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The Secrets to Staying Big and Strong For Life

How to achieve long-term fitness.

Find out the secrets of staying big and strong for life, well into your later years. For that, we draw examples from an exclusive interview by Mike Israetel.

Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community.

In a video shared, Israetel and his Prodige Jared Feather are talking to Raymond Sansoucy, Mr. Canada and founder of fitness equipment manufacturer Atlantis strength.

At the age of 68, Sansoucy defies age stereotypes, showcasing a physique that reflects both strength and vitality. As the founder of the Atlantis brand, he shares insights into his training regimen and imparts wisdom gathered over six decades in the fitness realm.

Check it out all in the paragraphs below.

Source: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

The Secrets to Staying Big and Strong For Life

Sansoucy’s journey into fitness began at a young age, inspired by his father’s dedication to training. At just 7 or 8 years old, he stumbled upon muscle-building magazines in the basement and was immediately captivated. His first foray into bodybuilding involved makeshift workouts with limited equipment, fuelled by a dream visualized through taped-up magazine cutouts on his bedroom wall.

Over the course of his 60-year fitness odyssey, Sansoucy has witnessed the evolution of the sport. From humble beginnings with 10 lb dumbbells, he progressed to become a formidable competitor, winning titles like Junior Mr. Montreal and eventually clinching the coveted Mr. Canada in 1979. His triumph marked a significant achievement, representing Canada at the Mr. Universe competition.

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The conversation delves into the intricacies of Sansoucy’s training philosophy. He emphasizes the importance of full-range movements, echoing the techniques employed by legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger. His workouts, lasting around 45 minutes, challenge the notion that longer sessions equate to more significant gains. He warns against the common mistake of lifting excessively heavy weights with compromised form, advocating for a focus on quality movements.

The interview touches upon Sansoucy’s venture into entrepreneurship. In 1986, he founded Atlantis, driven by a desire for a more commercially appealing name. Reflecting on the early days, he reveals his resourcefulness in creating workout machines, starting with a homemade power rack due to financial constraints.

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A thread of perseverance runs through Sansoucy’s narrative—perseverance in training, business, and life. He recounts the challenges of his bodybuilding journey, including four attempts to win Mr. Canada, a feat requiring nine workouts a week for four years. This unwavering commitment serves as a cornerstone of his success, applicable not only in the gym but also in navigating the complexities of life and business.

As the interview concludes, Sansoucy imparts his top tip for success—perseverance. Whether in fitness, family, or business, he underscores the value of relentless determination as the driving force behind his remarkable achievements.

Watch the video below to see it all unfolding.

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As we age, the imperative of maintaining a consistent training routine becomes increasingly evident for sustaining a fit and healthy life. Firstly, regular exercise is pivotal for preserving muscle mass and strength, mitigating the natural decline that occurs with aging. Strength training, specifically, helps combat sarcopenia, a condition characterized by the loss of muscle mass, contributing to frailty and a decline in overall functionality. By engaging in resistance training, individuals can enhance their muscular strength and endurance, promoting better mobility and independence in daily activities.

Secondly, exercise plays a crucial role in supporting bone health, especially vital as we age and become more susceptible to conditions like osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, or resistance training, stimulate bone growth and density, reducing the risk of fractures and maintaining skeletal integrity. This becomes particularly significant in the prevention of falls, a common concern among the elderly, as stronger bones provide a more stable foundation.

Furthermore, regular physical activity is instrumental in managing weight and preventing the accumulation of visceral fat. As metabolism naturally slows down with age, maintaining a healthy weight becomes more challenging. Regular exercise, encompassing both cardiovascular and strength training, aids in calorie expenditure, helps regulate weight, and reduces the risk of obesity-related diseases, including cardiovascular issues and type 2 diabetes.

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Cognitive health is another compelling reason to prioritize ongoing physical activity. Numerous studies indicate a positive correlation between regular exercise and cognitive function, with aerobic exercises promoting the growth of new neurons and fostering brain health. This becomes crucial in staving off cognitive decline and conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, providing an added incentive to incorporate regular workouts into one’s routine.

Lastly, the psychological benefits of consistent training are undeniable. Exercise has been proven to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, fostering a positive mental outlook. As individuals navigate the challenges that often accompany aging, maintaining mental well-being is paramount. The endorphin release during exercise not only improves mood but also enhances overall quality of life, creating a holistic approach to wellness as one ages. In essence, the imperative of sustained training lies not only in physical health but also in the profound impact it has on mental and emotional well-being, contributing to a fuller and more vibrant life throughout the aging process.

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What are the upsides of being strong and fit in your later years?

Being strong and fit in your later years comes with a myriad of upsides, contributing to a healthier, more fulfilling, and independent lifestyle. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Maintained Independence: Strength and fitness play a crucial role in preserving mobility and functionality. Being physically strong enables individuals to perform daily activities with ease, reducing dependence on others for tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, or carrying groceries. This independence fosters a sense of autonomy and a higher quality of life.
  2. Enhanced Bone Health: Strength training, a key component of fitness, promotes bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Strong bones are less prone to fractures, providing a foundation for better overall skeletal health. This is particularly significant as bone density tends to decrease with age, making individuals more susceptible to fractures and injuries.
  3. Disease Prevention: Regular exercise has been linked to a lower risk of various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular issues, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. A strong and fit body is better equipped to regulate blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and glucose metabolism, contributing to overall cardiovascular health and reducing the likelihood of developing chronic conditions.
  4. Improved Mental Health: Physical activity has profound effects on mental well-being. Regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of depression and anxiety, as it stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. Being strong and fit in later years can contribute to better cognitive function, reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
  5. Social Engagement: Engaging in fitness activities often involves social interaction, whether it’s joining a fitness class, walking group, or sports team. Social connections are crucial for mental and emotional well-being, providing a support system and reducing feelings of isolation, which can become more prevalent in older age.
  6. Longevity: Studies consistently show that maintaining physical fitness is linked to increased longevity. Regular exercise, combined with a healthy lifestyle, positively influences life expectancy. Being strong and fit supports overall vitality, allowing individuals to lead active lives well into their later years.
  7. Adaptability to Challenges: Life presents unexpected challenges, and physical fitness enhances the ability to adapt. Whether it’s recovering from an illness, surgery, or managing the physical demands of daily life, a strong and fit body is more resilient and better equipped to navigate these challenges.
  8. Improved Sleep: Regular exercise promotes better sleep patterns. Quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and being physically active contributes to more restful and restorative sleep, which becomes increasingly important as we age.

In summary, the upsides of being strong and fit in later years encompass physical health, mental well-being, social engagement, and an overall improved quality of life. Prioritizing fitness throughout one’s life pays dividends in the form of enhanced vitality, independence, and the ability to savour the later years to the fullest.

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