The Silver Market

By Emily Beers

PDF Article

Affiliate owners share how they’re tailoring their approaches to introduce Baby Boomers to CrossFit.

The loud music, the intimidating movements and the unbearable crash of barbells smashing the floor—none of it appealed to Lucia Bragan.

“My husband had been doing CrossFit for four and a half years, and I would go watch sometimes. I knew I wasn’t capable of doing what he was doing,” said the 77-year-old from Maryland.

“And they played really loud music with that heavy beat. I guess it charges the younger folks up and gets them going, but for me it was a turn-off. I wouldn’t be able to hear the coach.”

Needless to say, Bragan had no intention of ever following in her husband’s footsteps by joining Rock Creek CrossFit in Kensington, Maryland—at least until coach Trina Kerns approached her in September 2015 and offered an alternative. The process would start with a face-to-face introductory session at a time when the gym was quiet and empty. No loud weights. No blaring music.

Bragan decided to take Kerns up on her offer. The two met up and discussed Bragan’s health history, and then Kerns put her through a short fitness assessment.

Bragan remembers being intimidated and somewhat overwhelmed, but Kerns was with her every step of the way, which made her more comfortable, she said. Soon, Bragan realized CrossFit—and lifting weights—wasn’t as scary as she thought it would be.

While Bragan said she wouldn’t have joined regular classes, many masters athletes thrive in general sessions that welcome everyone from teens to those well beyond 50, and great coaches are able to modify workouts for athletes of very different levels in a group setting. Some affiliates, however, are finding success creating entire programs that are tailored to help groups of Baby Boomers use CrossFit to stay fitter in their Golden Years.

Free Download

Comment

7 Comments on “The Silver Market ”

1

wrote …

I believe there is a large and growing untapped market here. The real challenge is getting the snowball started down the hill. I started Crossfit February 2015 at the gae of 70. (male) I have continued to get stronger every week. I know my strengths and the things I may never be able to do.
Huge benefits here for us older folks, getting up of the floor, I can do lots of burpees. Getting off the toilet or out of a chair, squats.
My strength is my core, 4 minute plank, 100 v-ups under 4 minutes. Ghd situps hand floot to toes. Rope climb, box jump 26"

The point is we can all reach our own limits with propoer scaling and get stronger no matter our age. We just need to get past the intimidation factor and find good boxes with a willingness to take us on. For me I don't want or need my own class. However this may be a good idea for some. Like most things the first step is the hardest one to take. I go 4 or 5 mornings each week.
Thank you Crossfit, I promote this to anyone that will listen. We might be old but we can still be badass!!

2

Hilmar Dijkstra wrote …

Still not enough Silvers are doing CrossFit. Such articles will help owners of affiliates to approach them and get them inside.

Great! I would like to see more articles about this subject.

3

wrote …

Andrew and Hilmar, would either of you be open to coaching those 50 and older if you were trained for this populous?

4

Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Good article Emily. I am really close with both of my grandmas (one is 91 and the other is 80) and one day two years ago I just sat in my room and thought, "eff it, I'm gonna pick them up tomorrow and get them to work out." It went really well and I even got the workout on video. They did Nancy.

http://championsclub.squarespace.com/home/2013/10/16/new-kids-on-the-block-champions-club-seniors.html

They both told me they had fun. But I haven't done a session since, nor have I really sought out the older crowd. We have plenty of parents in their 50's, but I think I need to get a little bit better before jumping to the 70+ crowd. If I mess up with one of my teenagers, they'll be fine. If I mess up with my grandma, that could be bad...

5

wrote …

I am loath to think of myself as a "silver", but for ease of communication, I'll go along with it...for now until I can come up with something more palatable.
Could be more "silver" trainers might help. I'm going to give it a go, myself. I'm 57 in 6 days. I competed in the open for the first time this year. I completed all 5 scaled masters workouts. My goal for next year is to complete all 5 Rx'd. Masters. Working out 5-6 days a week the past month. Making incremental improvement. This sport has changed my life.
I'm attending the Level 1 Certification in June. Very excited!!!

6

wrote …

Nice to see Emily Beers back. Great story as always. Love your work.

7

Yes Mike. I am a Silver myself and I know exactly the difficulties older people encounter with CrossFit and how great it is to encounter these and to step back in time.

It is great if the people in the box forget that you are much and much older!

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)