Rudy Kadlub, 73, CEO of Kabuki Strength, would probably make your jaw drop at the gym. He’s not just impressive for the average septuagenarian—he’s the strongest 70-plus-year-old powerlifter in the world. Pumping impressive amounts of iron is the norm for Kadlub, who squats 450 pounds, bench presses nearly 320 pounds, and has deadlifted 530 pounds. He currently holds 45 to 50 world records, over multiple age groups, and weight divisions.
“I don’t use the ‘O word’ in my vocabulary. I just refuse to use that. I call myself a mature athlete. You are going to become older faster if you don’t keep moving it. Use it or lose it. I mean, that’s really the key—get up off the couch and use it,” says Kadlub, who started getting into strength training when he was 55. “But I hear so many people that are less than that age saying ‘I’m too old to get started.’ You are what you say you are. If you say you’re old, you’re going to be old. If you say you’re tired, you’re going to feel tired. If you say ‘I can be strong,’ you can be strong, It’s whatever the mind can conceive and believe it will achieve.”
Kadlub’s fitness journey started “by accident” when he hurt his shoulder in a snow skiing wipeout. After his physician told him he had bursitis and was “just getting old,” that fanned Kadlub’s flames to prove him wrong. After going to a physical therapist, Kadlub started to get stronger as his shoulder improved—and he began to wonder what the bench press record was for his age class in Oregon.
He says he ventured down to California for his first powerlifting competition and set four California state records at that meet. Fast forward to the current day, and Kadlub’s typical schedule is based around the big three powerlifting staples, with a squat day on Mondays, bench day on Tuesday and deadlift on Thursday.
“I think the squat and the deadlift are the two granddaddies of all lifts. The squat is an incredible lift for the entire body as is the deadlift and working the back,” he says. “If you didn’t do anything else but squat and deadlift, you’d make great advancement within strength and increase of bone density and the like. So I never miss the primary lifts in my training.”
Watch the video to learn more about Kadlub’s diet, best practices at the gym, and more.
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