Alert as we are to the health benefits of regular exercise, we were pleased to see The New York Times’s “Fitness Story for the Ages,” the tale of a bodybuilder whose clients include octogenarians—and even nonagenarians. Martin Luther King Addo, a bodybuilder who has won the Mr. Ghana competition twice and intends to compete in the Mr. Universe contest, coaches frail seniors like Shirley Friedman:

With his enormous muscles bulging beneath a small T-shirt, Martin Luther King Addo guided one of his most dedicated clients through a squat exercise inside his tiny Manhattan gym. “You can do it, Shirley,” he said. Shirley Friedman, a silver-haired 90-year-old standing 4 feet 9 inches, shifted into another gear, bending at the knees for multiple repetitions.

“I never did this stuff before, but he gives you the confidence that you can do it, if you’re up to it,” Mrs. Friedman said afterward. “He’s not a phony. Got me?”

See Mrs. Friedman bending and stretching in Mr. Addo’s three-times-a-week “boot camp,” exercising for better balance, faster walking, and to lose her fear of falling.

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  • Susanna Gaertner July 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Truly inspirational…teaching Pilates to seniors has confirmed for me the importance of core strength to maintain posture and balance. Now in my mid-sixties, I hope to keep teaching for decades(!)to come and take my clients–many in their 70’s now–right along with me.

  • Toni Myers July 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I love Mrs. Friedman and her comment, “He’s not a phony. Got me?” She will be my role model, a la, if she can do it at 90, I can manage. Our teacher is Scott, not a bodybuilder, but excellent and also kind to elders.