The Beatles didn’t foresee the age of 64 in, as we would say today, aspirational terms. “When I get older losing my hair/Many years from now/Will you still be sending me a valentine/Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?”
Turning 64 in their song “When I’m Sixty Four” was a staging post to benign decrepitude: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me…?”
Bruce Springsteen didn’t get the memo. The ever-helpful Mail Online, which likes any celebrity never to feel alone on holiday, took photographs of The Boss on holiday in Spain, wearing a pair of gray swim trunks and looking fantastic, or as the Mail put it in its lightly perspiring copy, “recreat(ing) his own James Bond moment as he flashes his impressive physique while emerging from the sea in Spain… Slicking his gray-specked locks away from his face with the saltwater, the father-of-three emerged from the water looking refined and athletic.” In our language: The Boss is sporting great pecs, great arms, and a toned stomach. Ever obliging, Springsteen then flexed all the right things on a paddle board.
The latest pictures confirm the latest evolution of Springsteen as pin-up. He always has been the camera’s friend. There are wonderful black-and-white shots of him in the ’70s, skinnier, before he discovered the free weights, his trousers unbuttoned to the border of his pubes—a particular favorite of the writer Caitlin Moran. Track his looks through the years via Google Image, and you’ll see muscle growing, alongside a winning, energetic handsomeness that gets more muscular, but not bulkily so, as the years advance. The Boss always looks the business.
When David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, interviewed Springsteen for the magazine in 2012, he noted of Springsteen’s physical appearance: “His hairline is receding, and, if one had to guess, he has, over the years, in the face of high-def scrutiny and the fight against time, enjoined the expensive attentions of cosmetic and dental practitioners. He remains dispiritingly handsome, preposterously fit.”
“He has practically the same waist size as when I met him, when we were 15,” his E Street Band-mate Steven Van Zandt told Remnick. Springsteen was “the only guy I know—I think the only guy I know at all—who never did drugs.”
Remnick said Springsteen had followed “more or less the same exercise regimen for 30 years: He runs on a treadmill and, with a trainer, works out with weights. It has paid off. His muscle tone approximates a fresh tennis ball.”
Michael Steinbrick, a personal trainer with New York Sports Clubs and certified weight-loss specialist, said: “There is this myth that when we get older we cannot lose the fat. Now, sure, our metabolism slows as we grow older, but you can keep the weight off by eating right. That’s the key. Exercise is important, but you have to eat properly, and carefully, to maintain the kind of body Bruce Springsteen has. He looks fantastic.”
So, to answer The Beatles, yes, we’ll still “feed” you when you’re 64—just carefully: chicken, fish, vegetables, and no “bad carbs” (white rice, white flour, and the like).
In days of yore, Steinbrick recommended clients keep a food journal, “which was a hassle, who has the time? Today I tell my clients to get a calorie counter. They’re invaluable, and they really do act as an impetus to watch what you are eating.”
Resistance training using weights is good for balance stabilization and the core, Steinbrick adds.
So, if sleek supermodels and muscled sportsmen make mere mortals feel the pressure to attain the perfect body, will Springsteen do the same for the sixty-something male? “I don’t think so,” says Steinbrick. “For my older clients, they’ve lived life. I think they’d look at those pictures and celebrate him. I think Springsteen is inspiring in the best way. They’ll look at him and say, ‘Good for him, and y’know, it might be possible for me.’”