At 93, he has the body of a 40-year-old man. How is it possible ?

At 93, he has the body of a 40-year-old man.  How is it possible ?

Richard Morgan is a 93-year-old Irishman. His particuliarity ? He would have the muscular capacity of a 40 year old man. How is it possible ? Insights from Dr Christophe de Jaeger, physiologist and member of the TipsForWomens expert committee.

Quadruple world rowing champion, Richard Morgan, a 93-year-old Irishman, is in Olympic shape since doctors estimate that he has the shape of a 40-year-old man. The man, whose state of form is quite exceptional for his age, was even the subject of a case study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

An example of fitness and healthy aging

The man combines particularities: he is both exceptional, due to his physical and muscular endurance, but also ordinary, because he has not played sport all his life.

His career in fitness even started late – he didn’t exercise regularly until he was 73 – but he has rowed since he started a distance equivalent to ten times around the world and that he was crowned world champion in the discipline four times.

This is also what pushed scientists to study his case. “We need to look at very active older people if we want to understand aging” says Bas Van Hooren, doctoral researcher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and author of the study.

Avoid losing muscle mass

Scientists therefore studied the case of Richard Morgan, aged 92 at that time. In the physiology laboratory at the University of Limerick in Ireland, they measured his height, weight and studied his body composition.

The scientists also looked at his diet – the man consumes a lot of protein – and also checked his metabolism and his heart and lung function.

They determined that his weight of 76 kg (168 pounds) was made up of 80% muscle and only 15% fat.

Then, Richard Morgan was invited to row 2000 meters, under cardiac, pulmonary and muscular monitoring. During exercise, her heart rate peaked at 153 beats per minute, well above the maximum heart rate expected for her age.

Figures which corresponded more to those of a man in his forties. “VSIt was one of the most inspiring days I have ever spent in the lab.” said Philip Jakeman, lead author of the study and professor of healthy aging, physical performance and nutrition at the University of Limerick.

Exercise to prevent the effects of aging

Asked about this man’s case, Dr. Christophe de Jaeger, physiologist and member of the TipsForWomens expert committee, would like to emphasize the importance of regular training. “This man is a several-time world rowing champion, so he has high-level training. But beyond that, his example shows us that regular training, even at an advanced age, is beneficial.”.

Impressive physical condition even if he started the sport late. “VSThis proves that it is indeed only a question of will and that it is always time to adopt a healthy lifestyle.“… concludes our expert, who nevertheless recommends starting to take care of your muscle mass from the age of 50.