Once a week I work out at LA Fitness because they have a sauna, a jacuzzi, and a donkey-kick machine that contributes greatly toward my Project Booty Pop. I also like that LAF is a pretty straight-forward gym despite the amenities, which are very old-school. But quite possibly my favorite part of the gym is that the average age of members is easily classified as senior citizen. This older crowd is multi-cultural representing many counties, languages, ethnicities. And I enjoy spying on their approach to fitness.
Their more mature demeanor at the gym is so different from those of us under 50 who rush from one exercise to the next in our hot-stuff outfits. The older folks are there with a friend or two, socializing. They’re in loose jeans or elastic-waist pants and comfy shoes. They are pushing out reps and doing their best. Some are dancing away in Zumba class with varying degrees of rhythm. Mainly, they act like this is simply a good part of their day, not something they squeeze into their schedule because they want to look better in size (fill in the blank) jeans. The older people I see working out and swimming at LAF treat gymtime as essential as and an enjoyed meal. It’s somehow ingrained in them — across cultural boundaries — that movement is life.
After my workouts, I usually head to the huge public jacuzzi. I’m almost always the youngest one in there. In the same area, there is a cold pool chilled to forty degrees, and when I headed out to the pools this last Sunday, an Asian woman in her seventies was neck-deep in the cold pool. When I’ve gone into the cold pool, I can’t get passed by hips — the icy water is painful — but I admit when I get out, I feel an electric rush of circulation through my lower extremities. I always want to yell, “I FEEL ALIVE!” from the rush, but I’m never sure how that will go over. I wanted to nod to the lady, but she paid me no mind. This was just part of her routine. A man in his mid seventies mumbling to himself in Russian kicked off his flip flops and stepped down fully into the cold pool, too. God, these people are badasses. I got into the jacuzzi. A lady with a red wig walked in front of me sloshing through the water, swinging her arms. She went back and forth — her apparent workout — also not worried that I was observing her. A man with a walker made his way to the Olympic-sized pool adjacent to the jacuzzi and grabbed the hand rail. He lowered himself into the pool. And off he went; slowly, but off none the less. I closed my eyes sure I was in good company.
In this life, we are graciously given one body – one! And often we can’t think past the age we are now in terms of our health and fitness. We don’t think about the big picture. But I’m telling you, whatever you are doing now to your body will pay off later. Or it will make you pay. We certainly should use our fitness to achieve short-term goals –because it’s fun! — but from what I’m discovering myself and what I witness with this older crowd, treating movement as a lifelong project is the key. Movement is life. And an attitude that this movement is simply a daily part of life keeps it sustainable.
Think of me as your future self since I’m older than a lot of you. (That’s how I regard the members of LA Fitness.) And I’m sending you this message: Take care of this one, beautiful vehicle now. Move it, fuel it well, and be kind to it. Don’t squeeze your routine in or think of reasons to get around it. Not only will right now feel better, but more, so will the future, that time when you’re rocking elastic-waist pants, and wigs, and velcro slippers to the gym. Can’t wait!
A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 10lb as 1RM)
80% x 3
85% x 3
90% x 3+
B) 4 RFQ (1:1)
Power clean and jerks (50% of 1RM Jerk)
Wallballs to 10’
And Coming Wednesday
A) Toes to bar skill practice
B) 4 RFQ
10 Thrusters (50%)
10 CTB Pullups
**2min Rest between rounds**