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Chaos and Pain

  /  tips   /  Aging Like a Badass, Maurice Jones Style

Aging Like a Badass, Maurice Jones Style

We’ve all said that so-and-so looks good
“for their age.” It’s honestly a pretty crappy thing to say,
especially when most people look like crap at any age. Even taking that
into account, it’s rare that we see people remaining jacked as hell into their
twilight years. And I don’t mean sparkly, homoerotic vegan vampires- I
mean liver-spotted, young-whippersnapper-hating, welding glasses-wearing,
bingo-playing twilight years. The years most of us would likely rather
forgo for an epic steroids-and-cocaine-fueled bank robbery spree in our early
60s (or am I the only one who thinks that would be an epic way to go out?).
In any event, most of the people on the planet are basically just a
droopy pile of fat and bone at that point, so when we see a man or women who is
fighting each grain of sand in the hourglass of time, they definitely stand
out… and every now and again one of those people makes us all look like a
bunch of sloppy, out of shape assholes.

In every way possible
preferable to waiting to die on a golf course.

The guys who spring to mind when you think of
going down swinging against Old Man Time are people like the ageless Albert
Beckles, who
looked so preposterously good at the age of 61
(or 53 as the weirdly and endlessly bitter little keyboard
warriors over at relentlessly assert) that he won the open class at
the IFBB Niagara Pro Invitational; Dave Draper, one of the most epic, really,
really ridiculously good-looking bodybuilders of all time and who still
looks jacked at 75
; Sylvester Stallone,
who augmented his usual awesome physique in his 60s with enough GH
to supply half the Western world
; and
Jack LaLanne, the 54 year old fitness guru who smoked a
21 year old Arnold on pullups and pushups
. There are plenty of other beasts of retirement age, but
reading online forums or magazines, you’d think every mofo in the weight room
needs to pretty much hang it up by age 40, and that’s just not how the world

“I train like I’m training for the Olympics or for a Mr.
America contest, the way I’ve always trained my whole life.

You see, life is a battlefield.

Life is survival of the fittest.

How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you
know? Think about it.

People work at dying, they don’t work at living.

My workout is my obligation to life. It’s my tranquilizer. It’s
part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what’s kept me
going all these years.”

– Another aged (and now
croaked) badass, Jack LaLanne

When you see a dude or chick who is 60+ and is
killing it in the gym every day, rocking low bodyfat and moving serious
weights, it should clue you in that 1) you’re probably doing everything in your
life wrong if you can’t match their physique and performance, and 2) you’ve got
a lotta mo’ when it comes to time to kill it in the gym. That’s not to
say you should slack now, but that what you are doing now in the gym is setting
the stage for what you’re going to be able to do later. Thus, if you want to do
more than totter around a field waving a bit of metal or wood about while
participating in the lamest goddamned alleged sport on Earth, you shouldn’t be
reading this anyway- go play some checkers and wait to die. If you would
rather be like Ellen Stein, however, who is
still crushing kids a third of her age in powerlifting and keeps getting better
with age
, allow me to introduce
you to a badass of whom I can almost guarantee you’ve never heard- Maurice

My man’s trap game was
on a bean.

Nah- not Maurice Jones Drew, who at age 33 is
now bizarrely unmuscular and fat. Maurice Jones was an American
bodybuilder who was born in the same year the Titanic sunk and the first
parachute jump was made… 1912, for the unhistorical among you. Though
not a big dude growing up, Jones ended up one of the muscle monsters of the
1940s and 1950s, with a bodyweight that ranged between 200 and 237lbs at a
height of 5’9″, which according to the “scientists” in the natty
bodybuilding community is an utter impossibility. So when he wasn’t
constructing a time machine to travel forward in time and obtain the steroids
he was obviously taking, Maurice Jones never missed a workout in the
five five years he lifted. That means that in addition to the thirty
pound weighted mountain rucks he was fond of taking a couple of times a week,
the dude was in the gym training six to nine hours a week with extremely short rest
periods (Baptiste, Strossen). Even after that introductory half-decade,

“I wasn’t away from them (the weights) for very
lengthy periods. I valued it greatly. I always felt so much better when I would
have a good workout. I stayed with it,” explains Jones. “I held a certain
amount of self-pride, I was going to stick with it till the end. You know, that
attitude, and I’m still doing that. I do lots of situps and press-ups between
two chairs at times when weights aren’t available” (Strossen).

Fueled by the fantasy steroids envisioned by
today’s natty bros and a buttload of meat and potatoes, Maurice Jones
absolutely mangled the weights. Lifting at a time prior to the
proliferation of the squat rack, Jones started squatting heavy after reading
about Milo Steinborn’s epic squatting.

“I got up into the very heavy stuff – it used to frighten me
before the act. How it all came about was with Milo Steinborn: I read that he
had created a world record in the deep knee bend, which I was bound and
determined to break, but nobody knew anything about it. And I did get up there
over 500. My memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to, but it was around
525 pounds” (Ibid).

Nor was Jones heaving his weights about- he was
well-known for having fanatical adherence to ultra-strict form, treating each
lift like it was a ritual whose perfect performance would serve as a sacrifice
to keep the Old Ones from destroying humanity. As bizarre as that is for
a Steinborn squat, his stiff-legged deadlifts were probably even more
impressive- 425lbs (and occasionally more) for 15 standing on a bench and
lowering the bar until it hit the tops of his goddamned feet. And while we’re
at it, he would do sprints with a backpack full of plates up mountain trails.
Pretty much all of the man’s lifts were beastly:

Maurice Jones’ Best

– 415lbs x 2-3 sets of
15; 450 x 10; 525 x 1 (the WR at the time was 553)

Stiff-Legged Deadlift– 425 x 15

Military Press– 215
x 12; 260 x 1

Strict Curl– 135
x 12; 175 x 1

Reverse Curl– 120
x 12; 145 x 1

Clean and Jerk– 300
or 325lbs (depending on the source) the only time he tried it, with no
instruction and no warmup.

Weighted Situps– reps with 125lbs behind his head

Reverse Curl-

Perhaps you’re thinking that my man looks thick,
but not all that impressive by today’s standards. Well, you’re incorrect.
According to the strongman nicknamed “Scottish Hercules,” William Bankier (who among other awesome things was the co-founder of the British
Society of Jiu-Jitsu, Maurice Jones’ physique was more impressive than both
Eugen Sandow and George Hackenschmidt, and bodybuilder Walt Baptiste claimed
there were only a couple of other men in the same class as Jones- the ultimate
bodybuilding badass John Grimek, a ridiculously muscular 1940s bodybuilder of
whom I’d never before heard by the name of Sam Loprinzi (who was also jacked
until the day he died), and “the immortal” Eugen Sandow (Baptiste).
Drink that in- this badass was held in the same esteem as the guy who is
the model for trophy for the most coveted bodybuilding trophy in the world. His
measurements were definitely as impressive as his lifts for the time, looking
like this:

Maurice Jones’ Most
Muscular Measurements

Height – 5’ 8 ½”

Weight – 210lbs

Neck – 18″

Chest – 49 ½”

Waist – 32″

Hips – 39 ½”

Thigh – 26 ½”

Calf – 17 ½”

Bicep – 17 ¾”

Forearm – 14 ½”

Wrist – 7 ½”

Ankle – 9 ½”

Maurice Jones’ Biggest

Height – 5’ 8 ½”

Weight – 237lbs

Neck – 18″

Chest – 52″

Waist – 34 ½”

Thigh – 28″

Bicep – 18 ½”

Forearm – 14 ½”

Wrist – 7 ¾”

Calf – 18″

Ankle – 9 ½”

And to ram another nail into the coffin of the
natty bros’ vaunted limits on growth, Jones once dieted down to a very lean 195
and arms were measured at just over 18″ cold. So much for that
bullcrap about your wrist size controlling your upper arm size, eh?

The aforementioned
Loprinzi, whose physique is preposterous for 1946 and only 160lbs.

“I’ve put up with a lot of pain over the years, years I suffered,
but I never avoided my training. You can’t do it for the best part of your life
and just forget it. The way I’m built, I have to continue, obviously not as
strenuously as before, but I never forget it. I guess there are a lot of weight
trainers and people who have done over a period of years and are still doing

Unlike the pussies on IG and various message
boards who insist that guys like Calum Von Moger should hide in their houses
and do nothing but train, Jones actually got out there and did it, and he
suffered for it. Over the years the dude broke just about everything
traipsing about in the mountains, and ended up having surgeries on his back
neck, and both knees, among other things, but none of that crap stopped him
from training heavy, cycling, climbing, or trail hiking (Strossen). At
the age of 50 he was said to have the physique of a jacked 21 year old and
would jog his burly 205-235lb ass along an 11 mile trail daily. Even at the age
of 85, Jones weighed a solid 185, lifted three times a week, and continued all
of his outdoor activities… proving simultaneously that cardio doesn’t kill
your gains and that you can still move weight into your old age, since he was
still curling and overhead pressing the 50s for high rep sets.

Asked what he’d say if a young kid came up to him and said, “Mr.
Jones, do you think I should take drugs to get bigger muscles or to get
stronger?”: “I would say, don’t become a fanatic, although I must have appeared
that way to a lot of people. If you get fanatical about something, it spoils
it. You have to recognize the line – that’s the trouble.”

As for his workouts, we have only one sample
program he offered from his older years, when his training volume had been cut
down considerably. In his younger years, he and his brother were the
proto-Mentzers, training as partners brutal in three hour long sessions
consisting of full body workouts and jump sets. Later on, he kept the
giant sets and pared down the volume and offered up this sample program, to be
done three times a week.

Maurice Jones Program (when he was in his later years)

Warmup- Calisthenics, bending, arm waving, and
pushups on the steep board.

Three sets of 12 of the following, jump setted,
with a minute between sets:

Military Press


Three sets of 12 of the following, jump setted,
with a minute between sets:

Bent-over Row

Bench Press

Squat– 1-3 x 12

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts– 3 x 12-15

There were no chairs in the Jones gym because he
never sat down during a workout- he was no shiftless layabout. In
addition to the above, there was a ton of weighted ab work, weighted hill
sprints and hikes, cycling, climbing, and whatever else he wanted to do.

So there you have it- Maurice Jones, a man who
lived and died so badass he likely never gave a damn how close he was to a
world record in the squat, because he’d rather rockclimb anyway. There
are a ton of lessons to be learned from the man’s life- Jones was only limited
by time and his imagination, he didn’t give a damn about records because he was
all about the journey rather than the destination, and he didn’t let anything
stand in his way, be it age, injuries, or anything else. Clearly, he was
onto something.


Baptiste, Walt. Maurice Jones, Canadian
Hercules (1941). The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 11 Dec 2010.
Web. 10 Jul 2018.

Maurice Jones the Canadian Hercules workout
routine. Rippeder. Web. 28 Nov 2018.

McCallum, John. Running. Reprinted from
Strength and Health Jan 1968. Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 10 Aug 2017.
Web. 10 Jul 2018.

Strossen, Randall. Maurice Jones: muscles,
mountains and the man.

Milo. Mar 1997 4(4)9-12.

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