Actor, Stuntman and Entrepreneur Brad Harris recently turned 80 years of age. He still trains every day. He was going to UCLA and began weight training with classmate, actor, William Smith. He was inspired by Hercules star, Steve Reeves. Being so close to the film industry, he ended up being a stunt double for Richard Jaeckel. A short trip to Europe during the huge surge of “Sword and Sandals” epics lead to a career of over 67 film and TV roles. He currently lives near Santa Monica and is the owner of Mod Bod Design, which make Ab – Originals, an abdominal training tool among other devices.
From my recollection of some early fitness magazine articles, Brad incorporated very diverse training methods, constantly refining them based on his needs, time, location and equipment. Early on, he gave up heavy squatting in favor of sprints, stair climbing and biking. He also avoided overhead pressing since he felt with stunts and decades passing, the compression on the spine was not the best course of action. His back and posterior chain were the byproduct of an exercise dubbed, “The Harris Row”. This variation was developed as he trained with a barbell set in his hotel rooms on location, but further refined at World Gym in California. He would use a low pulley and stand on the bench. The movement started light and mimicked a stiff legged deadlift combined with an up right row to the chest. Then as sets got heavier, he employed almost a “clean pull” motion. He attributed not only strength, but much cardiovascular ability from this drill.
Brad employed multiple sets of higher reps, starting light and adding 10 pounds per set. He rarely if ever takes days off. [ 4 day cycle]
Monday – Arms
Tuesday – Mid/Low Back, Shoulders
Wednesday – Chest and Front Delts
Thursday – Upper Back
That is a four day, morning, cycle that repeats.
——> Afternoon is a 2 day cycle of either Stair Running/Bicycle Sprints or
Abdominals on Ab Originals – 4 sets of 40
His diet is year round, whole, fresh and raw.
There is a lot of wisdom here. I was highly motivated by reading of his training, travels and ability to be physically active in any situation, often with not the best training environment. When Brad was through filming in exotic locations, he’d live his equipment for the locals to use and in some way, perpetuated the idea of health training around the world.