Don’t Let Age Stop You. It’s Not too Late to Get Fit!

Shirley Webb
Photo credit: Webb Family

Age is a common excuse people use to let their physical fitness slip or resist the idea of beginning an exercise regimen. While age can certainly limit the extent of a person’s physical ability–and there are valid health concerns about starting to do to much too quickly—age is not reason to neglect physical activity altogether. A person is never too old to improve their health through physical activity.

Take a look at Shirley Webb’s story. Two years ago (when she was 76) the only exercise she got was mowing her lawn. At that time, she couldn’t climb stairs without using the railing and was not able to get up off the floor without aid. Since joining a gym two years ago, Shirley has regained her ability to do both.[1] Now take a look at the video below to see what else she was able to accomplish.

Shirley has now set deadlifting records in Illinois and Missouri in her age and weight groups. How much can she lift? Well, her record in Illinois is for 237 pounds. What an impressive accomplishment after only two years! This June, at an upcoming competition, Shirley hopes to set a personal record of 260 pounds.[2] She is also hoping to set the first national record for deadlifting in her age group.[3]

These days, Shirley goes to the gym at least twice a week and says she has no intention of stopping. In fact, she says that after working out, “I feel so much better than I did when I went in, and I just feel so good. I feel tremendous.”[4] What a testament to the power of exercise to transform our health and our lives.

But it doesn’t stop there. Shirley has also become an inspiration to others. Her trainer John Wright said, “She’s gotten to the point where everybody greets her and is just absolutely impressed. She inspires everybody that goes to the gym and it’s fun to see that”.[5] Shirley added, “I had one lady come in the gym and say, ‘I saw your video, and I decided to come down and join this club.’ That makes me feel good.”[6]

So what are you waiting for? If Shirley can do it, you can too! Maybe some day you’ll even beat her record.



[1] “Watch This 78-Year-Old Grandmother Deadlift 225 Pounds.” The Blaze, March 30, 2016.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Seventy-Eight-Year-Old Shirley Webb Can Deadlift 225 Pounds.” espnW. Accessed April 20, 2016.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] “Watch This 78-Year-Old Grandmother Deadlift 225 Pounds.” The Blaze, March 30, 2016.


Jon Ewald, MD

Jon Ewald grew up in Minnesota and has a love for the outdoors. He obtained his medical degree at Loma Linda University, graduating in 2020. He is currently completing his residency in Radiology at University of Pittsburgh.

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