Hospital worker enters first bodybuilding competition - aged 67

PUBLISHED: 17:12 10 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:12 10 August 2016

Bodybuilder Joe Lootfun, 67, with daughter Hannah

Bodybuilder Joe Lootfun, 67, with daughter Hannah


Narrowly missing out on a medal in your first bodybuilding competition is a good effort for most people. It’s even more remarkable when you’re 67.

Joe showing his muscles.Joe showing his muscles.

For Joe Lootfun, who works in the emergency gynaecology assessment service at Newham University Hospital, even training for the event was a challenge.

He juggled preparation for the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation (BNBF) competition around playing league football, running and working a 57-and-a-half hour week.

All the hard work paid off as Joe finished fourth in his debut competition – and has vowed to return next year.

He first got “into the gym” after caring for a bodybuilder, Bill Stevens, who was shot during a robbery.

The hospital managed to save his leg and as a thank you he gave Joe a gym membership and training gear.

“When I was younger I saw a film called Hercules and I was fascinated by his physical body,” said Joe, who has worked at Glen Road, Plaistow, hospital for 37 years.

“I always did a lot of sport but didn’t go to the gym until Bill took me one day – I saw lots of American actors there.”

Today Joe, who lives in Gants Hill, trains at Apples Health Club in Newbury Park and said he only decided to enter a competition after another gym-goer persuaded him to give it a go.

“Training for the completion was very hard, and I had to watch my diet,” he said.

“I didn’t eat biscuits, had hot water every morning and ate lots of salad – I dropped from 87kg to 74 kg.”

Joe, who has never smoked and doesn’t drink, added that his efforts have inspired his family to follow suit.

“I have motivated my wife and daughter,” he said. “They didn’t eat fruit but now they go to the gym.”

Daughter Hannah said her dad was an inspiration and hoped she can be as fit as him when she is 67.

“My dad was always nagging me about eating fruit and vegetable and going to the gym but I never used to listened to him,” she said.

“Since he started training for the body building competition I saw him change from being overweight and stressed to being fit healthy and glowing.

“I am so proud of my dad, he is an inspiration to me.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder