Step Into My Office – David’s Story, Part II

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If you haven’t yet read part one of David’s story you can find it here . David had to take off for surgery, but I advised him to meet with his physical therapist after his surgery. This way he could find out about the strengthening exercises he could do, that he could still do some cardio, and he could also focus on great nutrition.

David had the surgery and met with his therapist, as well as getting good nutrition advice from Andrea. Now with the surgery behind him, a great diet to follow, and exercises from his therapist, he took action. David went on to drop another 15 pounds after his surgery. Over the next three months he became a gym rat! It was working for him because he was working it. And don’t think that he just worked out all day. David also had a busy career that included travel and high-level executive commitments, as well as family time. He made sure that working out was at the top of his to-do list each day.

He was thrown yet another curveball when he was at the point of making some real progress. A knee doctor told him that at some point his knee would need to be replaced. The pain became too much and he ended up going in for full knee replacement surgery. Following the surgery he again had to meet with doctors and physical therapists, and he made a plan to keep the progress going to strengthen his knee. He continued his mobility exercises and cardio. In fact, he could be seen riding his bike daily with what he called his racing tights (compression pants to keep blood clots form forming and to keep swelling down). He had his headset on listening to the Beatles, eyes were closed, and he was visualizing himself riding in the mountains.

Seven months after surgery and he was down to 230 pounds, which was over a 100-pound weight loss! That was such a great day for David and it hit him with a lot of emotions of happiness, gratitude, and fun. He didn’t think it was possible to do, and at first he was just going to hunt and hike better, but the results were even better than he had imagined.

David had lowered his blood pressure, reduced his cholesterol, and his doctor was blown away by his results. He had to get new workout clothing, and he would flex his biceps. He liked the tight feeling in his muscles. Plus, when he came back from hiking he showed me a video of him moving effortlessly through the mountains. I can see why he wanted to lose the weight, as the views he saw hiking were beautiful!

David often gives me credit for his results, because I was the personal trainer who worked with him. He feels that I have done the most good for him with all of the training he has ever gotten. But I have to remind him that it worked because he worked it, and it was a honor to play a role in helping him with that journey.

Currently, David is 223 pounds and is at 17 percent body fat, and he still isn’t done. His target is 213 pounds and 13 percent body fat. He’s even looking to remove some of the excess skin as a result of his successful efforts. The best part is that he is in the best shape of his life and with his view of life and physical vitality he views 60 as just the start to life.

“Work, play, and life have never been better,” says David.” I look forward to the many years ahead with all of the things I love versus where I started from, dreading to hold a plan. I now own the planks, close grip bench presses, and dead lifts.”

David’s results may not be typical, but they go to show that transformations like this are possible. Ultimately, you are responsible for your workout effort, eating the right foods, and you should always meet with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan and diet plan. Also, consider working with a personal trainer, such as myself. It may be just the extra motivation you need to help get it all to work this time around!

 

Step Into My Office – David’s Story, Part I

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In this two-part series I want to share with you one of my client’s stories. His name is David, and his story is not only inspirational, but one that you may also relate to. As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, who specializes in working with baby boomers and seniors, I get to work with a lot of different people. I’m happy that I got the opportunity to work with David!

One day as I was finishing my work day and about to head out of the gym I saw a gentleman who I always say “hi” to on my way out. This day, however, was different as I was leaving. When I greeted him today he stopped me and told me to step into his office, which happened to be two chairs side by side in the gym. I took a seat and we began to chat.

The man, who I came to learn to was David, was covered in sweat and started telling me about how he just finished his “death march” on the treadmill. His voice was deep and as he laughed I knew that he had a great heart, he was just missing something. He began to share with me how he had been doing the treadmill on a daily basis, as well as when he used to train in the past. He trained in the past and had a personal trainer who had given him a great workout, but he couldn’t put it all together. He couldn’t keep the workouts consistent and couldn’t seem to get the weight off.

He told me that he wanted a workout that wouldn’t kill him, or leave him feeling like that’s what was happening. He needed a workout that would help him become consistent. While his desire wasn’t to have 6-pack abs, he would still be happy if he had them. His desire was really to go hunting and hiking with his uncles, cousins, niece, and nephew. I explained to him the time commitment working out would take in order to get to where he wanted to be. He needed to commit to getting at least 5 hours of exercise per week, and that we would work up to that, so the 5 hours wouldn’t kill him, but it would provide a nice mix of mobility work, cardio, and weight training. I also said he would need to keep a food log.

David asked if I’d be available in the morning, because he’d like to give it a test drive for a month. I told him that there were no test drives; he had to be 100 percent committed for a full month. I told him he would be happy with his results, and if he wasn’t then he could quit and just give up on life. As a personal trainer I knew that if he stuck to the commitment that he would be happy. He said he’d meet me at his office (the two chairs in the gym) at 5:50 the next morning.

David showed up and we took his weight and measurements and got to work. David weighed in that morning at 327 pounds. Would he remain at that? Only time would tell!

He loved the mobility work that we did and after finishing the first session he said he felt amazing and could get used to doing it. I gave him a copy of my Boomer Fitness workbook, which features all the stretches and exercises. I told him it was his job to show up 10 minutes before his session to do the stretches. The next day I smiled as I walked in and saw David warming up with his stretches. When I saw that, I knew he was committed!

We then started in on the weight and I noticed hi was doing a lot of clock watching. When I asked him was going on he replied, “Kid, I love you, but I hate you and I’m counting down the minutes.”

Day after day and week after week went by. At the end of the first month David had dropped 10 pounds. Then a curveball hit him. He had a degenerative disk in his neck that was pinching a nerve and giving him horrible pain. He went to the doctor and found out he would need surgery, as well as a two-month break from working out. David was fearful that he would take a step back, but how long would that step back be?

READ PART 2 HERE

Facebook FAQ Part III – Continuing with Mobility Work

Picking up where we left off from the last two blog posts, we will look more at mobility workouts. Many people are unclear about what mobility work is and why it’s important. Whether you are a personal training client of mine in the Vancouver, Washington area, or you follow me on Facebook, there are benefits to mobility workouts that everyone needs. It is especially important for seniors and baby boomers to make mobility work part of their weekly routine.

Mobility, by definition, is the ability to move. As they age, many people complain to me that it seems more difficult for them to move. They don’t have the mobility they once had. Well, that’s because they are no longer doing the things they once did. As many people age they become more sedentary. When that happens, they will begin to lose their mobility. Doing mobility work each week is not only going to keep you more mobile, but it’s going to make it easier. The best way to have mobility that is free and easy is to do the work to help your body get there and stay there. It doesn’t matter how old you are, either, because mobility is something you can work on and achieve at any age.

When it comes to mobility work, follow this workout plan:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, when we are discussing cardio as we have in prior posts, it is important for you to do activities that will get your heart going. This can include walking, jogging, biking, hiking, row machines, or any other activities that will get your heart rate up more. Here are some specific mobility work examples:

1)    Piriformis stretch

2)    Glute stretch

3)    Spiderman stretch

4)    RDL

5)    DB Row

6)    Step-up

7)    Push-ups

8)    Lateral lunge

9)    Leg Raise

10) Bird dog

11)Side plank

You will want to do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps, or if you are doing  static hold go for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work, as well as the day two mobility work. For the resistance training, you will want to do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During week 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. Also, focus on bringing up the intensity. You can do that by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep form in mind, as it is priority. If you can’t control the weight or maintain form, then do not increase the weight.

Following this three part series will help keep your mobility in a range that will have you feeling great and doing things with ease. It’s never too late to get started with mobility work, so make it part of your workout plan today!

IF YOU MISSED PART 2 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

TO GET YOUR COMPLETE BOOMER FITNESS PROGRAM CLICK HERE

Facebook FAQ Part II – The Specifics of an Outline

In the prior post, I discussed how you can go about getting started down the path of health and wellness. I laid out what it is that you need to start with so your exercise routine will be on the right track right from the beginning. In this one, part two, I’m going to take things a little bit further and go into the specifics of an outline for you all.

Every baby boomer or senior citizen I work with comes to understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and what exercise can do for you. Working out regularly can do for your body what nothing else can. There is no doctor or magic pill that is going to help you get stronger and healthier. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is the only way that you will achieve this. That goes for the clients that I work with here in personal training in the Vancouver, Washington area, as well as the many people I assist online and on Facebook.

Print this outline of a workout and hang it somewhere you will see it each day, so it serves as a reminder of what you need to be doing to be healthy. First you need to start with your weekly workout schedule, which looks like this:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, it is important to remember that cardio exercises are those that are going to get your heart beating faster. The government recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of such moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Moderate physical activity includes biking, walking, the elliptical or row machine, or step machine. A vigorous activity would be running.

Here’s what your workout 2 will include:

Mobility

1)    hamstring stretch

2)    IT band foam roller

3)    Low back stretch

4)    Split squat

5)    Shoulder press

6)    Pull down

7)    Rope to neck

8)    Kettle bell dead lift

9)    Y, I, T,

10)Anti-rotational

11)Plank

Do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps per set, or if you are doing a static hold aim for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work as well. For the resistance training, do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During weeks 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. You will also want to bring up the intensity. You can bring up the intensity by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep your form in mind, as it is important to have the right form. If you find that you can’t maintain the form then don’t increase the weight.

Once you get started with this workout outline, you will be surprised at just how great you being to feel. Stick with it and over time you will become healthier, stronger, and feel great. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area and need a personal trainer contact me. If you are not in the area, be sure to follow me on Facebook for fitness tips and information that every baby boomer can benefit from!

If you missed part one CLICK HERE

To get your specific workout line GET IT HERE NOW

Tips for Increasing Upper Body Strength to Do More Push-ups

As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, I get a lot of questions. Sometimes they come in person, while other times they come to my Facebook page. One of the questions I frequently get is how someone can increase their upper body strength so that they can do more push-ups. So let’s take a look at that now!

Doing push-ups is essentially a great way to test your upper body strength. Many people, like Patty S., who recently asked the question on Facebook, found that as she was getting older she wasn’t able to do as many push-ups. Today she can only do 2-5 push-ups. In order to increase that, the upper body strength will also need to increase.

Whether you have limited upper body strength as a result of recovering from an accident, like one of my baby boomer clients, or another reason, you can work on this. One client of mine went from being able to do 5-10 on a good day to being able to do 50 within 12 weeks of training. Another one of my clients, who was in the military, needed to improve so she could pass her physical tests. With a five-week period of training she went from doing 5 push-ups to doing 25, which helped her get her passing score and rank.

It is never too late to increase your upper body strength so you can get better at doing more push-ups. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

  • Always focus on form. Your form has to be right so you are building strength and avoiding injury. Good form includes hands being under shoulders, neck being tucked, and hips being in line with your head. Your back should never be arched or sagging, and your head should never be looking upward.
  • Start out by doing countertop push-ups. You can do this with any countertop. In a standing position, place your arms on the countertop, consider your form, and do as many push-ups as you can do in this position.
  • Once you can do 20 countertop push-ups it is time to move up to knee push-ups on the ground. On your knees, maintain your form, and do as many as you can.
  • When you are able to do 20 knee push-ups it is time to do full push-ups. Start out doing as many as you can, and when you can’t continue switch to knee push-ups to get your full reps in.
  • While building up your strength you will want to do these three times per week, working yourself up to 100 push-ups during each workout.
  • It is also important to do reverse push-ups in order to maintain a balance in your shoulders. As part of your work out add in pulling exercises, or reverse push-ups, where you are pulling your body weight and using the proper form and alignment.

Whether you are a baby boomer or not, it is never too late to increase your upper body strength and get better at doing push-ups. Stick with a program and over time you will be surprised at how many push-ups you will be able to do. I help many clients in the Vancouver area to get fit and believe you can do it, too!

To get your program to improve your push-ups and overall fitness CLICK HERE 

Think it’s ever too late to get fit? Think again!

What age is too old to start getting in shape? Would you think that someone who is a grandpa is far beyond his prime years for doing so? What if I told you that you were wrong? Completely wrong! Well that’s exactly what I’m saying. It is never too late to get fit. Baby boomers are doing it, senior citizens are doing it, and so are grandparents!

A great example of it never being too late to get in shape and reach fitness goals is Robert Durbin. He’s a 64 year old grandfather who lives in Louisville, Ky. Just seven years ago this grandfather was overweight, had health problems, and needed a cane or walker to get around. But he decided to take control of the situation and become fit. While it may seem it was a feat against all odds, the results are impressive!

Durbin spends about four hours every day working out. He’s retired, so he can put in that kind of time at the gym. It’s a bonus – it gives him something to do and is good for his health. He works out seven days a week. He also maintains a healthy diet. He follows a clean eating diet, which includes eating 5-6 small meals per day, and avoiding fried foods.

Following this diet and fitness plan he was able to lose 70 pounds! He also become healthy, fit, and rock hard. He has strength and fitness that many people in their 20s never see. So how did he do it? By making the commitment to get fit and take control over his health, first and foremost. To do that, he worked with a workout team, learning what types of exercises would benefit him. He also never gave up. For seven years he has plugged away, making his health and fitness a high priority. And it shows!

You can get fit, too. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what type of health/physical condition you are in. What’s important is believing you can do it and then making it happen. If you want to be the next Durbin here’s what you can do:

  1. Make the commitment to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle. You will be glad you did it and so will your family.
  2. Work with a personal trainer. As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington, I specialize in working with baby boomers, senior citizens, and grandparents.
  3. Never give up. Make it a priority to take care of your health, get fit, and put you at the top of your list.

Robert Durbin showed everyone that he could go from being an overweight grandparent with health problems to a ripped grandparent who is fit and healthy. He is a great example for his kids and grandkids of not only a healthy lifestyle but a healthy life attitude. You can do it, too! I’ve helped many people in the Vancouver area with their personal training goals, and I can help you as well. It’s never too late and you are never too old. If you are breathing, and I think you are, then you can achieve new fitness levels!

Foods & Feelings: Emotional Eating Overshadows Environment

 Does the holiday season get you feeling emotional? If you are like most people, it does. And in a big way! There are a lot of emotional aspects to the holidays. Whether it is the stress of the shopping or getting together for family functions, there is additional stress in our lives this time of year, especially because our schedules are busier.  But that emotional toll can have a major impact on your diet!

Being a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area I work with people who regularly tend to be emotional eaters. Yet they may not even be aware of it. More so than the environment you are in, research has shown that our emotions will get us to overeat more than anything else. Consider how you may grab for a snack when you are feeling down, want to celebrate, or feel additional stress. Think about the times when you reach for high-fat comfort foods (e.g., macaroni and cheese) when you have had a tough day and are feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The good news is that although our emotions can lead us to overeat, we can do something about it. We know that emotions will lead us over the edge and when that happens it will pack on weight gain that we may never lose. Rather than throw our hands in the air and abandon the idea of being healthy, we have to be proactive in putting a stop to emotional eating. Not only is it possible, but it is something we have to do in order to overcome the emotional eating that takes place during the holiday season.

Here are some tips for coping with the emotional eating that may help you avoid  this behavior during the holidays:

Avoid. If you know there are situations that will make you want to engage in emotional eating this holiday, just avoid them. It’s just that simple. And don’t feel guilty about skipping them. Don’t feel pressured to go to every holiday party.

Cope. Learn coping skills, so that you can recognize that you want to eat because of emotions, not out of hunger. Choose something else you will do every time that feeling strikes, and then do it. Maybe you can find another emotional eating buddy and you can text or call each other for support when those feelings arise.

Remember. Make a list of all the reasons you want to be fit and healthy. Then each time you want to engage in emotional eating remember those reasons. They will help keep your eye on the overall goal.

Change. It is important to try to change the way you feel about food. Try to determine why you engage in emotional eating at certain times, and then try to work through those feelings without food, in order to change the way you think.

Of course you want to enjoy the holidays and emotions play a big role in that. And sure you want grandma’s family favorites or the cool colored Starbucks cup that’s out. But if you give into these emotional eating temptations you will most likely gain weight and be sorry come January 1st. Keep it under control this month and you will be much happier through the New Year. This goes for my Vancouver, Washington personal training clients, and all my other readers!

 

Reaching For Your Dreams – Age No Barrier

This past week there was something really inspirational that was on the news. You may have been one of the millions that saw it as I did. I’m talking about Diana Nyad and how she accomplished a goal at the age of 64. For those who feel that you reach a point where it is too late to reach for your dreams, she serves as an example that it is never too late!

Nyad was big news this past week because she did something that nobody else has done before. She swam the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Did you get that? At the age of 64, she swam 110 miles in order to set a record. She’s the first person to do this and yet she’s a baby boomer. No protection from the elements, bitten numerous times by jellyfish, and hungry, she finished the goal she set out to do.

Her message to people is that they should never give up. She didn’t, and neither should anyone else. She also demonstrated that you are never too old to chase your dreams. You only have one life to live, making it crucial that you go after that which you dream of. She had a dream of making that swim and she did not let her age become a barrier to her achieving her goal. Another one of her messages is that many things in life, such as what she accomplished, is not a solitary act. While she gets the credit for the swim, she actually had a team of people who were providing her the support in order to make it possible.

While Nyad had a team of 35 people, some people need merely to work with a personal trainer or coach in order to reach their goals. Many people don’t realize it, but we are often the biggest obstacles we face when wanting to achieve something. We have a goal in mind, but we talk ourselves out even going for it with piles of excuses. We place limits on ourselves that don’t need to be there.

The negative self talk that floats around in the heads of most people, including my personal training clients, has probably stopped you from achieving many goals. You have to believe in yourself and in your ability to accomplish things in order for it to become a reality.

Perhaps you are reading this and your own dream comes to mind. Maybe it has nothing to do with fitness, but rather with finances or business. Your dream may have been something more related to personal issues, spirituality, or romance.

It’s never too late. Whatever your dream was is still waiting for you. You may think that at your age you have lost the ability to achieve that dream. You may think you are too old now. But let me remind you that a 64 year old woman just swam 110 miles in shark and jellyfish infested waters in order to make her dreams a reality. She did it in 53 hours, after she had failed at attempting it on three other prior occasions.

So what is your dream? What’s stopping you from going after it?

Forget the excuses. Instead, put a plan into action and make it happen. You can do it. I believe in you and you will achieve your goals!

 

Balance for Baby Boomers: Why it’s Important and How to Improve It

If you have ever had a problem with balance you know how serious it can be. In fact, it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a third of all adults over the age of 65 fall each year. These falls can lead to serious problems, including hip fractures. Focusing on one’s balance is a good way to help lower the risks of these falls.

The risk of falls aside, not having good balance can do numerous other things as well. It can make it more difficult to walk upstairs, get up out of a chair, bend over without getting dizzy, and just being able to walk steadily. Balance is what keeps you safer, as well as feeling better as you move around.

In my field, as a personal trainer for baby boomers in the Vancouver, Washington area, I am always happy to help my clients address their balance issues. Having poor balance is a bad thing, but the good news is that there are things you can do to improve your balance. Here are a few points that I always share with my clients:

It is important to exercise regularly. This exercise needs to be on your feet. What this means is that you should get out from those machines that have you sitting down. If you are sitting on an exercise bike you are not doing anything to help your balance. Choose exercises that will get you standing up and moving around, such as using the treadmill. Also, consider taking Tai Chi. It is a mild form of martial art that has worked wonders in helping people to improve their balance.

Doing unilateral movements, those which have you use just one side of the body at a time, can also help improve balance. There are various squats and leg lefts that you can do to make balance improvements.

You may have been shying away from them before, but now is the time to get to know free weights. By using free weights you will strength train and improve your balance.

If you are unsure which ones to do always work with a personal trainer who can develop a plan specifically for meeting your goals. My Vancouver, Washington baby boomer clients benefit from better balance as a result of the personal workout plan that I create for them. Whether you are in my local area or beyond, make it a priority to work on your balance. The benefits are long lasting and important for every baby boomer!

Dig Into Strength: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Strength

Do you have difficulty walking up the steps? What about making dinner? If you find these things a lot more difficult than you used to it is time to take action. Believe it or not, you can get your strength back, even as a baby boomer. You do not have to take a loss of strength sitting down. Now is the time to stand up and fight… now is the time to dig in!

As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington who helps numerous baby boomers I address the strength issue on a regular basis. Yes, it’s true that if you do not work at it you will lose strength as you age. In fact, you will lose about 30 percent of your strength in the years that follow turning 50 years old. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get that strength back, but it takes you being proactive in making it happen.

Many people think that you only hit the gym and lift weights if you want to be a body builder. Not so! The strength training that you will do in the gym will help you be able to climb those stairs better, or make it easier to tackle making dinner. You can use free weights, elastic bands, or exercise machines. The key is to have some resistance, because that resistance is going to help you build and maintain your muscle mass.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to increasing your strength:

  • Make sure you start with mobility. Without first focusing on improving your mobility you will find it difficult to take on the next step of strength training. Once you have addressed the mobility issue you are ready to move on.

 

  • Get a program to help you increase your strength level. The key here is that you have to make sure it is focusing on your weak areas. If you cannot identify them work with a personal trainer so you get the results you are after.
  •  

    Use a progressive overload approach, which will keep your body from bulking up or getting bigger. Instead, you will set goals of getting stronger and focus on meeting them.

 

  • Take action. This is the most important part. You can talk all day long about what needs to be done and why, but it will be worthless if it is not put into action. If you want to see results you must get a program and put it into action.

Getting older does not have to mean getting weaker. You can stop the loss of muscle and gain some strength back again. But you have to be proactive in making it happen. Whether you work with me, through my Vancouver, Washington personal training for baby boomers, or you do it with someone else, your strength training goals can be achieved. They also make a big difference in your quality of life, making them a goal worth fighting for!