Sports are one of the most universally beloved ways of having proper physical exercise. Even if you’re picky about what sport you like, there are hundreds of hundreds of which you can choose from. There are even gyms and programs dedicated to people over 50 years of age, like the Let’s Go Fitness group. They want to help everyone over the age of 50 to be in better shape, both mentally and physically. It’s remarkable being in the shape of your life from 50 onwards, feeling like you’re just starting to reach your potential and have plenty to give!
To learn more, read the article by Yoann Cretet.
Breaking stereotypes to give the over-50s back their taste for effort. Whether you have thoroughly grey hair or greying temples, there is no specific age to get back into shape in a gentle and enjoyable way, explains Yoann Crétet, regional manager of the Let’s Go Fitness group in French-speaking Switzerland.
Why did the Let’s Go Fitness group decide to target the over 50s?
The over 50s are left a bit to their own devices in most gyms, as the operation is not really tailored to their expectations. We want to break through these clichés like mirrors, dumbbells, youth and perfect bodies that often put older people off. In addition, older clients expect more support from the trainers and better adapted exercises. So we have focused on stronger guidance and gentler exercise programmes for these seniors who are looking for well-being rather than performance.
What are the main goals and expectations of these older clients?
Generally, when people visit us, they tell us that they want to feel good, regain some resilience and achieve a good physical condition. Many of them used to exercise when they were young, but stopped because they became parents and then put on weight. They don’t have purely aesthetic expectations, but want to regain some balance, including mobility, flexibility and cardio-respiratory performance.
How do you stand out from other gyms?
Members over 50 are regular and loyal visitors to their gym and they feel good there. They often want more detailed explanations and more support in their fitness programme with their trainer. Regarding our courses, we propose appropriate products without pressure and with trainers who are trained for the more specific expectations of these clients.
How do your courses for older members work in concrete terms?
Let’s take the example of Body Pump, a general and comprehensive course to strengthen the muscles. It is practised with a bar to which weights are attached. Members work on each muscle group for 3 to 5 minutes in a session of about 55 minutes in total, with music. This class is well received because it is efficient but not too vigorous: there are no jumps or bounces, but it produces real results in strengthening the person’s muscles and stamina. This session is always led by a trainer who is familiar with the needs of older people.
What tips can you give to a person of at least 50 who wants to start doing sport (again)?
Above all, have fun! We are there to introduce the person to the benefits of gradually resuming a physical activity. We offer trial sessions of about 30 minutes. This allows us to build a relationship of trust with the person so that they feel comfortable. This helps us to learn more about the person’s goals in order to guide them in the best possible way with the tools at our disposal.
- Adapted courses, intensive support and a close relationship between trainers and members – this has already convinced Mary for 15 years. At the age of 62, this loyal member of Let’s Go Fitness trains 4 to 5 times a week. For her, there is no specific age to keep in shape and improve your physical condition if you are well looked after. An encounter.
What convinces you?
Our trainers look after us very intensively and are with us every step of the way: from the first visit, where they take the time to evaluate our needs and set up a suitable training programme, to regular meetings to adjust the programmes so that we progress. I have not experienced this level of closeness and care at any other gym. We want to progress and the trainers look after us and challenge us. The classes are often changed and adapted to our progress and tastes. All the equipment is in very good condition and is regularly replaced to keep up with the latest technology. For some time now, the studio has also been offering gentler classes that are better suited to people of an older age. This makes the wellness aspect bigger than the performance aspect, which is the focus in other studios. I think this builds confidence and reassures people over 50.
Has it enabled you to progress and improve your physical condition?
Even though I am already over 60, I am making progress every month. I would even say that I have more stamina and am physically fitter than I was 15 years ago. I feel better physically and have better cardio and respiratory performance. This constant support also prevents injuries as the trainers are always there to show us the right movements and postures for each exercise. You feel supported, there is no mystery. This relationship of trust with my coach, as well as my motivation and perseverance, allows me to reach and maintain this level despite my age.
You are older than 50. What do you think is the key to success in doing sport and maintaining your physical condition?
It depends mainly on your own motivation and fun, because you have to be able to persevere and challenge yourself physically. This is only possible if you are well accompanied and that is clearly the case with Let’s Go Fitness. I am the best example that you can be over 60 and push your limits or even exceed them. And I don’t think that can be helped! The benefits beyond the purely physical are also enormous: it’s good for your mood because it balances your hormones. Plus, you meet lots of other people at the gym. In short, there are no disadvantages! Age should definitely not be a hurdle to all these benefits!