My Magic Wand of Strength

December 11, 2007

A while back (1991 in fact) I worked as a physical therapy aide in the new sports medicine center at The Hospital For Joint Diseases.

I was (and am) a certified trainer supervising all of the exercise programs for the physical therapists. HJD is, incidentally, where I began developing the Slow Burn system of strength training which was born out of many different slow systems and traditional strengthening programs.

One day as I was putting a senior through an intense (for her) strength workout. One of the therapists took me aside and said: "What are you trying to do to her - turn her into Arnold?"

I paused for a moment and replied: "Yes, I am."

Think of how much money this country (the world in fact) would save in rehabilitative health care costs if I had a magic wand of strength. I would wave my strength wand and ZAPPO! every frail senior who uses a cane, a walker, is in a wheel chair due to frailty, etc. would suddenly become robust and vital. They'd toss their canes, abandon their walkers and pop up out of their wheelchairs to enjoy their newfound independence. And they'd be happier.

But alas, we don't have a magic wand of strength.

Or do we?


Putting seniors on treadmills is a waste of their time. Placing them on a cycle when they could be in the leg press machine is a sin. Sticking them in a chair and having them spin some little hand held twisty thing is a crime. 

Seniors need strength since after all it's what they've lost.

I am amazed and saddened at how few therapists and doctors know or understand this.