The pensioners who pump iron: Couple, 80, hit the gym twice a week for weight sessions

September 10, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

Superfit exercise fanatics Bobby and Irene Simpson enjoy pumping iron together — at the age of 80.

The grandparents have been attending the gym twice a week for 15 years and the healthy pair also hike six miles EVERY Sunday – in snow, rain, wind or hail.

After all that, Bobby still finds the energy to play two full rounds of golf each week.

Exercise fanatics Bobby and Irene Simpson, lift weights together at the age of 80

Sprightly: Exercise fanatics Bobby and Irene Simpson, lift weights together at the age of 80

The couple, who met at the age of 16 at a cycling club, said despite celebrating their 80th birthdays together last month they have no intention of stopping now.

Irene, who was at the gym for a two-hour workout today, said: “People are always surprised when they find out how old we are.

“We get out and get to know people we would never meet sitting around watching the television.

“Staying active is very important. We live at the top of a flight of stairs which we can both still manage, though I don’t run up them anymore.

“There are a few pensioners that regularly attend the gym but I don’t think any of them are quite our age.”

Bobby met Irene as a member of the National Clarion Cycling Club in the late 1940s.

Two years later the teenager was sent off on national service but upon his return in 1954 the couple married and had daughter Irene Wallace, now 53.

Bobby worked as painter and decorator and then as a construction equipment assembly worker.

Irene worked as a cleaner before retiring 25 years ago.

Finding herself at a loose end, she began going to the gym and when Bobby retired 15 years ago he joined his wife in her hobby and the pair have been attending together ever since.

The couple, who have two grandchildren and celebrated their 80th birthdays last month at a joint party with their friends and family, have moved from gym to gym throughout the years and settled at DW Fitness in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, five years ago.

At 7am every Monday and Friday the couple head to the leisure centre for a rigorous work-out which includes up to four miles on the treadmill, half an hour on the rowing machine, up to an hour lifting weights and 15 minutes on an exercise bike.

Irene finishes her workout on the inflatable medicine ball and the pair head off for a well-earned rest in the steam and sauna rooms.

If that wasn’t enough Bobby still finds the strength to play 18 holes of golf twice a week.

Irene said: “Bobby was in the men’s racing team when I first met him.

“I was in the women’s touring team but we still saw each other now and again, he was very dashing.

“We had to stop cycling when we began to work and had a family but I started again when I retired.

“I’ve been going to the gym for 25 years and Bobby has been going for the last 15 years since he retired.

“We go in at 7am and work out for over two hours. I went four times a week up until a couple of years ago.

“We like to keep fit. It gets you out and I look forward to it. There is a group of us that have moved around various gyms throughout the years so we know lots of people.”

Every Sunday to couple set out from their home in Coatbridge and walk three miles to nearby Airdrie across the town’s park.

They have a cup of tea at a cafe and walk three miles back in time for lunch.  The pair even braved the harsh winter snow of two years ago.

Irene added: “When it snowed a couple of years ago we didn’t see a soul. It was just us in the park surrounded by blankets of white snow, it was beautiful.

Robert said: “We carry out that walk without fail every Sunday. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like.

“We change our routine every now and again to keep it interesting but we keep going. At our age it’s important to keep fit but we have always been active.

“I recommend being active to anyone who has just retired or is about to.
It’s not the end of everything.”

Billy Horn, operations manager at DW Fitness, said: “We have quite a lot of older members and they get a special monthly rate.

“There’s a big social aspect to being a member and you are never too old to improve your fitness levels.”

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