When Jack Travis signed up for our 12-week body transformation, I knew it was going to be an experiment that would prove that weight training benefits everyone despite their age. But I could not have predicted how dramatic his results would be. This was because Jack started our program at the age of 79, and although he had a great attitude and was willing to make major lifestyle changes, it was hard to know how his body would respond. After three months of hard work and commitment, however, the results are in, and Jack has proved that it’s never too late to take control of your life and get in great shape.
Jack came to us in the fall because he wanted to lose weight and tone up. He had several physical issues I needed to research before we could begin an exercise program. Jack had recently undergone triple bypass surgery and had a new hip installed, so it took some time to contact the doctors and make sure we had approval. Finally, after a couple weeks, he received an endorsement from his doctor to join the program and we started by designing him a specific weight training program that included cardiovascular training and diet basics to help him reach his goals.
Jack began with a 60-minute workout that included a combination of weight training and body weight movements followed by a four-minute cardio session on the bike. We slowly worked him up by adding more weight to his exercises and time to his cardiovascular training, but we made sure his form was perfect and the workout was appropriate for his level. He worked out with us three times a week and quickly began to see results.
“I had a lot of doubts of whether I could accomplish my goals at my age, but as I began working out and seeing the weight loss and began to tone up, I said, ‘Wow, this is working,’” he said.
His results and energy level increased with each passing week.
Halfway through the transformation, an amazing thing happened. Jack previously had high blood pressure, but when he went to his doctor for a checkup, his blood pressure had dropped dramatically and was now completely normal. It used to be 150/90 or higher, but it was now 118/80. In addition, his weight continued to drop weekly at a very consistent rate, and his body began to take a whole new shape.
When Jack finally finished the program, he transformed his body from the inside out. He lost a total of 45 pounds, completely toned up, had much better stamina and blood pressure, and looked like a completely different person. He could now do a 60-minute weight training workout followed by 38 minutes of cardiovascular training and make it look easy.
When asked what advice he would give to others who feel like they are too old or too injured to get in shape, Jack said, “I used to have this attitude that it’s OK to back off and not do things. I was getting older and didn’t need exercise, but now I realize it’s never too late to get started no matter what your situation is or how old you are, and the results prove that.”
Over the years, I’ve trained people of all ages with injuries, medical conditions and other obstacles that needed to be overcome, but Jack Travis will go down in history as one of the most positive, inspirational fitness role models I have ever had the privilege to train. He decided to take control of his life and get in shape a few months short of his 80th birthday, and he more than accomplished his goals. He showed up every day with a smile on his face and a contagious positive attitude. He is a true example of what we should all strive for as we retire – to try to live our best lives by preserving our bodies and health while enjoying life.
Congratulations, Jack! Your story will inspire many people to take control of their situations and transform their bodies. You are truly an example that it’s never too late to make a change.