Paleo-diet maven Mark Sisson is in the best shape of his life at 60, thanks to an active lifestyle and a high-protein, high-fat, gluten-free diet.
Sisson, a former elite marathoner and triathlete, proves that getting older doesn’t mean getting weaker. What’s more, it’s safe to say there are few men in their forties, thirties or even twenties with a body like his.
“At 60, I feel incredibly healthy and fit, perhaps more than ever before, and that’s no aberration,” Sisson wrote on his blog, Mark’s Daily Apple.
Sisson said he has maintained optimal health and a rippling physique by scaling back on chronic-cardio workouts and focusing on strength-training and leisurely outdoor activity. The cornerstones of his workout regimen include the following:
- Strength-training, using both body weight and free weights;
- Weekly sprint sessions;
- Frequent slow moving (such as walking) throughout the day.
“Bodyweight training still comprises the core of my training,” he wrote. “Pullups, pushups, squats, lunges, rows, assisted handstand pushups, planks, dips … I don’t run distance anymore, but frequent slow moving is still my bread and butter. I walk at least a couple miles each day, and oftentimes more than that.”
Rather than working out for hours at a time, Sisson stresses the importance of “playing” outdoors, such as engaging in a rigorous game of Ultimate frisbee or taking a relaxing walk along the beach.
Despite scaling back on the frequency and duration of his workouts, Sisson is fitter and healthier than ever with his approachable regimen. The result has been fewer repetitive-stress injuries, an enviable six pack and improved overall health.
Sisson attributes his buff body to the Paleo/Primal diet, which focuses on high-quality proteins and fats and fresh fruits and vegetables. It shuns grains, legumes, alcohol, dairy, processed foods and sugar. He detailed the health and weight-loss benefits of the Paleo diet in his best-selling book, The Primal Blueprint.
While many fitness experts pay lip service to the virtues of diet and exercise, Sisson talks the talk and actually looks like he walks the walk. He says we can all improve with age by making small but impactful lifestyle changes.
“More than anything, I stay fit so that I can stay mobile and engaged in this life,” said Sisson, who also wrote Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals. “We can all stay this way, provided we eat well, exercise, and play as much as possible.”