Dion Friedland’s almost 71 years. He lives in South-Africa, England, USA and Italy. Dion is married, has four children and eleven grandchildren. He is a successful businessman, who started his own business already as a teenager. But it does not stop here! He won the bronze in the World Championships for under a month ago, and got a special award from the IFBB for being the oldest competitor.
Name: Dion Friedland
Age: 70 years, 9 months
Location: Homes in Johannesburg, London, Miami and a boat in Italy.
Gym: Virgin Johannesburg; Peak London; LA Fitness Miami; Fitlane Cannes;
Virgin and others in Italy.
Profession: Entrepreneur, businessman.
Marital status: Married, four children and 11 grandchildren four of whom are at
You recently competed in Mongolia for the World Championships. How did it go?
I came 3rd in the Masters 65 years and older.>>>
You got a prize there too from the IFBB, can you tell us about that?
I got a special award from the President of the IFBB Dr Rafael Santonja for being
the oldest competitor, the only competitor aged 70.
How long have you been doing bodybuilding?
I started bodybuilding at the age of 14 and at 17 I competed, but then due to being at university and starting businesses I
stopped at age 17. For the next 40 years I played tennis (I was a very good tennis player) and golf and slowly came back to bodybuilding 15 years ago, when my hip started giving me problems. In 2010 I was selected to compete for South Africa in the Masters World Championships the next year. As a result I hired a trainer for the first time and started eating protein more
How did you get into this sport?
I was a skinny teenager and was bullied at school. Building up my body gained me respect.
How much does this lifestyle mean to you and how do you keep holding up your willpower and enthusiasm?
I have never believed in moderation, so now as a bodybuilder I constantly try to improve and seek to work on weaknesses and
improve even as I get older. I enjoy it when I get comments from people who have viewed the You Tube videos that show me competing.
Where are you located and what do you do besides the training and eating?
I travel frequently to my various homes and spend many hours each day responding to emails from my various businesses – hedge funds, motor businesses in the UK, an international green technology business with installations in 24 countries for blue chip companies and an art business.
How would you describe a day on a diet?
I eat much the same way all the time, other than cutting down my carbs 8 weeks before competing. I eat protein seven times a day, lots of raw, mainly green, vegetables and carbs only with my first three meals each day. The only fruit I eat are berries in the morning with my oats. Occasionally I have a small apple. Fruits have too much sugar for my diet. My staple drinks are water and protein shakes. I sometimes have a cup of coffee in the morning. I am an athlete for Top Secret Nutrition, an American company that has great products and I enjoy TSN’s protein shakes,etc.
Do you keep in good shape also in the off-season?
Yes, at my age it is too difficult to take off weight so my body fat is always within 2 percent of my contest condition.
How do you eat and train in your off-season compared to on-season?
Much the same way all the time. I train very intensively with heavy weights pyramiding up 12 down to 8 reps as the weights get heavier and have found I look best by training at least six days a week. My only rest days are when I fly. My typical workout is for 2 1/2 hours (50 plus sets) with very short rest periods. I had a total hip replacement on my left side 18 months ago and since legs are my weakest body part, I train them twice a week and my other body parts once every 6 days. I train my calves every 2 days.
What tips would you give people at your age, for keeping a healthy lifestyle?
It all depends how much you want to have a healthy lifestyle and feel better. The first thing to do is to start eating correctly by
eliminating all processed carbohydrates from your diet. That means eat nothing made with sugar or flour. Also, be careful about eating pasta, white rice and potatoes until you have reached your target weight. I eliminated all alcohol ten years ago, because your body will burn the alcohol for energy before it burns the glucose (which converts from carbs), so if you are trying to lose body fat, alcohol makes it more difficult. Eat lots of vegetables and eat your fruit in the morning. Berries are the healthiest. Some fruits like mangoes and bananas are high in carbs. Of course exercise is an important part but eating correctly is essential if you want to get into good shape.
What are your plans now with the bodybuilding?
There are very few competitions for my age group, so I assume my next one with be the Arnold Classic Europe in Madrid, Masters 60 years plus, next September. I placed 3rd this year in that competition. That will be followed by the World Masters Championships later in the 2014. I am working to improve my legs and constantly work on getting better deltoids.
What would you like to say to the Norwegian bodybuilding fans out there?
You have some great bodybuilders. I recently became friends with Knut Øines who has a great body. Bodybuilding is one sport where age should not matter. It is a sport that can be enjoyed as you age. You will feel better and get the respect of all who meet you. You have one body. Take the same care of it that you do for your motor car. You would not put dirty fuel in your tank so why eat food that is unhealthy? Remember too, that if you leave your motor car idle for months without disconnecting the battery it won’t start. If you don’t exercise, your body and its functions will deteriorate too.