split image Jim Arrington

Gym rat Jim Arrington (USA) has spent decades sculpting his body.

The retired sales professional and great-grandfather first entered the record books as the world’s oldest bodybuilder in 2015, at the tender age of 83.

Now aged 90, Jim is still going strong and still winning bodybuilding competitions.

He most recently competed in an IFBB Professional League event in Reno, Nevada, placing third in the men’s over-70 category and first in the over-80 category.

Jim certainly has an incredible physique (which he proudly displayed when he posed nude for Men's Health last year), but this wasn’t always the case.

He was born one and a half months prematurely, weighing just 5.5 lb (2.5 kg). Jim says his parents “struggled and struggled” to save him.

In addition to being asthmatic, as a child he was “very unhealthy” and frequently ill.

However, in 1947, aged 15, Jim decided that he “couldn’t do that anymore,” and he began lifting weights.

“I wanted to be a superhero,” Jim recalls.

Jim Arrington flexing his muscles

Over seven decades later, weightlifting is still Jim’s biggest passion in life. He hits the gym three times per week, with each session lasting two hours.

One of the trainers at his gym said: “I see Jim almost every day. He does more than a good 60% of my clients or anybody that comes into this gym.”

Get the burn, which is the most important thing. They say no pain, no gain. - Jim

The secret to Jim’s longevity is his ability to adapt. “What works for a person at one time in their life isn’t the same [at other times in their life],” he explained.

And he hasn’t just adapted his workouts as he’s aged; he’s also adapted his diet.

Jim used to eat “lots of milk and lots of beef” because they were two foods which he wasn’t allergic to, however, they began to cause inflammation as he grew older, so he decided to change his diet “entirely.”

Nowadays, he consumes more olive oil, mushrooms, and other similarly healthy produce. “I figured if I did that, I could continue training,” he explained.

Jim at his first ever bodybuilding contest

Having been a bodybuilder for over 50 years, Jim has competed in many shows, including “20 or so” at California’s famous Muscle Beach. He has fond memories of his very first bodybuilding contest, in which he placed second.

It may surprise you to learn that Jim has a “very low opinion” of his physique as a bodybuilder, however, this has acted as motivation for him to keep training.

“I see all these fantastic physiques and I knew the only way I could make it is if I outlast everybody, and that’s exactly what I did,” he explained.

Jim says that being a Guinness World Records title holder has “opened an entire new universe for him” and inspires him to keep going.

“I’ve enjoyed it very much. I would say I think everybody should be one, but there’s only a few who can do it.”

Jim Arrington holding his GWR certificate

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