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He Went from Constant Arthritis Pain to One of the Worlds’ Strongest Seniors

Hey my friend! Happy Friday!

I love inspirational stories, don’t you?  

I especially love the ones that exemplify what can happen when people refuse to surrender to their situation and end up greatly defying the odds. Today I want to share one such story with you.

Ira Kasdan and I met each other in January of 2015. Ira was in his early 60’s, and as you’ll read below, he was in pretty bad shape. He had been diagnosed with bone-on-bone arthritis in both of his shoulders and was unable to lift his arms more than 60 degrees in any direction. He had chronic pain, major physical restrictions, and a serious decline in health as a result of the forced inactivity. 

Most people in his situation would either surrender and accept a life of limitations…or jump into some kind of radical surgery to try and get a “quick fix.” Ira did neither. 

This was what Ira shared in my February 2016 newsletter about the changes he experienced while working with me:

“Early next month I’ll be 64. My wife and I moved to the Sarasota area 2½ years ago.  At that time my level of fitness was declining and getting worse.  Lifting weights since my early teens, age and arthritis had taken their toll.  Ten years ago a doctor told me there was no cartilage left in either of my shoulders. My range of motion was limited.  More often than not, my discomfort and pain were considerable.   I’d tried everything for my shoulders, including orthopedists, chiropractors, traditional physical therapy, having platelets extracted from my blood and injected into each shoulder, even prolotherapy (involving up to 50 shots in each shoulder every few weeks). Nothing helped. And, I’d also been led to believe that other than shoulder replacement, nothing would.  My body weight was up. I was exercising less and less.  My outlook wasn’t great either, because advancing age and a degenerative condition seemed to dictate things could only get worse.   

I found Muscle Activation Techniques and Chris in January 2015 at the recommendation of my son in Connecticut.  He’s in his mid-thirties and had a serious back problem.  Like me, he had tried a range of treatment options without success. MAT was a breakthrough for him. He promised it would be for me too. During my assessment, I shared three goals for my work with Chris- less pain, greater range of motion, and better workouts.  One year later, MAT has surpassed all of my expectations and changed my life (just like my son had said it would).  

Right away Chris got me working on hydration.  I’d never been a water drinker.  Drinking 5-6 glasses of water each day, in and of itself, noticeably reduced the pain in my shoulders.  Different exercises and alternate grips that Chris suggested allowed me to add more exercises and use more weight for the first time in years.  After this my workouts started becoming longer and more robust.   With the longer and more intense workouts, I‘ve dropped 15-20 pounds (I now weigh less than I did when I left high school).  My strength, muscularity, and definition are better than they’ve been in 15 years, maybe ever.  

People at my gym (even young ones) now often ask me how I’ve gotten this fit. Several have even said my workouts and level of fitness inspire them.  Wow, what a difference a year and MAT have made.  Thanks Chris.”  

For several years after this, Ira and I saw each other for check in/maintenance visits and outside of a little blip here and there, he held the line very well. In large part this was due to him staying ultra consistent with all his homework exercise that I had given him. 

By 2019, Ira was doing so well that we transitioned to seeing each other on more of an “as needed” basis. In February of 2020, after not seeing him for a number of months, he sent me this text:

He also sent me this picture of himself:

Talk about a stud!

Then, after not hearing from him for 4 years, he texted me about a week ago and he shocked me again when he sent me this:

Turns out Ira has been able to train so hard that he actually became one of the strongest men on earth in his age group. He was also recently featured on SNN showcasing his strength.  

You can see that video here- 72-year-old Suncoast man lifts 500 pounds – SNN News (snntv.com)

What Ira’s story proves is that a diagnosis, a condition, a set of symptoms or a physical limitation does not mean that a full recovery is impossible.  It also proves that being VERY consistent in doing the right things is CRITICAL to long term success.  

Of course, your specific health and fitness goals are probably much different than Ira’s, but…I’m sure that you’d also love to overcome your orthopedic issues and have the physical freedom to do what you want, how you want. Hopefully Ira’s story inspires you.

God bless,


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