A Nifty Plan with an Impactful Future
One of the truly remarkable growth stories in the fitness industry is Nifty After Fifty.
Dr. Sheldon Zinberg launched Nifty After Fifty in southern California in 2006 after he had reached alarming conclusions about the state of America’s older adult population. “It became obvious that seniors had major problems with falls and fractures,” he said. “So many diseases are also complicated by the deterioration of activity.”
Zinberg’s work did not stop at simply launching a health club for adults over the age of fifty. He identified the ideal equipment to make part of Nifty After Fifty - Keiser. “Frail seniors had a lot of difficulty with the weight stack machines,” Zinberg explained. “I had noticed Keiser was used by football players and even prize fighters but I found it was ideally suited for seniors.”
Zinberg found that Keiser’s pneumatic resistance equipment, unlike weight stacks, offered the ability to build power. “Age related muscle loss is a really terrible thing,” he explained. “But older adults lose power even faster.” He pointed out that power is essential to completing important everyday tasks like twisting the cap off of a new bottle of jam or catsup. “Simply trying to twist the cap is using strength. It’s done slowly,” Zinberg pointed out. “But giving it that additional jerk that’s needed to loosen the cap is muscular power.”
Zinberg developed a fitness program that is distinct to Nifty After Fifty, NeuroDynamic Fitness Training. Zinberg’s program combines high velocity concentric muscle training with slow eccentric muscle training, all done on Keiser. The combination of slow and fast muscle training over a period of several repetitions develops strength, endurance and power.
Nifty After Fifty offers a number of programs designed to boost skills of older adults. Brain Aerobics and Reviving Your Driving are designed to help seniors maintain their independence. “The majority on our plans work out two days a week,” said Nifty After Fifty Vice President, Mike Merino. “It allows ample time for muscle recovery.”
Since its launch, six years ago, in southern California, Nifty After Fifty has expanded into five additional states -- Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and New York. The company totals twenty-nine centers with 15,000 members. Ground breakings are planned for even more growth in 2013.
Zinberg is proud of the impact he, and also Keiser have had on the older segment of American society. “We’ve reduced falls and fractures,” he said. Zinberg is anxious to see his company grow and achieve more. “The best,” he says, “is yet to come.”