Being a Personal Trainer isn’t always easy… but there’s no other job in the world where you get to experience some of the truly wonderful moments trainers get to be part of.
Age Is No Barrier
Recently I’ve been working with one of my clients to prepare her to learn the dreaded Deadlift, which just happens to be my favourite lift.
Last Thursday the day finally came. And not only did I get to introduce the deadlift to one of my most beloved clients, who just happens to be 59, but I had the absolute privilege of being there when she took to it like a duck to water.
The deadlift is feared by many, and I can understand why. The deadlift is quite a complex lift, and it can be challenging to do with correct form. But for all its complexities, the deadlift is still the greatest lift in my opinion. Not only does it use more muscles than any other exercise but it places a dominant focus on the muscles of the posterior chain. The posterior chain comprises of several muscles that are switched off, and overtime weakened, when a person sits for long periods of time… a common issue faced by many.
Whilst many people seem to have a lot of preconceived notions about those over the age of 55, I’ve been lucky enough not to personally pick up those beliefs and judgments due to being extremely close to many of my family friends which happen to be on average 30+ years older than me.
In my experience, the determination, wisdom, grit, gratitude, humility, respect, abilities, intelligence and attitudes of the numerous clients I’ve worked with over the age of 55 have been unbeatable, and they often remind me just how much I wished more of us were able to truly embrace more of these qualities.
Yet, too often, I see the fitness industry reflecting many of the sentiments a lot of society seems to hold by showcasing those over the age of 55 or ‘seniors’ as being less capable than those who are younger. I personally find this type of pigeonholing frustrating, when I work with so many capable yet older individuals.
Just using last Thursday as an example again, it wasn’t just the day I had the privilege of teaching a client who just happens to be 59 how to deadlift, but I also had the privilege of sharing in the experience of my nearly 80 year old client achieving 15 reps of 110kg on the horizontal leg press on the same day. What a total legend!
And of course, I can’t possible finish off this email without mentioning the wonderful wife of the above mentioned client. Whilst working at a previous gym, I worked with this gentlemans wife who is also in her 70s. Not only was she able to deadlift, but she was able to follow it up with a wall sit for well over 3 minutes… on one leg… and still out plank anyone I knew at the gym all in a single session!
When it comes to working towards being happier, healthier, fitter and stronger, age is definitely no barrier, and I look forward to the day there both the fitness industry as well as society stops seeing ‘older’ people as lesser than or less capable than a younger person. We should never underestimate or prejudge an individual just because of their age… Because honestly, most of the wonderful ladies and gentlemen I’ve trained between the ages of 50 and 80 could and do put a lot of us younger gym bunnies to shame in both their attitudes and physical abilities.
Distributed to email subscribers on Wednesday, 17th October 2018.
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