Chinese grandfather goes from morbidly obese to Shanxi bodybuilding champion

Pan Xiping, 57, turned his life around after meeting a group of gym fanatics. Now he wants to win the national title

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 5:18pm

Three years ago, Pan Xiping was morbidly obese, had high blood pressure and could barely leave his home because of a slipped disc.

But in June, the 57-year-old from Shanxi in northern China became the provincial bodybuilding champion in the 60kg category, Shanxi Evening News reports.

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“It’s usually young men in their 20s who take out the 60kg title,” a delighted Pan told the newspaper earlier this month. “In the final round I was competing against two men in their 20s.”

He went on to take fifth place at the national competition in Sichuan province on June 9 – and now the grandfather has his sights set on winning that title.

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The Shanxi victory was Pan’s first 60kg bodybuilding title since he started working out and entering competitions in 2014.

At that time, he weighed more than 160kg and had been taking medication to treat high blood pressure since he was in his 30s.

“I had a slipped disc and was spending a lot of time resting at home because of it,” he told state broadcaster CCTV.

But Pan’s life changed when he met a group of gym fanatics who inspired him with their fitness and passion for exercise.

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He started going to the gym and quickly shed 30kg. His blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar gradually returned to normal levels, which he was able to maintain after he stopped taking his medication.

“I now feel 15 years younger than my actual age,” he told the newspaper.

Pan sticks to a strict exercise programme, working out in his home gym for one hour every morning and afternoon and running for 40 minutes a day.