50+ OLDER Adult Personal Training

Why is 30-minutes of daily exercise and 2 or 3 strength-training workouts per week so important for us all, and older adults in particular?  

Incorporating regular physical activity into your healthy lifestyle will pay huge dividends in your quality of life and ability to move well, and pain-free, later on down the road.



With a daily minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise you will decrease your risk of developing: cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, bone fractures, and diabetes.

Challenging your muscular strength and cardiovascular capacity will result in your body adapting to the stresses imposed upon it; and getting it ready to be pushed ever harder with each successive 'stage' of development.  

 Through continually changing the variety, amount, pacing, and duration of the activities you partake in over time, you will continue to show improvements in your body composition, amount of fate-free muscle mass, fitness and energy levels, ability to perform personal-care activities, and the mitigation of the effects of aging, such as arthritis, joint or mobility problems. and other issues that could impact your active lifestyle.

Stay limber, strong, and able to do the things you love. No matter your age, it is never too late to start developing the lifelong skills needed to exercise properly, eat nutritiously, and stay active.


Habitual healthy living appears not only to promote longevity but also to increase the chance of having the physical ability to enjoy life to its fullest in later years.
— LaCroix, A. Z. et al. Maintaining Mobility in late life. Am. J. Epiidemiol 137: 858-869 (1993)


Hitting the gym on a regular basis, participating in scheduled group classes, joining an adult sports league, or meeting a friend for a swim or to go cross-country skiing, are all activities that benefit us in ways beyond the purely physical.  The regularity that joining a class or following a weekly plan brings will keep you on-track.  Switching-up or cycling through different types of exercise will keep things fresh and interesting.  A typical week could include: swimming on Mondays; biking, hiking, or snowshoeing on another day - depending on the season; and getting your resistance/strength training in twice a week by attending a teacher-led class, seeing a personal trainer, or following an on-line fitness program that can be performed at home with the exercise equipment you already own.


Leading an active lifestyle also directly impacts your mental & emotional health by improving your: 

quality of life - a general sense of happiness and satisfaction with our lives and environment;

mental well-being: the endorphins released from exercising, simply-put, make us feel great; 

getting into the 'zone' - attaining and maintaining a fitness level that allows you to participate in the physical endeavours you enjoy at your desired pace and level of exertion; 

avoiding setbacks such as: injuries, fatigue, fear of falling, not being able to complete a race or event, or the trekking tour for which you have been training over the past several months; 

keeping up with your hobbies - staying active and performing weight-bearing exercises that are tailored to your current fitness level and any joint or mobility-related problems you may have been troubled with in the past; 

avoiding injury by correcting imbalances: 'fixing' a chronically sore back or knee problem with strength-training and a proper stretching or foam-rolling routine will get you off the sidelines and back in the game.

Common Questions from older adults

Is strength-training right for me?  

Will I enjoy myself and stick with it?  

Will I get the results I want?

Should i see my doctor before exercising more intensely or frequently?

Len and Nicole have extensive experience training adult clients in the 50+ age group spanning a wide-range of fitness levels.

Many of our clients have been training with us on a weekly basis for more than 5 years, with some of the clients that have been training with Len starting in 2003 nearing their 300th or even 500th personal training sessions.

Part 1: Breathe client Barry McG. being scrutinized for proper technique by the BabyTrainer Part 2: ViPR box-frame squat-to-presses
All of my workouts are a challenge and target multiple muscle groups & proper technique is top priority, which makes all the difference.”
— Bonnie W.


The reasons why people of all ages come to train at our Whyte Ave studio include:

Motivation and the 'push' or spark plug needed to get started in the first place;

Preparation for a specific event such as an adventure race, or an extended hike to Machu Picchu or along the West Coast Trail, or a walking pilgrimage through Spain on the El Camino

Learning proper technique, or dealing with a special health concern;

Booking a regular training time to... 

make fitness a scheduled priority and to... 

infuse some variety into your fitness plan, and use..

the momentum of continuous improvements to help you keep on-track.  


 Fall has sprung and it's time to keep the momentum you have built up over the summer rolling.  Read Len's latest blog  for tips on   how to get back into your fitness routine   to stay-injury-free and avoid setbacks.

Fall has sprung and it's time to keep the momentum you have built up over the summer rolling. Read Len's latest blog for tips on how to get back into your fitness routine to stay-injury-free and avoid setbacks.

It is important to understand the unique challenges that come with aging: arthritis, joint problems, low or fluctuating energy levels, depression, or difficulty with alertness due to altered sleep patterns are but a few.  Add to that the fact that a lot of people in their 50s and 60s and beyond are still working and actively involved in the lives of their children, an active contributor within their community leagues, and just busy with living, in general - so fitting in time for fitness needs to become part of your overall home-work-life plan.

ARE YOU READY TO START a new exercise program?

The WebMD article: Workout Injuries: Prevention and Treatment provides a very basic set of guidelines to help you get safely back into a sensible fitness routine.  

WebMD: Check in with your doctor before embarking on a fitness journey if you are a woman over 55, or a male over 45

A PREVENTATIVE ACTION you can take today: In Canada there is a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) which asks 8 simple yes-no questions to determine if a change in your current activity level will result in you needing to consult with your doctor before getting significantly more physically active.


The training programs for older adults at Breathe Fitness are based upon the same principles that we use to train all of our clients: from young to old...beginner to seasoned exerciser...slow-paced to extremely intense.

That EVERY ONE is an athlete...

... that EVERY BODY needs to be taught to move properly and efficiently...

... and that you should ONLY PROGRESS to a new challenge..

... AFTER MASTERING a particular skill or movement pattern.”
— Breathe Fitness :: Training Philosophy

Like all of the athletes (of all ages) that we train from sports such as snowboarding, marathon running, or a team sport like Ultimate frisbee, where the physical demands between each sport differ vastly in respect to the skill sets, primary muscle groups, and energy systems utilized (endurance, explosive power, etc.), 85-90% of the exercises these athletes need to perform to learn move properly and efficiently are the same across the board...

...that's right. At Breathe, we truly believe that every one is an athlete...

...and that includes our 50+ OLDER ADULT CLIENTS

One of the major differences encountered when developing training programs for athletes from categorically different sports lies in the pacing of the exercises used to mimic the energy demands and strength requirements of their particular sport - and not necessarily the exercises themselves.  A hiker would focus on balance drills for neuromuscular activation to better 'link' their brain's response to sensory feedback in response to ever-changing, uneven surfaces; while a hockey or ringette player would be concerned with power-endurance to make sure their stride remains at full-power throughout the entire game situation.  

An example of how the pacing of the exact same movement can cater to both the hiker and the skating athlete, and the different demands of their disciplines, can be found in a lateral bounding exercise with change-of-direction as demonstrated by Breathe Trainer and ViPR Global Ambassador & Master Trainer, Nicole Lark. This agility drill relies on the gluteus medius (the muscle on the side of your hip that lends the support necessary to allow humans to walk upright as bipeds) to play its part to dynamically stabilize the hip joint; the quadriceps and calves to both accelerate (out of) and decelerate (into) the change-of-direction position; and the core musculature of the pelvic floor, abdominal region, and the hamstring and gluteus maximus muscles - that cross-over both the hip and knee, and act as shock absorbers and stabilizers to the muscles responsible for enacting motion.

The ViPR is a phenomenal tool for training movement with strength. The length of time or number of bounds will be dependant on what you are trying to achieve. Focus on absorbing the landing by flexing the hip, knee, and ankle, landing low, keeping the spine neutral and chest up.

A certified fitness professional can help you understand the differences between using sit-down machines and functional training tools, and assist you in choosing the best alternative for you.  Not being sure where to start, which exercises are right for your skill and fitness levels, and even how to set-up an apparatus or chose a weight or resistance that will provide just the right challenge are all common questions for new and experienced exercisers alike.

Working out at home? Do you already have some fitness equipment or are looking to purchase some new, portable, relatively inexpensive training tools? A personal trainer or group exercise leader can also show you how to properly use whatever piece of equipment you have at your disposal. From the old standards like dumbbells, tubing or tension bands; to new-to-the-scene fitness implements such as suspension straps, weighted-sandbags with handles, heavy cloth-covered balls, the ViPR, and the blue-domed BoSu (Both Sides Up) ball.