“Bodybuilding is the fountain of youth,” says Richard Becker, 64.
This grandfather of four clearly knows what he is talking about. A quick peak at his Instagram reveals rippling biceps and a defined six-pack.
But Richard didn’t always look like a modern-day Adonis. From his teens through his late 40s, Richard described his physique as “skinny,” at best.
“I wasn’t a jock in school – I didn’t have a life of athletics growing up,” says Richard, who runs a successful architecture firm in the Chicago area. “I always felt like I was too thin, but I didn’t have the inclination to address it.”
While pursuing a career in architecture and raising five young children with his wife, exercising fell low on Richard’s priority list. It wasn’t until his 40s – when his children hit their teens and his schedule became freer – that Richard started thinking about taking care of his body in a new light.
“I saw this book, Body for Life, in a nutrition store one day,” says Richard. “Body for Life was a huge fitness book in the 90s. It was on the New York Times bestseller list.”
Perusing the book, he saw a series of before and after pictures that stuck with him: “It had pictures of all different body types, men and women, all ages. It made an impression on me that you don’t have to be a certain age – or have to have a certain type of body – to make your body better.”
Richard in 1981 vs 2016.
Following Body for Life’s guidelines, Richard started working out with some spare weights and a bar he had in his basement. He also started taking regular photos and measurements to track his progress. Within a few weeks, he began noticing results.
“Once I saw that I had the ability to change my body, I definitely wanted to stay with it,” says Richard. “I started changing my eating habits. I cut out processed foods. I started eating more protein.”
Thanks to his rigorous training regimen and diet improvements, Richard put on about 30 pounds of pure muscle. But in spite of all his progress, he still hadn’t gotten the muscle definition he wanted around his stomach.
Per his sister’s recommendation, Richard began taking Omega Cure® fish oil every day. As an occupational therapist working with children with special needs, she had become a big fan of fish oil for its impact on focus and mood.
Within a few months of using Omega Cure, Richard started to notice the impact of the omega-3 oil on his workout and body:
To his surprise, “I started shedding body fat at the midsection. I knew personally that my workout was not changing [during this time]. So for me, it felt like a control experiment.”
Today, Richard knows many fellow bodybuilders who take omega-3 fish oil to support muscle recovery and improve muscle definition – and he often encourages others to consider it too.
“I’m convinced that [Omega Cure] has made my skin better, my heart, my joints…and it’s been nice to get a six pack too,” he laughs.
Richard with one of his four grandchildren.
Richard isn’t wrong: Omega-3 fish oil is one of the most important supplements for bodybuilders of all ages – for a variety of reasons. To date, several studies have found that omega-3s may have a positive impact on muscle mass development in seniors and young adults, as well as for reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
In addition, researchers have also found that omega-3s seem to have a positive influence on weight management; in both animal obesity models and some small-scale human trials, omega-3 supplements helped reduce body fat mass and waist circumference.
As much progress as he has made since his late 40s, Richard is committed to continuous physical development.
“I am very proud of what I did and where I came from. But it’s never enough to rest on my laurels: I want to make my body better every year,” says Richard.
“I am more convinced than ever that weight training is such an important part of our lives. You read stories about people in their 70s and 80s doing weight training [in physical therapy]. They don’t think of themselves as bodybuilders, but they are using weights to improve their quality of life, improve their balance, etc.”
Taking regular photos and measurements helps Richard stay motivated.
Richard says he often sees the gym flood with eager new users in January, before thinning out in March or April.
“I see people working hard in the gym and trying to achieve something, but they are not getting the results that they are looking for. The nutrition, getting enough sleep, lifting weights…it’s about doing a group of things, not just one thing.”
Richard says it’s also important to document one’s progress. “That’s why taking pictures, the measurements, having the metrics…are so important. You must motivate yourself.”
He recommends reading Younger Next Year and Body for Life as helpful guides for fitness newbies, as well as considering finding a personal trainer:
“In the early years of my fitness quest, I worked with personal trainers from time to time – sometimes for a year or more at a time – and it was really invaluable. Good trainers teach you form and give you great pointers.”
Richard says that he is continuing to try to inspire those around him that it’s never too late to improve one’s health and fitness level.
“I want to provide a hopeful message for people: I did this, and you can too.”
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