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George Turner bodybuilder

George Turner

Posted by: PFB

Q. I just saw this guy in my gym named George Turner. He's over 70 years old, and he looks better than I do, and I'm 40. What do I have to do to look that good when I'm that age?

A. I have followed the career of George Turner (owner of George Turner Gym in St Louis, Missouri.), who, even at 70, has a full head of hair, great upright posture, an amazing amount of muscle for his age, and great skin tone.

He still competes in bodybuilding contests, in the Master's division. He was adamant about being antidrug decades before it was an issue. So how can we duplicate his success?

There are three obvious things: keep training, don't get fat, and maintain your natural anabolic hormone levels.

Let's examine each one:

Keep Training - Many bodybuilders don't stop training because they're lazy but because the decades of poor weightlifting choices have compromised their joints. Shoulders, elbows, and knees can stand only so much punishment. Gymnasts have it happen to them in their early 20's. Football players have the problem in their 30's. But with proper training, bodybuilders can preserve their joints even into old age. Remember, research shows the best muscle growth happens in a rep range of 8 to 12. A powerlifting routine will sometimes make you impressively strong, but your joints may suffer in the process.

If a particular exercise causes joint pain, simply replace it with another slightly different exercise. There's no extra benefit in doing shoulder presses or lat pulldowns behind the neck. And even if Larry Scott and Franco Columbu claim to have developed their biceps by using a close-elbowed, wide grip on the barbell preacher curl, it doesn't mean you have to "get used to it" when your elbows feel like they're popping out of their sockets.

Everyone has a different definition of "joint trauma" exercises. A severe injury when you're young can follow you all your life. Even though it was exhilarating to do heavy-duty-type training, it took years for me to repair the damage. And even after all this, my shoulders make so many noises (clicks and pops), it makes me nauseous.

Not Getting Fat - When you're young, the body is resistant to extreme changes of weight. But the repeated stretching and shrinking of the skin doesn't last forever. Try blowing up a party balloon and deflating it a few times and see what happens to the rubber-elasticity goes away. So the less stretching and shrinking, the better.

And of course, the cardiovascular benefits of staying lean are obvious. As we age, we tend to become more comfortable and more sedentary.

You might have great gym workouts but do little else in the way of activity. Find other recreational activities that are physical. Even golf or bowling are better than television-channel cruising.

Maintaining Your Anabolic Hormones - You have the potential of being in better shape than Mr. Turner. Many doctors recognize that the decline of testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin sensitivity are not just "part of getting old" but are signs of disease-and treat them as such. And we're blessed in America because we have a very avant-garde supplement industry that makes available a myriad of effective remedies that may boost testosterone, growth hormone, and maintain insulin sensitivity.

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