Bodybuilder Tom Platz Is 68 Years Old and Has Bigger Legs Than You

Tom Platz turns 69 on June 26. The “Quadfather” of golden era bodybuilding, though, still has it. A few weeks before his big day, Platz shared a physique update on Instagram with his 630,000-strong fanbase.

We’ll spoil the fun: Platz still has some of the best legs in the game, decades after he hung up his lifting belt and retired from competitive bodybuilding.

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We will celebrate Platz by digging into his storied history, discovering how he earned his nickname — like it’s not obvious — and providing you with a bodybuilding leg workout that will help you look just as beefy at the end of your seventh decade on planet Earth.

Tom Platz Physique Update at 69 Years Old

“[I’m] just playing around and living life!” Platz joked on social media while performing sets of leg extensions and displaying an extraordinary level of muscle maturity and development for someone knocking on the door of their 70th year.

[Related: The Best Leg Exercises and Workouts for Stronger Legs]

Despite having retired from competitive bodybuilding in 1987, Platz remains active in the sport to this day. He’ll be sitting as head judge of the SixPax SuperShow bodybuilding competition in Culver City, CA, on July 20, 2024.

Did You Know? Platz competed in seven Mr. Olympia competitions from 1979 to 1986. His best finish came in 1981, where he placed third.

Train Like Tom Platz With This Quad-Focused Leg Workout

If you want to be the next Tom Platz, you’re in for a rude awakening — the Quadfather is famous for his brutal (and brutally effective) leg workouts. Whether you want quadriceps that rival Platz’s own or want to take inspiration from one of the best leg day devotees ever to do it, we’ve got you covered.

Try out this quad-focused bodybuilding leg workout inspired by the man himself. This workout is tailored toward bodybuilders of all ages; studies repeatedly show that the human body begins losing muscle around middle age, with some data showing a decrease of 1% per year. (1) Strength training can substantially delay that process: 

Smith Machine Hack Squat: 4 x 10

Romanian Deadlift: 3 x 8

Walking Lunge: 2 x 20

Leg Extension: 4 x 20

Coach’s Tip: If you prefer to work with the barbell like Platz once did (he did a set of 525-pound high bar squats for 23 unbroken repetitions), feel free to swap out the Smith machine exercise for the barbell squat. 

A Bodybuilder Inspired by Olympic Lifters?

Platz is the bannerman of big legs in bodybuilding, and there’s just about no way to argue that. However, you might be surprised to learn that Platz himself took inspiration from an unlikely source at a young age — professional Olympic lifters.

“Olympic lifters used to write my leg workouts for me,” Platz reportedly once told Ironman Magazine: “They taught me how to squat very [strictly] and very true to the Olympic style … my butt had to touch the ground.”

He’s right about that. The high-bar back squat is used by professional weightlifters to replicate the torso posture and muscle activation required to excel in the snatch and clean & jerk. Weightlifters are regarded as some of the most competent squatters in the world. Here are a few examples: 

Lasha Talakhadze Squats 320KG for Two Reps

Chinese Weightlifter Tian Tao Squats 310KG at 85KG

Studies also indicate that the high-bar back squat requires more flexibility and has more quadriceps activation than the low-bar squat, which taxes your posterior chain to a greater degree. (2

[Related: Weightlifter Mart Seim Says He “Had To” Squat 400KG To Beat Steroid Users]

If you want to follow in Platz’s footsteps, be prepared to squat deep, heavy, and often. You’ll celebrate your 70th birthday with strong and mobile joints and, hopefully, a pair of sick quads to boot. 

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Wilkinson DJ, Piasecki M, Atherton PJ. The age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function: Measurement and physiology of muscle fibre atrophy and muscle fibre loss in humans. Ageing Res Rev. 2018 Nov;47:123-132. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2018.07.005. Epub 2018 Jul 23. PMID: 30048806; PMCID: PMC6202460.

Glassbrook DJ, Helms ER, Brown SR, Storey AG. A Review of the Biomechanical Differences Between the High-Bar and Low-Bar Back-Squat. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Sep;31(9):2618-2634. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002007. PMID: 28570490.

Featured image: @tomplatz on Instagram

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