If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Murrell Hall has written a textbook. This is apparent when he is walking on Myrtle Beach, during a vacation, and is stopped by admirers commenting on his tight abdominals and fabulous physique or posing on stage as the 2011 NPC Masters National Bodybuilding Champion over age 70.
Born in 1941, Hall participated in varsity baseball and basketball in his hometown of Decatur, Illinois. It wasn't until he attended Murray State University in 1964 that he developed his passion for weight training. As Hall explains, “My college roommate had a bench with 200 lbs. of weight on it. He would lift it occasionally to impress his fraternity brothers, so on the sly while he was out of the room I started bench pressing. In three or four weeks I too was able to bench press 200 lbs.” This opportunity was the catalyst for Hall becoming a lifetime devotee to a regimen of exercise as well as a health and fitness icon.
His 32 years as a physical education instructor certainly helped him achieve his goals; however, Hall went well beyond the expectations of his profession and provided a remarkable role model for his students and those that he coached for 20 years. His profound appearance and quest to look his best at any age was an inspiration. He not only talked the talk but walked the walk.
Hall strives to look his best. From the time he was 20 and every decade since, he has maintained the best physical appearance that his genetics will allow. Hall appreciates his good health and phenomenal appearance but is always seeking improvement. Hall reflects, “I love bodybuilding and the challenge of looking the best that I can be at any age. Bodybuilders are never satisfied with how they look. They always want to look better. Some bodybuilders fall by the wayside, because it's very hard to stay in shape year after year. Many of my peers fell out because they did not have the will to stay in shape. I love being in shape and feeling good about myself, the compliments I get, and the way people look at me at the beach or restaurants, etc. They know by the way you look and carry yourself that you are not the average man but someone who is admired. I don't have to worry about winning trophies anymore; my body is my lifetime trophy.”
With each workout, Hall creates a mental image of what he wants to look like and maintains a positive attitude in preparation and during his training. He lauds this philosophy to those he trains privately. The fact that his training tips are sought by others while in his seventh decade, is a testament to his remarkable appearance and personal achievements which include:
Within the last five years, Hall has placed in the top five in the men's open middle weight natural NPC, NGA, ABBA bodybuilding competitions.
- 2011 received IFBB pro card by winning NPC Masters National Championship Over 70.
- 2010 John Hansen Natural Bodybuilding Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2007 3-page article Master of Muscle about Hall's career appeared in Ironman magazine
- 2007 Hall's photo appeared in Clarence Bass book Great Expectations
- 2003 & 2004 placed 2nd in Over 60 NPC Masters National Championships
- 1980-1985 Placed in top five in Mr America event.
- 1985 Hall's photo appeared in Ironman magazine.
- 1961-64 Paratrooper in 82nd Airborne
He is a realist when it comes to adjusting his training to current age. Hall explains, “I plan to train as long as I can, seeking new ways to keep fit. I know Father Time is sneaking up on me slowly, so I have to train now with more intelligence and patience. It's not easy for a lifetime bodybuilder to get older and have to give up certain exercises that he loves to do, but it's reality, and you have to live with it. I will continue to find new workout routines for myself and test new supplements and goods that will extend my life.” He has adjusted his training routine to fit his age by hitting the weights three times per week for 90 minutes each session. Prior to this modification, he incorporated weight training sessions four times per week. Hall notes that he requires additional time to recuperate from training sessions. He splits his weigh lifting to target key body parts on specific days. Two to three times per week he plays tennis or boats as a supplement to his weight training. What Hall describes as a reduced training regimen would be considered a dramatic increase for most. He continues to target abdominals exercises as his favorite part of a workout. “ I love training abs, as that is my best body part, and that's the first body part that more judges see. If your abs are always there, more than likely everything else is in good shape too.
Hall consumes quite a number of supplements to support his Ageless efforts. He never consumed steroids or growth hormones. He calls athletes who use these enhancements “Plastic People.” He denotes the brand and his rationale for consumption of natural products. The extensive list is as follows:
Upon awakening: Platinum hydro whey and a scoop of glutamine powder-Hydro whey gets into your system fast with 30 grams of protein and 8.8 grams of branched chain amino acids. Glutamine is a muscle volumizer and the most abundant protein in your body.
After a workout: Myoplex-Provides 42 grams of protein
Between meals, after a workout and before bed: Branched chain amino acids by Ast Sports Science-Strength, size, improved sleep and rapid recovery
Before a workout: Creatine Select by Beverly-Muscle pump and energy
Daily: Natures Plus Source of Life Gold Liquid Multi-Vitamin and Solgar Earth Source Flaxseed Oil Omega 3-6-9
He also avoids sugars and foods are fat-laden.
Hall was inspired by another Ageless/Timeless Featured Athlete, legendary bodybuilder Frank Zane. Hall feels that he and Zane are both ectomorphs or smaller-boned individuals who, through extensive weight training, became mesomorphs or muscular. Guy Carlton, 1984 Olympian and bronze medal recipient in Olympic lifting, was another inspiration to Hall. The late Carlton trained at the same facility in Decatur and exchanged tips with Hall. Robert Flaugher, his junior high and high school coach also supported Hall's development by taking him under is wing and encouraging him to do better in sports and in school. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, his wife Nola has supported his endeavors and helped him recover from multiple surgeries, which include bicep repair and rotator cuff.
Retirement from training is not part of Hall's future agenda. He will continue to train others and strive for physical excellence. His advice to others: “Maintain a good life style, keep active, and have a good attitude toward life and working out. Have goals in your life and fulfill them one at a time. Be positive; hang out with positive people; keep away from negative people as they will bring you down to their level. Always have a plan to follow in nutrition and working out. Marry a good woman. Get the best education you can."