Monthly Archives: June 2014

Kettlebell Dead lifts Helped Her Ditch Her Walker – imagine what strength training can do for you

If there’s any chance you’re hesitating to begin strength training because of your age, your arthritis, or other maladies, think twice. Here, from today’s New York Times, article, “A Chiseled Bodybuilder, Frail Clients and a Fitness Story for the Ages”, meet trainer Martin Luther King Addo who opened a gym near senior housing and changed lives.

At 90 Shirley Friedman, new at working out, is doing squats and participating in boot camp classes.

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Mary Killoran, 86, does strength and balance exercises, like  kettlebell dead lifts, and has traded her walker for a cane and now takes long walks.

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Trainer Martin Luther King Addo is training for the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association’s Mr. Universe contest next year.

Where ever you are on the fitness spectrum, strength training can take you to your next level and open up worlds of new physical abilities.

Read the full New York Times article here:


Today is Eat Your Vegetables Day


Breakfast in honor of national Eat Your Vegetables day.

How Much Body Fatness Do You Have? Calculate Your BMI here.

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(Link to this calculator below)


Here’s a link to a BMI calculator. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.”

Food for thought….and maybe it should be…think about the food you eat today.



Running After 20 Years Off (How Strength Training Helped)


When a group from work, Body Kinetics Health Club in Marin County, CA, suggested running in the Marin County Half Marathon (or 10k or 5k), together as a team, I realized I hadn’t run in 20 years, since I was in my 40’s. I thought, “Well, I can certainly walk a 5k (3.1 miles) so I signed up. Before that, the only cardio I’d been doing was spin once a week, and a workout class once a week that included a cardio component. Otherwise, I was mainly strength training 2 to 3 times per week. Whenever I was required to do a jog in a class setting, like around the room a few times, I’d be dying, out of breath. My husband, Jeff, signed up with me and a couple months before the race we began slogging (a very slow jog) 5 minutes and walking 5 minutes. We had a 1.8 mile flat loop. We did this twice a week and graduated to 5 minute slog, 1 minute walk. Eventually we were slogging the whole way. Then we changed our route to a 1.6 mile loop with a long, steep hill built in. I had to do a heart rate check at the top each time because I was worried about overexerting myself, I was gasping that hard, but I never reached my max heart rate, I just reached my max pain threshhold! Initially, I had to walk on the downhill because it hurt my knees, but I worked on form, sitting back more in my stride going downhill. We got stronger. After about 6 weeks of this, I did a trial 3 mile run on the track and was pleasantly surprised that my time wasn’t too bad (12 minute pace) and I actually jogged the whole time.

On race day I was so excited. Right out of the shoot, I was panting. I couldn’t figure out why it was so much harder than the day at the track. I figured it out afterwards when I realized I finished the race with a pace of 10:09, so much faster than my practice run. Turns out I was second in the ages 60-69 women category, fifth in 60-69 men/women. I finished 99th overall out of 371 runners. Ok, it wasn’t a race with a bunch of elite runners, but I was so blown away and proud of my performance. Most of all, being able to run so well is a testimony of the benefits of strength training.  What I didn’t have in cardio conditioning, I made up for with leg power. My husband and I are continuing to run once per week. Who knows, maybe I’ll be like Harriette Thompson who ran her first marathon at age 76 (see post below)!


Spinning, cycling is great for the knees! How’s your pedal technique?



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As we age, spinning/cycling at the gym or outside is a great way to get that aerobic high we used to get from running when we no longer want to pound those joints. Another good reason to get on the bike is to help alleviate knee pain. Bad knees need strong glutes, quads, hamstrings,  and calves to minimize strain on them. Seeing the extent of arthritis in my knee during arthroscopic surgery, the doctor suggested that, as I go forward (into old age), I just limit activities. At the advice of another doctor, I lost weight and started cycling. I attended spin classes in the gym and bought a bike. I added lots of squats, lunges, and other leg work. Now, ten years later my knee pain is not only gone, I’m jump roping and doing all sorts of crazy things.

If you’re spinning in a class or riding on your own, good form is not only important for efficiency but for getting the strength you want in your legs. In the video link below, Dave Scott, Ironman World Champ, describes  how proper pedal technique makes all the difference.








Still Time to Run a Marathon



Harriette Thompson ran her first marathon at age 76 and now at age 91 she set a new record for female runners over 90, beating the previously held record by nearly two hours! How’s that for inspiration?

Read more about her in this Runner’s World article.

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