How a 94-year-old retiree became a gym rat

On May 21, 2018 by Physical Culturist

By: The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Like many gym rats, Paul Russell lifts weights and runs obstacle courses.

Here’s what makes him different: Russell is 94 — so old he has been retired longer than his personal trainer has been alive.

“I have no intention on stopping. Not until I get too sick or too… whatever,” Russell sajd.

Russell is the oldest member of Max Fitness in St. John’s, N.L., where he strength trains twice a week with Dane Woodland, a man 67 years his junior. He hasn’t been going for long, but he said it’s changed his life.

He retired from a fish processing company in 1977 and kept healthy by, among other things, shovelling heavy Newfoundland snow every winter. Then last fall, Russell decided to go to his local gym. His workout gear: designer shoes, khakis and a sweater.

“I thought he was just so silly and very funny,” Woodland said.

After his first session with Woodland, Russell said he was hooked.

“I sometimes I tell him, ‘What the hell! You’re adding more weights, you’re making it harder for me. You’re trying to kill me, is that what you’re doing?’ and he just laughs and tells me to lift up the weights and stop talking.”

Woodland has been a personal trainer for six years, specializing in clients with chronic pain and physical trauma. His oldest client before meeting Russell was 70 years old.

After his first session, Woodland saw Russell needed to improve his strength and mobility. He modified Russell’s workouts to build strength and sharpen his memory so he can move around more freely in his daily life.

“His recovery periods have diminished greatly and he is a lot stronger than what he was,” Woodland said. “His posture has changed dramatically, he’s more sharp and his capacity for breadth of movement has increased as well.”

It’s not all physical. Woodland talks about the importance of a social life for an ageing population, and Russell said he’s definitely not lonely at the gym.

“Some people come up and ask me who I am, if I am that Russell they heard about that’s 94. And I say well I am 94 and I am a Russell so I may be the same person,” Russell said, laughing.

This spring, Russell celebrated his 94th birthday with cake, prosecco, family and friends — Woodland included.

“I got to know him on a different level,” Woodland said. “I do genuinely feel that he is my friend.”

“He’s a nice chap,” Russell said of his trainer. “I like him very much.”

— By Fadila Chater in Halifax

source: CTV News

The following two tabs change content below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Random Posts

    • How to Do More Pull Ups (Ladder Method)

      “At the Texas SWAT Competition 2000, two officers from the Houston area...

    • The Way of the Squat Rack

      One must step into the squat rack with the correct attitude, for...

    • VIDEO: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blueprint To Bodybuilding Success

      Building your dream body is about more than what you do in the gym. It's about what you do in your mind—how you visualize your success and envision your legacy. Arnold Schwarzenegger pictured himself as a champion bodybuilder, and he built a blueprint to become just that. Whether you want to shred for a competition or lose weight for life, Arnold's Blueprint to Cut will help you succeed.

  • Recent Posts