For 24 Hour Fitness member André Elder, the road to fitness has become a family affair. He blazed the trail in the summer of 2019, looking for more stability in his life along with fewer pounds, aches and pains. What he found was the key to a legacy of healthy living.

“We train for strength and we train to reduce body fat, but we also train for longevity.”

In the beginning, Elder was training with fitness coach Donny Drummond two times a week. Now, at age 53, he’s training four times a week and feeling stronger both physically and mentally. His wife has joined him in training, and their children participate in exercises as well.

The changes go deeper than the number of sessions or digits on a scale. With better eating and movement habits, Elder and his family have found a better mindset. He explains that it’s all about “staying present in the moment and knowing that we have full control over how we frame that moment and the effort we put forth.”

Seeking balance between the responsibilities of work, family and his sense of self was the impetus for Elder to start. Read on to find out how he continues to grow.

24Life: How has your experience changed your definition of success?

André Elder: I’ve always known that success is beyond the physical. However, the depth of my physical health and the linkage to my overall happiness has been an eye-opener. To know that my reduced resting heart rate can be an indicator of improved respiratory and cardiovascular health is a big deal. Especially when you’re over 50 years old. Especially when you’re a husband and father.

24Life: What made you decide to seek an expert, instead of going it alone?

AE: I don’t have the discipline, nor do I have the expertise, to exercise correctly. Both of these key indicators lead to a lack of consistency in exercise regimen and increased risk of injury. Improving mobility, improving motor control at end ranges, improving breathing mechanics and fluid dynamics; it all results in a body that feels younger and more resilient.

24Life: How has your success affected other parts of your life?

AE: We all push each other to eat clean and healthy. Because of that we are better equipped mentally and emotionally to handle the chaos that life can bring.

24Life: If you have a bad day or week, what helps you get back on track?

AE: Prayer! And finding success in other areas outside of “the work.” When we train with Donny, we learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable; that is where we get better. So, when adversity comes, we remember that we are conditioned for chaos. That makes it easy to get back and continue growing.

Results may vary. Please consult a physician before starting or changing a fitness routine. Personal training and virtual personal training available to 24 Hour Fitness members for an additional fee.

Photo credit: André Elder