Whatever your age and your reason, it is never too late to start. Majority of my clients range between 40 and 93 years young. They may have different goals and fitness levels but they all have one thing in common, they want to be healthy, mobile and build strength to maintain a higher quality of life. The more muscles they have and the stronger they are, the more benefits they will get. And the benefits continue across their lifespan, even into their 80s and 90s. Given that they only need to come to the studio twice per week, that’s a lot of benefits. Here’s a brief Q&A with my 93 year young client Doris, and her strength training routine. What I most find impressive about Doris is her commitment and prioritization of her workouts. She never misses her workouts and always shows up with her A game. Doris has shown me that the 90s can be fun, active, by prioritizing your physical health and never, ever letting anyone call you old.
Q. Why did you start training with us and how long has it been?
A. I probably started training at the Vancouver Club in the late 90s. My husband was very keen on keeping fit and I joined him at the time but with little enthusiasm. Cannot remember why, but I decided to leave the VC and train with you and Ken. I much enjoyed the experience and rarely missed a session and have kept it up to this day.
Q. What are your most favorite and least favorite exercises at the studio?
A. Anything goes, though my least favorite are the core exercises, probably because they are the ones I need the most.
Q. Do you have a daily exercise regime besides training at the studio?
A. Yes. Daily (well nearly daily) I do about 10 minutes of stretching, 10 minutes of balancing, and if I’m not going to the studio, about 15 minutes of leg and arm strength training exercises that you have designed for me at home.
Q. How often do you dance and how long have you been doing it for?
A. I take 3, 45 minute ballroom dance lessons a week and have done so for about 20 years.
Q. What did you do for work and do you miss it?
A. I was a Cardiologist for 45 years and, though I loved the work and was sure I’d miss it, I don’t. Every day is a Saturday for me now.
Q. What are you grateful for?
A. Nearly everything—My daughter and son, my wonderful friends, this beautiful city in which I live, my garden, dancing, books and being fit.
Q. What is your superpower?
A. Genetically (I think) I was born with a happy outlook on life and nothing has changed that, though of course there have been tragedies (e.g. the death of my husband and youngest daughter etc.) I continue to expect the best and continue to be rewarded.
Q. Do you have any regrets in life?
A. Not one.
It’s never too late to build muscle mass and bone health. I am a strong believer in starting, whether you are in your 40s or 90s. A well-rounded, progressive strength and power training program that workout out all the major muscle groups can be beneficial at any stage of life.
Plank works your core muscles, which are between your pelvic floor and diaphragm. The area is also known as your trunk or core that include rectus abdominis (referred to as “abs”), obliques (run along the side of your abdomen), and transversus abdominis (a deep abdominal muscle that wraps around your sides and spine) These muscles support your movements, stabilize the spine, improves posture, protects your lower back and prevents injuries.
Side planks work the deep spinal stabilizing muscle Quadratus lumborum (a continuation of transverse abdominal muscle). Keeping this muscle strong can help reduce your risk of back injuries. Planks and side planks strengthen your core without stressing your back. Unlike crunches and situps, side planks don’t put pressure on your lower back.
The landmine press is a compound movement that targets several muscle groups in the body. It improves upper body strength and core stability. It’s also a great exercise for those who lack mobility in their shoulders.
The TRX pull ups help strengthen the shoulder stabilizers, spinal erectors, and deep abdominal muscles. This can help prevent injuries to the shoulders and lower back while improving overall coordination for day-to-day life.
Pallofs target the muscles of your abdominal, obliques, and overall core. It’s a versatile movement that works on strength, balance, and stability to keep your core muscles strong.
The Kettlebell swing is a great full-body exercise; improving cardiovascular health, working the upper and lower body including the core muscles. Different variations can target different muscle groups.
The prowler push helps increase the lower body’s force output and ground reaction forces. This improves upper body, lower body and core strength. It increases cardiovascular health, improves unilateral lower body strength and enhances hip and ankle mobility.