Fit after 40... redefining demographics


The Beginning
Three years ago Maurice hired me to make him a faster runner. We started off with a VO2 test, then online coaching. At the time he equated running faster with being strong and totally fit. He was just entering his 40's and wanted to go into the next decade as fit as can be. Maurice has always been active, from body surfing in Hawaii to hiking the Appalachian Trail, he likes to move. He recently picked up running and had been training with a local group. One of the coaches suggested that he come see me for a bit more dialed in approach as he had been plagued with some minor injuries.

Maurice working on one-arm pull ups

Maurice working on one-arm pull ups

Without knowing, Maurice set out on a journey that would ultimately transform his definition of "fit". 

Our first Assessment
I assessed Maurice in the gym as I do most of my runners. I checked for muscle weakness and imbalance, biomechanical issues, flexibility, etc. As I concluded my assessment, I made the suggestion that he needed to get into the gym at least once a week to build power and strength. The added strength would not only make him a better runner but would also help avoid injuries. I found that he was too weak to effectively train for the 1/2 marathon without greater risk for injury. We started with one gym session a week. Maurice being the kind of guy he is quickly realized the benefit of seeing me twice a week. That's when the gains really started appearing. 

Life Changing
"I have a tough time expressing how much this changed my perspective and how I see myself. I now know anything is possible and my imagination is the limiting factor, not my fitness.  I thought strength was for people who had different genes than I had. Now I can do pushups with my 2 boys on my back.  Whether I'm hiking trails with a heavy pack or or carrying bags of mulch, I know I have the strength to easily perform the task and I'm know I'm not going to hurt myself. I had no idea that I would one day be able to do these things.  With two sessions each week, we've seen steady results that speak loudly about the work we've done."  

Defining Basic Fitness
I feel every male under the age of 70 should be able to fire off 10 pull ups and at least 50 push ups, as long as there aren't any health limitations. My runners and cyclists should be able to comfortably squat at least their body weight and be able to throw out some pretty biomechanically correct weighted lunges. When we saw that Maurice couldn't crank out 3 pull ups, we realized this was his wake up call. It was time to redefine what he was capable of doing. 

I'm truly proud of Maurice and all that he's accomplished in the last three years. The hard work has paid off!