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Training with Jimmy Baker - Mary Conover 1 by Jim Baker - CrossFit Journal

In Basics, Coaching, Special Populations, Videos

November 09, 2008

Video Article

This is the first part of a complete training session that Mary Conover, 77, had with Jim Baker at CrossFit Santa Cruz Central, where he is a trainer and co-owner.

Mary tells a little of her history, which is also covered in her 2004 article A CrossFit Grandma. Mary has been training CrossFit for almost nine years, having to deal with a lifetime of bad posture, decades of inactivity, and some more serious ailments such as shingles and melanoma.

In this video, Mary does a thorough warmup, followed by some skill work, including squats, deadlifts, and moving odd objects.

10min 39sec

Free Download


21 Comments on “Training with Jimmy Baker - Mary Conover 1”


wrote …

That was beautiful. She looks younger than she did in the CFJ all those years ago. I liked how Jim got onto his toes when she pulled the water bottle out of the wheel-barrow. That's how attuned he is to her movement throughout the entire session. Again simply beautiful.


wrote …

Yea, same with her squats. He watches her form like a hawk. I was also very impressed.

a 1:53 Fran is killer, but it's the truly functional success stories like Mary that give me goosebumps.

Much respect to Mary.

It's a new world.


wrote …

Love it. Many kudos to you guys for posting these vids. Great to see Jim at work and to see his methods with his clients. Can't get much more functional than that. Very motivational. I teach a Lifecycle Fitness course and I will totally show some of these vids to my class.

I think the senior population has almost the most to gain out of the CrossFit approach than almost any other population. Please keep posting vids like this. Great stuff.


wrote …

what a wonderful thing! proof that its never too late

although, i hope i can get through to my parents before they hit 60


wrote …

Wow! Absolutely Inspiring!Very Impressive work!

There women my age (21) that wouldn't be able to lift that 55# bag out of the wheelbarrow. Awesome work Mary!


wrote …

Mr. Baker,

Brilliant! You are a most considerate and patient man...very worthy of imitating.


wrote …

Excellent! Older people have more to gain from crossfit than the other age groups in that the ability to move and carry on everyday functions is the definition of staying young. Kudos to Jim and Crossfit!


wrote …

Really enjoyed the video. Watching Jim improvise a truly functional workout opens my mind for my older clients.

Oh, and Pat, nice choice with the music, esp enjoyed the Elvis snipet.


wrote …

This is the second video that I have seen on Mr. Baker and have been impressed with both. I plan on following Mr. Baker on this website and patterning myself after him. Excellent job Mr. Baker!! Respectfully, Raul Lopez


wrote …

Well, I have to add my two cents.

Thank you everyone for the encouragement and nice words. Jim Baker is a good trainer and one patient man. He and I, we never give up, even when I say "Is that the end?" Neither do any of the other trainers, who are always encouraging, inspiring, and loving.

Thanks to Tony and Patrick for the camera work and making me look better than I am. Thanks especially to Coach Greg Glassman for taking me on all those years ago. He definitely improved the course of my life and the health of mind and body. And thanks to my son, Ed, for easing me into CrossFit, something we continue to share.

One thing about getting old is that you never think that you actually look as old as you actually are. Even at my age, the mind is still "youngish" and mirrors tell lies (although videos definitely don't)---goals and dreams are still hopeful. I think I'll have to start changing my behavior somewhat! Probably all the Santa Cruz CrossFitters would agree with that!



wrote …


Thanks for your insight. I know I've got some clients that will benefit greatly from the inspiring "warm-up" video that's just posted.


replied to comment from Mary Conover

Thank you for posting this video. Mary, I am always looking for new sources of inspiration and I think I just found one. I hope to keep fitness a lifelong goal and you just made it seem much more attainable. Thank you.


wrote …

That was awesome. Jim is very tuned in and responsive to his client, and creative in ways to bring out the best in his client. A great trait in a trainer. And Mary, you are inspiring. Again, awesome. I like the part where you say "My back is always pretty". Cool!


Colm O Reilly wrote …

That's absolutely brilliant!

Great coaching and innovation Jim. Great work rate Mary!

It is possible CrossFit could make this open for general download? I'd love if more people could see this, and be inspired to workout like this.


wrote …

Mary, you have a great laugh!

And you prove that determination is timeless and ageless. You got the look, girl!


wrote …

I've really got to call myself on this. During the squat, did you all notice how my knee was wobbling on the get up? I sure did! Bad. My feet were OK, but had the knees been pushing out east and west, the get-up might have been more beautiful, the upper back straighter, you think? Jim (or Nareen) usually call me on this.


wrote …

Mary, you are an inspiration for all. Keep up the great work.

Jim Baker, you are obviously a great coach and an asset to your clients, as well as an asset to the CF community. Now can the community pick your brain? You have shown us two wonderful ladies that have been doing CF for some time, how about the new people? How do you start with CF programing, deal with the different body issues, mental barriers {some personal, some imposed by others}, etc. that go along with the aging population? I am not looking for details, as that would be too much to put here, but maybe a couple of articles/videos dealing with some of the issues that this portion of the population deal with.

I know myself, I am slowly developing my own programming for this group. I have pretty much taken out the impact exercises {oly lifts, burbees, jump rope, etc}, and removed the 'for time' component in exchange for 'as fast as safely comfortable'. On the other hand, adding some of the other exercises that are substantial to CF to peoples routines has been meet with great success.


wrote …

She Is definitely holdin it down for the seniors. MARY'S A BEAST!


replied to comment from David Ristau

Hi David

Sorry for the delay- I have been traveling for the past 2 weeks. Why don't you give me a call and we can talk about your program for older adults? You can reach me most evenings after 7 PM PST. 831-688-7509. I look forward to talking with you.


wrote …

That was amazing. Anyone who doubts the benefits of training in older populations needs to watch this video.


wrote …

Oh I love this!!! That's what it's all about, starting where you are. Great stuff

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