Total body workout: Senior Fitness at Reebok Sports Club

Senior Fitness instructor Zoe Mundell talks to The Sport Review about her class at Reebok Sports Club

1) What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a reduction in bone mineral density. It is when bones become more porous and susceptible to breaks and injury. It usually happens with age. Other factors that can bring it on are smoking, being female, family history, poor diet, low body weight, hormonal change or menopause. It is more common in women than men but it can occur in men too.

2) What was the idea behind the senior fitness class?

We already have classes on the timetable that anyone can attend and many of our senior members take part in them. However, we wanted to introduce a class environment where our senior members could all socialise together which would be appealing to their fitness level and social group. We are looking at the benefits of improving their fitness and improving their strength and bone density. We also want to work on agility, balance and reaction times to prevent fractures from falls.

3) Do you think older members of a gym can get intimidated by the prospect of working out alongside “fitter” people?

I think so. Some of the people who come to the gym here aren’t put off by it. They will happily go to all the other classes. But some people naturally feel intimidated. They may really want to go to a class like Zumba and physically are capable of going to it, but they may feel like they’re “the older one in the class”. The great thing about the senior fitness class is if they came along and meet new friends, they’ll go to the other classes together. It has already happened. It is really nice.

4) What are the other health benefits?

It gives you confidence. It makes you more able and independent. In terms of hormones, it releases endorphins which are going to make you happier and less prone to depression. Exercise evens helps prevent against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

5) Do you think as you get older that your approach to training changes?

Yes. The majority of people who go to the gym are looking to lose weight and look good. While I still think people over 50 want to look good, they also want improved mobility, flexibility, stronger bones and muscles to make their life function more comfortably. It is about the quality of life that exercise can give them.

6) What kind of exercises are you going to do in the class?

We’ve set it up as a circuit class at the moment. At the beginning of the class, depending on who comes, it has been like a traditional aerobics class which is great for co-ordination. We then move into a circuit of different functional exercises which include squats, press-ups, tricep dips, step work, stability work and balance exercises. I always include adaptations for anyone who needs them. I also include a co-ordination challenge and team interaction games which everyone finds fun.

7) How big is the class?

There about 10 people in the class at the moment as we’ve only just started. There is a mixture from super fit who do other classes like spinning but want to mix with people their age, but we have participants who have suffered strokes and some who have hip replacements everyone is accommodated for so there is really no excuse to join in whatever your fitness or ability level!

8) … and it is completely free for over 55s?

Yes! The idea is if they are non-members then they have to book in advance so we know about any major injury concerns.

9) How challenging is the class?

It is a really challenging class. It is a good workout. I don’t want people to think it is a “wossy class”. It builds strength, balance, co-ordination, muscle mass, improve mobility and flexibility. It is a challenging workout within the remit of the attendees. There will be adaption for people who need a little bit of help. But there will be harder adaptions for people who can do more.

10) Is there enough being done to promote senior fitness in the UK?

No, the fitness industry is targeted at younger people but it doesn’t have to be that way. We have lots of members who are keen to exercise I think we just need to provide an environment and more opportunities for it to happen.

11) How big is the social aspect of the class?

The social aspect is really big. Ladies will chat in the gym or gossip in the changing room. Men less so. They all train but they won’t chat. By introducing them, they’ll get to know people. We mix partners in class which make it interactive.

12) How many times should over 55s train a week?

I would recommend that they exercise every day of the week which can be going for a walk or going for a swim – even doing gardening. In terms of taking an exercise class, providing it is varied, you can do something three to four times per week.

Senior Fitness classes are free of charge to non-members over 55 to book email [email protected] To find out more click here.

The information on this website is intended for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used as such.


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↺ Article History
• Last updated on November 11, 2018
• First published on June 05, 2015
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