Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr. is a rarity.
He is a champion bodybuilder, and at the ripe old age of 71, he is still going strong.
“I just keep competing,” Bryant said in an interview with theGrio.com’s Kunbi Tinuoye at the I’m The Biggest Winner Family Health & Fitness Expo in Austell, Georgia. “I love it. It’s a lifestyle.”
With a body that puts most men half his age to shame, Bryant’s rippling physique is testimony to years-long hard work and dedicated commitment.
He works out twice a day alongside a full time, overnight job.
“I’ve got a room full of trophies,” said Bryant, who was invited to the Expo as part of a roster of quality experts and motivational speakers. “I can’t even count them all.”
He first hit the gym to relive the stress of a failing marriage. Within months, Bryant was hooked. Now, he can deadlift 425lbs.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years,” he said. “I used to do three or four contests a year, and I’d always have at least two trophies when I come home, so I’ve got over 70 or 80 trophies.”
Bryant wants to prove that living a full and active life is possible at any age. All you need is the right approach, he says.
“I don’t think about my age,” said the Georgia native. “You’re going to age, that’s inevitable, but you don’t have to get old. I know people younger than me, but they’re older then me.”
“I can’t see giving up; this is my life. People ask me when I’m going to retire. I’m still working a 40 hours a week job. I say, why should I quit? I’ve figured this stuff out. More people die retired than die working.”
He believes it is never too late to improve your health. Bryant, who said he has never ever taken steroids or performance-enhancing drugs, advises fitness newbies to start off slow and keep doing the work.
“There is no age limit on exercising,” he said. “People got life but they’ve not living. Life is getting out and enjoying yourself. You’ve got to be physical. You’ve got to keep your heart strong.”
“You are not going to jump right in and start out wide open. That’s what happens to most people, they jump right in and think they’re going to look for instant results.”
“Once you start pushing your body, then your body is going to get used to it,” he said. “You just keep doing it, keep doing it, take your time and don’t look for that fast-paced stuff, and I’ll come to you.”
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter @Kunbiti.