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Coaching the (Almost) Elderly — Kathie’s Workout by Jim Baker - CrossFit Journal

In Coaching, Special Populations, Videos, Workouts

October 18, 2008

Video Article

This episode is a full session with Kathie Weigandt, 64. Kathie is among the fittest of Jimmy’s clients, even though she’s only been training with him for four months. They go through an extended warmup, and then work on strategies to pick up and carry heavy everyday objects.

They conclude with a high intensity workout, which was max reps in 1 minute of wallball, jump rope, and ball slams each, with plenty of rest in between. Then, after a complete rest, perform the same number of reps of all three in as little time as possible.

Jim Baker is 61, and has been training CrossFit for over a decade. He is a co-owner of CrossFit Santa Cruz Central. His youngest client is in her mid-fifties, and his oldest is in her mid-eighties.

9min 22sec (Note: some explicit lyrics during the workout music)

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22 Comments on “Coaching the (Almost) Elderly — Kathie’s Workout”


wrote …

As a parent who wants to encourage his young sons in CrossFit, I appreciate the warning; '(Note: some explicit lyrics during the workout music)', as some of the soundtracks to our community's videos can get downright raw and one of my sons (who has autism) is especially preturbed by such language. Thanks,


wrote …

Another issue with the almost elderly is that the music blasted during WODs that is motivational for the younger CrossFitters just doesn't do it for us. I know that listening to some classic rock, movie soundtracks and pop music with driving beats from a couple decades back aids my performance. Some research has shown how playing the music of their youth can aid the truly elderly in moving more like they did when they were originally hearing that music.


wrote …

This is cool. I just got my mom (63) into CF.
She is really liking it so far. She did the following workout the other day:

Row 500m (2:45)
Rest 1 minute
Row 500m (2:41)
Rest 1 minute
Row 500m (2:31)
Rest as long as needed

Do 1 set AMRAP pull-ups
She did 6 with the green band for assistance


wrote …

Awesome work ethic by Kathie. I wish some of my 25 yr old clients worked as hard as you! Same with Jim, there's a ton of things in here I'm going to do with older clients now. This journal has been one of the best in recent memory in my opinion.


wrote …

Crossfitting at 64! Are you kidding? I think she did a tremendous job!


wrote …

Kathie, what a magnificent woman you are! That's powerful stuff. It takes all the courage we have at any age to live as well as we can. Seeing folks like Jim leading and walking with folks like Kathie is a powerful example of courage and I'm grateful to witness a part of it. Paul


wrote …

Thank you!

I've been talking to both my parents (who are in their 60s) about crossfit and encouraging them to try it. So far they've indulged me by listening but become all doubtful about it as soon as I explain a workout. Seeing Kathie do a crossfit workout, with the very exercises I keep trying to get them to do, may finally be enough to convince them that they CAN crossfit at their age. Great job Kathie!

Quick question about the video. I love the song that is used during Kathie's warmup (I think it was also used in Dutch's athlete profile vid), anyone know who it's by?


wrote …

First off I think Jim is a tremendous trainer/coach, I seen plenty of ideas to help me with some of my older and younger clients. Kathie again great work ethics, nice job on the pull-ups keep that going. Overall thanks CrossFit for this great journal and site.


wrote …

Have to agree that the music is a bit too hip, cool, or young. My parents are in their 80s and I would love to show them this vid. However, I have to say that the music would turn them right off. I could mute it, but wouldn't want to miss any of Jim's wisdom or Kathie's insight. Lots of great ideas for me as a trainer though.


Susan Robinson wrote …

Thanks for FINALLY showing regular folks doing CrossFit workouts! Kathie is 'regular' - though she is extraordinary in that she is quite youthful when compared to many 40-something-year-olds.

Jim is awesome. There is a lot of good trainer info here and being able to show a video of a person doing a workout who's over 50 to my clients is a huge bonus.

I agree with previous comments about not wanting to mute to hear Jim's coaching yet not wanting to hear the music.


replied to comment from Renata Germann

Renata: The music from the WU is a mash-up of the music from "Sabotage" by Beastie Boys and the vocals from "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin.

Susan: I agree 100% regarding how great it is to see a vid of someone doing CF that isn't already an "elite athlete". That is not to say that Kathie's obvious grit and determination is anything short of spectacular (those pull-ups made my jaw drop!). It would be great to have more vids of those of us still in the "normal and improving" category that I can share with beginners so they aren't scared off by thinking they have to be a Speal/Dutch/Nicole etc. to even get started.


wrote …

I love this! My mom is turning 80 in December and we have been slowly introducing movements. She brings her broomstick over to check her form and says that she can run up the stairs at her apt. building now! So cool!


replied to comment from Renata Germann

Hey the song that is during Kathie's warm up is called Emerge and its by a band called Fischerspooner.



wrote …

Very enlightening. Thank you Mr. Baker for sharing your strategies.


replied to comment from Patrick Barber

Yeah, what Pat said! My eyes saw "warm up" and my brain read "intro" :P


wrote …

Good stuff, Jim! I like the max reps in 1 min for each of the three exercises, followed by the total # of reps for time. Great idea, and obviously effective.

Excellent effort, Kathie! You are an inspiration to CrossFitters everywhere. I hope I will be as spry and youthful at 64... or 44 for that matter (wink)! Keep it up, sister!


Brian Opdenkelder
CrossFit Orillia


replied to comment from Patrick Barber

Thanks Pat!
Already downloaded and added the song to my weirdly eclectic workout music collection. The soundtracks are just another reason in a really long list of why I love CF!


Erin Davidson wrote …

Thanks so much featuring this. Kathie seems like a wonderful client. I have a number of clients who are in the 55 and up range and am always looking for new ideas. It's too bad you all can't meet each other! I'm sure it be very encouraging.

I like the odd element walks very much and especially appreciate the manner in which Jim scaled the minute long efforts (and then repeated them for reps). It can be hard to know what you might expect from some clients and this is the perfect way to gauge ability.

More from Jim would be great!


wrote …

I would love to show videos like this of older people working out to my sixty-year-old parents but it would have to have classical, light pop, or pop country music. Elvis would be best! Profanity would repulse ALL of my elderly relatives. I'll have to wait until my children are sound asleep to watch this video myself. Thanks for the warning!


wrote …

Kathie! Amazing effort! You are an inspiration to me and I hope to be as graceful as you in 40 years. Keep it up!
Thanks for the video showing that CrossFit really is for everyone and for showing the great coaching skills of Jim Baker. We can all learn something from his coaching style and great insight into scaling workouts for clients.


wrote …

This is a great incentive for my mom, who I've built a CF for. To date she'd been resistant, but I'll get her there. I'm 46, so I'm very interested in what CF can do for people in their "middle age" plus. Kathie, you're a great incentive for others who might think that CF is only for the youngsters.

I've been doing CF for only a few months now (after a year of hardcore circuit training), and my trainer modifies the workouts so I can accomplish them, but I could never turn back to where I was before. This is the most amazing physical training I've ever done. I'm hooked.

If anyone has ideas for how to get a 70 year doing some CF, please let me know, I'm determined to get my mom doing this. She can do it, but I need some pointers how to get her eased into it.



wrote …

I think I want to be Jimmy Baker when I grow up.

I did a WOD during a visit to Crossfit St. Louis last year that was a circuit of intervals FGB-style, then repeating the same total reps for time. Could barely walk for two days.

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