Baby Boomers Retirement Club

Recondition Your Deconditioned Body

Richard Roll Interviews Jim Flanagan


Richard: Good afternoon everybody, it’s Richard Roll at the Baby Boomers Retirement
Club, the BBRC and it’s my pleasure today to welcome Jim Flanagan and we’re going to
talk about fitness after 50. Jim welcome.

Jim: Thank you Richard, it’s a pleasure to be here with you. I enjoyed meeting you in
Nashville a few weeks ago too.

Richard: Thank you, likewise. Jim, let me give our listeners a little bit of background on
you. Jim has been an expert in the field of physical fitness for over 40 years. He has run
health clubs earlier in his career he has been involved in two big equipment and medical
related companies, he was involved as a key person on the team that introduced originally
the original Nautilus exercise machines at the time of very high tech innovative design
machine worldwide in the 1970s and today he’s very much focused on keeping people
and helping motivate people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and on up, 70s and 80s to stay fit or to
get fit and Jim you’ve got a phrase for that, don’t you?

Jim: Well yes, I came up with what I want to do with the rest of my life what time I’ve
got left is to help people and I want to recondition deconditioned bodies. And we’ll do it
with the most simplistic terms and it doesn’t matter what equipment that people have
access to we’re going to work around that and give them the best bang for their endeavors
and what they have to work with.

Richard: Well, a lot of people feel that it’s inconvenient to try to stay fit or they feel that
they have aches and pains that prevent them, they’re too busy or they’re not busy enough
or what have you. What do you think about that?

Jim: Well, let me kind of go back a little bit in my roots. You know as a young boy all
of us are baby boomer age we kind of are telling ourselves we grew up in the 50s as
young kids and teenagers in the late 50s and early 60s and we were attracted to as most
young boys were to the icons on the screen and the people who had the greatest physique
and had the strength and that you always remembered that and people like Steve Reeds,
for example, who played Hercules was Mr. America in the late 40s, obviously, and these
people you looked up to them and there were no drugs and steroids and hormones at that
time that were being ingested it was just genetic predisposition and hard work and effort,
regardless of what tools you had to work with. But nonetheless, it was motivating and I
followed the paths of one of the coach sports, I was an athlete and I paid small college
basketball and even wrestled after I got out of college amateur wise and after work I
wanted to teach and help people.
So I landed a job teaching for two years but realized that, you know, there’s a lot of
things changing in the academic environment with these kids and the school teachers and
the administrations where I got out and opened up my own business and actually utilized
the Nautilus machines which afforded me the opportunity to do something different and
help people and I had one of the most successful clubs for 16 years before I even went to
work for the inventor who launched that company in 1970. And, you know, I’ve been in
this field now this is my 40th year and what I see is the biggest excuse I’ve ever heard
from the majority of people is “I don’t have time to exercise.” Well, I always kind of
shook my head on that one because they always have time to eat but they didn’t have
time to exercise. But today, Richard, we’re faced with a catastrophic situation and…

Richard: I couldn’t have said it better, right, I think catastrophic is the right word and it’s
got two facets to it.

Jim: Yeah and one is we’ve become sedentary because of our – and I blame this on two
things. When were kids, was the television Number 1 and the automobile Number 2
then, you know, today everybody’s got two TVs and two cars in their homes and they sit.
But then you compound that with the IT intervention the information highway, the
computer, more people are sitting more hours per day and moving less and…

Richard: We have enslaved ourselves haven’t we?

Jim: We have, we’ve become slaves of technology.

Richard: Yeah, you know, I have a chiropractor who’s very astute healer he’s a
Kinesiologist he’s very, very astute about the nervous system and how all of it fits
together. He says that he’s seeing something happening with people in their 40s. He
says “You know you use to see people in their ‘70s – when we were growing up we’d see
people in their 70s they’d be shuffling, you know.” He said “I’m seeing that now with
people in their 40s more and more” and the reason is this sedentary and this whole
computer diction that you’re talking about, but there are antidotes to that and we’ll get
into that in a little bit, but that’s alarming. He says if we don’t change our habits life
expectancies are going to go down and the quality of life is going to be reduced and
healthcare is just going to – the healthcare costs are just going to keep going up and up.
But, you know, Jim one of the things that I preach very much as part of the Baby
Boomers Retirement Club is the research that says exercise is the middle age wonder
drug, it is the thing that keeps all of our systems working and our mental health better and
sounder. And what you said is so true, it doesn’t take a long time, it doesn’t take a large
amount of time per week. What specifically does your program done what kind of
research have you done? What kind of experiences have you had and how can people
incorporate that into their lives?

Jim: Well, that’s a great question and it may take a minute or two to answer that because
it goes back, if you look at our media bombardment, you know, we as a population with
the radio, the TV, the newspaper, billboard signs, infomercials constantly are bombarded
and, unfortunately, in our society we’re impulse buyers and we buy quick and we want
quick results we don’t want to realize that there’s an effort that has to be made, there’s no
quick fix. And I just reviewed some information here recently on our age group, the big
thing now in the medical field, and there’s a big war going on with the AMA and a lot of
these people, I don’t want to use the word renegade, but they’re branching off to open up
these longevity centers anti-aging centers and I’ve got some data put out on that just
some comments and a lot of it is conjecture, personal opinion based on observation and
contacts and people I’ve known in the field that have had some kind of affect, positive or
negative, but you know it’s a quick fix. And there maybe some validity to some of that at
certain ages and I’ve got some case studies and examples of some things that did help
some elderly people. But by in large, we’re built for movement we’re not moving, we’re
built for activity and even back in the late 60s one of the first periodicals that came out
was the big buzz word Aerobics. Remember that?

Richard: I do.

Jim: Yeah, well I know all those people and I know what’s going on and I won’t go into
details on that today but we’ve been sold a bill of goods. Now, let’s analyze that real
quick. We have a human body and we have human body here and we have a car over
here. Okay, now this is real simple, just to give these people to wet their appetite a little
bit give our listeners a little bit of bits and pieces here, let’s look at that a minute. Okay,
in the car you have a frame in the human body you have a skeleton that’s your frame. In
a car you have shock absorbers well those are your tendons of ligaments around the
joints. In a car you have a carburetor. Okay. In the human body you have a heart and
lung that transfers oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide and supplies oxygen to the blood
system, okay, which it moves throughout the body. In the car you have a spark plug
system in the body you have a brain which sends out impulses, that is your spark plug
system. Okay, follow me.

Richard: Yep.

Jim: Okay, now the car has an engine doesn’t it?

Richard: Yep.

Jim: Well, where’s the engine for the human body? It’s the skeletal muscles of the
human body, but everybody’s placing an emphasis on cardiovascular ability,
cardiovascular this, aerobic this, aerobic that with very little movement against resistance
to strengthen those muscles. Muscles produce movement and locomotion and this is
observation and information, I mean it’s right in front of our face, and you know you
don’t have to be a giraffe to recognize one even though it’s a very unusual animal, well in
this field look at the elderly people, which we’re the next wave in, we’re facing that in
our future if we live long enough. They may have a great heart and lungs, they may be
great, but they’ve got no muscle tissue and they cannot get out of a chair, they’re in a
wheelchair or they’re in a walker or a cane. The problem is they’re not working the
muscles against a source of resistant to stimulate growth to allow them to be more
durable and tougher and this doesn’t require a lot of time, it doesn’t have to be everyday
and the workouts should never be more than 30 minutes maximum, even on a real
deconditioned, individual and they will see results. And that’s the things we’re going to
teach these people over time.

Richard: So Jim you’re not saying that people shouldn’t do aerobic exercise and be in
cardiovascular shape.

Jim: I’m not saying that at all.

Richard: Right, you’re saying that they don’t remember that muscle strength, if they’re
thinking that it’s only strong men, emen and, you know, body builders that need muscles
then they’re totally wrong, they’re totally misguided because the muscle – there’s been a
lot of good research on this and it’s on the BBRC, my site under the Help area,
there’s been a lot of research that building muscle in the aging body is very important for
maintaining bone, growth and strength and avoiding the osteoporosis types of syndromes
and you cannot function, as you say, you cannot function well without fit and highly
trained and flexible muscles.

Jim: Absolutely, you can have the greatest heart and lung capacity in your aerobic
training and if you can’t get out of a chair it aint going to do any good. Everything else is
a support system, the only thing that moves you is that engine in your body, the engine of
your car everything supports it to get it going, alright, and everything in your body
supports the muscles functioning through a range of emotion. And in the routines that we
have been working on for the last 38 years which we’ve got great results on, now take
away the technology, the technology is one thing but technology advancement which we
invented back in 1970 and a man named Arthur Jones, everybody’s probably heard of,
probably cut their teeth on this equipment in high school, college or, in those competition
sports back in the 70s early 80s…

Richard: We’re talking about the Nautilus equipment.

Jim: That was his first…

Richard: Nautilus machine it used to be – the Nautilus machine use to be the only
exercise machine that was out there.

Jim: Well, it was until he started another company which was called MEDX which is a
medical acronym for Med-Ex which I’m still involved actively in that participation, he
just passed away this past August, but his contributions were unbelievably a quantum
leap up compared to anything else. It’s almost like comparing transportation, you know,
man walked then man rode a four legged animal and then he discovered a wheel and
things progressed into the aerial aspect of it at the turn of the 20th century. And the same
thing in exercise, you know, they didn’t have any refine until the barbell was introduced
in 1903 in this country and then all of a sudden Arthur took the barbell and try to fit it
around the human body and made it more efficient. But regardless of the tools, and of
course the next company he even made it more efficient, but regardless whatever you
have to work with you can get some great benefit and great results but it’s how you do it.
There’re several guidelines that have to be explained to you and taught and you have to
make the effort and commitment to do this but it shouldn’t take you more than two or
three times a week from 20 to 30 minutes a week from 20 to 30 minutes ever, and that’s
not that much time compared to what the other things we’re involved in. So it would be
very efficient to look at these programs over time.

Richard: Well, you know, supporting what you’re saying I’ve just come across a study
that was done of 19,000 men and women in Scotland and these studies, these surveys
which have been cropping up quite a bit in the last five years or so are what you call
longitudinal studies they show how people over time respond to different activity,
different nutritional habits and so forth, and they’re really pretty statistically reliable.
What they have found is that for one thing and active life as little as 20 minutes a week of
physical activity can make a difference in that peace of mind and more mental health.
And, you know, one of the things that the baby boomers are going through, and this has
been discussed in other conversations that we’ve had like this, is we’re going through a
lot of stress. A lot of us are in the sandwich generation, we’ve got aging parents or we’re
a state of decline and constant series of disruptions that are coming as a result of that
upsets and what have you. We’ve got children who are either still at home or in many
cases dependent on us in one way or another and we’re trying to figure out how to deal
with our next stage in life and so forth. The importance of staying or becoming
physically conditioned to your mental health they have found that regardless of age, sex,
social class, body mass index or what have you that the people who are getting physical
activity, ideally daily and it can be a variety of activity and we’ll get into the specifics of
your recommendations in a moment, they showed the strongest length to less
psychological distress and they were just much more adaptable and it really has been
born out over and over again. Let’s talk about what specifically – what would you say if people want to recondition their deconditioned bodies because I think that’s really the focus here, what is the process?

Jim: Well, Number 1 they need to have a clearance and okay from their primary care
physician just as a safeguard. I haven’t met anybody that died from exercising it’s the
lack of that gets most people because they’re so sedentary but you want to be cautious
and take your time on that. But once you get the clearance to do that unfortunately if you
go to the large gyms and the facilities and it’s all this equipment and a lot of its knockoff
and it’s imitation and it’s not the quality may not be there but it’s a lot of it. The problem
is very few people really understand how to use the equipment properly. But besides that
Number 1 you have to have a commitment and Number 2 you have to have a little bit of
knowledge in knowing “Why am I doing this and why and what?” Okay, so you have to
have some kind of preparation and Number 3 you have to focus on your program, don’t
become obsessed with – you become a save to it, we don’t want that, it’s part of your
diet. Just like when you sit down for a meal you brush your teeth or you take a shower
it’s just part of your diet and start moving. And you have to crawl before you walk and
walk before you run you just can’t start exercising like you’re some specific top athlete
like you may have been 30, 40 years ago because what took 15 to 20 years to get to you
can’t undo over a week or a month. However, in 30 days of exercising under the
guidelines that we’ll present over time and teach these people if they don’t see results
something is wrong, they’re doing something wrong, that’s how good it is. And there is
no magic routine there is no best routine but they’re certain requirements that they have
to adhere to and follow, which we’re going to cover in great detail over time, to help
educate them.

Richard: Now, do they need any special equipment to do this?

Jim: Eventually they will because you have to have a source of overload on the muscles.
You can get in a certain condition with calisthenics certain angles and things and get
some benefit, but there’s a lot of things they don’t – a lot of people don’t know why
they’re doing the things they don’t – a lot of people don’t know why they’re doing the
things they’re doing they just do it and they don’t really understand it and sometimes they
need to have that understanding, and of course that’ll come, you know, as we get into
more of the educational process. And that’s what we’re going to be available for we’re
going to be in the information opportunity to provide for these people to help them obtain
these goals that they’ve set and we’ve set with them.

Richard: Now, you’re planning to launch a program in June, am I right?

Jim: Our target date is the first part of June, it could happen a little earlier but it’s going
to be accessible to people and it’ll be different levels, obviously, but I just to – I don’t
even know if I’ve shared this with you when I met you, in my home I have a 1200 square
foot addition that is a museum of over 300 memorabilia pictures going back 60 years in
this field with top celebrities and, you know, I name it I was there and dealt with and it
has an original eight of the original Nautilus machines that were built from 1971 to ’74
mint condition, totally refurbished and a whole system of the MEDX technology because
this is the citation plan as oppose to the bicycle in exercise. But there will be seminars
where people can come learn how to train, not just on the equipment but learn principles
and learn how to take it back to their gym or where they work out so they know what
they’re doing to get the best quality of work. I don’t care about the quantity, the quantity
is not what you give you results it’s the quality of work.

Richard: Yeah, I have to tell you something. Last night I only had a short amount of
time to work out and I was very frustrated because I don’t like to let days go by without
getting a workout and we’ve been doing so much with the BBRC it’s been really a
packed 7 day a week experience. So I finally ran out to the gym, I have a Stairmaster at
home but I don’t have all the equipment, so I did the Stairmaster and then I just drove to
the gym. In 20 minutes I did the whole workout I came back I felt great and I was able to
keep going hours.

Jim: You got blood flow going, you got your heart rate up, you perspired, you felt you
were accomplishing something and your body’s built for motion. In fact, that brand
Stairmaster my best friend started that company. Just to give you a little history he was
our distributor for Nautilus back in the northeast back in the 70s and 80s and took that
product and launched it. He retired about 13 years ago lives out in California, just a
super guy. In fact, his son’s over in Afghanistan and fighting a war for us so, special guy
but great product, they did a good job with it so.

Richard: Well, you know, and everybody’s got a machine that can work for them, you
know. My wife likes to use the treadmill. I can’t use the treadmill I’ve got arthritis in
my two big toes I cannot do a treadmill but I can do the Stairmaster. I can do the bicycle
and I mean I can do an actual cycle, which I do, I do, you know, extreme cycling. So…

Jim: Is that your activity to compete in?

Richard: I do it for charity.

Jim: Good.

Richard: I do bike-a-thons that raise money. I do the combination each year is a 2-day
192 mile bike-a-thon for cancer…

Jim: That’s great.

Richard: …research and it’s fantastic. It is just an amazing experience and I do believe
that we’re going to conquer cancer in our lifetime but, you know, the key thing is are we
going to conquer our own bad habits, that’s going to do us in more than cancer? In fact,
heart disease, you know, is still the leading killer heart and arterial sclerosis. So…

Jim: Those bad habits add up to these other illnesses that can consume you pretty quick
and you’re absolutely right there.

Richard: And then you can’t breathe, you can’t move, you can’t function, so people we
are committed at the BBRC to the activity that keeps us healthy in supporting you and
doing that. And Jim we’re going to do – I want to not only do more of these talks with
you but I also would like to have a display of those historical museum type pieces of
equipment because I think that’s very interesting. I think people need to get more input
of that kind instead of all the junk that they’re getting from TV.

Jim: Oh, I agree it’s out of control. But I tell you what you just triggered a thought in
my mind, I can’t give you a lot of details right now because it’s confidential but I’ll share
this with you personally. My mother was a registered nurse a Tennessee girl tough as
nails was in the military World War II well she, you know, she put in 50 years as a nurse
then started having the problems of the elderly and she wasn’t active she became very
sedentary and had many strokes. We had to finally put her in a nursing home assisted
living and take care of her on a full time basis she was wheel chair bound. This was back
in the early 2000s about the turn of the century. Well, never could get her to workout
with exercise and weights or anything like that. She was just a farm girl but she just
basically gave up but she came became very rheumatoid wheel chair bound and she was
in the Nursing Home for over four years, and your hands are tied. Anyway, you know,
we’d have to deal with our live and those are the issues we deal with emotional pains and
so forth, but the point I’m trying to make is there is data now at the assisted living level
there’s strength training, the elderly that are wheel chair bound and bed ridden and
getting them to walk again. That is great news think about that, that’s super because
now, look at our age group, that’s the kind of exercise we have got to start doing to
prolong the inevitable as long as we can.

Richard: Yeah to put off the inevitable, absolutely.

Jim: Yeah.

Richard: Absolutely. Have the health and fitness and positive mindset and spirit make
that the inevitable by keeping active that’s the thing.

Jim: My objective, basically, is I’m going to recondition deconditioned bodies, we want
to enhance the quality of life, we understand time management and restraints, therefore,
you’ll get maximum results in a minimal amount of required time efficiently and safely.
I mean I’ve done this for thousands of people of the last 38 years and it does work. In
fact, one of my oldest clients – I’ve got two older clients, one of them is a Hollywood
movie star he’s retired, a dear friend he’s been a by-product of strength training for 60
years of his life, he’s 80-years-old and the other ones an MD here locally he’s 79-yearsold
and went through a knee replacement spinal surgery and started training with me,
dropped 40 pounds, he’s hitting a golf ball farther than he did when he was 40 years old.
How about that 79-years-old?

Richard: I believe it. I believe it. See, that’s where you’re talking about reconditioning
you can do it and we’re going to help you do it, we’re going to help you get there at the

Jim: We’ll guide them but they got to put the effort into it. Like a checking account you
only get out what you put into it.

Richard: Yep, yep, perfect. Jim Flanagan, thank you very much for being with us and I
really look forward to being in touch going forward and helping our Baby Boomers
Retirement Club members.

Jim: Can I get your phone number because I lost it for some reason?

Richard: Yeah. I’ll call you right back.

Jim: Okay.

Richard: We’ll follow up and next steps as well.

Jim: Sounds good. I appreciate your time and will look forward to working with you in
the future.

Richard: Fantastic, Jim, likewise.

Jim: Yes, sir. Bye-bye. Bye now.

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