What do you do when you reach 60? 70? 80 or even 90? Bodybuilding of course!!! At the time of writing, Manohar Aich is the world's oldest bodybuilder. He was born in 1912 in India and is still hitting the gym at 103 years of age! He was the first class 3 winner of the Mr Universe in 1952 and went on to compete in many more bodybuilding championships. He also went on to win three Gold medals in the Asian Games held in 1951 in India, 1954 in the Philippines and 1958 in Japan.
Manohar is only 4 feet 11 inches but in his heyday his chest measured a whopping 54 inches with a 23 inch waist. He started training at the age of 12 when he was struck with black fever and got into fitness to overcome this serious illness. Manohar's training became serious whilst he was in jail in 1942 in the Royal Air Force for slapping a racist officer! He used to train up to 12 hours a day without any equipment. The prison authorities were so impressed with his perseverance, discipline and hard work he was given a special diet to help build his stamina and it was India’s independence in 1947 that led to Aich’s release.
In1950 he won the Mr Hercules and then went on to win the Mr Universe. His last appearance on stage was in 2003 at the age of 90. He did it as a tribute to his wife who had died a year earlier. Manohar was still pumping iron at the age of 100.
Manohar was known as the "Pocket Hercules" and was never seriously ill or gone to hospital until a minor stroke. He trained until 100 years of age for 90 minutes at his own gym Studio de Physique in Kolkata. Manohar does not drink or smoke and has never done so. His philosophy? "I never allow any sort of tension to grip me. I had to struggle to earn money since my young days, but whatever the situation, I remained happy". We could all learn a thing or two from Manohar.
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