This 90-Year-Old Is the World’s Oldest Male Bodybuilder

90-year-old Jim Arrington got into bodybuilding when he was 13 years old, and he has been keeping at it ever since. At 90 years old, he holds the Guinness World Record for “oldest active male bodybuilder”.

Jim Arrington discovered bodybuilding when he was 13. He walked into a drug store and saw these big, bulky guys on the cover of a muscle magazine. He immediately ordered a copy of a 25-cent book by George Jowett, a Canadian strongman, and started doing the exercises detailed in it using his father’s three-pound steel balls. They certainly weren’t the most useful bodybuilding tools, but they helped him put on more than 10 pounds of muscle in a few months, so he kept going. He has been going at it ever since, and even though his body is much more fragile now, at age 90, he has no plans of ever stopping weight training.

Photo: Guinness Records

“At my age, your body’s a lot more fragile,” Arrington told Men’s Health last year. “You have to be more careful when you’re training, and you can’t abuse it — your tendons have a tendency to want to detach. In the past five years, my left bicep broke loose, and I had a little bit of a tear in my right bicep, too. So you can’t do things you used to be able to do. It’s really disheartening, but it’s important to keep soldiering away.”

When he started bodybuilding, Arrington dreamed of becoming Mr. America one day, but as he grew older he realized that he didn’t have the genetics for it. He has small bones ligaments and muscles, but he never let that discourage him. He kept training, even in his later years, when many other bodybuilders gave up on their passion because their bodies couldn’t keep up. In 2018, at age 85, he was awarded the title of ‘oldest active male bodybuilder’ by Guinness Records, and he has held it ever since.


“Unless someone else older than me comes along, I’m sweeping the competition,” Arrington told People Magazine. “I have small bones and I would never be able to put on the size to become Mr. America, so I guess my strategy was to outlive and outweigh everybody by waiting until everybody grew up or died!”

Arrington, who lives in Venice, California, and trains at the ‘Mecca of Bodybuilding,’ Gold’s Gym, continues to compete in over-80s competitions, but he has been trying to convince organizers to create an over-90s category. He continues to train, although not as often or with as much weight as he did in his glory days.


“I usually exercise two to three times a week for about an hour, and it’s a full-body workout, but it’s not a whole lot of weight,” Jim said.