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Thread: How to get dad to start lifting?

  1. #1

    Default How to get dad to start lifting?

    My Dad is 63 years old and is morbidly obese. I'm really concerned about his health. His only real health problem was a stomach ulcer 8 years ago. He doesn't smoke and hardly drinks. He just sits on the couch everyday after work. He is flat out refusing to go to the gym, which I'm putting down to body image issues. I've had a few health related deaths to friends and relatives over the last year which is making this problem even more pressing for me personally.

    We have a stationary bike in our house and I've finally got him to use it. He's used it for the past 4 days, which seems like nothing but is a major step for him.

    My main question is how do I get him into the gym to start an LP? He thinks lifting is a load of shit and is a waste of time. He hurt his back a few weeks ago which is bothering him and, due to how he describes the pain, I have a good feeling deadlifting will solve it for him. Should I get him to stick with the bike for the next few months (increasing resistance and minutes spent on the bike), cut out junk food, eat healthier with less calories, let his weight come down and then get him to transition to the gym? Would giving him Barbell Prescription now be a good idea? How did your relatives or yourself decide to get to the gym, if you only started lifting after 50?

    I am really worried about him due to the 63 years of mistakes that he's shoved down his throat. What annoys me is that he's already pretty strong (grew up on a farm) and I know he'll actually enjoy getting stronger.

    Thanks for the responses.

  2. #2
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    I bought my dad (64) a session with Paul Horn for Christmas. Two weeks later he has ordered a Rogue rack and is scouring Craigslist for a bar and weights. YMMV.

  3. #3
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    Small steps might be the answer.

    Get the Barbell Prescription. If you don't believe he will read the whole thing right away, the first section describing the nature and quality of life of the two twins can be very compelling. So perhaps buying it yourself and copying those pages to get his attention might help. But be prepared for some frustration and be patient.

    Since you mentioned he was raised on a farm, maybe getting a box full of papers (around 50 lbs., hence a relatively light hay bale or heavy feed bucket) for him to gauge his strength against and get a reality check on his capacities relative to his past.

    If you can get him to ANYTHING weight related, it's a bonus. You have already established some momentum with the bike. Dumbbells, even little adjustable ones used at home, can be the next step. If he adjusts and commits well to those, the gym or a home gym can perhaps follow with barbells. But even if he won't do those, getting him to do a little more than now is still a plus.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniemichael View Post
    I bought my dad (64) a session with Paul Horn for Christmas. Two weeks later he has ordered a Rogue rack and is scouring Craigslist for a bar and weights. YMMV.
    This sounds like a possibility. I hate wasting money so if one of my sons were to do something like this I would certainly use the gift. I think a good certified SS coach can be very convincing.

  5. #5

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    Dude is 63, ain't no way he's taking ANY advice from the kids. Your best bet would to have a cute barista start giving him compliments, that's the best motivation available.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS2016 View Post
    My Dad is 63 years old and is morbidly obese. I'm really concerned about his health. His only real health problem was a stomach ulcer 8 years ago. He doesn't smoke and hardly drinks. He just sits on the couch everyday after work. He is flat out refusing to go to the gym, which I'm putting down to body image issues. I've had a few health related deaths to friends and relatives over the last year which is making this problem even more pressing for me personally.

    We have a stationary bike in our house and I've finally got him to use it. He's used it for the past 4 days, which seems like nothing but is a major step for him.

    My main question is how do I get him into the gym to start an LP? He thinks lifting is a load of shit and is a waste of time. He hurt his back a few weeks ago which is bothering him and, due to how he describes the pain, I have a good feeling deadlifting will solve it for him. Should I get him to stick with the bike for the next few months (increasing resistance and minutes spent on the bike), cut out junk food, eat healthier with less calories, let his weight come down and then get him to transition to the gym? Would giving him Barbell Prescription now be a good idea? How did your relatives or yourself decide to get to the gym, if you only started lifting after 50?

    I am really worried about him due to the 63 years of mistakes that he's shoved down his throat. What annoys me is that he's already pretty strong (grew up on a farm) and I know he'll actually enjoy getting stronger.

    Thanks for the responses.
    If you can get him to the gym, get him there - a HUGE first step. You can start with whatever. I spent 2 years doing circuit training, planks, burpees, body weight stuff, dumbbells ( sshhh, I still use dumbbells on occasion) , and got into decent shape. Step 2 was then, on my own ( and hopefully on his), to amp it up and start doing heavier weights and training instead of exercising ( I never did the program though) .

  7. #7

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    He sounds adamantly against lifting since he thinks it's a load of shit and waste of time. Lifting isn't for everyone and that's OK. Lots of people seem to like to run but I'd rather punch myself in the balls than run a mile. Or half mile. Or at all. But anyway...

    If lifting isn't his thing there may be a physical activity he does enjoy. Just getting moving would be an improvement. Walking, swimming, basketball, really, just about anything. People that hate physical activity, and especially weights, will probably not respond well to asking them to squat and deadlift.

    You have great intentions but I don't know how realistic they are in this case.

  8. #8
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    Face it, only a small percentage of the population is crazy enough to want to pick up heavy things.
    Battling the iron is the only thing that keeps me sane. (partially anyway )

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meshuggah View Post
    Face it, only a small percentage of the population is crazy enough to want to pick up heavy things.
    Battling the iron is the only thing that keeps me sane. (partially anyway )
    +100

  10. #10

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    Fight the good fight!

    Mark has the right idea in "baby Steps". But think BIG too.

    I am the 63 year old in my story. Talking to my 75 year old brother in law.

    I started by showing him "Barbell Prescription" and reading a couple select passages (at a party). I then offered to buy him a copy if he was interested. (this is like fishing... pull the bait away some).

    An interesting thing about this demographic... Doctors start asking you "how many times have you fallen down in the last 6 months?"
    This is like asking someone on death row what their execution date is.
    Probably didn't ease his mind at all that just recently his friend and next door neighbor (roughly his age) fell down while walking his dog and then died of complications.
    Needless to say, the Barbell Prescription has plenty of material for this topic. (lean on your experts here)

    Book came in, and I suggested he come over to pick it up, and I'd walk him through the movements.
    So we got an initial workout in. (aka "under bar")

    Relax: although I have a full rack with two Olympic bars and more than 2 300 lb weight sets, we did this with a 1" doll rod, we discuss the mechanics, safely racking the bar, setting pin height, how the safety bars on the bottom work, etc. He's sedentary but has no movement problems. But he is surprisingly weak, but even so this did not push him. But all the talk of safety, was very reassuring to him.

    Oh, I find that introducing these as "normal human movements that we incrementally load to gain strength" is very reassuring. We're going to do what you're ready to do, sort of thing.

    Outcome: He is reading Barbell Prescription. We have gone through the movements. He has been invited to work out at my house. (he's 30 minutes away). He is very positive so far.

    Forecast: As Nassim Nicolas Taleb might observe, we really don't know what will happen. But I have introduced him to a Black Swan (Black Swan event: a hard to predict event, with high impact) with a great deal of up side, for him and me. No doubt Jonathan Sullivan and Andy Baker can do a better job of selling the science and programming than I can. So I let them! If I can get him to do a hand full of workouts, then I would consider taking him to Jonathan Sullivan's next "Squat Seminar". Get the "real pro's" to do the "heavy lifting".

    BTW: highly recommend Chris Kurisko as well as the seminar was a joint effort. These seminars were a real "come to Jesus" moment for me. As soon as I signed up I began videoing my squats, and dramatically improved my form. Because I didn't want to embarrass myself, and I knew they would make me better. They did. It was a bargain.

    Notes: Working with someone in your circle (aka family or friends) will raise the awareness of all those in the circle. I've gotten 3 others in this specific circle "under bar", and several more are on the cusp. I'll do all I can to make them successful, while being successful myself. I am also working other circles (and there is important overlap), where I have four people under bar and one more committed to try, (and two more targeted).

    My notion is that this works better in Pods (family-ish) units than in 1's or 2's. I was "recruited" into my brother's "pod" last April, which has 5 under bar, (aka gone through the lifts at least once) and 4 lifting regularly. (2 more showing interest) I would consider this a stout pod, which I'd like to replicate.

    Now, the people who choose to volunteer might not be your "favorite/target" member to work with. Work with them anyway. Their influence, and especially their "success story" may well be the "Black Swan" you need to lead a pod into regular Starting Strength programs. Rip and the gang have your back from there.

    Frankly, the results of this program are hard to ignore. Leverage that. At least realize what a great thing you have to share.
    Last edited by Cheesepuff; 01-12-2017 at 04:47 PM. Reason: miss counted on my second pod

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