The Secrets to Crushing Fitness Over Age 60

The Secrets to Crushing Fitness Over Age 60

Month after month, year after year, we hear about and talk to scores of men over 50 who are just crushing it. They’re pushing their limits, breaking records, outrunning all of the rest of us. “I’m too old” just isn’t in their vocabularies.

It’s not like being extremely fit is their job. These guys are, in one way, regular folks like the rest of us. And they’re doing extraordinary things at every age. And we love to ask them how they’re doing it. Some men have specific strategies for pushing their limits that they’ve started, maintained, or adapted after they hit age 50. Others have just kept doing what they’re doing and consistency rewards them. Others set audacious goals and then see what they can learn about life and their bodies on the way to reaching those goals.

We gathered some of our favorite stories of men over 50 who are pushing new levels of physical fitness in all types of sports. Let their stories inspire you to keep making and reaching for impressive fitness goals at any age.

Here, some of our favorite fit-after-50 men reveal what gets and keeps them moving.

By the time Simeon Gipson was in his 50s, he’d had a knee replacement and shoulder surgeries. He’d gained weight and learned he had diabetes. The thought of sticking himself with needles turned him off and made him consider bicycling—an activity he thought might be “bearable.”

When his son bought him a nice road bike, he thought he’d better raise his cycling game if he had a bike that nice. What started out as “I wonder if I can bike 10 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles,” he says, has turned into many miles pedaled across Cherokee lands, including an annual 300-mile ride. Read more about his story here.

In 2020, David Simon tracked his miles with Strava, the popular fitness app. It showed that he had run more than 8,000 miles that year. That wasn’t a huge anomaly for him—he’d had many days of running more than 20 miles for the 40 years prior to that.

But before thatis a different story: He says that he was previously “shy, insecure, and completely unathletic.” Since then, he’s run marathons with his kids, founded a youth cross-country running team, and has mostly escaped injury. “When people ask me about my longevity, I tell them it’s slowing down,” he says.

Find out more about David Simon’s story here.

Charles Allie ran track in high school and college, but it wasn’t until his 40s and beyond that his running life really took off. He holds world age-group records, including one in the 200 meters (24.65) and the 400 (57.26). He trains hard—about 85 percent of his training is cardio, which includes high-intensity sprinting, of course, as well as middle distance. And, of course, there’s stretching, eating well, and consistency. His recommendation for keeping going “eliminate the excuses!”

Read more about Charles Allie’s story here.

At age 62, Drew Key joined a 12-week transformation challenge at Gold’s Gym and completely transformed his body. He’d always been active, and the 12-week transformation brought on new challenges. He did a four-day split over a five-day rotation of legs, back and triceps, chest and biceps, shoulders and calves, and legs on alternating days. He also did cardio and created a list of go-to foods including egg whites, oatmeal, blueberries, strawberries, chicken, ground turkey, fish, sweet potatoes, rice, asparagus, cabbage, and broccoli. “I’m constantly challenging myself to inspire others,” he says.

Read more about Drew Key’s story here.

When Will Turner turned 60, he’d thought it would be fun to do 6 Ironman-distance races to celebrate (that’s a 2.4-mile swim, 102-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run…each race). Until he heard someone else had done that, and he decided to up the ante and try for 60. And when he got there, he tried to see how much farther he could reach.

“I was determined to prove that we shouldn’t let age limit or define us,” he says. He learned to pace himself in ways that allowed him to complete not just the race he was in, but the races in the days ahead. He learned to listen to his body and he learned when to press on and when to dial back. And, he says, he learned this: “We can and should test and push ourselves at any age. We are stronger and more capable than we realize.”

Read more about Will Turner’s story here.

As a teenager, Jacinto Bonilla started lifting homemade weights—he’d made them out of soup cans. He currently runs a Crossfit gym in Brooklyn, where his intense training workouts leave even the younger folks whipped.

Bonilla says a key to his continued abilities is that he’s been consistently active throughout his life (so don’t wait to start!). A guiding principle: “No matter what age I reach, I want to reach that age in shape,” Bonilla says. “I don’t want to be dependent on anyone.”

Read more about Jacinto Bonilla’s story here.

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