There are no machines or mirrors when you enter the small gym in Castlemaine — just heavy powerlifting equipment, ABC News reports.
For a sport that is usually associated with under-40s the average age of this class of powerlifters is 75 years old, with 10 participants over 75, and three around 80 years old.
The Castlemaine program is specifically designed for older people and includes those with double hip replacements, arthritis, and cognitive impairment.
Head coach Dean Mawby said it was never too late to exercise and described the group as people who wanted “more out of their life”.
With life expectancy in Australia around 85, the prevalence of dementia has also increased — three out 10 people aged over 85 are diagnosed with dementia, with many winding up in aged care facilities.
Tony’s wife Ann was worried about her husband’s increasing memory loss.
“My feeling is, if we’d done nothing the pathway was looking awfully like a very big fade,” she said.
Nearly 80, the retired advertising consultant attends the powerlifting class twice a week for 45 minutes.
While Tony struggles to remember what he lifts, Mr Mawby said since joining the program nine months ago Tony could now lift 20-kilogram kettlebells and squats, and could bench press 30 kilograms.
“I feel more vital — it’s an important part of my life,” Tony said.