At 86-years-old, Fred Bartlit, the co-author of Choosing the StrongPath feels stronger than he did when he was in his 20s and an Army Ranger. He’s been lifting weights for more than 35 years.
During an appearance on Gurvey’s Law on 790 KABC Radio, Fred discussed the importance of strength training, especially as you get into your 50s and older. “People think it’s okay to just go for a walk for exercise. But your body has two kinds of muscles in it and walking only gets to 40 percent of them. If you’re not pumping iron, you’re not getting to the 60 percent—fast-twitch muscles—that are good for skiing, hitting a golf ball, and not falling down when you’re in your 70s.”
Medical science shows that intense strength training is important to fight sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass as you age. It also reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Fred explained that researchers around the world tout the benefits. “The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has concluded that intense physical activity is a miracle cure, not just for frailty and aging, but for a whole wide range of diseases. Harvard Medical School has concluded that exercise has a bigger impact on disease risk than any other remedy and, if it could be followed, it would be the most prescribed medicine. The Centers for Disease Control calls exercise a ‘wonder drug’. These guys don’t throw these words around lightly.”
“I don’t just lift weights. I do cardio. You’ve got to do both,” said Fred. “But to really live the kind of life you want to live, you really have to use heavy weights to failure.” The hosts asked him how to get started on the StrongPath. “On the website, we have videos that show the Harvard recommendations on how to get started and what you need to do next. It’s important to go to a gym. It’s probably best to begin with a trainer,” said Fred. “Senior citizens can get free membership in over 2,000 gyms through a government program called Silver Sneakers. Your muscles learn quickly, and you can triple your strength in six to eight weeks.”