In between sets this afternoon, a client of mine mentioned he had seen his doctor the day before for a routine checkup. He shared with me an exchange he and his doctor had had during the visit that went like this.
Client: “Well Doc, I’ve been working with a personal trainer and I have been able to move around without the pain I used to have.”
Doc: “Personal trainer, huh? How old is this trainer?”
Client: “I don’t know exactly. In his thirties I guess.”
Doc: “Well don’t let these young “trainers” push you too hard. Old guys like us don’t need to be worked that hard.”
Wow. Two big stereotypes given out as advice in a two sentence blurt.
According to this doctor, age is a BIG determinant of what you are able, and not able, to do.
I was too young to understand training older populations, and my client was “too old” to be trained “hard.”
People like to stereotype. It keeps the world simple and manageable. Things can be categorized in easy, quantifiable terms without exceptions. That’s nice. It’s also not reality.
A person’s age, gender etc. should not be the sole determinant of their ability to exercise. Their fitness level and readiness to exercise physically determines this. It wasn’t long ago that resistance training wasn’t for women. That opinion has changed. A lot.
Nevertheless, you hear what’s good for you or not good for you based on these very limiting ways of thinking and grouping people.
Bottom line, DONT LET THIS WAY OF THINKING LIMIT YOU OR GIVE YOU AND EXCUSE NOT TO BE HEALTHY. It’s not intelligent and it won’t allow you to hit your physical potential.
Matt Pirtle, MA, CSCS