Clarence, a Albuquerque High grad, is a former Olympic style weightlifter, an attorney and fitness writer. He is considered the most articulate, well-read spokesman in America for an all-around fitness lifestyle. He is also known for his series of Ripped books, which chronicle how he brought his body fat down to 2.4% and became a past-40 bodybuilding champion. He has kept detailed journals and photos documenting his fitness spanning almost 60 years. He continues to train and publish monthly articles on his website. Bass started training with weights at about 13 and garnered his first athletic award in 1954, when as a junior he won the State High School Pentathlon Championship. He also wrestled in high school, placing second in the State Championship as a senior. He then concentrated on Olympic weightlifting where he won many more trophies over about a 20-year period, including city, state, regional and national awards. His first success was at the 1978 New Mexico bodybuilding championship, where he won Best Legs and Most Muscular. He then turned his attention to Past-40 competition. In 1978, he won the AAU Past 40 Mr. America, short class. In 1979, he won the AAU Past 40 Mr. USA, short class. In the USA contest, he also won the overall awards for Best Legs, Best Abdominals, and Most Muscular Man. In his final year of bodybuilding competition, he placed 2nd in the middleweight class of the 1980 Past 40 Mr. America.