Hi! My name is Darryl Pearce and I have been a client of Chodat Fitness for the past year and a half, even though members of my family have been working with Lukas and Emily for many years this is my success story to benefiting my health and fitness with a defined fitness routine.
Like many ‘mature age’ men, we have had a tendency to focus on work, not worry too much about our health and hope a crisis doesn’t arise, but upon the insistence of my wife I had my bone density measured. To my great surprise I discovered that I had a condition called Osteopenia which is the prelude to osteoporosis, with the problem mostly located in my hips. Of course we all lose bone density as we age, but for some, like me, the process is accelerated and if no action is taken can lead to very serious health issues in older life such a high frequency of hip fractures. I am now sixty years old and among my friends and acquaintances, one of the few that has had his bone density measured.
Luckily in the case of osteoporosis we can take remedial action to increase our bone density provided the condition is diagnosed early enough (or alternatively by resorting to pharmaceutical drugs if diagnosed in older life). This remedial action is weight bearing exercise and fitness routine and is how I became a client of Chodat Fitness.
Prior to asking Lukas to be my personal trainer, I considered myself reasonably fit and active, but I was soon to discover that my aerobic fitness left much to be desired and that my strength and balance were pretty ordinary. And so this is where we started, improving my aerobic fitness and then progressively more weight training. The great thing about weight training is that the improvement in your strength can be easily seen and on some pieces of equipment my lifting capacity has more than doubled. On Chest Press 8 reps I started out at 50lb and can now lift 110lb for 8 reps, Lat Machine stared at 8 reps (60lb) I can now do 130lb for 8 reps!!!
Why is improving my strength important? The reason is that the strength of our muscles and bones are in equilibrium and so if we increase our muscle mass and strength, then the bones will also grow to maintain the equilibrium. This then is the way to arrest bone loss and stop osteopenia. Of course bone growth is a pretty slow process and so we should not expect too much for at least a year or so. In the meantime, I am enjoying the general benefits of greater fitness and this has been greatly facilitated by the Chodat team. In recent times I have been trained most of the Chodat staff and in each case enjoyed their encouragement, repartee and professional advice. Most of my training has been with Lukas and his unending enthusiasm, motivation and knowledge has made our sessions a pleasure, although from time to time we refer to him as the ‘smiling assassin’.With most activities of this type, maintaining motivation is an issue, but for me this has not been a problem because I cannot recall a single occasion when the training program has been the same. This variety is a key to sticking with the ‘bigger program’ and something which the Chodat team completely understand.
So, what about the results? Well it is now about a year since we included a large proportion of weight training in my personal training sessions and I had hoped that my rate of bone loss may have been slowed as it is too early to be able to detect significant bone growth. As it turns out, compared to the population of my age, my results showed that in my spine my bone density had increased by 6%. In my hips where I have a greater level of bone loss to begin with, my bone density increased by 3% compared to my peers, but I am still below the average for my age. Even without these results, my general improvement in fitness, muscle tone and general wellbeing has made it all worthwhile. My goal is to keep going so that I achieve a normal bone density for my hips and therefore am no longer a candidate for osteoporosis, and can continue to enjoy snow skiing and other sports into old age, along with maintaining a good level of aerobic fitness for my cardiovascular health.
This whole process has been made much easier by having a training partner, specifically my wife Liz, and we have a lot of fun interacting with Lukas while pushing the weights. So my advice would be to join a fitness group or take a training session with a buddy or two as this allows a lot of fun social interaction while working out.