Life Extension Magazine April 2007
By Dave Tuttle
You may have seen him on television, hosting his latest infomercial for the AB-DOer®, a total midsection exercise machine he invented to mobilize the spinal column and condition the muscles that support and surround the vertebrae.
Now known the world over for this fat-burning invention—which has sold more than 4 million units—John Abdo may seem like an overnight sensation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Abdo has been extolling the benefits of fitness and a healthy lifestyle for more than 35 years. A Life Extension member since 1989, he has been in the trenches helping people achieve their goals, first as a coach, then as the star of his own television show, and now as the inventor of numerous fitness machines. Throughout his career, he has benefited from Life Extension’s insights into the benefits of proper nutrition and supplementation in preventing the diseases that so often accompany aging.
An Early Passion for Fitness
“My father was a former athlete who did weight training in the basement of our home,” Abdo recalls. “I always admired that and became hooked at an early age. I eventually complemented the exercise with knowledge about nutrition. Several years later, I began to study psychology to learn how thinking affects the human psyche and body.”
As he matured, Abdo also began to learn about the destructive behaviors and habits of others, which he needed to become a good teacher. “I’ve always loved helping others improve, so mentoring, teaching, instructing, and coaching have come naturally for me,” he says. “The more I learned, the more I wanted to share, and the more I taught, the more I improved as an individual.”
Abdo was a nationally ranked weightlifter as a teenager and competed in the sport for more than 12 years. He won several state and regional titles and was one of the top-ranked athletes in the country, winning a national event when he was 19. He also competed in four international events. After completing his athletic career, he became a strength and conditioning coach for numerous Olympic and professional athletes.
Toward the end of his Olympic coaching career, Abdo began his own television series, which lasted for another 12 years. The show provided behind-the-scenes insight into the principles that athletes and coaches use to prepare for and recover from training and competition. Syndicated throughout the US and available worldwide via satellite, the show was recognized by TV Guide as “the most educationally based fitness show on television.”
In 1995, near the end of the show’s run, Abdo decided to begin patenting his fitness inventions, beginning with the AB-DOer®, which remains one of the bestselling products of its kind. A study at San Diego State University found the device to be much more effective for the oblique and back muscles than the standard abdominal crunch. The AB-DOer® was also found to boost aerobic capacity while increasing range of movement and functionality in the torso and spine.
Abdo’s next invention was the Bun & Thigh Doer™, which strengthens all the muscles that support the pelvis and hip joint. Tested at the University of Michigan, the Bun & Thigh Doer™ isolates the gluteus muscles while stimulating the quadriceps, adductors, hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower abdominals. Both of his inventions enhance fitness by providing moderate levels of resistance, making them safe and effective for all age groups.
Importance of Diet and Supplementation
His career has helped Abdo develop a strong personal philosophy about fitness and life generally. “Nowadays there’s no excuse to be out of shape,” he says. “There are many ways to get involved and enough choices to allow you to stay motivated and challenged. All it takes is the commitment to improve yourself. Make fitness fun and diverse, and after a couple of weeks you’ll be seeing and feeling the results.”
Although Abdo once had a fondness for junk food, he now recognizes the importance of fueling his body with the proper nutrients. “I realize that if I want my body to function at its best, I need to fuel it with the best,” he says. “I eat natural foods that are delicious and nutritious. Strong, healthy people are strong and healthy on the inside because they feed their cells with nutrients that enhance the cell’s constitution. When you eat right, you have more mental and physical energy. You’ll start to look younger, too!”
Abdo also recognizes the importance of supplementation: “With all the demands we put on ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually, we need a lot of nutrition, and we simply cannot get all of it from food. Second to healthy eating, natural supplementation is a prudent practice and an investment for enhanced longevity.”
Your Choices Today Determine Tomorrow
Even with all the knowledge he has accumulated over the years, Abdo still yearns for more. “So many people and organizations are doing such great things, the possibilities for new breakthroughs are infinite,” he says. “Over the years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of scientists and life extension enthusiasts, and the progress has been breathtaking. I’m waiting with great anticipation for discoveries that have yet to be revealed.”
For Abdo, a life lived well remains the ultimate goal, and the challenge is to take responsibility for and make the most of your life choices. “We should strive to improve the quality of life, so each day brings us fulfillment,” he maintains. “Life is to be enjoyed, and the best way to enjoy it is to be healthy, both physically and mentally.”
“You are who you are today because of the choices and decisions you’ve made in the past,” he adds. “If you’re overweight today, I have no doubt you ate the wrong foods yesterday. If you want to be lean tomorrow, you must eat healthy today. All of our decisions and choices have consequences. The challenge is that making changes often takes time, so it can be hard to maintain your commitment level. It takes patience and self-respect, but it can be done. Condition your brain and everything else will improve!”
To learn more about John Abdo, visit his website at www.johnabdo.com.