Bodybuilder Longevity



Turning 74 prompts me to wonder how long bodybuilders live? Let’s look at the statistics. I did an internet Google search of bodybuilders who have passed away to learn how long they lived. I thought of as many popular bodybuilders from years ago, those I saw in magazines as I grew up. I managed to find information on 23 men.

Here’s how long they lived:

John Grimek 88
John Farbotnik 73
Steve Reeves 74
Reg Park 79
Vince Gironda 80
Zabo Koszewski 84
Dick Du Bois 74
George Eiferman 77
Armand Tanny 90
Vic Tanny 73
Joe Gold 82
Jack La Lanne 96
Bob Delmontique 90
Joe Weider 93
Bob Hoffman 87
Jules Bacon 90
Ron Lacy 76
Jack Delinger 66
Mickey Hagarity 80
Clarence Ross 85
Jim Park 80
Eugene Sandow 57
Walt Baptiste 84

Average BB lifespan is 81.

In the list I did not include bodybuilders who died from accidental deaths. You can see that if a person exercises regularly and follows a sensible nutrition program as serious bodybuilders do it increases the likelihood of a longer life. Not only that, all of these guys looked way better than an “average” person the same age. The inevitable conclusion is that not only do bodybuilders live longer but they look better during their lives, better than people who do not follow a lifestyle that pays attention to health, fitness, and well being.

All of the bodybuilders in this list are from the “pre-steroid era”. So these ‘old timers’ lived an average of 81 years without exogenous hormones. I’m curious how long today’s steroid abusing bodybuilders will last.

Best you can do is slow down degenerative aging changes and look and feel good as you get older. Flesh and bones can only last so long but we want to enable them to last as long as possible.

I’m against anything ingested substance that provokes excessive insulin secretion. There’s evidence that caloric restriction extends lifespan and one reason given for this is simply because the body secretes less insulin. Lots of insulin secreted over a lifetime may lessen the hormone’s sensitivity and a faulty insulin secretion mechanism (pancreas) can develop.

My conclusion based upon this research is that bodybuilders live longer than the average person. Why? Because they take better care of themselves. They know about nutrition and eat better than the average and don’t rely on junk and fast foods for nourishment. They exercise regularly and keep regular hours. And they have positive optimistic attitude in general.

One factor of successful aging seems to be keeping the mind active. It’s important to keep learning as you get older. If you think you already know everything you cannot learn anything new. You don’t grow old. If you don’t grow you are old. Everything in the Universe is expanding, growing and it is expanding faster all the time. You should be too. Your mind and your life experience, not your bodyweight or waistline.