“I’m 65 and in the Best Shape of My Life: These Are the 4 Workout Moves I Swear By”

Some people believe that a decline in health is simply part of aging; it’s something that happens naturally to the body and there’s nothing you can do to change it. Leslie Maxwell he is not one of those people. Maxwell, a 65-year-old fitness trainer and bodybuilder, regularly helps people 40 and older start their fitness journey and sees first-hand the effect exercise can have on the body, regardless of age .

In fact, Maxwell says it wasn’t until he was 49 that he truly learned the best way to transform his body through fitness, and once he learned the secret, he got in better shape than he had ever been. been all her life, something that has continued in her. mid 60s. Want to follow in their footsteps? Here, Maxwell shares the common mistake he sees people 40 and older making at the gym, plus four exercise moves that will make a big difference in how you look and feel.

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The number one mistake people over 40 make at the gym

Maxwell says she’s always been curious about health and spent her younger years doing a lot of cardio, including step aerobics, which was popular in the 80s and 90s. While cardio exercises are certainly health benefits, Maxwell says it wasn’t until he started strength training at age 49 that he really saw his body change.

Seeing her body become more toned inspired her to take her strength training to the next level and began competing in weightlifting competitions. To date, he has competed in more than 30 weightlifting competitions. It also inspired her to become a personal trainer to pass on her knowledge to others. She has been working with clients for more than 15 years, specializing in the training of adults aged 40 and over.

The number one mistake Maxwell says he sees people 40 and older make at the gym is only doing cardio. Even if you don’t want to follow in her footsteps and become a bodybuilder, she says strength training is crucial. If you focus only on losing weight, you end up losing muscle along with body fat. Muscle is what supports the skeleton and gives it a nice shape, he says, adding that strength training helps prevent muscle loss.

Maxwell explains that strength training also makes bones stronger, which is especially important for people 40 and older because the risk of osteoporosis increases with age.

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How to start strength training

Maxwell understands that walking up to the weightlifting side of the gym can be intimidating. It can be difficult to know how to work the weight machines or what to do with the dumbbells. For this reason, she recommends working with a personal trainer, especially someone whose primary clientele is people 40 and older. This way, you learn how to strength train properly without hurting yourself.

There are also some specific strength training moves he recommends, which are outlined below.


Maxwell says she likes squats because it’s a functional movement; every time you sit down and stand up, you’re basically squatting! Squats can be done with a barbell or dumbbells, whichever you feel more comfortable with.

If using a barbell, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Unclip the bar and hold it across your upper back, keeping your back straight and your chest up. Slowly bend your knees and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the squat for one second before slowly coming back up. Repeat two to eight times, whatever is accessible to you.

If using dumbbells, hold one in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the squat for one second before slowly coming back up. Repeat six to 10 times, whatever is accessible to you.

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Maxwell likes lunges because they’re another functional movement that most people do naturally throughout the day. It doesn’t just work your chest, it also works your triceps, shoulders and core, he says.

To do a dumbbell lunge, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward, bending your front knee until your back knee almost touches the floor. Return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg. Keep alternating and repeating six to 10 times, whatever is accessible to you.

Wall push-ups

A push-up strengthens the upper body and core, making it a great strength training movement. If you don’t have access to push-ups, Maxwell says to start with a wall push-up. To do this, stand in front of a wall with your feet hip-width apart. Place your palms on the wall, shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your elbows and lean toward the wall, coming close to it but not touching it. Then return to the starting position. Repeat six to 10 times, whatever is accessible to you.

Rowing or lateral pull-downs

Rowing combines cardiovascular and strength training, strengthening your upper body and core without stressing your joints. If your gym doesn’t have a rowing machine, Maxwell says lateral pull-downs can be another beneficial exercise to work into your routine.

To do a side pull, sit on the pull-down machine with your feet flat on the floor. Grab the bar, keeping your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down until it is at chin level. Press your shoulder blades together. Return to starting position. Repeat six to 10 times, whatever is accessible to you.

Maxwell recommends doing these four strength training moves four times a week. Over time, you should see and feel your body changing. [I want people 40 and older to know that] our bodies are not configured. If you start prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, your body will change, says Maxwell. It’s never too late to test changes!

Then find out how you can lose weight even if you only have 10 minutes a day to exercise.


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