Life Extension Magazine®
Julio Anta in martial art uniform recommending for longevity

Issue: May 2018

Julio Anta: Fitness Warrior

Sixty-year-old martial arts master and teacher Julio Anta credits Life Extension® for helping him maintain his good health and strength. Blood tests, supplements, fitness, and a lifelong thirst for learning form the foundation of his success and health.

By Jon Vanzile.

Julio Anta
Julio Anta

Julio Anta describes his childhood self as “skinny and sick”—two words that few people would be brave enough to apply to him today.

Since that long-ago time, Anta has channeled his energies into getting fit and, along the way, mastered a bewildering array of martial arts disciplines, including kung fu,

As if that wasn’t enough, in late 2017, at the age of 60, he won a gold medal in the NPC South Florida Bodybuilding Championships, and he runs the popular Anta’s Fitness and Self-Defense school in Doral, Florida, which he founded 20 years ago.

His secret? It’s not a pristine diet—he readily admits his diet is “not perfect” all the time—or any type of performance-enhancing drugs. Instead, Anta credits his success to his lifelong love of learning, his drive to master the things that interest him, and the knowledge he’s gained from Life Extension® about how to stay healthy into old age.

“I’m a student for life,” he cheerfully says. “I don’t have enough lifetimes to learn all the things I want to learn.”

What you need to know

Julio Anta has an inspiring passion for life and learning. He keeps himself healthy not just through diet and exercise, but also with blood testing and supplements through Life Extension.

Two Dislocated Shoulders, a Changed Life

Julio Anta  

Anta was born in New York, where he remembers being the kid who was always picked last when choosing sides for sports. He was small in stature, and he suffered from allergies that were so bad he was sick all the time. Eventually, his family ended up relocating to Miami, hoping to get some relief from the allergies that plagued young Julio.

Even as his allergies improved, Julio remained small for his age and he remembers wanting to change. As a boy, he saw a movie adaptation of Hercules and afterward told his dad, “I want to look like that.” He started lifting weights and begged his parents to put him into judo classes.

In those early years, however, Anta wasn’t especially disciplined. He never stuck with one martial arts discipline long enough to complete black-belt training, instead jumping around from discipline to discipline. And while he did log long hours in the gym, his career as a bodybuilder didn’t exactly get off to a blazing start. During an early competition, he dislocated both shoulders. Not only did he have to lay off weight training after the injury, he was told he could no longer do martial arts.

Outside of the gym, Anta already had some of the life lessons he would carry forward. During a stint in the Marines, he had learned about leading by example, remarking that the drill sergeants in the Marines were “all over you, but they could outdo you in everything.” He was also working as a corrections officer in a prison, where he was surrounded by guys who pumped iron all day.

Slowly, Anta began to put his life back on track. Despite the warning to stay away from martial arts, he started to pursue them in a more careful, more disciplined way. As he remembered it, martial arts were one way to protect himself in a dangerous job.

“I’d see these inmates working out, and these guys were huge,” he said. “They were always asking me why I never got hurt. So I wanted to find a martial art that was more functional in case I got attacked.”

This led him to hung gar kung fu, a specialized type of Shaolin kung fu. At the age of 40, he received his black belt in hung gar, and, within months, started teaching it in his own dojo in Doral even as he kept his day job in the prison.

Like many people who find their mission later in life, once Anta got started on this path, he seemed unstoppable. He began attending martial arts conferences, quickly learning new styles and expanding his school to teach all sorts of self-defense and novel conditioning techniques, including kettle bells and heavy ropes. Meanwhile, he moved back into weightlifting and began once again to contemplate competing for the gold medals that had alluded him in his younger years.

“Martial arts and fitness are one,” he said, describing the philosophy behind his school. “A stereotypical black belt is an overweight guy with a big belly. I didn’t want that. I called my school ‘Martial Arts and Fitness’ to bring those worlds together.”

Mastering the Art of Living

Julio Anta  

In conversation, Anta comes across more as an enthusiastic student than the teacher and sensei he is to his students. He describes himself as “obsessed” with the things that motivate him. “I’m obsessed with working out. I’m obsessed with martial arts. In my marriage, I told my wife I’m obsessed with her.”

He also believes in leading by example, which means openly acknowledging that he faces the same challenges and difficulties everybody faces.

“The diet before my competition was 12 weeks of hell, honestly,” he said. “After the competition, I ate junk food. Sometimes I’ll have a day of junk, or a meal of junk. It’s OK. Because after, I go right back. When I pray, I pray for wisdom and the discipline to follow through.”

He also relies on Life Extension to help him maintain his good health and strength as the years roll by. Every morning, Anta starts his day with a dose of apple-cider vinegar with lemon as a way to cleanse his system. Fifteen minutes to an hour later, he makes a smoothie that begins with Life Extension vegetarian protein blended with fruits, moringa, and healthful ingredients like almond milk and cinnamon.

On days he trains, he follows his workout with a lunch of lean protein like chicken or fish, plus a salad or sweet potato. Dinner is similar, and only rarely includes any type of red meat. If he does snack, it’s on a protein bar or peanuts.

When it comes to supplementation, Anta avoids the “typical” bodybuilding supplements like creatine and beta-alanine. Instead, he focuses on supplements that can help reduce the risk of common health conditions and maintain his energy.

This means he relies on Life Extension’s Ultra Prostate Formula to help prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia, a common condition among men aged 60 and over, and CHOL-Support™ to help keep his cholesterol in a safe range. He also takes milk thistle extract to protect his liver and uses Life Extension toothpaste to promote oral health.

Aside from trusting Life Extension for its extensive research, he also relies on regular blood testing to monitor his blood levels of important nutrients. This type of comprehensive testing, which goes far beyond what is typically offered in a doctor’s office, is the only way to keep careful track of blood levels of nutrients and monitor risk factors like homocysteine.

“Blood tests are important,” he said. “After a blood test showed I was low in magnesium and vitamin D, I added those to my supplement list. Now my blood test results are good.”

Ultimately, Anta says he has no plans to slow down any time soon.

“I don’t even think about retiring,” he said.

For more information, visit Julio Anta’s website at http://www.doralkungfu.com/

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.