Photo of When Cliff Met President Obama!!!!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently fortunate enough to have a fitness done with M-Healthy personal trainer Eric B.  During the assessment I was tested for standard health & fitness indicators such as weight, body fat, flexibility, cardiovascular and strength.  It was a lot of fun, especially when I learned that I am in pretty good shape (phew!).

My post motivated one of my long time clients, Cliff Douglas to do an assessment of his own.  (His first assessment, done in 2008 was performed by moi!)   Cliff completed his assessment last Tuesday and was kind enough to share his results with me.  I found that both he and I gained a lot from seeing the results, so much so that I plan to offer an assessment as part of my training services in the near future.

I think Cliff also benefited from the follow-up assessment because he was able to see how fit he was and the progress he had made.  I decided to share Cliff’s results with you here both as a motivator to stay committed to a regular fitness routine,  to show the value of working with a qualified trainer and to encourage you to measure your own progress, especially over longer periods of time (like 1, 3, 5 years) to see where your habitual health and fitness behaviors are taking you.

Cliff Douglas

Date 1/8/2008 5/20/2014 % Change
Age 49 56  aprx 6 1/2 yrs
Weight 154.5 lbs 166.8 lbs 8% increase
Body Fat% 10.4% 11.8% 1.4% increase
Lean Mass 138.5 lbs 147.1 lbs 6% increase
Grip Strength 47 kg 72 kg 9% increase
Push Ups 30 reps 38 reps 27% increase
Curl Ups 75 reps 75 reps n/a
Submax VO2 45.8 Mkm  46.5 Mkm  1% increase
Submax Bench 0.9 (%bw) 1.11 (%bw) 8% increase
Submax Leg Press 3.3 (%bw) 4.4 (%bw) 4% increase


As you can see from the chart, over the course of 6 1/2 years of working out on a regular basis, Cliff was able to increase or maintain almost all elements tested for in the assessment. WOW!   If you were wondering how Cliff ranks against others his age, well…basically fantastic!!!  With results like this, Cliff would probably put many people 20 years younger to shame! As you look over the results, note that while Cliff’s body weight did increase, it was mostly due to an increase in lean mass.  Over the course of time, Cliff transitioned from a primarily cardiovascular based training regimen to one that included more strength training and intervals.  As a result, his lean mass went up almost 9 lbs!  And with increased lean mass he receives powerful benefits including:

  • Increase metabolism, bone strength & glucose control
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved balance and body control
  • Reduced signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions

Another important factor that should not be overlooked is Cliff’s age while these positive increases were taking place. After turning 50, which is a time that many people resign themselves to physical decline, Cliff has made significant gains in lean mass and cardiovascular conditioning, two of the most important factors in preventing degenerative disease and increasing quality of life as you age. As most of you know, muscle mass generally decreases with age.  And thats where many people give up…they think it’s useless and you can’t do anything about it.  WRONG!  Let me fill you in on a secret…you can make a difference in how you age if you are willing to take the steps toward doing so.  Take a look at this quote from the Mayo Clinic:

“If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body,” says Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. “But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age.”

That’s right, ANY AGE! It’s time to get started!  If you are not sure how to get started, send an email to jes [at] and we can set up an appointment or I will do my best to point you in the right direction.