The last time H.F. Breard joined a gym, he quit when he started to plateau.
Tennis would be enough, he thought. But the tennis outings didn’t seem to do much for his strength. So, a little more than a year ago, the Bellevue man joined a gym again.
Breard, 56, is pushing through his current plateau. He’s in the gym six days a week and on the tennis courts three times a week.
He takes inspiration from fitness channels on YouTube and from his 90-year-old mother. She walks a mile each day and exercises regularly.
“I’m at an age where people start to believe they’re not going to get any better. That’s not true,” Breard said. “It might be hard at first, but anybody at any age or shape can get better.”
Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I started out here right after I retired from the Air Force, about 12 years ago. I worked out for a year and then I quit. About a year and a half ago, I was playing tennis, and I decided I needed to do more. Tennis didn’t really do anything for my strength.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: I’m here every day but Sunday. The first day, I work my back, lats and biceps. The next day, I work my chest, shoulders and triceps. The third day, I work my legs. Then I rinse and repeat the next three days. Every single day I try to do forearm, calf and ab exercises.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: Most people come here to lose weight, but I’m here to gain muscle. My goal is to be 225 pounds with 10 percent body fat.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: I made some pretty good gains in my first year. I went from 178 pounds to 207 and maintained my body fat. Most of that was muscle.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: My toughest hurdle is that I’m plateauing right now. It can be very, very discouraging. I ignore that and work through it.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: I’m on YouTube, and I follow people I find very inspiring. Then I started my own fitness channel. I need the positivity and inspiration. Also, the staff here is outstanding. They’re very supportive and make this the only place I’d want to work out.
Q: What is your gym pet peeve?
A: When people don’t clean up after themselves.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I’m part of a social league in tennis. I enjoy friendships I’ve formed on the tennis courts.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
A: I take quite a few supplements. It’s another piece of the puzzle.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: Don’t be discouraged. Just showing up here is half the battle. You’ve got to stick with it. Fitness may not extend your life, but it definitely improves your quality of life.
Gym-goers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.