Friday, 22 February 2013

If Fred can do it...

This is not Fred!
One of the first people I met when I started work at my gym was Fred (not his real name!). Fred had just turned 80 - he came to the gym and walked for about two hours at a time on the treadmill, then went home again. That was his entire routine. Granted, for older people, it's the companionship just as much as the exercise itself that keeps them coming back, but they might as well get the most out of the gym too.

On my first morning, I got talking to Fred. "Hi Fred, did you know there are other pieces of equipment in the gym, and some of them might be more beneficial?"

"Kind of, strange gym lady, but they all look very scary."

"Ah Fred, come with me."

And I created a monster. A good monster, though - Fred is my inspiration.

Firstly, I put him on different cardio machines - bikes, rowers, cross-trainers - and then I introduced him to the weights. It was a slow process - all weights progression should be slow, and especially for older people. But gradually he has added a variety of exercises, and keeps upping his weights. Just this week he's managed to lift 42kg on his seated row, 30kg bench press, 75kg leg press. And he's determined to increase them. In fact, my job has turned from encouraging him to taming him! He even runs on the treadmill in intervals.

When I look at Fred, I see the 83 year old I aim to be. He has an infectious outlook, and I'm glad he was one of my first clients!


  1. I wanna be him when I grow up. We have good friends, a couple, in their 70s and although they are not gym rats, they amaze me with their activity level. They climbed a 14er last year and decided that might be their last one. They still ski, hunt, hike, and explore. My inspiration. Fun article. I love these posts.

    1. I think you only feel old when you choose to - if you've always skied and hunted and hiked, why stop?