[Guest post from UMBC’s Kavan Peterson]
Interesting story from today’s New York Times featuring a local (if you live in Baltimore): 60-Plus, Ripped, and Natural Competitors
UNTIL nine years ago, Dr. Neal Grossman didn’t make a habit of parading around his bedroom in his skivvies and admiring his physique in the mirror. Nor did he ever imagine that his oldest son, then a teenager, would take one look at his father midflex and cry out, “Dad, put your clothes back on!”
But now that Dr. Grossman, a 60-year-old Baltimore dentist, is a competitive amateur bodybuilder, an extra ounce of flab makes the difference between a sizable trophy and going home empty-handed. “The minute you start winning, that’s all the validation people need to accept what you do as legitimate and something to be appreciated,” said Dr. Grossman, who is 5-foot-2 and a chiseled 121 pounds.
He is one of a small but growing number of 60- and 70-year-old bodybuilders stripping down to Speedos, slathering on bronzer, and strutting their stuff onstage in natural, or drug-free, competitions. The season for amateur and pro-level events begins this month.
Here’s the best of quote of the story:
“Age is a statistic, not a burden and there is no reason a man or woman can’t get into and maintain the best shape of their lives at any age,” said Scott Hults, 64, who has competed in 26 shows since 2005 and last year won an age-group title.
The story goes on to say that the number of men and women in their 60’s and 70’s competing in bodybuilding competitions has doubled in the past five years. It also claims that “Older bodybuilders tend to be disciplined purists,” who are not as likely to be seduced into taking steroids or other illegal enhancements. I hope that’s true… but the story also acknowledges that increasingly popular controversial medical treatments such as human growth hormone and testosterone replacement therapy are being abused by older body builders:
Still, antidoping experts wonder just how natural “natural” bodybuilding is.
Neither the World Natural Sports Organization nor the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation perform blood tests, which is the only way to test for human growth hormone, said Dr. Gary Wadler, an internist and a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
[Photo courtesy of The New York Times]