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Are You Built Like a 50-Year-Old?
(Maybe You Should Be.)

Fiftysomething icons like Sean Penn and Barack Obama are putting men in their thirties to shame.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

 

Everyone knows Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and original Rat Packer Humphrey Bogart all looked great in suits. But few know how they looked in their birthday suits—did you ever see photographs of Ol' Blue Eyes or Bogey shirtless? However, Google "Dylan McDermott naked" and almost half a million results will appear. Hours after the premiere of American Horror Story, screenshots of the actor's disrobed body were all over the Net.

And what a body . . . McDermott, at the ripe old age of 50, is one of a new breed of hyperfit fiftysomething leading men, joining Liam Neeson, 59, Viggo Mortensen, 53, and 51-year-olds David Duchovny and Sean Penn. Sure, it's easy for younger guys to look fit—even Seth Rogen can quickly shed baby fat to look respectable—but there's a well-earned, and more permanent, feeling to the older generation's definition. "They've been doing it all along," says Pat Manocchia, Neeson's trainer and the founder of Manhattan's La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine, which combines medicine with nutrition and exercise. "At 48, they didn't think, 'Oops.' These guys are accustomed to working hard." Neeson trains five to six days a week, doing a combination of cardio and stability work and muscular-endurance training. Duchovny exercises five days a week with his trainer, John Scarangello, the owner of Los Angeles' Kinetic Cycling. He works out for about an hour, interspersing strength activities for his legs, core, and upper body with cardio. "Older people have endurance," says Scarangello, who's 47. "Instead of seeing how much weight we can lift, we see how long we can keep the intensity up. We incorporate as many moves as we can, trying to use every muscle in the body." That, and eat about 200 fewer daily calories than younger guys. "We're not 20 anymore," Scarangello says. "Our calorific requirement is much less."

And what about the vices of youth? While the whiskey-loving Sinatra famously sang, "I'm gonna live till I die," today's fiftysomething men-among-men like Duchovny follow a very different code. "I've never seen David drink more than one glass of wine at a time," Scarangello says. "He's very moderate." The Rat Pack is dead. Long live the Ripped Pack.

Tom Cruise, 50 in July

Reportedly lost 10 pounds on a David Beckham-devised plan that included weight training and fencing.


Credit: Wenn.com

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