Sam ‘Sonny’ Bryant Junior doesn’t look a day over 40. He’s a bodybuilder with a perfectly ripped body that puts younger men to shame. Especially when they get to know about his real age –70 years and still going strong. Very strong.
“They ask me when I’m going to retire. I say never. I say more people die retired than they do when they are working. I’ve been doing this for 27 years.” Sonny says. He started working out at age 44, when he was in a bad marriage. Initially, he just went to the gym to relieve stress; he knew nothing about working out or lifting weights.
But he never gave up and just 11 months later, Sonny’s instructor asked him if he wanted to take part in a bodybuilding contest. “I said, ‘You think so?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ So I went to a contest in Georgia. I’d never been in a contest or competed for anything, you know. I won third in the novice, fourth in the master. And then I was hooked.” Before he knew it, Sonny was addicted to the gym. “I love to work. I love to work out,” he said. As for age, well, he says that it’s all in the mind. “People have a misconception that age makes you old. I realize that it’s the state of mind that makes you old. Age is just a number, you know.”
Sonny says that a lot of people tell him, “Wait till you get to my age.” And then he tells them his real age and they are embarrassed. According to Sonny, it’s all in the subconscious. “You start thinking old and then your body’s going to start acting old. And then you’re old. I don’t believe in that. I could dance all night.”
Sonny wants people to recognize him for what he can do and become a role model for them. “I’ve seen a lot of younger people sitting down. It’s their lifestyle, that’s what they chose to do. Go home, sit down, watch TV, all weekend, sit around do nothing. See, I can’t do that. I can’t sit in the house that long. I hate it, you know. I got to be busy.”
Last July, Sonny competed in the INBF Southern Natural Bodybuilding and Figure Championships in Macon, in the US state of Georgia. I find his story incredibly inspiring. I mean, I’m nowhere near 70 and there are times when I feel old. Seriously, what a way to live!
Still not convinced age is just a number? Maybe this 64-year-old calisthenics master can change your mind.