Gym focuses on Baby Boomer fitness

Tom Berling and Peggy Robbins

The industry that brought us Tae-bo and Zumba, is now turning the spotlight on Baby Boomers.

AARP estimates that after age 20, most of us lose about a half pound of muscle a year. By 65 we are down 25 percent of our peak strength. Now there is new competition to market muscles and more to the increasing boomer population.

"It is the fastest growing demographic right now in the United States," said Penny Hunsicker, instructor.

Hoffacker Fitness and Health saw such a growing demand in its boomer fitness business that it's now expanding and opening a spin-off called Age Successfully. We visited one branch in Fishers.

Peggy Robbins and Tom Berling have made the move, and after six months of 30-minute supervised sessions three times a week in the gym plus cardio, they see results.

"Definitely strength, core endurance, definitely endurance strength and balance more than anything," said Peggy.

Part of the workout is the power plate.

"It's a whole body vibration," explained Hunsicker. "It causes muscle contractions to happen deep within the muscle tissue so instead of them having to do acceleration and building muscle through putting weights on or resistance actually they can just stand here and engage their muscles and it works for them."

"I can just feel it tightening everything and I just love this thing," said Peggy.

Their goal is to be fit like Mim Nifong. She's 77 and feels strong.

Rather than weight loss and a bikini body, this population is focused on balance, flexibility, strength, endurance and stability. They also want to pursue those goals in a safe environment and amid the comfort of a like-minded population.

"You are referred to as 'what is that old person doing here?' You know, in our young gym, and you just feel uncomfortable," she explained.

Here Mim has heart rate guidelines and help navigating the equipment. The Age Successfully average client result after three months is a 25-percent increase in strength and a 11-percent reduction in body fat.

Mim says in her generation women were urged to be dainty and delicate. She's glad those days are over.

"I didn't do any exercising before and when I go back home where I moved and I see my friends who are my age and younger, I'm in better shape, I feel good," she said.

Age Successfully just opened this month at 8395 E. 116th Street in Fishers. There is a Public Open House Saturday, January 26th. The monthly membership is nearly $30 a month. A Comprehensive Health Assessment is used to create individualized programs for each client.