Clarence Bass on Being in Peak Physical Condition at 60, Steroid Use, the Importance of Getting Tested for Nutritional Optimization, and How to Be Healthy and Fit For Life

Clarence Bass (courtesy of Clarence Bass, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
Clarence Bass (courtesy of Clarence Bass, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Clarence Bass is a bodybuilding legend and a prolific health and fitness writer. He wrote regularly for Muscle & Fitness magazine and authored 10 books on nutrition and exercise, including the widely-known Ripped series of fitness books and DVDs. A lifelong athlete, Clarence excelled in wrestling and Olympic weightlifting, garnering championships and collecting numerous trophies for athletic accomplishments early on in his life. He entered his first bodybuilding competition in 1976, and would later go on to win a number of contests and awards, including the Past-40 Mr. America contest in 1978, the Past-40 Mr. U.S.A. the following year, and the “Most Muscular Man” award in the U.S.A. competition, just to name some of his achievements.

To this day, Clarence continues to be recognized for his impressive body of work: in 2003 he received the Vic Boff award for lifetime achievement, the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen’s highest award; In 2011, The Stark Center for Physical Culture & Sports at the University of Texas in Austin included a series of photos of Clarence as part of a ten-gallery photography exhibit celebrating the opening of The Joe & Betty Weider Museum; and in 2013 the Stark Center held a gathering of experts in exercise physiology to celebrate Clarence’s long list of achievements over the span of his life and career in bodybuilding, fitness, and exercise.

Contact Clarence Bass:

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Clarence got and maintained his impressive physique
  • What worked best and what worked against him, based on experience
  • His thoughts on low-carb diets, intermittent fasting, training frequency, and steroid use
  • How to optimize your health and fitness for life
  • … and much more!

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Show Notes

  • Clarence talks about his early training routines, and about moving from a high-volume to a high-intensity protocol [6:10]
  • Clarence Bass on his peak physical condition and form [9:55]
  • Looking back, is there anything that Clarence would have preferred to leave out of his catalog of published works? [13:22]
  • Clarence talks about carbohydrates (and milk) [14:46]
  • What were some of the biggest mistakes Clarence made in terms of training and nutrition? [17:36]
  • How does Clarence measure his body composition? [21:45]
  • Clarence talks about steroid use [26:47]
  • Clarence’s thoughts on his setbacks, injuries, and other training-related issues he’s had [30:43]
  • Are there any health and fitness experts that Clarence admires and follows? [35:49]
  • What are the most important and interesting things on training that Clarence has learned over the years? [38:47]
  • Clarence talks about his training routines [44:27]
  • Clarence goes into detail about his training protocols [50:29]
  • I ask Clarence for his thoughts on Brad Schoenfeld’s higher-volume approach to training [53:08]
  • Clarence talks about why he doesn’t run anymore [56:14]
  • What did Clarence’s diet look like when he was in his prime at 60 years of age and now? [57:13]
  • Clarence’s thoughts on intermittent fasting [1:08:41]
  • Clarence and I go on a tangent about the demonization of fat [1:13:26]
  • Clarence on the supplements he takes and the importance of getting tested for nutritional optimization [1:15:06]
  • Has Clarence changed his mind on anything about health, fitness, and nutrition in the last year? [1:24:56]
  • What to eat to maximize muscle gain [1:25:46]
  • Clarence’s thoughts on raw milk versus pasteurized milk [1:27:18]

Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

  • Bill

    Clarence is great. What a gentleman and a great interviewee. Full of knowledge and experience. He’s right, at 60 he was in incredible shape. It’s all in his book “Challenge Yourself”.