You take pride in what you’ve earned

By David Tepera, June 24, 2020

Look at all your possessions and things you’ve accomplished. Did you earn them, or did someone give them to you?

Did you outwork your teammate for the starting position, or do you think you deserve the spot because you’re a senior? Guess what? The athlete who works the hardest, plus improves their skills, will beat you out every time. The winning athlete will take pride knowing they earned it.

Are you the person who put in the extra hours at work to win the promotion, or the lazy family member who gets the breaks? The hardest worker possess winning pride, while the other will never learn leadership skills.

We see people on a daily basis who come to us that are mentally and physically broken. Some are desperate to have their lives back. Through the years, their bodies depleted of energy and life became a daily battle.

Our biggest pride and joy, is watching people grow with pride as they put in the consistency and work to get their bodies back in shape.

My eyes always swell listening to smiling aging clients tell us they worked in their yard for the first time in years, they can now walk without a limp, or that their shoulder, knee, sciatic nerve pain is gone and they have more energy to enjoy time with family.

This is exciting for them because they earned it through their own hard work. I truly enjoy working with older clients because they experienced a life of strong work ethic. Just know, the average age of my clients range into their 70s.

To me, there’s a big group of today’s youth who has lost their sense of work ethic and only puts a hand-out instead of a hand-in.

To all you graduating college students, here’s a word of advice: “clean up your social media.” You will fight for new jobs against other inexperienced college grads. I promise, the ones with the cleanest and most wholesome social media will get the interviews.

It’s time for everyone to start helping others. Find a way to volunteer, mentor, coach and stop judging people you don’t know. We all have a different set of experiences, so respect others’ decisions as long as it’s not destructive.

The only thing you can control is the hard work you put in each and every day. This will give you pride knowing that you’ve earned it.

Did you put in the effort to make it to the top?

By David Tepera, June 17, 2020

When I was 11 years old, I started mowing grass for a few people in my neighborhood. This was around 1972, so I was charging $5 per yard.

There was one particular neighbor that made an impact on my young work ethic. The owner of the house told me that she would pay the $5 for the mow, an extra dollar if I edged the driveway and another dollar to include raking.

The yards in my neighborhood weren’t that large, so the opportunity to make $7 was attractive because I could buy a pound of bubblegum with extra money.

Remember, the electric weed-eater wasn’t invented yet, so edging was done with a hand clipper and a hatchet. Yes, I still have all my fingers.

It was the first time that I was challenged to give my best effort to earn more money. I worked on that lady’s yard for hours. Once completed, the lady came out and gave a full inspection of her beautifully manicured yard. She was pleased and handed over the $7.

The impact that experience gave me was knowing that if I stepped up my game in everything I did, I would be rich with pride. Starting at that age, I knew money and success would come from a strong work ethic.

How about you? Are you truly worth your paycheck? If you’re making minimal wage, are you giving the effort to earn an extra dollar per hour? If you are, your bosses are taking notice and will put you in a position for more income. Just know, if you’re not putting in the effort, you’ve already reached your peak position and income.

How about other areas of your life? What level of effort do you put into your diet, exercise, sports or even marriage?

Could you lose the extra pounds with more discipline? If you want the starting position on your team, are you getting up early for skill training and lifting weights? Are you outworking your competition?

For couples, have you settled with a minimal wage relationship? Do you both continue to grow together with a set of goals, spiritually, along with love and respect?

Whatever your current circumstances may be, just know, with a little more pride and effort, you’ll make it to the top.

Lifting weights help strengthen knee replacements

By David Tepera, June 10, 2020

Research shows there were approximately 1.6 million hip and knee arthroplasties performed in the United States in 2017, of which more than 966,000 were knee replacements.

Just know, most knee reconstructions are categorized by total, partial or revision. In the knee reconstruction business, the knee is considered by three compartments. To keep it simple, this is the inside (medial), outside (lateral), and middle (patella femoral) parts of the knee.

A partial knee replacement is only replacing the compartment that is damaged, which could be any one of those compartments. Your orthopedist will replace one compartment if the other compartments are intact.

A total knee replacement consists of all three compartments of the femur and the entire tibia.

A revision is performed if a partial or total knee fails. This could be from a variety of reasons too long to explain in this column, but it happens.

At Ageless Muscle Fitness Center, we have nearly a dozen clients weight training post-knee replacement and physical therapy. Most of these clients come to us because they’re still having issues with flexion, extension and muscle atrophy. They are required to bring me their X-rays to understand the alignment, type of replacement and potential problem areas.

We have a special weight training formula that helps build muscle and resolve other issues. We’ve even been able to prolong knee surgery for others because of strengthening the muscles around the joints.

Now, before I continue, you must speak with your surgeon before starting any weight training program. If utilizing a personal trainer, make sure they are experienced in knee replacement therapy before lifting any lower extremity weights.

So, if you’re ready to get started and get those legs strong again, here are some do’s and don’ts.

Some of the most popular leg strengthening machines typically at every gym are a leg press, leg extension and leg curl.

Leg press machines are in a sitting position pressing both feet against a platform. It’s important to keep your feet high on the platform, so you don’t overstress the patella tendon. Also, don’t go into a deep flexion, keeping the knees no deeper than 90 to 100 degrees. This is the one machine you can test the weight.

A leg extension is concentrating on the quad muscles. Since your feet are not compressing against a platform and pulling the weight from the front of your ankles, you must keep the weight relatively light. Heavy weight could cause stress on the knee implant and ligament stability.

This is the same situation for a leg curl, which concentrates on the hamstring muscles. It’s good for strength training, but it’s another must to keep the weights light. Remember, your pulling the weight from the back of your ankles.

There’s much more detail to all of this. I just wanted to give some insight to know it’s still possible to strengthen legs after recovering from knee replacements.

If you need additional information or have questions, please email me.

Keep moving with 101-year-old WWII Vet

By David Tepera, June 3, 2020

Yes, you read that title correct. Today’s article features one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

Having lived for more than a century, it will be difficult to put Leonard “Pater” Johnson’s whole story in one article. The following are a few highlights of a man born in 1918 who loves to lift weights.

Several months back, Pater didn’t ask, but told his family that he was going to start working out with me to improve his strength and balance.

His son Greg, who’s been training at Ageless Muscle, brought Pater in to test the weights to see if this was possible. It was a nonissue because Pater isn’t your average century man.

You see, Pater’s motto is “keep moving” which all of you know is part of my famous catch phrase of “keep moving and improving.” So, we bonded immediately.

How many people start Spanish classes at the age of 97? This wasn’t online classes. No, he drove himself to College of the Mainland each week. Pater taught me to count to 20 in Spanish for the reps in our workouts, so now, I must be bilingual.

Pater comes to our fitness center twice a week, and only uses a walker for balance. He has never had any major surgeries or injuries. His health is impeccable, and claims using raw honey for the past 30 plus years enhanced his immune system.

Over these past few months, Pater has become much stronger, improved his walking gait and has more energy to enjoy each day.

What a treat for me to listen to the wisdom from a man who lived and experienced the world from the 1920s to present day. His wit is quick, along with endless hilarious jokes. Pater stays up on the latest news and has a strong opinion of what’s happening in our country.

Pater was drafted and served this country in World War II as a sergeant in the Armed forces for four years. Once he finished his service, Pater became a self-made man by building a successful valve company that’s controlled and owned by his son Greg. It all started from selling out of an old used green army van, along with a hard work ethic. At 101 years old, Pater still brings that work ethic into the gym.

For a man who believes in “keep moving,” his hobbies include ballroom dancing. He even had a dance floor built into his house. Some of Pater’s favorites are the foxtrot, waltz, rumba, tango and cha-cha. I’m sure he can cut the rug much better than most of us.

There’s no doubt, Pater is an inspiration to all of us. Whatever excuse you’re using today, it’s time to throw it out the window and get back into this game of life.

Let’s all be like Mr. Pater Johnson because all it takes is to “keep moving.”