Updated: Oct 21
Henry today is 75, and trains with Diamond-Level trainer Sam for the past ten years. Henry's goal? Live healthier and enjoy life better.
Depending on the time of day, year, or life events, the gym is full of motivated individuals They think "this time, I'm going to do it."
So we must ask ourselves: What is Henry's motivation? Why does he believe he will stay with his resolution?
The answer is quite simple: For Henry, it is not a question of motivation. Rather, it is commitment that keeps him striving for health, strength and an active, mobile life.
The pivotal moment for Henry was when his doctor asked him "Do you want to see your grandchildren?" At 65, Henry found himself taking that question and its meaning extremely seriously. The stress he was feeling at the time was compounded by a lifestyle that did not include regular physical exercise.
Health & Fitness resolutions are the most popular resolutions suggests this survey conducted by NPR/PBS.
Exercise more, Lose Weight, Eat Healthier, and Improve Health were among the top 5 goals for making a resolution. A 2016 statistic suggests only 9% of people who make New Years' Resolutions are successful in keeping them at the end of the year. But within the first week of the resolution, over 75% are still successful in keeping it. After a month that drops to 64% and after 6 months that drops to 46% says the same survey.
So what does Henry do? Like a resolute go-getter, he approaches it with conviction and determination and sets a goal to lose weight and train his body so that he could enjoy his time with his grandkids. Over the next 9-12 months Henry lost 50 pounds and has continued to train regularly on his own complemented by guided sessions with Sam.
So how did he do it?
When Henry first got involved with Sam, he had several physical limitations. Weight, surgeries and other conditions were a big factor in addition to stress. Starting with very little experience in physical training, Henry's sessions consisted of tailored exercises that accounted for the fact that his body can work in unique and limited ways.
"Henry was in so much pain, we couldn't do much of anything in the way of exercise," Sam recounts. "We had to start from scratch."
The priority was to avoid any pain during and after the exercise. Staying motivated during your exercise process requires a feeling or sense of progress. But the first little while...that can be tough physically and (especially!) emotionally.
"Sam's initiative and support kept me going. I started slowly seeing that I was getting healthier physically and mentally. I had a spinal fusion, I was overweight, and had other conditions, but Sam spirited me on throughout my journey."
But, being brand new, how do you make sense of all the information available online?
With over 2 billion search results and 50 million YouTube videos, the amount of "available content" is massive. While the information is there to be used and applied in exercise, a lack of experience can mean you may apply it incorrectly, insufficiently or inappropriately. This increases your risk of injuring yourself and do something that inadvertently keeps you away from the gym.
We asked Henry how he felt in his early days and what kind of impact regular strength training had on his life since he started.
"It was absolutely impossible for me" said Henry, "to do this weight loss and strength journey on my own. I felt confident in Sam's knowledge about the human body. But, even more, I felt confident that Sam knew my limitations. His philosophy was not 'no pain, no gain'. Because of this, my life is better mentally and physically. I'm very happy to see what I can now physically do without being out of breath."
Even though Henry was brand new to strength training, he entered with a positive mindset. This mindset has now translated into habits. Training 5 days a week at the age of 75 is a commendable commitment to health, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle.
After Sam saw that Henry developed confidence in himself to continue to train on his own, Sam suggested that Henry can do a single guided session a week as opposed to two. This confidence comes from seeing the work that Henry and Sam put in together.
Today at 75, Henry can still give his grandkids a run for their money, and we're always happy to see him exercise confidently knowing that everything he does is to live life in appreciation of what he has accomplished.