Making progress – taking one day at a time

It doesn’t matter how fit you are today, the aim of any exercise program should be to progress. In other words try and do a little bit more tomorrow than you did today.  If you do this you will reach levels you wouldn’t think possible today.

This was never better demonstrated than when Henry (name changed), an eighty four year old man arrived at my gym.  He was driven up to the gym by his son and was dropped off at the disabled parking spot.  It then took him nearly twenty minutes to walk twenty metres with his walker to the front door.  He had to stop for twice on route to rest and catch his breath.

When he arrived in the gym he told us that the only things he did all day was get out of bed, get dressed, eat and collect his post from the post box at the end of his drive.  He was fed up and wanted to do more.

The start of Henry’s progress


On day one of his plan he managed two minutes on our arm crank at the lowest setting.

On day two he started the homework we gave him which was to walk one paving stone further every day.

He also saw us at the gym three times per week.  When at the gym we gradually increased his cardiovascular exercise from progressing him from  the arm crank to a seated bike. He also started a progressive strength and balance program.  We started easy and gradually increased the load and difficulty.

Six months later Henry arrived at the gym one morning and said ‘Look what I can do,’ before proceeding to jog, albeit slowly, along the deck.

We were amazed and thrilled that he had progressed from using a walker to being able to jog.  Not only that he was now doing two, one mile, walks a day.

So six months of progressive exercise got Henry fitter but what really counted was that he had driven to the gym himself that day, he wasn’t using his walker, he was off to play bowls after the gym and was then heading to his social club.

Sometimes the prescription doesn’t have to be cutting edge to work, you just need to provide the client with the confidence and support to allow them progress.

The time he invested in exercise gave him quality of life back, and that at the end of the day is what counts.


Always consult an Accredited Exercise Expert before starting a new exercise program or if you have any concerns.