60-year-old Aktau fitness buff goes viral, challenges youth to match his exercise routine

ASTANA – The video of 60-year-old Zheksen Ayupov from Aktau city in western Kazakhstan doing an ab roller wheel exercise recently went viral on Kaznet.

Born in 1958, sports have been an important part of Ayupov’s life since childhood. He began wrestling when he was a child and later switched to other activities.


Photo credit: lada.kz

Over the past 10 years, Ayupov has begun his days 6 a.m. with a 3-4 kilometre jog followed by horizontal bar exercises. He then does ab roller exercises and takes a cold shower, an important part of his morning routine, says Ayupov.

Ayupov has also offered 5,000 tenge (U.S. $15.35) to anyone able to match his ab roller exercise routine. So far no one has been able to collect the money.

“We filmed the video at the market to raise interest among young people and motivate them to come and compete with me. I was just interested in whether anyone in Aktau would be able to do 100 ab roller exercises as I can. I am working in the market and everyday I am leaving an ab roller and 5,000 tenge (US$15.35) on the floor. Anyone able to do this exercise 10 times can take this money. But no one has been able to do that so far. Everyone fails right after the first time,” said Ayupov.

“I no longer need an alarm. Every day, I am waking up at 6 a.m. like on schedule. It takes two hours in total to complete my entire workout. It feels like I am born again after cold shower. I am living with my family and my eating plan is similar to what all have. I have no particular diet. I urge Aktau residents to compete with me in this ab roller exercise. You can bid different sums, but I believe no one will be ready to put more than 50,000 tenge (US$15.35).”

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