A Chinese bodybuilder has taken the meaning of “Asian don’t raisin” to a whole new level.
The spectacular, age-defying physique of 69-year-old Xinmin Yang was showcased in a recent video from Chinese fitness media company Change Production, which aims to bring “authentic, preeminent and intriguing Western fitness culture to more Chinese young people.”
Yang began bodybuilding in 1984, just one year after China hosted its first ever national bodybuilding championships.
Prior to that, the sport was officially banned in the Middle Kingdom since 1953, when the Communist Party ruled the pursuit a “bourgeois practice” that was “unproductive and narcissistic.”
Now, Yang hopes to spread his passion and knowledge for bodybuilding to the relatively new — but rapidly growing — Chinese fitness community.
“Over the years, I have a lived a healthy life because of bodybuilding training,” he says in the Change Pro video. “So I should be grateful for what I have achieved in bodybuilding and promote [it] so that more people are willing to participate in bodybuilding training.”
The health that Yang readily attributes to bodybuilding is outlined early in the video: normal blood pressure, normal blood lipids, a bone density equivalent to a 30-year-old’s and, of course, his dashingly youthful appearance.
“The first thing my doctor said was ‘you don’t look a day over 60,'” he recalls.
Aside from lifting weights, perhaps the biggest contributor to his vitality is the less glorified (but equally important) component of the bodybuilding lifestyle: a stringent diet plan.
“For breakfast, I usually have tomatoes, cucumber, oatmeal, eggs and some chicken breast,” Yang shares. “I’ve been eating like this for almost 10 years.”
And while his strict adherence to nutrition may span the past decade, his success in bodybuilding stretches even further.
“The happiest moments are when I do well in big shows,” Yang says of his bodybuilding career. “The first time was when I won the Asian Championship in 1998. That’s one of the happiest moments of my life.”
“The second time was during the World Bodybuilding Championships in Shanghai in 2005. I placed 4th in [the] 70 kg weight class.”
Yang’s most recent accolade came just three years ago when he picked up fourth in the men’s master’s division at the 2015 Arnold Classic USA.
Today, Yang dedicates his time to running bodybuilding training camps and private training courses with the goal of contributing to the development of bodybuilding in China.
As a veteran whose involvement in the Chinese bodybuilding scene dates back to its inception, Yang is in a uniquely qualified position to speak on the current state of the sport — and his words were nothing but positive.
“[Chinese bodybuilding] is getting better and better not only in terms of competitions, but also expos, equipment, supplements and coaching level,” he says. “We have more young Chinese bodybuilders getting their pro card. The younger generation of bodybuilders are the hope of Chinese bodybuilding in the future.”
For Yang, bodybuilding has become something of a family tradition. His wife, who is 66, has recently taken up weights under Yang’s guidance in order to keep up with his youthful looks. His son trains as well. And his granddaughter…well, let’s just say it was with some assurance that Yang states that “we’ll get her into bodybuilding” when she grows up.
“Mark my words, I will still be training at 80,” Yang says with a smile. “Let’s make it 80.”
“My bodybuilding friends — see you at 80!”
Featured Image via YouTube / Change Production