Human Limits

Exploring performance and health with Michael J. Joyner, M.D.

Photo of Michael J. Joyner, M.D.

Top This Gary Player!


I have devoted a couple of posts to 77 year old golf legend Gary Player and his lifelong devotion to fitness.   In response to my most recent post a reader sent the video clip below about 86 year old gymnast Johanna Quass.  I have been thinking about exercise and aging for a long time, but the clip below is among the most remarkable things I have ever seen.   Clearly a lifetime of training, talent, and injury avoidance are required to make a performance like that happen.  However, nothing like it happens without staying with it.


click here for video


I have been doing more body weight calisthenics and strength training over the last year, but this video has me thinking maybe I should take a tumbling class or start jumping rope again like I did in high school to improve my footwork for basketball.  In the end, loss of strength and balance leads many older people to become frail and lose their independence, maybe we need to rethink what we tell middle aged people to literally keep them independent and off the floor.


2 Responses to “Top This Gary Player!”

  1. July 30th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    John says:

    Truly impressive. Mike can you provide a few details on the body weight caleisthenics you are doing?

  2. July 30th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Michael Joyner, M.D. says:

    John, thanks! Basically I have been trying to do 100 burpees, 100 sit ups, 100 pushups 2-3 times per week. I do them in rotating sets of 25 with a couple of minutes of rest between sets. After the pushups I do about 20-30 climbers. If I am in a hotel gym I sit on the stationary bike and do light pedaling as the rest interval between sets. For example:

    25 burpees
    25 sit ups
    25 pushups followed by climbers
    1-2 minutes of Jumping jacks or walking/jogging or cycling

    Repeat x 4

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