Updated: Feb 21, 2021
I still find it amazing when I pick up fitness magazines and read articles with headlines such as “We show you how to train when you’re over 50”, “About to join the Silver Brigade? We show you how to change and train your body!” Mmm…..Does this mean if I’m 35 my fitness routine will be vastly different? Why and what exactly are you going to show me Mr/Mrs Editor that I don't know already? After all, if I'm 50+ I'm sure at some stage of my life I will have been in a gym! Whilst I fully understand the concept of publishers wanting to sell their magazines, why do they all (seemingly) presume that people of 50+ are clueless about how to look after their bodies and / or are verging on the precipice of senility?!
I may be well over 50 (and don't have any hair I could call grey!), but I, (like a vast amount of my colleagues and members), have been exercising seriously for more than 40 years, and my memory is still as good, if not better than it was 40 years ago! Shouldn't it be a case for fitness magazines to call upon the experience of the 'grey haired brigade' to show the younger generation how it's done? I'm not saying that everyone has the knowledge to do this, or would even want to, but in my book - experience is also something that shouldn't be discounted.
Just as in business, knowledge and experience doesn’t leave you just because you hit a 'milestone' and what I always say, “Is only just a number”. I know my body and mind better than anyone else, I know what works for me, I don’t have what magazines (and business leaders sometimes think) – a ‘generic’ (or geriatric!) body or mind, I’m an individual with specific skills, which include a thorough knowledge of exercise physiology and anatomy (along with other major life skills built through a vast experience of working on international basis), and what works for me from my own experience, is different to what will work for you – in other words, I, like you ……….am unique.
Generally the routines I see placed in fitness magazines for the over 50's are basic and something a beginner would do - if the younger generation (and the publishers of fitness magazines) saw some of the routines my 'older' members do and with the intensity they do it, they would reprint their headlines to "We show you how to train like a 50 year old!". When I train, I train harder than most people in the gym who are half my age, who never break a sweat, and are more interested in posing in the mirror or taking a bench poised ‘selfie’. I sweat, boy do I sweat! But I look at some of the ‘young-brigade’ who leave the gym with the same complexion as when they entered it – I leave looking like someone has painted my face with beetroot juice, but do I feel good? Absolutely! Do I think I look good and much younger than my actual age? Absolutely!
I have members of all ages and abilities, and at no stage, unlike some fitness magazines or people, would I treat them in a different way - in fact the older my members get, the harder I push them, and they never give up. Granted, when someone is starting a fitness routine the body (and mind) need to be ‘re-educated’, but would I treat them any differently? Definitely not! The mind and body have the amazing ability to adapt and change once you have formed ‘the habit’. You are never too old to learn and don't deserve to be made to feel like you are getting old – especially when you have an excellent fitness level. Perhaps it’s time for fitness magazines to take a new headline tact – “How to take an amazing selfie whilst you are struggling squatting” or “We show you how to sit on a leg extension machine for 5 minutes whilst ‘Whats-Apping’ your friends with your squat selfie!”
But whatever they do, (again, just like some business leaders do) – they should never write-off the so-called ‘Silver Brigade’ or give the impression we don’t know what we are doing! We absolutely do!