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5 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Results from Fitness After 60 – and How to Fix Them

By Linda Melone April 12, 2024 Health and Fitness

I started working out at age 21, otherwise known as the Dawn of Time. I was present for the birth of aerobics classes and the cult-like following of Atkins.

And, I survived Flashdance fashion and Jane Fonda high-rise leotards, and endured a stress fracture from many months of high-impact cardio on unforgiving, cement gym floors.

In short, I’ve been an eyewitness to trends, cults, and rises and falls of everything fitness.

Through it all, I always belonged to – and later worked at – one gym or another – private gyms, large chain gyms and a few one-on-one boutique type facilities.

It wasn’t long before I noticed a few patterns, regardless of the type of gym, class or clientele.

Can you guess which one?

  • Every gym has at least one creepy guy who wears too much cologne, not enough clothes, and spends 90% of his time admiring himself in the mirror.
  • There’s the person who treats the stationary bike like his or her barcalounger: a Starbucks latte occupies the cup holder, a newspaper (remember those?) draped across the monitor and a pedal push once every five or so minutes… never enough to break a sweat.
  • Someone who does hours of cardio yet doesn’t seem to lose weight.

Time’s up!

If you guessed all three you’d be right.

But for the sake of today’s post, let’s focus on #3, since I can’t do much about the other two aside from suggesting you carry a can of mace.

In addition, you may be person #3. How do you know? If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I’m doing everything and I’m still not losing weight/getting in shape!” you’re that person.

If you’re a healthy person – e.g., free of thyroid issues and any other medical condition that may affect your weight – here are the most likely reasons you’re in suspended animation.

You’re Already Fit

The closer you are to your goals, the harder it is to continue making progress. For example, an overweight sedentary person with 50 lbs. to lose, who cuts calories and starts walking, will quickly see results.

An athletic person who’s within a normal weight range but wants to shave off five pounds will take much longer.

You’re Afraid of Weight Training

I’m amazed at how often women will ask me if they’ll get “bulky” from resistance training. Not only is this P.P. (Pure Poppycock), but weight training could be the key to unlocking A. weight loss and B. muscle tone.

If you’re not lifting weights, you won’t see muscle tone. Period. A total body workout twice to three times a week is all you need.

You Eat Too Much

You can’t outrun your fork, as the corny saying goes. But it’s true. Regardless of how much exercise you do – running included – if you’re taking in more calories than you need you won’t see changes. You must cut calories and eat clean, mostly fresh, unprocessed food to lose weight.

You Love Your Comfort Zone

If you’re unwilling to be a little uncomfortable, you won’t see changes. If you enjoy a couple glasses of wine a night or dessert after every dinner, and know you need to cut it out but won’t, that’s your choice.

However, you can’t expect to see the results you want if you’re unwilling to give up something. Instead, look at the things you gain: a healthier body overall, more energy or whatever else motivates you.

Keep in mind, too, that the initial feelings of deprivation go away with time. Once you establish a pattern, it becomes a habit you no longer need to think about. Promise.

You Work Out When You’re “In The Mood”

It comes to that word again: consistency. It’s key to everything – the answer to nearly every question I get about results. If only we could exercise once and be done with it. Alas, it’s simply not the case.

It’s like taking prescription medication. If you have high blood pressure, like me, skipping a few days is not an option. That is, unless I want to see sky-high numbers and risk getting into stroke territory.

Look at activity – whether structured (a specific workout plan) or unstructured (shopping at the mall, gardening, running after your grandkids, etc.) – as medicine to keep you sane, fit and help you manage your weight.

Your Workout Is on Autopilot

It’s easy to get comfortable and simply repeat the same workout day in and day out, for days, weeks, months and even years on end. Besides the risk of dying from boredom, your body adapts. It gets easier because your muscles become more efficient.

That’s both good and bad news. Good news: It feels easier. Bad news: Your results come to a screeching halt. Add something new, increase the intensity in some way or otherwise change your approach every six to eight weeks to keep those results happening.

You Give Up Too Easily

Sometimes you do get out of your comfort zone. At first, it goes well. But you last for a couple of weeks and then decide it’s not working – just when you’re about to see some results.

Whew! Dodged that bullet. Time to get back to your old habits.

But therein lies the problem: Any changes you make must be ones you do for life if you want to keep those results for life.

This does not mean you can’t ever treat yourself, have a glass or two of wine here and there or enjoy dessert. It just can’t be every day. Temporary changes result in temporary results.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Why do you think you don’t see results from your workouts? What steps will you take to get yourself off your plateau? Let’s chat and figure out the best ways to get you on some healthy exercise habits.

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FASTer Way to Fat Loss is the answer for many people. Combining intermittent fasting with a new daily thirty minute workout, with modifications if necessary, and cycling macros – carbs, protein and fat – most people see a difference in how they feel and look within a week or two. Their app calculates everything, just plug in your food. As you have mentioned above, strength training is key. The muscle gained is more dense than fat and that’s the key. Follow on Instagram and Facebook to check it out.


I’ve been doing water aerobics for several months now, twice a week and I love it! I never liked the machines at the gym. But the pool just calls to me. I love the feeling of weightlessness and yet the laps back and forth and the other movements I have chosen give me quite a strenuous work out. And if I don’t want to get in the car, I have a pool where I live in my 55+ community that is right there for me.


Great article! It does get harder the closer you get to your goal weight and fitness. I particularly like your suggestion of changing up the fitness. I tend to lift the same weights, the same way each time. I think I will change it up!

Linda Scheffel

This article is painfully honest and totally me. If I could just make one change and stay with it, I know it would make a difference.

Joyce Ramsay

Hi Linda,
I just can’t get used to the way my body changed. I was 54kgs, hyperactive and could eat any amount of anything until I had a hysterectomy, then I put on weight. Got a different job where I had to drive a lot and sit at a computer more hours per day, and here I am at 77 and weigh 93kgs. Resentment at how life has played this nasty trick on me won’t lose the weight for me! I’m not gong to lose 40 kgs, but how about I challenge you to do what I will do – start SOMETHING. Even if it is only a walk round the block for 4 nights in this week. Aerobics with 2 x 2litre bottles of water. Anything will be better than just recognising we are the problem but taking no action! We can do this.

The Author

Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She recently switched careers, again, currently helping businesses with their marketing messages.

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