A 75-year-old meets CrossFit
BY DICK PIROZZOLO
“Seventy-year-olds shouldn’t do CrossFit,” a former Mr. Universe admonished, “No one your age should be flipping tractor tires!”
Since joining CrossFit Launchpad last December, not a single tractor tire yearning to be flipped has appeared. To be sure, the 45-pound bumper plates, pullup bars, and kettlebells seemed formidable at first. But intimidation quickly faded in light of the relationships I developed during my classes with folks ranging from age 80 to 10.
This CrossFit gym was started in Wellesley, Massachusetts, by Ronda Rockett, MD, who gave up her medical practice devote full time to fitness. She notes, “I would encourage my patients to exercise by demonstrating movements in my office. Results were excellent, but I knew I could do better in a CrossFit environment with a community of like-minded individuals.”
Participants—or athletes in CrossFit parlance—include this 75-year-old, whose biggest challenge was walking the dog, to professional tennis player Anders Lundberg, age 60, who was among Sweden’s top-ten players at 15 and champion in his class at 42. He says, “I started two months ago, and what a difference it’s made in my strength and flexibility. I felt it right away. My movements on the court are more effortless now.”
During my first two months, I went from zero to 60, well zero-to-30. I can now run 400 meters without having to walk partway, jump onto a 12-inch box from a standstill, and do CrossFit Burpees, the Navy Seal’s signature exercise, only harder. My health has improved—lower cholesterol, and I’ve reached my weight at age 23.
Lundberg adds, “Having a small group of four-to-eight people with a trainer makes the workout more focused. You want to put in 100 percent of your energy, compared to going a gym by yourself and having no one to push you.”
CrossFit was created by Greg Glassman, who opened the first gym in 1996. There are now 15,000 CrossFit gyms in 120 countries, where the “Workouts of the Day” or WODs emphasize foundational movements—Olympic Weightlifting, kettlebell swings and gymnastics like pullups and ring dips, plus running or rowing. Workouts are scaled to accommodate individual strength and ability.
Explains CrossFit Launchpad coach Brian Curley, who placed first in the over-50 class at the 2010 international CrossFit Games, “Every movement emphasizes form and efficiency. For example, athletes progress from a light PVC pipe to an empty barbell to adding weight after they’ve mastered a particular weightlifting skill.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dick Pirozzolo, APR is founder & managing director Pirozzolo Company Public Relations, Boston, Massachusetts. He specializes in public relations, corporate communication, media relations. Crisis Management. He coauthored the 2017 historical novel, Escape from Saigon.
a journalist, PR consultant and author of six books on finance, technology, cybersecurity and international relations. k Pirozzolo is a journalist