It’s never too late to learn to lift

By Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department | Mar 17, 2017

WAYNESVILLE – Van Davis, 61, Stan Rathbone, 75, and Mike Gaither, 69, found out recently that it’s never too late. Not even to lift weights.


Under the guidance of Master Trainer Tim Plowman of the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department, the three men participated in a senior men’s free weight training class. Neither suspected what type of results each would do.


“I strongly endorse weight training, even more so as a senior, Davis, stated. “I’m told that weight training is also good for arthritis, fighting pulmonary disease, osteoporosis and type II diabetes. These are not yet problems for me but they could become problems and I’d rather prevent them than overcome them,” he added.


The three men were given an overview of what the class would consist of and referred to their doctor if they had not recently had a physical. While two of the men had lifted some, only one of the three had never lifted. The training lasted for 12 weeks and they met for 3 one hour sessions. They were taught the proper techniques of squat, deadlift, and bench press while learning correct breathing and rests between sets.


In addition, body mass, fat percentage, diet and rest were discussed. Cardiovascular training was also explained in aiding recovery and contributing to overall health. The objectives were to build strength and see how much each person could safely lift in each of the three areas of squat, bench and deadlift.


Davis completed the course with a 225 pound bench, 250 pound squat and 275 pound deadlift for a combined weight of 750 pounds. Rathbone completed the course with a 170 pound bench, 225 pound squat and 225 pound deadlift for a combined weight of 620 pounds. Gaither completed the course with a 180 pound bench, 185 pound squat and 180 pound deadlift for a combined weight of 545 pounds. All  three men had to lift this entire amount on the same day in order to get the total weight.


“I want to thank each of these men for their interest in improving their health and for continuing to train afterward,” Plowman said. “Their results will be used in future training classes to encourage and motivate others,” he added.


Personal training is offered for free for members at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For more information please call 456-2030 or email