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This 81-year-old bodybuilder still competes after triple heart bypass

"Getting muscles pumping is good."

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By Sarah Ward via SWNS

Meet the 81-year-old bodybuilder who still competes after a triple heart bypass.

Great-grandad Ted Clifton first started lifting weights aged 16 to bulk up for playing football.

But he soon found it more interesting than team sports and began dedicating his time to working out.

Ted, who was born in Newcastle, UK built DIY gyms on five oil rigs he worked on in the 60s before health and safety measures were introduced.

Ted aged 63 at the Welsh Championships 2004. (Katielee Arrowsmith via SWNS)

He was downing a dozen raw eggs mixed with sherry for breakfast, followed by eight pints of milk and gorging on pork.

Ted believes the 60s attitude to diet contributed to needing a triple heart bypass six years ago.

He has recently cut out gluten and found it gave his health a boost - and many people at his gym are doing the same.

Dad-of-three Ted, who has nine grandchildren, runs Ted's Gym in Workington, UK.

He bought it 44 years ago with money he saved from working on the North Sea oil rigs - and says it's the equivalent of Gold's Gym where Arnie trains in the U.S.

Eighty-one-year-old Ted Clifton is a competing bodybuilder who has been lifting weights since he was 16. (Katielee Arrowsmith via SWNS)

Ted said: "The gym has been open since 1978.

"I worked as an electrician on the oil rigs for 15 years and I was the first person to build a gym on the rigs.

"It was really dangerous, in those days we didn't know about safety.

"All they wanted to do was to get men on the rigs.

"There would be six men in a cabin and two life jackets.

"I set up gyms on five rigs making all the machines and dumbbells myself.

"I worked out on the rigs to prepare for competitions because there was nothing else to do."

Dad-of-three Ted, who has nine grandchildren, runs Ted's Gym in Workington, UK. (Katielee Arrowsmith via SWNS)

As well as going to the gym, Ted enjoys walking in the countryside at weekends.

He says it's the only place he would want to live except Thailand, where he plans to retire.

Ted's wife Lee is Thai and the couple visits a few times a year.

He said: "I usually compete with an Irish guy, Eric Downey, who is 84 and older than me.

"I'm not doing heavy weights now, just getting muscles pumping is good.

"I eat six small meals a day - white fish, turkey, rice, chicken, a couple of protein shakes

"I'm a coeliac so I've got to eat gluten-free.

"That's good for bodybuilding."

Ted, an 81-one-year-old bodybuilder, with his trophies from sixty years competing. (Katielee Arrowsmith via SWNS)

"I had a triple heart bypass six years ago but I'm still training.

"I used to eat 12 raw eggs for breakfast with sherry.

"The diets in the 60s and 70s were raw eggs, loads of pork, steaks, six to eight pints of milk a day.

"In those days it was full of cholesterol, I think that contributed to my heart bypass.

"It was like Rocky, there wasn't a concept of salmonella, loads of fatty food, really bad for you.

"In the 80s it all changed for the better.

"I have between 2,500 and 3,000 calories a day, including four eggs."

Disciplined Ted never eats fries, he has rice instead.

And he said more older people are coming to the gym, including people in their 70s.

Weight training is good for bone density and helps people to recover from operations faster.

Ted said: "We've got a lot of people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, as well as 70s.

"We have learned now that exercise is good for older people."

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