For a stronger America

Hephzibah man is an ideal role model for a healthier lifestyle

  • Follow Editorials

Someone ought to build a statue honoring Sam Bryant Jr.

"People think I'm unique because of my age," Sam Bryant Jr. said. "I'm doing what I think everyone else should be doing. You take it for granted when you're young. You think you're going to be healthy all your life. You're not."   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
"People think I'm unique because of my age," Sam Bryant Jr. said. "I'm doing what I think everyone else should be doing. You take it for granted when you're young. You think you're going to be healthy all your life. You're not."

It helps that he already resembles one.

At the very least, photos of the 70-year-old Mr. Bryant and his astounding physique should be taped on the refrigerators belonging to anyone who wants to improve his or her health.

You read that correctly – he’s 70.

Staff Writer Tracey McManus profiled “Sonny” Bryant recently in The Augusta Chronicle, telling his remarkable story. An Army veteran who bounced from job to job, Mr. Bryant sought solace in a gymnasium after the break-up of his second marriage in the mid-1980s.

It was then, at age 44, that he began becoming a new man.

Today, at a chiseled 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds, Bryant is a champion bodybuilder. And if anyone gets around to erecting that statue, it should be a monument both to can-do spirit and a relentless commitment to good health.

Mr. Bryant may be an extreme example, but he shows how far the country needs to go to improve its health. It’s a national security issue, really, as health-care costs may bankrupt us.

By one accounting, from Emory University professor Ken Thorpe, obesity adds $700 to the cost of each adult’s health care in this state. In Georgia, he told Atlanta’s WSB-TV, obesity costs the healthcare system about $4.4 billion a year.

If you look at lost work days in relation to productivity, Thorpe said, tack on another $4 billion.

The Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issue an annual “F as in Fat” report, and this year the findings are slightly more encouraging: U.S. obesity rates have leveled off.

But that doesn’t mean Americans should slack off. Our country still ranks No. 1 worldwide for obesity.

America’s weight problem and its attendant problems – heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure worst among them – are slowing us down.

Let’s speed things up.

Eat less. When you do eat, eat healthier. And keep moving – preferably to a gym, where you can be even more active.

And feel free to use Mr. Bryant as your role model – a man who has shown us how great it can be not just to add years to your life but life to your years.

Comments (25) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
RunningMan
346
Points
RunningMan 08/23/13 - 06:33 am
2
0
Too Many Choices

Americans simply have too many choices and not enough will power to live a health life style. To put it simple, they would rather be eating, drinking, watching TV, etc. than exercising. Good to see this guy setting an extreme example of what being physically fit is all about. Now, time for me to go for my morning run.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 08/23/13 - 08:03 am
2
0
Bravo ! ! !

Hats off to you Mr. Bryant. He may be the one in a million type of example of what the human body is capable of becoming. And in some aspects I agree with Runningman as far a people having many choices. I would not want to take away anyones choices but just like smokers who choose to smoke, they are charged more for healthcare by many insurance companies. There should be a penalty for overweight people as well. After all, it was their choice to eat and not do something to keep the weight off. The kinds of food and the amounts we consume can be as bad for many as smoking cigarettes. I was told by a friend that did a lot of world traveling that in Europe the Europeans can pick out Americans by how fat they are. I too have done a great bit of world traveling and confirmed this for myself. So the old phrase of " there are people of all shapes and sizes", is only true if you think being 30 lbs or more overweight is normal. I know we can't all look like Mr. Bryant but we don't have to look like Oliver Hardy either. So get out and shape up.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 08/23/13 - 08:26 am
0
2
Comfort food

Just this week, I heard that a study was done about the eating habits following a sporting event. The study concluded that the fans of the winning team ate more healthy foods after the game, and the fans of the lossing team ate much more junk food.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 08/23/13 - 08:31 am
0
2
Comfort food, two

Sooo many people turn to comfort food, because we feel abandoned, disappointed, and hopeless by sooo many ultra-rich and powerfull and our very own government ! Is there REALLY any mistory as to why obesity is rampent in this country !!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 08/23/13 - 08:44 am
0
2
Quote from editorial

"it can be not just to add years to your life but life to your years."

In my opinion, WHO wants to add years to ones' life !! I mean, wars that we should never have started, famine, WAY TOO much blood-shed around the world, cold war thinking coming back to U.S. and Russia, President that WILL NOT follow through with what he says, Syrians being killed by the tens of thousands ( EVEN WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS ), U.S. believing WE MUST be the world's police ( WITHOUT NATO OR THE DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING U.N. ), AND etc....... !! With ALL of this negative thinking and events, REALLY; I mean REALLY why does ANYONE want to "add years to ones' life" when we can't even "add life to our years" !! I MEAN REALLY, REALLY ponder this for a while !!

Riverman1
86718
Points
Riverman1 08/23/13 - 08:50 am
3
0
The problem with the American

The problem with the American diet is HFCS.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 08/23/13 - 08:57 am
0
2
Quote from editorial

"Eat less. When you do eat, eat healthier. And keep moving – preferably to a gym, where you can be even more active."

Rephrasing: Less than 2000 calories per day, eat rabbit food, and go from desk-jocky to superman ALL in 16 hours per day. "ADDING YEARS TO ONES' LIFE" I ask you, does this sound like really having a life ??!!

Jon Lester
2363
Points
Jon Lester 08/23/13 - 09:00 am
1
1
I'm not exactly bodybuilding but

I'm healthier now, at 43, than I was for much of my 20's and most of my 30's, and the choices I made to that end get easier all the time (no carbonated soft drinks at all, avoid HFCS whenever possible, almond milk instead of dairy, etc).

You know what I most like about Mr. Bryant? He didn't listen (let alone conform) to other people's notions of what he was supposed to be doing at any certain age. That's what really makes people old.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 08/23/13 - 09:31 am
0
2
Quote from editorial

"But that doesn’t mean Americans should slack off. Our country still ranks No. 1 worldwide for obesity."

Everyone that is against Obamacare says that the price of health insurance will sky-rocket. Don't people put just a little blame on the obese people that are on insurance ??!

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 08/23/13 - 11:36 am
2
0
I'm inspired! Really I am and I intend to do

something about it.

Just as soon as I finish this bag of chips.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 08/23/13 - 12:05 pm
0
1
Last word on this, to the

Last word on this, to the lazy and the slackers eat, drink and be merry and throw caution to the wind. Perhaps in time the average life expectancy in the US will drop back to age 45, and for those people not wanting to be health conscience or buy health insurance will die off by their own hands. Then Obamacare won't be necessary.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 08/23/13 - 12:16 pm
3
0
It was you last word.

Is that why you repeated it?

For emphasis?

.................................................

OK, just kidding. It's easy to accidentally double post.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 08/23/13 - 12:19 pm
3
0
"In my opinion, WHO wants to add

years to ones' life !!"

.
We can always count on bledsoe for the trenchant, well thought, in depth analysis.

Lemmings, the line forms to the right.

Or left, for you Dems....

Jake
32834
Points
Jake 08/23/13 - 12:32 pm
2
0
What I got.....

.....from the original article a couple of weeks ago was a sense of what Mr. Bryant's workouts are like. I have started to incorporate dead lifts into my routines but not with nearly the weight he does.
In terms of physique, my workouts are aimed at toning instead of body building. Most people who workout regularly seem to be in that mindset also.
Diet is also very important. Eating healthier foods is not a burden and is quite enjoyable. Once you start to see some results from your exercise and diet regimen then it will inspire you to keep it up. It is not that hard to do and the benefits (like not having to take certain medications) are worth it.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 08/23/13 - 02:27 pm
1
2
With all due respect

Is it even possible for the human body to look like this WITHOUT steriods and performance enhancing drugs ??

Bizkit
32828
Points
Bizkit 08/23/13 - 03:06 pm
2
0
No mention of race!!! I can't

No mention of race!!! I can't believe it. Mr. Bryant is black and they have 51% higher rates of obesity than whites-it's an epidemic. Now we have Mr. Bryant who is a great role model to fight obesity in the black community and reduce this health disparity. His age should be inspiring to black youths who are really prone to obesity and then diabetes and inc. risks of stroke and heart disease later in life.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 08/23/13 - 03:22 pm
3
0
"Is it even possible for the human body to

look like this WITHOUT steriods and performance enhancing drugs ??"

Yes, bledsoe, it is. But you have to be born with the right genes to start with. Reference a fellow long gone now, named Charles Atlas.

Is it a lot easier WITH the drugs? You better believe it.

And who are you kidding with that "All due respect" line?

CobaltGeorge
164184
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/23/13 - 06:16 pm
1
0
Lets See,

Went into the Army in 1957, weight 149 naked. Retired in 1977, weight 149 naked. 73 now, weight 149 naked. Have always ate what I want, amount I want and hell, even smoke a pack a day. I feel depressed if I can't put in a 11 hour labor work day. So what is my problem?

nocnoc
44723
Points
nocnoc 08/23/13 - 06:21 pm
2
0
Thank you AC

The wife now has this crazy idea
I can turn this 300lbs almost 60 y/o body into HULK.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 08/23/13 - 06:23 pm
3
0
"I feel depressed if I can't put in a 11 hour

labor work day. So what is my problem?"

.
I'm just guessing, but I'd say that you probably never voted Democrat.

nocnoc
44723
Points
nocnoc 08/23/13 - 06:25 pm
2
0
CobaltGeorge - 149lbs and Naked

Not what I wanted to have a picture of in my mind right now.
☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

Bizkit
32828
Points
Bizkit 08/23/13 - 06:57 pm
2
0
Well there is a positive

Well there is a positive side-every birthday and christmas maybe your last at our age so it really is something to celebrate. hee,hee,hee. I've always had that gift of seeing a silver lining in any dark cloud. I'm proactively addressing the situation:first I thought about freezing my brain like the Disney myth, but now I'm dumping my vital essence into a virtual world so I can live forever in a computer generated reality-well at least till someone shuts off the power anyways. They are actually working on this sort of stuff scary thought. Part human part techno-it will be difficult to define what's human.

nocnoc
44723
Points
nocnoc 08/23/13 - 07:23 pm
1
0
A Bizkit Terminator model

I'll get back with you on that..☺

Bizkit
32828
Points
Bizkit 08/23/13 - 10:32 pm
0
0
I was thinking more like a

I was thinking more like a computer generated Yoda character (wise and venerable) or the Dark Lord Sauron (the dark side hoohaahaa) . Maybe Oz. Better yet Ping. Mesmerize everyone into my will with that incessant bouncing ball.

itsanotherday1
45246
Points
itsanotherday1 08/24/13 - 01:50 pm
0
0
Cobalt

You were that skinny little kid that always took the roll or 1/2PBJ sandwich someone else didn't want to eat at school lunch time. Ate 1/2 again what I did and never gained an ounce.

Back to Top

Top headlines

ARC to honor 1956 championship team

Because the championship year of 1956 has never lost its glory in Richmond Academy football lore, the team will be honored Thursday at the third annual ARC Hall of Fame banquet, where 10 alumni ...
Search Augusta jobs