In todays edition of The New York Times Eva Birath, a Swedish female bodybuilder who started competing at 47, is profiled in the article “At 51, Establishing a New Body of Work“. Visit Evas home page and blog!
Eva Birath’s decision to go from a harried marketing executive to professional bodybuilder was an almost-unheard-of career change.
In December 2002, Eva was laid off. Birath sold her house and moved into an apartment. She sold her car. She had no idea what to do next.
She began going to a nearby gym, where one of the regulars told her she had a good physique for bodybuilding. She found out about a tournament to be held the following December and she signed up, despite knowing virtually nothing about the sport — how to diet, how to train, how to pose.
“It was very unusual for someone to begin bodybuilding at my age, but I thought my age was one bit of the challenge,” said Birath, who is now 51. “I think all people have preconceptions, like that bodybuilders are all stupid. I think I probably thought bodybuilders were a bit stupid, too.”
The Seattle Times reports of a story that has gotten worldwide attention in bodybuilding discussion forums. An amateur bodybuilder, Todd Jewell, was able to subdue a serial bank robber, ultimately crushing the mans ribs after he wouldn’t succumb:
“Old School” was expelled Friday, thanks to a world-class body builder.
It all happened in Lynnwood when a robber, known to the FBI as the”Old School Bandit” because of a bandanna he always wore across his face — an old-school disguise — tried to rob a Banner Bank.
He was ambushed by a customer who just happens to be a top bodybuilder, Todd Jewell, 26, of Yakima.
Q13 Fox News reports:
Jewell grabbed the man and wrestled him to the ground, bank employees helped out. And while vigilante justice may not always be wise, Jewell says seeing the teller in jeopardy outweighed any worries about himself.
As long as he didn’t have a gun, yeah, I’d definitely do it again,” says Jewell.
KEPR CBS 19 has the video story of the incident, and an interview with Todd Jewell demonstrating his technique:
Edit: Update – good thing come to those who deserve it, reports Yakima Herald:
Now the Yakima bodybuilder and 1999 Eisenhower High School graduate will receive a $5,000 reward from the FBI for capturing the man the federal agency dubbed as the Old School Bandit at a Lynnwood bank Friday afternoon.
We’re working on the paperwork as we speak,” said Larry Carr, an FBI agent based in Seattle.
According to the comments on Youtube the lady who cleans the bar is Natalie Woolfolk (profile at Washington Post), the USA Weightlifting National Champion aims to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. The weights are props, so instead of 145 kilograms, the bar “only” weighs 46 kilograms…
Monica Mollica, née Wieckowski, debuted her revamped web site mowifit.com (now in English) on her birthday, April 14th. Monica has written both heavy and lighter scientific dietary articles for the Swedish bodybuilding magazine where I am employed since the beginning of this millennium. Go check her web site out – she knows her stuff!
Frank Zane won Mr. Olympia 1977, -78 and -79. In December 2006 he peaked and shot some new photos. In his monthly newsletter Frank tells us that he’s found it harder and harder to get in really good shape the older he gets. The latest diet and training program he used is outlined in the Winter issue of Franks own Building the Body Quarterly Magazine/Newsletter:
I was able to get in my best shape in over a decade and this Winter issue describes all the details of my workouts, diet, and motivation along with photos of the condition I achieved by the middle of December 2006. You may want to subscribe if you don’t already.
Most of all I proved to myself that age is no barrier to physical improvement and I intend to be in even better shape in 2007. One thing I did learn is that as you get older you have to allow more time to get in shape. I did everything possible to reach peak condition, dieting, training two even three times a day, 1000 reps of abdominal work daily, and eventually 1 and a half hours of aerobics a day.
The Finnish powerlifter Kristoffer Lindqvist (and blogger: Under the Bar), suggested a brilliant idea to bring together strength training bloggers in an RAW and Natural Open Virtual Powerlifting Meet:
“The idea of staging an international raw meet with near simultaneous lifting venues around the world has been brewing in my head for at least a year now. I don’t know about you, but personally I feel this could give us bloggers the opportunity to be a bit hordish in the spirit of camaraderie and learning from each other. Besides, the idea is wickedly cool, isn’t it?”
Yes, it certainly is, Kristoffer! Here’s a picture from his one-man RAW meet:
The German Team-Andro has posted a best-of collection from Ronnie Coleman’s videos shot by Mitsuru Okabe. It’s not the usual collection of max lifts, but still pretty awesome thanks to the cutting and the soundtrack:
Exercise equipment, supplied by Technogym, has been installed at Liverpool’s Central Library. Instructors will be on hand to supervise and offer advice. If successful, the project will be rolled out to libraries across Liverpool. Wow!
icLiverpool.co.uk has more on the story:
“The idea is to encourage library users to “build fit bodies as well as fit minds”, said council fitness manager Mark Jones. But he assured book lovers the new mini-gyms would not spoil the hushed atmosphere at Liverpool’s Central Library on William Brown Street, where the scheme is being piloted.
Five new machines worth £12,000 will this morning be “discreetly” installed away from main reading areas, in the second floor computer area. He said the mini-gyms would be installed next to computer terminals, so anyone queuing to use the internet can take time for a quick workout.”
More about Liverpool’s Active City campaign at icLiverpool.co.uk.
August 8th Russian weightlifter/strongman had a strength training seminar in Glasgow, Scotland. The video of some of his lifts that day has been uploaded to YouTube. 400kg Deadlift, 240kg Clean and Jerk, 150kg Muscle Snatch, 260kgx3 Front Squat. Just wow!
“City of Glasgow Weightlifting Club presents a strength training seminar by super heavyweight champion and IFSA strongman Mikhail Koklyaev.
- Russian Super Heavy Weightlifting Champion
- Snatch 210kg, C+J 250kg
- World Strongest Man 3rd Place 2005
- IFSA strongman ranked 2nd place
- BW 140kg, height 6ft 4 inches
Demonstration – witness amazing feats of strength in Olympic, power and strength exercises.
Interactive workshop – have the opportunity to find out more about the training involved to become one of the strongest ever human beings.”
“His story is beyond inspirational. His real-life example is a testament to the capability of the human body. I recommend that everyone take a minute to read through the full article. Bins Chien has certainly shown us all that NO ONE is too old for exercise. His fitness routine has certainly added vivacity to his life.”
In a related inspirational tale, MSNBC writes about Mary Stroebe, an 88-year-old woman who trains for a triathlon:
“The July 15 triathlon — a succession of swimming, biking and running that tests even the most hardened athletes’ wills and stamina — will be Stroebe’s 12th.
“I think I’m young so I act like it. I don’t realize how old I am,” she said. “I’m in good health and good shape. I’ve stayed active the whole time. Those are things that pay off.”