Exercise Modification for Seniors: John Claassen’s Story

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan and Noah Hayden continue their Barbell Health podcast series, this time discussing exercise modification for seniors. John Claassen, their 93-year old client, shares his inspiring story.

You can check out more of Sully’s work on the Greysteel YouTube channel.

Check out the Barbell Logic podcast landing page for free resources, recent offers, & more.


Exercise Modification for Seniors

Seniors, athletes of aging, masters athletes – whatever you you call them – can and should strength train. Coaches may need to modify exercises to meet their ability.

Modifications may be as simple as lighter weights or broom sticks. Lifters may need to deadlift kettlebells or sit up from a chair. They may not be able to press or even bench press, but they can still train.

John Claassen’s Inspiring Story

John Claassen shares his inspiring story of how he began barbell training at 89.

Like many seniors, he saw the risks and limitations that came from a lack of muscle mass and strength. He looked into exercise, connected with Sully, and eventually came to deadlift 250 pounds.

Exercise modification for seniors can be applied to his specific case. He sat down and up out of a chair instead of squatting. He had to perform incline bench press as opposed to bench press or overhead press. Instead of deadlifting a barbell, he deadlifted a kettlebell. Finally, he curled with a broomstick to begin.




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