you want. It all starts on page 166.
Nutrition and supplements play an indispensable part not only in enabling you to reach your physical potential in the fastest possible time but also in enhancing your ability to stay at that peak longer and slow the aging process. Eventually, the health-and-longevity aspects of our lives become far more important than the muscle-and-strength goals of our youth. Never forget that bodybuilding is a lifelong activity. Your goals change over a lifetime, but the tools for achieving them remain the same.
Thanks to the bodybuilding lifestyle, you can look 10 to 20 years younger and, more important, act and perform as a much younger person would. Look at your friends who are not a part of that lifestyle. By the time all of you are 40, there will be a marked difference between your physical capabilities and those of your friends who didn't work out and strive to stay healthy. There will also be a marked difference in how you view life. Bodybuilding helps you to stay in charge of your life. The results are worth the price.
One youth-preserving aspect of intense exercise is that it increases the body's growth hormone production. The decrease in GH production as we get older is well documented and has been identified as one of the key elements in accelerating the aging process. If you're interested in enhancing your GH naturally both in the gym and with supplementation, see this month's IRONMAN Research Team installment, which begins on page 132. If you thought bodybuilding's fountain of youth was just for men, think again. Great genetics plus the bodybuilding lifestyle have created the age-defying physiques of Cynthia Bridges, Sharon Bruneau and Brenda Kelly. See for yourself when you check out Michael Neveux's photos of these ladies, beginning on page 204.
It's another outstanding lineup for you this month. Feel free to e-mail me directly with your comments.