Johnny Olsen

JOHNNY’S BIO

Johnny is a truly remarkable athlete who has devoted a lifetime to building and sculpting his body.  He has overcome personal adversity, which we will touch on later. He continued to train at an elite level and now at the age of 56, he has maintained a body and a level of fitness that is the envy of people in their twenties.  In addition to training six days a week, Johnny works as a Real Estate Agent in Boca Raton, Florida. You can get more details on him via his Facebook page.


  1. When did your athletic career begin
    Johnny’s passion has always been sports. He competed in the 1975 Junior Olympics as a weight lifter and also competed in football and track.  His first bodybuilding competition was in 1977 with a couple more following in 1979 and 1980 respectively. Johnny took time off from competing afterwards but he was still working out a lot. At age 52, he re-entered the world of competition and has competed 15 times since then, most recently sealing a victory in the Masters division on July 23, 2016 while standing at 6’1” and having a competition weight of 200lbs.
  2. What adversity have you had to overcome as athlete?
    In January 2014 Johnny, was diagnosed with cancer but still trained right up until two days before his surgery.  He only took six weeks after his surgery before resuming his training, not at the same intensity but still at a high level.
  3. How has working out impacted your life?
    According to Johnny, working out has had a tremendous impact on his life: “The philosophy I have in training is the same philosophy I have in life.” Johnny goes to the gym with a plan and he approaches his life in exactly same way. There is a well thought out plan and reason for everything he does.
  4. How often do you train and for how long?
    Johnny does 45 to 50 minutes of cardio Monday to Saturday, doing  separate from weights first thing and on empty stomach. When it comes to weights, Johnny hits chest and triceps twice a week, back and biceps twice a week and legs and shoulders usually for 50 minutes to an hour a day.
  5. What supplements do you recommend for athletes over 45?
    Johnny is not a big fan of supplements. He only uses protein powder on occasion and is very meticulous about his diet. When competing, he eats six times a day and prepares all his own meals.
  6. What is your number #1 fitness tip?
    Been saying this for 30 years. If you want to be successful in the gym the body part you have to work the most is the mind.” Johnny states with full conviction. “You have to put your full intensity and focus into each specific exercise you are working on at the time.  When you are doing a Lat Pulldown your mind should be telling the body that the arms are just an extension to the lats.”
  7. Bonus question: How can a post 45 athletes prevent injuries?
    Johnny recommends that athletes over 45 listen to Their bodies. “When you feel a strain coming on back off and know the difference between fatigue and laziness.”

Lorne’s Take – A cancer diagnosis can be scary stuff.  The way Johnny tackled the news is beyond impressive.  He is an extraordinary athlete who exemplifies a “passion for fitness.”


Posted by Lorne Marr.
Lorne Marr is a Toronto-based fitness enthusiast and lifelong advocate of healthy living. He is on a journey to discover the best methods of training and nutrition for athletes and weekend warriors over 45. Connect with Lorne on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Comments

  1. I am impressed Johnny! You inspire me! Now I have to get to the gym!

  2. Great interview, Lorne. Training right up till cancer surgery; Amazing! Johnny has the body of a 35 year old.

    1. Author

      Agreed – in fact better than 99% of the 35 year olds I know 🙂

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