Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't Take it something about it!

Probably the most common statement I hear from people I talk with about wanting to start a regular exercise program is this,

"I know I need to (start to exercise), because I know I'm getting weaker."

I hear this from 28 year olds to, especially, people over 60.  My response is this,

"Of course you are!  Don't take it personally, everybody is!  UNLESS you are actively doing something about it, you are absolutely getting weaker!  If you are not actively doing something that improves your strength, and your cardio health, in addition to weaker you are getting older, sicker and fatter too."

What makes anybody think that they can get away with doing absolutely nothing to maintain health and fitness is craziness.  You must accept the fact that you have to do something, we all do.  What you chose to do is personal, but do something.  Unlike my blog post "Better than Nothing,", , let follow that last statement up with "safe".

On Monday I was in the Studio I work at doing my own training. At the same time there was an older couple working with one of the trainers, they come in regularly, maybe twice a week.  I'd guess they are closer to 70 than any other age....he had them doing "step-ups" as part of their "cross training program.  Step-ups are done on platforms in various heights from about 12 inches to maybe 3 ft.  Stepping up is one obstacle, but stepping down is quite another especially when you are 70 years old.  Sure enough, within a split second, the woman fell.  She didn't have the strength to finish one of the steps on the way up and her leg gave way and she fell on her knee.  The floor is carpeted concrete!  

She did manage after a few minutes to be helped up and she finished her training session.  But I was mortified at the lack of concern from her trainer.  He must not have parents that are that old, and his grandparents must be 'gone' already for him to not understand how careful elderly people need to be.  As we age one simple fall can take us down and we may never happens all the time.

This blogpost isn't about what other trainers do, in fact I really try and resist talking about things I see other trainers do and don't agree with, but to be honest since this just happened it had to be shared because I think it's that important.

The point of this post is that we all have to do something, starting with safe.  For the "average" unconditioned person whether it's due to overweight, age or simple inactivity, running isn't safe, bootcamps aren't safe, even an elipitcal trainer can be dangerous!

When I re-Certed a couple of years ago I had to work with a 60 something year old woman with a double hip replacement, (in fact Andrea Ducane's DVD Kettlebells for Boomers, she also talks about working with people with hip replacements) and I had this woman swinging before my time with her was up.  Going through the progressions of a proper hinge and some or all of the other drills I've learned through my RKC I was confident she was safe.

At the end of the day learning how to train kettlebells may or may not be for you, but know this, you have to do something!  Whoops, I mean you have to do something safe!  And preferably something that is also effective for your needs as well as your wants.  Learning something that has the potential to help you look and feel badass comes after that!  But why settle for only one of those things?  You can have it all!


I would have never ever stepped foot into my first Bikram's yoga class if I had not felt the confidence my swing training gave me!  Seriously!  The confidence of knowing I had the conditioning to survive the heat, and the confidence to put on some tights and a tank top after just barely losing 100lbs!  I currently have a 6 year regular practice....but nothing comes before my bells.

This morning I had to juice all of the oranges that keep coming in my weekly CSA.  I don't ever buy oranges or orange juice but I wasn't going to throw them away.  Somehow during my quest to minimalism I got rid of any kind of juicing apparatus except a juice reamer!  Do you know the strength I had to use to ream 5 cups of orange juice?  Good-ness!  I'm tired now just thinking about it!


guy said...

I love fresh fruit and veg juice. Great post again Ma'am.

Pat Carroll said...

The persistent physiological warning that we lose 1 percent of our muscle mass every year after 30 always makes me want to add, "well yeah, if you don't do anything about it." The book "Younger Next Year" made me manic about adding that, and "4-Hour Body" showed me the way ... kettlebells. Because my shoulders are wrecked, I can't do squats anymore, but I can sure as hell swing that cannonball handle.

Hanneke said...

Andrea DuCane's KB training for boomers sounds extremely interesting. I have never heard of it. But since working with "older" age groups and longevity is something I am really interested in I am definitely going to check it out.

this fragile breath said...

hey! I'm officially following this blog now by the way :)
Resent the email just's "" right?
Hope you get it...along with one more follow up one...

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm kinda diggin' the fresh OJ! Not enough to make more juice with a freakin' reamer though, lol!

Tracy Reifkind said...


You sure can! I've got a super duper 5 rep workout you and Dee are going to love...dust off those big bells! lol (I'll post tonight or in the AM)

Tracy Reifkind said...


I've got an interesting group starting next week that includes a couple of people way past 65! I'm excited!

Tracy Reifkind said...


as if this moment, 2:10 PST I have not yet received your email, and you have the correct address!