This 80-year-old power lifter is the workout motivation you need

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Eighty-year-old Mike Palen has a secret he does not want to keep, and apparently it is the Fountain of Youth itself, so listen close, y’all. 

It’s weightlifting. Lifting “the heavy stuff,” as Palen calls it. 

Palen has practiced Olympic-style weightlifting for 68 years. He began as a scrawny 12-year-old, and now, Palen has defied time and age. At 80, he lifted 765 lbs. By himself. That’s a monster truck tire, a large upright piano, a leopard seal. 

That’s a lot of pounds.  

He began in an empty lot next door to his childhood home. Instead of actual weights, he used cement pillars leftover from one of his father’s home projects.  He saw immediate results and fell into life-long love with the sport. Palen even had Olympic aspirations. He hoped to join the American Olympic Weightlifting Team, but, unfortunately or maybe just as it was meant to be), real life intervened. 

Palen married and had children putting the kibosh on his Olympic dreams, but he never quit. He kept training two to three days a week, through horrible injuries (some nasty-sounding knee stuff; trust me) and life’s bumps and grinds, he kept lifting, brah. 

Palen continued to lift until 2020. You know what stopped him? Covid lockdowns made training at a gym impossible for Palen, but he survived the forced break and is back in the Silver Sneakers (a nationwide group of workout gyms especially for seniors, and they’re great! They offer in person and online classes in many disciplines. Check them out here).

Palen is now inspiring other seniors to embrace physical fitness, and he has words of wisdom for the younger generation, which he relayed to Good News Network:

“Time flies by so fast, and before you know it, you’re 80. [Let] an exercise of your choice be your vehicle to good health. If for some reason you quit, always return as soon as possible.”

And those are words to stay young by. 

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