The Sit-Up Septuagenarian

Ted Gambordella has authored 43 books, including his latest, Fit for Life. He has tutorial videos on YouTube and tedgambordella.com.

Ted Gambordella figures he has done 7 million sit-ups during his 70 years of living – 2.5 million of them at the Lifetime Fitness near SMU.

It takes about a second per sit-up, he said, explaining how he started at age 15, first doing at least five minutes of sit-ups daily and eventually increasing that to 15 minutes.

When people who do not exercise say, “I hope I look like you when I am your age,” Gambordella said he always thinks, “You don’t look like me now, so how will you look like me at age 70?”

Gambordella, a grandmaster in Karate and Jijutsu with a 10th degree black belt, said he took up martial arts and started working out in his teens, because he got sick of his brothers beating him up.

At 70, his routine includes martial arts at least once or twice a week, and about five trips per week to Lifetime Fitness. He said he maintains his bodybuilder physique without lifting heavy weights and without steroids.

[pullquote-left]“You don’t look like me now, so how will you look like me at age 70?” -Ted Gambordella[/pullquote-left]

Working out does not have to be such a big production nor take long amounts of time at the gym, Gambordella said.

“Keep it simple,” he said. “You can exercise while on the phone. Even during a TV show, you can do sit-ups.”

As for looking young, he said there are three important things to remember: Keep your body flexible; train your core (abs); and train your muscles.

“These three things will help you stay standing up straight even when you get older,” he said.

Diet also is important.

“Up to age 25 or so, I could eat or drink anything I wanted,” Gambordella said. “Then I went to a high protein and low carb diet.”

He does not eat after 7 p.m. and favors a bigger breakfast, and lighter dinner. He said his friend Larry North always says, “Eat whatever you want. Just eat less of it.”

Gambordella’s advice is similar: “The best exercise you can do is… drop the fork.”