Clark Bartram and Mike O’Hearn discuss how to look like a muscular superhero past 50 years old

In a recent episode of Generation Iron and Barbend’s The Mike O’Hearn Show, host Mike O’Hearn sat down with the renowned fitness expert and coach, Clark Bartram. The episode delved into the importance of bloodwork for overall health, particularly for individuals over 50. As Clark Bartram explained, despite maintaining a chiseled physique, it’s crucial to prioritize health within fitness. The conversation highlighted the significance of regular blood tests, not just for diagnosing issues but also for proactive health management.

Clark Bartram returns to the podcast, this time to focus less on obtaining muscle and physique, and instead to focus on how to maintain a fit and healthy life over 50 years old. One of the most common misconceptions is that a muscular athlete must be healthy. But just because you have abs does not mean that you are living a healthy life.

Even more importantly beyond general lifestyle, fitness, and nutrition – there are genetic predispositions that can lead to disease no matter how consistent you are about fitness. This is why in-depth bloodwork is important – especially for those over 50 years old. Let’s dive into the conversation.


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Changing Focus: Health Over Abs

Clark Bartram shared his journey of personal transformation and growth. Having undergone consistent bloodwork for years, he emphasized how his focus has shifted from helping individuals attain visible abs to prioritizing their overall health as they age. He pointed out that looking fit and having abs doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy, and his mission now revolves around guiding men over 50 towards better health through fitness and preventive measures.

Mike O’Hearn has been vocal throughout his entire career about focusing on longevity over trophies. Now in his 50s, O’Hearn is able to look as muscular and fit as someone in their 30s. This was because he didn’t chase trophies and force his body beyond limits in order to become a champion. He focused on the long term.

Clark Bartram believes in this same focus – and is now dedicating his expertise to those who are over 50 and in need of guidance to stay both fit and healthy as they age.

The discussion touched on the paradox that bloodwork presents. While it may not always provide absolute clarity due to its complexity, it remains a valuable tool for identifying potential issues and taking proactive steps. Clark Bartram acknowledged that many men avoid blood tests, either procrastinating for years or disregarding them altogether. He emphasized the importance of overcoming this resistance, underlining that early detection allows for lifestyle adjustments that can prevent complications later in life.

The “Bartram Five” Blood Markers

During the podcast, Clark Bartram introduced his “Bartram five,” which includes essential blood markers for assessing overall health. While this is not the only thing that matters when getting bloodwork done – it’s a good core five factors that all men should be aware of:

  1. HDL/LDL Ratio: Understanding the ratio between high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is crucial for assessing heart health.
  2. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): A key marker for prostate health, the PSA test measures the level of a protein produced by the prostate gland.
  3. Body Mass Index (BMI): Bartram stressed that tracking BMI provides insight into potential health issues.
  4. Energy and Mental Clarity: How one feels and their energy levels are important indicators. Low energy and cognitive fog should prompt discussions with a healthcare provider.
  5. Unspecified Fifth Marker: Though not discussed in detail, the fifth marker was mentioned as an additional significant factor.

“If your waist is not close to what it was in high school – there’s a problem there.”

– Clark Bartram

The Role of Consistency

The conversation took a turn towards Clark Bartram’s exceptional physique, even at almost 60 years old. While genetics play a role, he emphasized the power of consistent healthy habits. He attributed his impressive muscle maintenance to years of dedicated fitness and nutrition routines, emphasizing that lifestyle choices outweigh the effects of drugs or supplements.

Defying Age through Commitment

Clark Bartram challenged common perceptions about aging, asserting that those committed to health and fitness can achieve youthful vitality well into their senior years. He cited examples of athletes, like Robby Robinson, who maintain impressive physiques in their 70s. Bartram believes that a lifetime of healthy habits leads to the body adapting and retaining youthful factors like energy, muscle, and attractiveness.

Mike O’Hearn also reflected on the age-defying achievements of individuals like a 90-year-old bodybuilder who still competes. He highlighted how these outliers challenge conventional notions of aging and demonstrate the potential of the human body to maintain remarkable physicality and health throughout life.

“Lifestyle trumps everything. Lifestyle trumps drugs. Lifestyle trumps all of it.”

– Clark Bartram

Wrap Up

In this insightful episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Clark Bartram shared wisdom and experiences that underscore the importance of bloodwork in managing health as we age. He emphasized the significance of regular testing, outlined key blood markers, and advocated for consistency in healthy lifestyle choices. The conversation challenged conventional notions of aging and encouraged listeners to prioritize their well-being and embrace the potential for vitality and fitness at any age.

You can watch the full episode above. Don’t forget to make sure and check back every Friday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Podcast or wherever podcasts are downloaded!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.