“When you have a breastplate like that, then we’ll talk, okay, you chicken?” It was with this phrase that the 59-year-old Carlos Suassuna, from Paraíba, drew attention on social networks, reaching more than 100 thousand followers on Instagram and another 80 thousand on TikTok. Nicknamed “Grandpa Maromba”, Carlos shares his fitness routine and muscular physique online, which inspires comments of all ages.
The focus on having great muscle volume comes from a boy’s dream. As a teenager, Carlos says he was a skinny boy and always wanted to change that reality. Without a gym or professional assistance, he began exercising alone in his backyard, using rocks as a weight, at age 17.
“My uncle brought a leaflet showing how to do weight training. I didn’t even know what gym was. I got the hang of it little by little, but always alone. After many years, I had a TV and started watching and learning more. I applied it to my routine. , I studied, until I arrived at a gym”, says he, who this year completes 43 years of bodybuilding. It can’t be stressed enough that this is a specific situation and, before you start training, you should seek expert advice from a physical education professional.
When he worked in the fields, Carlos carried weight and used physical activity to help with his work. Then he started working as a bricklayer, another profession that hard training helped to accomplish. He was never a bodybuilder and, according to him, he always used exercise for health and to abandon the image of the thin and fragile boy.
In order not to give up training in the pandemic, he built a gym in his backyard and returned to training with stones and iron. With weights made of cement and a fixed bar between the wall and a tree, Carlos did two years of physical activity at the place.
Back to routine, the man from Paraíba works as a bricklayer in two shifts a day, goes to the gym every day, cycles at least 50 km on weekends. What was supposed to be an aesthetic dream in youth, today, entering old age, has become a way of maintaining quality of life.
“I like my body as it is today and all the health I’ve achieved. At my age, I won’t be able to gain much more mass, but I work out to maintain what I already have and especially this willingness to live, work, cycle “, he explains.
Daily discipline in food and in the gym
Over the years, Carlos has prepared his training with the help of teachers at the neighborhood gym in the city of Riacho dos Cavalos, in the interior of Paraíba, where he has lived for 30 years. Your training aims to increase strength in the whole body, but without exaggeration. “I’m always looking for balance and a good workout.”
For a long time, the Paraíba man also took care of his food alone. Until last month, I had never taken a supplement. With the audience on social media, he had his first appointment with a nutritionist and started consuming specific products.
“I’ve always tried to eat a lot of protein, avoiding sugars and any kind of industrialized product, as well as I’ve never used anabolic steroids. In the nutritionist, I found out that I could take whey protein to reduce muscle mass loss, but it’s still too recent for me”, he explains.
Although “Grandpa Maromba” is inspiring his followers to practice weight training, Professor Sérgio Nassar, a physical education teacher at UFPA (Federal University of Pará), reinforces the importance of a professional accompanying the activities.
“It is necessary that a qualified professional does the training and monitoring so that the person can actually reap the benefits of physical activity for biological, social and psychological aging. The professional will help the athlete to understand what is the best practice , because the best exercise is the one that gives you pleasure and that you can turn it into a daily necessity, just like sleeping”, explains the physical education professional.
Nassar follows groups of elderly people in different physical activities and concludes that weight training, despite having different benefits, is not the only one that can bring strength and health to the body. Aerobic gymnastics, functional training and aquatic modalities can also be alternatives not only for the practice of physical exercise, but also for the socialization of the elderly.
But socialization is not lacking for “Grandpa Maromba”. With the success on the web and the support of his colleagues at the gym, Carlos follows the comments on his social networks and is thrilled to know that he is a reason for inspiration for his followers.
“Old age is not an age of arrival, but an age of departure”
Physical education teacher and researcher at Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo) João Paulo Botero endorses that weight training is an exercise with different benefits for all ages, but it is necessary to put aside the prejudice that the gym is a place for ” or “bodybuilder”, so that the space becomes inclusive.
“Bodybuilding is safe, improves muscle strength, brings autonomy, strengthens bones, the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Given these benefits, it is necessary to think of the gym as a collective space, for all age groups ages, all bodies and all goals”, says Botero.
The professor recalls that many municipalities have initiatives of gyms or training centers to encourage the adherence of the elderly to the practice of physical activity, but that inclusion must also be present in private gyms. “The gym needs to lose the stereotype of a place where young people go to gain mass, but a place where everyone seeks more health.”
“Grandpa Maromba” takes to his followers the result of 43 years of bodybuilding. But, for those who want to start training in the age group of 60 years, there is still time to reap the results.
Studies have already shown that weight training in old age can prevent the frailties resulting from aging, reduce the rate of body fat and post-menopausal inflammation.
A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, led by physical educator João Paulo Botero, analyzed 23 women aged between 63 and 67 years. The result showed that weight training brought a significant increase in strength and lean mass, in addition to decreasing levels of hormones such as leptin and resistin in postmenopausal women.
“Age is not a factor that determines the result. The third age is not a point of arrival, but a point of departure. Anyone who starts doing a physical activity will be able to obtain the benefits for physical and mental health” , reinforces Nassar.
Install the VivaBem app on your cell phone
With our app, you receive notifications of the main reports published in Live well and access tips on food, health and well-being. The app is available for Android and iOS. Install it now on your cell phone and have a lot of information in the palm of your hand to live longer and better!