Peter is an Attorney, and he’s going to be 70 years old in July. He’s been working with me for just about 5 years. Peter says he does not feel 70 years old… but he did when he first came in 5 years ago! Now he feels like he’s 56. 😊

Peter says he first came to LyonStrong kicking and screaming. He had knee surgery about 8 years before he joined LyonStrong. The surgeon told him he was in horrible shape, and it was going to take years off of his life if he didn’t begin strength training. And Peter thought, yeah what does he know! So he kept on doing his cardio, but he got worse and worse at it because of injuries. During that time, Terry, his wife, signed up with Lyonel to start training, and she also signed Peter up. He thought he would go for the initial sessions to see what he can pick up from it and then do the sit-ups and push-ups himself.

So when he first got together with Lyonel, he thought he was in decent shape since he had been doing all that cardio, but Lyonel gave them a simple strength test, and he failed at every single move. He couldn’t even do a sit-up correctly, He fell on his ass when doing a squat, and he couldn’t do a push-up or a chin-up. Laughing, he says, “At least I was consistent.” But all jokes aside, he says it was eye-opening.

Part of what brought Peter and Terry to LyonStrong was that they had their daughter’s wedding coming up and Peter had some diet issues. He’s a self-proclaimed sugarholic! He had food issues stemming from his cycling days when he could eat anything he wanted and not gain any weight. But once he started succumbing to injuries, and kept eating anything he wanted too, the pounds really packed on quickly, and that made it harder to train, so it was just a downward spiral from there.

Lyonel put Peter and Terry on a nutrition plan and Peter fought him tooth and nail, but Peter finally found out that the plan really worked and the food wasn’t horrible as he thought it was going to be. It actually turned out to be pretty good. Peter says that up until the last two years, he would crave a greasy cheeseburger, but the last greasy cheeseburger he had was really disappointing, and all he can think of was that it was not worth the calories. He doesn’t even dream about greasy cheeseburgers anymore. And now he doesn’t drink anything but water, besides his morning coffee. He only chooses good carbs, good fats, and good healthy protein.

Peter has learned that you can eat anything you want, but then you’ll have to work off those calories. What would happen to him was that he would lose 20 pounds, but then the holidays would come around, and then it would take him the better part of the year to lose the 20 pounds again right in time to gain them all back when the holidays would roll around again. This was the first season where he went through the entire holidays without gaining a single pound. It really isn’t that difficult. You just can’t get off of what you’re doing because you get into a healthy pattern and once you get out of it, it takes you a week or two to get back into the pattern. Now he doesn’t only say is it worth the calories, he says is it worth the 2 weeks of hell it’s going to take to get back to where he was 5 minutes ago.

Peter says he inherited his bad knees from his father, but he also tore up a knee in college and he injured the other knee in a bicycling accident. He was also suffering from lower back pain and had two torn rotator cuffs. The surgeons told him that the surgery for his two rotator cuffs was not going to be justified since he wasn’t a professional pitcher. They also told him he would never be able to lift more than 25 pounds with either arm. So Lyonel worked with him over time and now he is able to lift over 50 pounds overhead per arm! He can do a 55-pound kettlebell clean and jerk, or a kettlebell snatch. 💪

The doctors also told him he was too heavy to run, but now he’s back! When there are running exercises, he runs. The other day he ran to the escalator that takes you to the Metrorail but started taking two steps at a time when he got to the escalator because the train was about to take off. As you can tell, running is no longer a problem for Peter. He no longer has lower back pain, shoulder problems, or knee problems. He says Lyonel has kept him injury-free, because if his form goes bad, Lyonel just shuts him down. Form is the number one thing, and if he’s not doing it correctly, he’s not getting the benefit of the exercise anyway. And if he injures himself, all he’s doing is setting himself back, so he says Lyonel is a real stickler for form. He says all of that comes counterintuitive to him. Laughing, he says, he sort of gravitates to doing it the wrong way. Peter says Lyonel has the patience of Job!

For anyone looking to join LyonStrong, Peter says, “The most important thing is to show up. You have to show up and do what Lyonel says. Many times Lyonel has asked me to do something that I would’ve bet him money that I couldn’t do, and then did. So what you have to do is just show up and do what you’re asked to do. Sometimes you’ll see an exercise, and you’ll be like, there’s no freakin’ way, and then all of a sudden, it’s done!.. and you’re like, well I guess I could do that. So you just have to be willing to put in the effort.”


Favorite Book: Peter likes many different books. It all depends on his mood at the moment. Although he does really enjoy History books.

Favorite Workout Music: He doesn’t hear the music when he works out. But in general, he enjoys Classical music. Bach is his favorite.

Something we don’t know about Peter: He likes to do handyman work around the house. He says he has an old house that needs constant repair, renovation, and restoration. He owns about every tool known to mankind. He worked his way through 8-9 years of college by working in construction, so he’s done everything like busted steel rods, roofing, forming work, plumbing, electrical, common labor, digging ditches, pouring concrete – he’s done it all! He says the worst was when he worked for an insulation company in Gainesville, FL blowing insulation into hot attics during the summer. 😰

Peter says that being at LyonStrong has turned his life around. He was going in the wrong direction at a great rate of speed. He never thought or dreamed that he could reach where he is now. He says all it does is make you greedy because you say, if I can do this, I can probably do more. So you want more. So you say, ok, I’ve lost 50 pounds, why don’t I lose another 10 lbs, and then you lose another ten pounds. Peter did “Paris Brest Paris” when he was 49 years old and he weighed 170 lbs. He was probably one of the fattest people who finished. All the Frenchman were about 130 lbs. That was the healthiest he had been in his entire life.

Peter says now he is the strongest he has ever been in his life. Back then, he was completely cardio, and he thought he was an athlete. But now, after doing all this work, he looks back and says, “yeah, maybe not.” Before he met Lyonel, he had never lifted a barbell in his entire life and he was 65 years old at that time. When he would go to the gym, he would swim and he would only swim hard if he had someone he could pace himself with. But if there was no one he could use as a pacer, he would swim at his own pace which he says probably wasn’t ideal. And the rest, he did machines. And now he wonders why he ever did machines. 

Peter says that with LyonStrong’s style of training, you are working towards something. He started off not being able to do 1 push-up. Lyonel got him doing 100 push-ups. Lyonel got him working on his form because there’s always more you can do, and there’s always better than you can do, and there’s always stronger that you can do. Peter knows that whatever workout Lyonel has for the day, he has some plan that goes for the week, the month, the year, and so on. Peter says he’s not smart enough to plan that out himself because he doesn’t know what he needs or how to get to where he wants to be. So he goes to LyonStrong and does what Lyonel tells him to do to the best of his ability. He says you try to pay attention and do what you can, and you do what you’re told to do. Lyonel’s always pushing him not to take too many breaks, and it brings him back to cycling where they say don’t get off the bike because that’s the best you’re going to feel. Everything is downhill from there. Because if you get off the bike, you’re not going to want to get back on the bike 5 minutes from now. It’s the same idea for when you’re doing burpees, for example. The best thing to do is finish them, and not to take a break every 5 burpees. Just like with the wall balls, when you absolutely cannot throw another ball up, then take a 3-second break and then throw the ball again.

Peter says he had no experience stepping into LyonStrong. He had a low opinion of trainers because the ones at the gym he attended did not really know anything and they were just going to put you through what the book said the workout of the day was and they were gonna watch you do your 10 sit up and 10 push-ups. He thought all trainers were like that. But then he met Lyonel, and he was like, OMG.. there’s a plan, there’s a purpose, there are goals and they’re achievable. He never dreamed that he could get into this kind of shape. And now that he’s almost 70, he says it’s more important than ever! Peter recalls when his Orthopedic Surgeon told him almost 20 years ago that you can reverse age with strength training. Not with cardio, with strength training. He said you need strength for balance, mobility, and health. But Peter didn’t believe him. He thought cardio he was doing just fine for him. 

Now at LyonStrong, he’s strength training for all of those reasons, and it’s worked! And that’s why he keeps going back. Peter thought he was going to do a few sessions with Lyonel and then do them on his own, but as Lyonel told him, there is no end to the workouts. You’re always pushing a different muscle, or strength, or mobility. It’s endless. So you try to do as much as you can and as varied as you can, and get as healthy and strong as you can. He figures it’ll add 10-15 good quality years to his life. 

He has seen his friends who have now fallen to the wayside. They are having hip problems, knee problems, and foot problems. Which reminds him that he had plantar fasciitis. But since working out with Lyonel, it has gone away. He also had hamstring problems, and Lyonel helped him with that as well. Peter didn’t know that he was screwing up his IT band and hamstrings with the biking. It’s a matter of you don’t know what you don’t know so you have to have somebody who knows what they’re doing tell you so that you don’t make constant mistakes. Peter says God knows where he’d be now if he would’ve met Lyonel 15 years earlier. 

Peter recalls the doctor telling him that if his weight didn’t kill him, his lack of strength would. Peter had the idea when he first went to Lyonel that he was 65 years old and what was he going to be able to do at that age? But now he realizes that there’s a lot that you can do at that age. Age is a number. It just depends on what you do with your body. You can be 70 years old physically, but only be chronologically 50 if you don’t do anything and don’t take care of yourself. Or you can be chronologically 70 years old and feel like your 50 because you do take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself includes mobility agility, weight, and balance. So it’s a lot more than just lifting weights, its slam balls, club workouts, wall balls, it’s everything. It’s working all the muscles in all kinds of directions. And you know it’s a good workout because you’re not sore in the morning, but you know you worked the day before. Peter says he’s never had a bad workout at LyonStrong.

Peter is proof that even with a lack of strength, bad knees, bad shoulders, and poor coordination, you can make your goals a reality!

Watching Peter’s transformation has been so incredible for all of us here at LyonStrong! 

His passion for getting better, relaxed attitude and all-around good heart have truly been an inspiration.

We are so grateful to be a part of Peter’s journey.

Lyonel Lumarque



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