Ying Dingguo, from Hefei, Anhui province, began bodybuilding at the age of 67. Now 76, he still insists on spending at least two hours a day at the gym, and has been doing so for almost 10 years.
In 1962, the small-framed Ying began weight-lifting with a colleague from his factory named Yau. A few years later, Ying won 2nd prize at the 3rd Provincial Sports Game Weight-Lifting Competition in Anhui. When Yau was relocated, Ying was left without a lifting partner, and resorted to table tennis, badminton, tai chi and long distance running.
Ying retired in 2000 and started practicing social and ballroom dancing. Standing 157cm tall with a weight of 65kg, Ying’s dance instructor recommended that he lose weight. In 2005, the 67-year-old Ying decided to start bodybuilding to sculpt a fitter physique.
Ying insists on training at the gym every day. He can easily finish 120 push-ups in a minute, bench press 100kg, military press 65kg and barbell curl 40kg maximum.
After each training session, Ying diligently makes detailed records of his completed sets, weights, reps and condition. He then adjusts the intensity of his next training session based on records from the day before.
The neighborhood Ying lives in is populated with elderly. Unlike Ying, most of them usually spend their time playing mahjong and chatting.
Ying’s bulging muscles sharply contrast his wrinkled face, and his dedication to fitness has made him a superstar at the gym. He says bodybuilders often even approach him for photos.
To maintain a healthy body, Ying also pays careful attention to his diet and rest. He has reduced his sodium and oil intake, sticking to lean proteins such as chicken breast, fish, beef and lean pork. He also eats 10 egg whites a day. To keep his vitamins and fibers in check, Ying blends his own fruit juice. Other than eating right, he stays away from most social functions (all those wild late-night mahjong sessions), and makes sure to get in 10 hours of sleep.
Ying has been competing at the Anhui bodybuilding competition yearly since 2009. That first year, then in 2011 and 2013, he came in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. Despite the fact the Ying’s ranking has been dropping, he says he doesn’t really mind. He hopes to participate in the national bodybuilding competition one day. He believes that his age is already a victory, as a healthy body is priceless.
On May 9, Ying competed in the senior category at the Anhui Bodybuilding Competition with bodybuilders ranging from 10 to 20 years younger than him. Ying did not receive any prize at the competition, but once again said he was not bothered. He says he didn’t practice bodybuilding for prizes, but for health. He’s set an ultimate goal for himself, which is to train till he’s 100 years old.
By Crystal Lau
[Images via news.qq.com]