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This 74-Year-Old Woman Went Viral for Her Incredible Fitness Transformation – Men’s Health

There’s no age limit on beginning to prioritize your health and well-being. For Joan MacDonald, motivation to strengthen her body came two years ago—when she was over 70.

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Let’s talk about gym style, something I never would have considered to be important even just two years ago… When I first started out on my transformation journey, I hated trying on clothes, and in fact most of my clothes barely fit me any more so I had just a few bottoms and tops to choose from. Baggy shorts and over-sized t-shirts in boring colors were my go-to. I didn’t love myself back then and that’s how I dressed myself. I used to think 1) I didn’t deserve beautiful clothes and 2) nothing nice would fit me anyway, especially at my age. It wasn’t until my daughter insisted that I buy some new workout clothes and took me shopping at @forever21 that I understood that that mindset wasn’t working for me. When I saw myself in flattering clothes in cute colors, I could see that my inner dialogue had to go. I actually had muscles! I actually had a good shape taking form! I felt so good inside to see that in those new clothes. 💛Even though it might seem like something superficial like clothing can’t have a big impact on how we see ourselves it absolutely can my dears! If I can learn that lesson in my seventies you can too. Now you won’t catch me heading to the gym (or my living room as the case may be 😅) without taking the time to chose a favorite outfit. My daughter tells her clients, “you have to invest the same love and compassion for yourself at the START of your transformation that would to your own daughter if she was in your shoes. You would encourage her, compliment her on her successes no matter how small, and you would treat her to some workout clothes that were flattering, wouldn’t you? So learn to do that for yourself, and replace that negative inner dialogue with a positive one”. Now I’m sharing this with you. 💕 Please don’t wait til you’re “perfect” to take pride in yourself. You have to already see your perfection, your effort and your courage today. Love yourself enough to change, and show yourself that love daily. On the right I’m wearing one of my favorite outfits by @womensbest . If you have any questions please ask below, and share your favorite gym-wear brands with each other! With Love Joan 💗 . #womenbest #womensbestwear

A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) on

Now at 74 years old, Joan has gone viral for her incredible fitness journey, amassing a following of more than 800,000 fans on Instagram. On her page, her bio has a single simple phrase: “You can’t turn back the clock but you can wind it up again.”

Joan’s coach is actually her daughter Michelle MacDonald, who is a professional trainer. On her Instagram, Joan posts countless videos from the gym doing impressive exercises for someone even half her age. From crushing bicep curls to doing hip thrusts, Joan does it all. And working on her physique with her daughter has taught Joan valuable lessons you can take straight to the gym.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

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I love these for my hip muscles, and they always draw a few looks in the gym 😅. I think most people are always a bit shocked to see little old me loading up the bar like this. Two years ago I wasn’t doing this however. One day I was in the gym with Michelle @yourhealthyhedonista and she said “it’s time”! 😜 We started off with 135 lbs (that’s the bar plus two big 45 lbs plates). She corrected my form, barking orders at me, demonstrating what she wanted me to do, and by the end of the lesson I was doing 200 lbs. I don’t know how that’s possible but I guess when you’ve got good instructions anything is possible. Here I’m doing 205 lbs with a 2 count pause at the top. By pausing at the top I’m building up even more strength in my muscles. Keys: set up everything so that you are wedged in tight. You can’t be all loose and wobbly lifting a heavy weight like this. Trust me, it helps! 2) use a quality pad like this special hip thrust pad by @ironbullstrength . I ordered mine off of amazon. 3) start off with a light weight until you master the movement. I’m trying to squeeze the glutes hard to thrust the weight up until my knees, hips and chest are in one line. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 4) keep pushing the knees out. Don’t let them collapse in. This will help build up your side glute muscles and keep your knees healthy. That’s it for the hip thrust! If you do these today tag me so I can see! And tag a friend who you think could benefit from these! 🎉🎉🎉 #nevertooold.

A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) on

Recently, for instance, Joan published a popular post addressing the importance of gym style as a motivating factor. Addressing her personal experience, she writes that she hated trying on clothes prior to starting training, and used to wear baggy shorts and shirts 24/7. When her daughter insisted she buy new workout clothes for her fitness journey, Joan noticed a sudden shift.

“When I saw myself in flattering clothes in cute colors, I could see that my inner dialogue had to go,” she writes on Instagram. “I actually had muscles! I actually had a good shape taking form! I felt so good inside to see that in those new clothes.”

Joan adds that though style is often seen as trivial, it’s actually a great motivational tool and has a powerful impact on self-worth. When you feel you look good, you start to treat yourself with more kindness.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

“If I can learn that lesson in my seventies you can too,” she writes. “Now you won’t catch me heading to the gym (or my living room, as the case may be) without taking the time to chose a favorite outfit. My daughter tells her clients, ‘You have to invest the same love and compassion for yourself at the start of your transformation that would to your own daughter if she was in your shoes.”

“You would encourage her, compliment her on her successes no matter how small, and you would treat her to some workout clothes that were flattering, wouldn’t you? So learn to do that for yourself, and replace that negative inner dialogue with a positive one.’ Now I’m sharing this with you.”

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

The advice to prioritize self-worth, compassion and inner strength rather than focusing on a number on the scale is a healthy, sustainable way to approach fitness. And Joan doesn’t want anyone to wait to start treating themselves kindly.

“Please don’t wait til you’re ‘perfect’ to take pride in yourself,” Joan writes. “You have to already see your perfection, your effort and your courage today. Love yourself enough to change, and show yourself that love daily.”

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Written by Alice

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