Plenty of people want to lose 5 pounds here and there, but when 62-year-old Ian “Rambo” Newland went for it he went all in. Starting at 163 pounds he slimmed down to 152 and then bulked back up to 158 by building lean muscle—chiefly by eating fats and doing compound lifts in a gym he built himself at home. He’s got that Australian bootstrap mentality and grey walrus mustache you’d expect of guy who’s paddling out long after younger surfers have headed back to the beach.
Newland’s approach may seem incomprehensible at first. But it boils down to a simple but excellent diet, lifting more every day, and skipping any testosterone replacement or other chemicals short of 5 grams of creatine or a bit of casein protein powder if he misses a meal (a rare occurrence). He also insists that his carefully constructed meals are “no recipe required.” i.e. The ingredients in his magic Steak Mushrooms, Green Beans and Avocado dinner are just that. He also—and this goes against every boring diet on the planet—liberally slathers his creations in an orgy of oils, butters and cheeses.
It is this diet and lifestyle which he credits for the incredible energy that helped this man transform into a machine. At 62. So when we spotted some badass shots of him on Reddit recently, we just had to track him down and secure his secrets. Note: Newland has that infectious Australian diction that gets you psyched up just talking to him about “me plans for the New Year” and “this bloke” and “that sheila.” We have tried wherever possible to keep it intact.
“Truth is, these young guys are chasing abs. They want to chase the girls and they think abs’ll do it. I don’t do any ab work whatsoever. What I have comes from deadlifts and squats.”
Let me be honest. If at 61 I look like you did in your “before” picture, I’m positive that would be good enough for me at 62. But this home gym of yours is wonderful.
One-hundred percent and all my equipment aside from the dumbbells and barbells is homemade. It’s great. I can be me and not have to worry about someone getting on or off that machine. Plus I don’t have the issues of playing the music I want to play. As loud as I want.
Nevermind. Now I’m sold. What kind of music do you workout to?
AC/DC, the old heavy metal stuff, then again some days I’ll put on 100 of the best songs from the ’60s or ’70s. I’m pretty into doing everything natural. Pure workout, pure eating, classic rock.
Alright. Let’s start today. What should I have for breakfast before I build my squat rack?
I like to have me pre-workout: 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 15 grams glucose powder, 5 grams creatine, 2 shots of espresso coffee and 15 grams of pure glucose to put a little energy into me bloodstream. It bypasses the liver and goes straight to the blood and keeps the brain happy. It’s a bit of a handshake for your brain. Make a promise that in two hours we’ll be through this.
What advice do you have for someone just beginning a new workout routine for the New Year?
If I can inspire people to pick up the challenge, it’s gotta start with nutrition. If you don’t heal yourself first, then it does make it more difficult. I didn’t even start lifting until 12 months ago. The problem is young guys are looking for the quick way to get there. Supplements, drugs. Steer away from that. Educate yourself on nutrition first of all. Not a lot of good info out there. Even the governments and dieticians. The low fat era is gone. It’s dead. Get yourself healthy and make a commitment to getting into the gym.
This changes everything that gets advertised as “health.”
Truth is, these young guys are chasing abs. They want to chase the girls and they think abs’ll do it. Everyone’s got abs. You get them around 12 percent body fat. All the guys have done is dieted down to a certain body fat. I don’t do any ab work whatsoever. What I have comes from deadlifts and squats.
So no situps, no crunches. But still, this diet of yours might be your best seller.
A couple years ago I had some gut issues. IBS [irritable bowel syndrome], leaky gut [which can cause undigested food to leak into the bloodsteam]. So I suffered for a while and thought, I’m gonna fix this. Got rid of grain, got rid of sugar. And in four months, boom. All gone.
“I leave the fat and skin on all my meats. Always grassfed meat. I don’t want lean anything.”
And this is all before you started tossing weights around to Led Zeppelin?
I’ve got 69 Meals I make, eight minutes prep to plate. Today I’ve already [eaten] three eggs, cottage cheese, browned lean meat, spinach, butter, that kind of thing. A lot of fat, a lot of protein. Mushrooms. Walk in the kitchen, BANG. It’s done. That and—ah! And there were some chicken wings left over from last night. Had those too for brekky. I leave the fat and skin on all my meats. Always grassfed meat. I don’t want lean anything.
This is the “Keto” diet? [Ketogenic diet: high protein, high fat, low carb diet] The idea being that you train your body to run on fat instead of carbs and sugar.
Yes. Approximate ratio 5 percent carb, 25 percent protein and 70 percent fat. Your body automatically adapts to burning fat. One of the major health benefits is no blood sugar swings. You spend all day in a heightened level. Just buzzing. None of the ups and downs for your sugar or your mood. That’s a big benefit and that’s the reason a lot of these Google whiz kids get into this diet. So they can stay awake without the artificial stimulants. Me? I sleep like a log.
This goes against pretty much everything you can imagine a doctor saying to a man in his ’60s.
Just had me blood test done. Before and afters from this year. The only comment from the doctor was “you’ve got blood markers of a 30-year-old.”
But still, it’s a lot of work, why bother at all?
I’ve got this interest in age reversal, turning back the clock so I can hang about and spend that time with me grandkids. I want to be there. I go skateboarding, I go surfing with them. Not just sit on the beach and watch. I get out there and surf with them.
That’s nice. But even now compound workouts, CrossFit and even military training is straining away from Bench Presses. Since all they help you do is bench press.
I made a bloody pact with them today. Today I bench-pressed me grandson on the beach. He’s 3 and I said I’ll stick around to bench-press him again on his 21st birthday.
Note: If you want to bench-press your grandkids on their 21st birthdays, here are some of Rambo’s best goals…
Overhead Press: 110lbs
Bench Press: 275