Never too old to train |

Never too old to train

As many of you know I usually write about how seniors can become healthier and more fit in their retirement (or pre-retirement) years. But last week I received an email which stood that theme on its head… made me reverse my usual orientation.

Nancy, a retired nurse, sent me an email inquiring about becoming a personal trainer. She had a successful primary career. She was healthy and fit, and felt she had more to give back now that she was retired.

She was asking for my opinion. Was she too old? Was it stupid to think that she could take up a second career in new field? My answer was “Great, do it. BINGO! This is perfect. We need older personal trainers in the profession; people who have the compassion, the skills and the life experiences to relate to a growing, new market.”

Fast growing new market

The “Baby Boomer” generation is living longer than their parents — they are not old at 65 — they are living on average 20 more years than their parents. The problem is that those 20 years are not always years of independence, activity and renewal. Many will need assistance to live life fully.

Personal Training is one of the fastest growing professions in the nation. The reason is simple – the 76 million strong “Baby Boomer” generation is retiring at the rate of 3.6 million/year or 10,000/day. Many will have health related issues in the next 20 years. Hence there is a growing need for doctors, various medical professionals, nurses, geriatric counselors … and personal trainers.

Older personal trainers will the best

Watch TV fitness ads on television and you will see super buffed, 20–30 year-olds in spandex duds, training other 20–30 year olds — by doing jumps, punches, pushups, kick boxing and whatever moves they think will sell their fitness product.

“Buy in the next 10 minutes and we will send you a second one free.”

This isn’t personal training.

What the personal training profession needs is older, knowledgeable, fit persons who can relate to others of their generation. Trainers who understand the needs, fears, goals and intimidations of their peers. We need trainers who can counsel Boomers about how, where and why to exercise; about food selection, diet, portion size and nutrition; about long term health/weight management; about ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, et cetera. Maybe this is you?

To Nancy and others — Do it!

If you are retired, fit and understand the conceptual benefits of exercise and healthy eating, contact me. I can tell you which are the best personal training certifications and how long it will get to get your certification.

Most of all, when you get that certification, the South Yuba Club will have a strong interest in hiring you as a new minted personal trainer. We will then guide you in the practical application of training members with the “South Yuba Club Way.” We have a carefully formulated protocol that will help you become not only a good personal trainer… but a great personal trainer.

So if you over 50, want a new challenge and know you have more to give back to society, “Better Call Saul”… just kidding. “Better Call Phil.”

Phil Carville is a co-owner of the South Yuba Club. If you have questions or comments you can email him at

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