Inside Over 50’s Natural Bodybuilding Part 1
This is part 1 in a series of 5 interviews with bodybuilder Tomas de la Milera. He is a 51 year old bodybuilder with a classic physique like Frank Zane. Peek into his world as he prepares for competition and he shares what it takes to be a natural bodybuilder. You can read the transcript or watch the embedded video below.
Motivated by Tarzan
Tracey: Why did you decide to get into bodybuilding?
Tomas: What actually got me into bodybuilding is very interesting. When I was about eleven years old, I went to the library and came across some Tarzan books. It was very interesting because of the covers of them (I later found out they were created by Neil Adams). I liked the body composition of the Tarzan. It was a lot more muscular, a lot more defined. So I was fascinated. I thought, it’s interesting because I thought then bodybuilding wasn’t about weights, even though it was the Golden Era where it was actually all about hypertrophy and getting bigger and less on fitness.
So I started bodybuilding by reading Tarzan books. My understanding was swimming, running, calisthenics, I thought that was the way you became bigger. Later on in the ’70s, I found out, when I incorporated weight training, that you needed a little bit more concentric movement to actually build those kind of bodies.
Arnold and Frank Zane
Tracey: When did you start bodybuilding and how old were you then?
Tomas: Well I’ll tell you, I started bodybuilding about ’78, 1979. I got into that whole Muscle and Fitness, the Golden Era, Arnold, Frank Zane. I related a little bit more to Frank Zane than any of the other bodybuilders because he had a little more of that Tarzan feel that I wanted. So it was about ’78, ’79! Not much experience. There was a lot of hit and miss! Not like today, there’s so much information, you can progress quicker. So I was more into the more weights you lifted, the bigger you would get. I was very unfamiliar with the chemical aspects of bodybuilding like they have today.
It’s never too early, it’s never too late
Tracey: So you were obviously younger when you started.
Tomas: Much younger! I mean I was fascinated, again, at eleven. I moved into the bodybuilding world around 15, 16, 17. And I always stayed physically active, not so much in the weight room, more outside and stuff. I carried on that whole concept of more fitness in the sense of running, cycling and swimming.
At 47 I did my first bodybuilding competition and I went into a natural division. From then, I’m 51 now, so I’ve been actually competing in the bodybuilding world for about 4 years.
Using natural hormones
Tracey: What’s the difference between the way your body responds to training and diet now, compared to when you first started?
Tomas: It’s interesting, because of course if we can take the advantage of our HGH (human growth hormone) levels at such a young age, we understand our human growth hormones are very productive during our puberty stage and our younger period and starts to decline, your metabolism starts going down and so forth (as we age).
I found out that my past body building experience, keeping my body, my muscles fuller and of course my muscles had that opportunity to grow a little bit more by using the benefits of my natural hormones. Coming across to now, I have to be a little bit more careful with diet and have to be a little more conscious about my joints.
Tracey: What’s the highest level you’ve achieved in bodybuilding?
Tomas: You know I’ve won a lot of 1st places in my division. I have taken, in the Novice, I’ve accomplished and taken first place against young adults half my age. I’ve won, in my division, Mr. Los Angeles, Mr. San Diego. I actually took the Silver in the Natural Olympia about a year and a half ago.
If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).