I am a 59 year old retired woman. You might say I am a senior citizen but I believe age is only a number. When I was in High School girls sports programs were non existent so I didn’t grow up being an athlete. I was always on the “heavy” side but started to get interested in fitness in my late twenty’s. I would run some and do a few exercises.
I got a late start on my career with the Illinois Department of Corrections. I was already 36 years old when I was hired. I worked for nine years, of my twenty two year career, at the Illinois Department of Corrections Impact Incarceration program or “Boot camp” as it was known.
During my years at the “Boot camp” I learned to lead military style exercise drills. I also saw some of the most miraculous transformations imaginable. Down and out drug addicts and out of shape couch potatoes became healthy, strong men through nutritious food, hard work and body weight exercise. I and my fellow officers exercised right along with the inmates and I was hooked on fitness.
I was promoted to Parole Agent and my work took me to Springfield IL several times per week. During my lunch hours I went to a Gold’s gym and there I found CrossFit. I believe CrossFit changed my life.
I retired in 2010 and enjoyed my hobby of Wildlife art for a while but needed more then a hobby, so I began my fitness pursuit in earnest. Even though I have some back issues that I have to work around, I earned certifications from AFAA, ISSA, Silver Sneakers, Senior Longevity, AFAA Biggest Loser Pro and CrossFit L1.
In April of 2012 I started my own small garage gym in a very rural area. I have slowly added equipment and do most of my training in my garage with free weights and body weight. I base my classes on HIIT and my CrossFit training. I try to help my clients gain confidence in their own strength.
I also teach “Biggest Loser Live Training” at a hospital in a town near me. “Biggest Loser Live Training” consists of a healthy eating plan and exercise. My clients range in age from 17-67 years old. It is never too late to find a rewarding career or pursue health and fitness.
Holly Blumenberg's Workout Schedule
My own training schedule looks like this. Monday is a variety of HIIT workouts done with a trainer, and I also the workouts I write for my own class. Example:
- 10 burpees, 10 pull ups x 10 rounds or
- 100 squats, 100 leg extensions, 100 leg curls or
- 1 hour of push ups or
- 10 sets of 10 bench press and 10 push ups etc. Just any combination I can think of.
On Tuesday I usually participate in the “Biggest Loser” workout that I teach. Wednesday is usually back and shoulders:
- Lat Pull downs - 3-4 sets of 12-15
- Seated row - 3-4 sets of 12-15
- Clean and Press - 5-7 sets of 8-10
- Seated DB press - 3-4 sets of 12
- One arm row - 3 sets each arm
- Lat raises - 3 sets of 10
- Front raises - 3 set of 12
- Back extensions - 3 sets of 20
I try to change up the exercises and do some ab work.
Thursday, legs and abs:
- Squats - 5 sets of 20
- Sumo Squats with Kettle Bell
- Front squats - 2 set of 10
- Leg extensions - 5 sets of 20
- Leg curls - 5 sets of 20
- Sit ups on back extension equipment
- Sit ups with trunk twists
Friday, chest, biceps and triceps:
- Flat bench - 100 reps starting at 45 lb and going up to 85 lbs
- DB incline bench - 3 sets of 12-15
- Chest flys, flat and incline - 3 sets each position
- Seated bicep DB curls - 3-4 sets of 12-20
- Biceps curls with bar
- Lying triceps extension - 3 sets of 12-20
- Dips - 100 bodyweight
- Triceps push downs - 3 sets of 12-15
Saturday and sunday. One rest day and the other a variety of multi joint compound exercises including but not limited to deadlift, hang clean, push press, squats.
Several times per week I jump rope (1000 jumps) or do burpees or other cardio. I run very little because of a degenerative disc problem. The main thing to remember is variety in your workouts. No two workouts are ever the same, for me or for my clients.
My diet is simple whole foods and little or no sugar or white flour products. I eat every 3-4 hours and all meals and snacks contain protein and carbohydrates. If I can control my blood sugar I can also control my hunger.
Special Chili Recipe
My favorite “go to” recipe is Special Chili.
- 1 lb. ground turkey or lean hamburger. Or chicken breasts cooked and shredded.
- 2 cans tomatoes with Jalapenos bag frozen chopped green peppers.
- 2 cans diced regular tomatoes 1 can or bag whole kernel corn.
- Two bags frozen chopped broccoli two envelopes chili seasoning.
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce salt, pepper, garlic pdw, onion pdw.
- 1 can chili beans (optional) tomato juice.
Brown meat or boil chicken and shred. Place all ingredients in large pot; add tomato juice to nearly cover ingredients. Cover and simmer on low for approximately 1 and ½ hours if vegetables are frozen. Less if everything is thawed. I keep this “Chili” in the fridge at all times so I can have a large serving ready when needed.
My supplements are: whey protein drink before and after most workouts. I use glutamine and BCAAs after and creatine before strenuous exercise. I take fish oil, a multivitamin and glucosamine.
You can not give in to the aches and pains of getting older. It is a fact of life but I believe you can postpone most of it. I also believe most women, especially my age, do not think that they can build muscle or be strong. I am telling you that you can. Don’t be afraid to exercise like a man. Women’s bodies work just like a man’s minus the testosterone and need to be trained in the same manner. Don’t sell yourself short.
My Facebook page is My Garage Gym / “Biggest Loser Live Training”.
Good workouts! Fun , exciting and motivating routines. May try a few of your recipe's. Will have to change it up for my vegetarian spouse. Placing your information iin my favorites. I am 57 , soon to be 58 and have been working out regularly for two years. Am also reading "Younger Next Year" .
I am so pleased to see someone my age doing what I'm you are where I hope to be . I am 58 and started one year ago eating clean and lifting my job doesn't alllow me to do more or maybe I dont as the gym is a little overwhelming. But I am doing it. I work our at home with weights and at gym adding cardio .
I am so happy to find you on the net I plan to begin working out asap.
So happy I found you. I'm 60 and am in the best shape of my life. Although I've worked out over the years, 3 years ago I was 65 pounds overweight. It took almost a year to lose the weight. I've remained the same weight for 2 years so far. My goal was just to get fit. Now it's a passion. I've considered getting certified and my trainer and I are looking to open a fitness facility. You have definitely inspired me! Thanks. I don't feel so alone as an older gym rat!
Thanks joy, keep up the good work And good will álways shine his brilliant light on your way. Way to go mama. Some say you are only as óld as you feel. But i say the whole purpose to life is to impact other peoples life.
What an inspiration you are. Like you I started late. Ive just turned fifty and i'm just about to start my own PT fitness, almost finished my course, 4 weeks to go. I no longer think I left it too late. Thanks. Belinda Sydney
I LOVE what you've done, and continue to do!
I floated in and out of fitness over the years, and up and down on the scale. I am 48 now, and I just want to be healthy and strong in my later years! I have lost just over 20lbs, and have a good 25-30 more to go. I'm trying not to focus on the number, and just try to stop putting food on a pedestal, it's nutrition. I started running about 4 months ago and surprised myself by what I can do!!! The past six or so weeks, I added a strength training class at the gym, and really like it. I've been able to increase the weights a little bit. I do want to "show off" strong arms and back, etc. What kind of goal would I work towards to achieve that? I guess I am not sure when to increase, and where/when I should stop increasing. I don't want to look "body builder" bulk, but I do want people to say "wow"!
You look fantastic!!! :) thanks for reaching out to others!!!
Thank you Holly for your inspiration. I am 58 and retired to years ago from be a Customs Officer and have felt that it was too late to deal with my desire to be fit and strong again. Your story has reminded me that there is life after a career.
Thank you! We have the same number (59) and I'm happy to say, the same attitude! Working on the same body.
Good job Joy,
Too many people just give up too soon!