Prime-Time Muscle

John Balik

Longevity was an obsession long before Ponce De Leon searched the world for the fountain of youth in the early 16th century. And we’re still searching for it, although some would argue that the bodybuilding lifestyle is the closest thing to it. If we take our shared love of the bodybuilding lifestyle through to its logical evolution, we end up understanding that health, both mental and physical, is the true result of a lifelong addiction to exercise, good nutrition and intelligent supplementation.

This is IRON MAN’s fourth annual over-40-bodybuilding issue, and it’s dedicated to providing the latest information to help you in your quest for the fountain of youth. We’ve gotten an amazing amount of interest from our middle-aged and beyond readers. And for our younger readers—who are rightly focused on getting bigger, stronger and leaner—it’s a window on the future.

We live in a time of new discovery and insight into the maximization of our dynamic longevity. If you add myriad medical tests to your overall bodybuilding lifestyle, you can create chemical benchmarks to monitor the inevitable changes that occur. Please refer to the November and December ’03 and the January and May ’04 issues of IRON MAN for Jerry Brainum’s “Blood Simple” series on the blood tests that should be a part of everyone’s overall program. You need to be proactive; the medical system in the United States isn’t geared toward prevention and anti-aging but rather toward sickness. The system’s idea of health is the absence of clinical disease. The IRON MAN definition is not about being barely alive but totally alive.

Last month I wrote about taking charge and being responsible. Only you can do the things necessary for ensuring your longest possible dynamic life span. You have a responsibility to yourself and to those whom you love and are responsible for to live in a way that honors both you and them. The goal is to take the middle years—40 plus—and change the peak into plateau with a gentle decline. All you have to do is look around, and you’ll see what denial and neglect do to the human body.

This month, as usual, Jerry Brainum brings a wealth of information to the pages of IRON MAN with his “Over-40 Muscle-and-Health Diet,” which begins on page 126. Also, the ageless Lee Apperson, at 46, gives us all inspiration and the info to get the most out of our workouts, nutrition and supplementation. David Young’s interview with him, “Condition Magician,” begins on page 112.

Two things I know for sure: 1) that the bodybuilding lifestyle augmented by preventive/anti-aging medicine is the closest we can get to the fountain of youth and 2) that you’re the only one who can make it happen. No excuses, just do it!


Editor’s note: To contact John Balik, send e-mail to Visit for the latest bodybuilding news, contest results and training and nutrition information.