At 93, Richard Morgan is as fit as someone half his age.

The Irishman was the subject of a new analysis, published last month in the Journal of Applied Physiology, of his training regimen, diet and overall health.

Although he is a four-time indoor rowing world champion, the retired baker told the Irish Examiner that he’d “never really played sports” until he began exercising regularly when he was 73 years old.

“I started from nowhere,” Morgan told the Washington Post of his exercise routine. One day he “suddenly realized there was a lot of pleasure in doing this.”

The research showed that while exercise won’t turn back time, a good fitness routine can help stave off the effects of aging.

These are the four key pillars in Morgan’s exercise routine.


Consistency is key — the rowing champion exercises for 40 minutes every day.

Researchers believe that Morgan’s dedication to his training helped him to see impressive and lasting results.

Alternating training

The study showed that Morgan’s training schedule was also an important factor in his success.

Throughout the week, he alternated the intensity of his workouts.

About 70% of his workouts were easy, about 20% were difficult but tolerable, and an estimated 10% were performed at max effort.

While only a small portion of his training was an all-out exertion, the researchers believe this small but intense portion of his workouts helped him to use oxygen effectively, specifically benefiting his cardio-respiratory health.

Weight training

Studies have shown that fitness fanatics who submit to regular resistance training such as lifting weights and squatting can increase muscle strength and improve mental health.

Morgan used dumbbells to complete about three sets of lunges and curls — repeating each move until his muscles were too tired to continue — two or three times a week.

The aging athlete’s routine aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, which suggest adults complete muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.

High-protein diet

Researchers also reported that Morgan, who weighs about 165 pounds, enjoys a protein-packed diet.

He eats about 1 gram of protein per pound of his body weight each day, exceeding the usual dietary recommendation for someone of his stature.

Protein is a vital nutrient, especially for those trying to build muscle, and has been found to prevent aging adults from developing chronic diseases.

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