Joy Brown: Strength at any Age

strength at any age

Strength at any Age PT 1

By Denis LaBreche

In this industry, I have met a lot of people and have heard many stories that have inspired or changed my outlook on certain aspects of my life. I have had the great privilege of training clients that have become so close to me that they are like family now.

However, I am not usually one to share these client’s journeys all the time or one to post countless testimonials or before and after pictures for the sake of boosting my own ego and use them as a sales tactics.

But this story…this story is too good not to share. This is the first chapter that I will be involved in with “The Principal” Joy Brown. Read below on how Joy says in her own words how becoming strong after age 70 has positively affected her life:

“Lifting Up
My husband’s sudden departure left me needing to rapidly reassess how I would survive on my own. We had divided chores along sexist lines, me cooking and cleaning and him doing all the bull work, like mowing the lawn and carrying heavy things. At seventy, I was going to have to find a way to deal with all his jobs or move out of my house.

Some things had easy solutions, like the lawn. I could hire someone to do my yard. Others were not so easily solved, like putting the 45lb water jug onto its stand, bringing in groceries from the car, opening jars, and carrying heavy baskets of wet laundry from the basement to the back porch where I had my clothesline. Yes, I could use the dryer but that would deprive of one of my favourite activities. I had already developed a concern that there wasn’t a bathroom on the main floor, forcing me to run up or down stairs many times a day.

The choices in front of me were: 1. maintain my physical level of health and ability and hire people to do the jobs I couldn’t, or 2., slowly decline into old age and move out of my house into an apartment. There was never a third option until my eighteen- year- old grandson Sam, a highly trained athlete, opened a door I never knew existed. I could get stronger! He actually believed I could start building muscles at 70, and he was right.

Sam started me on 3lb hand weights. I drew diagrams of the exercises he wanted me to do. I would start repeating each one 8 times then moved up to 12 times over a week. I moved into 5lb weights and then to 10lbs in a two-month period. Three months into the program I moved to 15lb weights. To expand my program, Sam had me put the “MapMyWalk” app, by
Under Armour, on my iPhone. That got me walking every day because I loved seeing my walks on a map and having my time and distance recorded. Plus, I enjoyed having someone tell me how far and fast I was moving, with a slight tone of admiration in its voice!

After three months of one walk and one 10- minute weight training a day, I was literally a new person. In the first month I noticed it was easier to take in the groceries, sprint upstairs to the bathroom, and carry up the laundry. By the second month, I was able to open jars with ease and put the water jugs onto the cooler stand. This is particularly remarkable because my wrists were always the weakest part of me.
The most remarkable thing is that at 70, my self image has improved, my already strong sense of independence has increased and my confidence level has exploded. Now I jump in to help others carry things. When my girlfriend arrived for a visit, I easily carried her full-sized suitcase upstairs. I caught myself holding open a heavy hotel door for a thirty- year- old.

My greatest victory was when I went to Canadian Tire to buy my 15lb weights. The clerk, a young man, led me to the weight section and handed me a 3lb weight. I smiled and picked up two 15 lb weights, lifted them above my head in a test run, then cheerfully placed them in my cart, after thanking him for his help. Oh, and the biceps! I have beautiful hard biceps, secondary to my new strength of course, but, “Hey!”

My newest step was to join METTLE, a powerlifting gym here in Regina. The minute I walked in I knew it was for me. It has a no nonsense, get strong energy that welcomed me, and the coach only chuckled when I told him my age! After my first training session I feel like I’ve found where I want to be. I’m using more and different muscles than my home program could
afford me.

strength at any age
Joy Bench Pressing at Mettle Dec 2017

There’s something about being surrounded by concrete balls, enormous tractor tires being hit by sledgehammers, and giant heavy objects in general, that thrills me. All this is orchestrated with the music of clanking metal weights as background. The feel of this gym and the unwavering enthusiasm of my coach has opened my door to achieving strength even further. I’m on my way!

Joy Brown Age 70 12/08/18”

After only two sessions at Mettle Joy is already someone that everyone wants to meet! Her personality and spark are infectious and I can not wait to see how this story unfolds.

Stay tuned!

-Denis LaBreche

Denis has been strength training for over a decade and competing in powerlifting for 3 years. He has competed at the national and international level. He enjoys working with clients of all skill levels. From true beginner to the elite powerlifter and athlete. His true passion lies in helping people with nutrition. Whether the goal is weight loss, muscle or performance gain or somewhere in the middle he has you covered! Follow him on Instagram and Facebook

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