Lifestyle

Derek's off the bench with help of healthy lifting obsession

Derek Mason has turned to powerlifting to help battle Parkinson's disease.
Derek Mason has turned to powerlifting to help battle Parkinson's disease. Warren Lynam

DON'T tell Derek Mason what he can and can't do.

Age is just a number to the 74-year-old who will be representing Australia with his impressive bench press in the Oceania Powerlifting Championships in Sydney from December 7-9.

The Noosaville resident took up weightlifting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease seven years ago.

Parkinson's is a progressively degenerative neurological disorder that affects the control of body movements and can lead to muscle atrophy.

Mr Mason, who holds the national record for his age and weight group after bench-pressing 82.5kg, said he had no idea just how tough the competition would be this week.

"I'm going to be doing my best. I've been training pretty hard," he said.

"This is a big competition; the biggest one I've been a part of.

"All I can do is my best. It's very hard to know what it will be like."

Mr Mason will compete in the bench press with others aged 70 and in the same body weight range.

Competitors will come from New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Nauru, Tonga, New Caledonia and other Pacific Ocean countries.

Mr Mason credited weightlifting with helping combat Parkinson's.

But it wasn't the first form of exercise to come to mind.

"I was a bit depressed for a while after I was diagnosed but then I decided to do something about it," he said.

"I tried swimming but I had trouble because I couldn't co-ordinate my arms or legs.

"Then I tried deep-water running, but that didn't work very well because my left side is weaker and I just went in circles."

He and his wife run the Noosa-Tewantin Parkinson's Support Group and are advocates for exercise.

"If I can do it with Parkinson's, then anyone should be able to do it and feel much better than they already do," Mr Mason said.

His trip to Sydney has been sponsored by Coolum Beach Bowls Club where he is a member.

In June last year at a powerlifting championship in Brisbane he became the proud holder of the Australian bench press record for over-70s in the under 66kg weight class by lifting 80kg.

He improved that record to 82.5kg earlier this year.

Earlier this year he competed at the Australian Raw Powerlifting Championships.

 

POWERING UP

Workout schedule

  • Trains four days a week in the gym at the Noosa Aquatic Centre.
  • For the past few weeks he's been concentrating on his bench press, but he's also exercising his back and arm muscles.
  • He does 20 chin-ups in a set.
  • He performs single-arm rows beginning with the 25kg dumbbells and works his way down to 12kg.
  • He performs 10 repetitions with each arm.
  • Has a protein drink before and after workouts.

Diet

Breakfast: Porridge and fresh fruit.

Lunch: Ham and tomato sandwich with wholemeal bread. Sometimes with fruit.

Dinner: Vegetables with meat or chicken.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  health lifestyle parkinson's disease powerlifting weightlifting



New speed camera trailers about to lower tolerance

An allegedly speeding motorist is captured on the new trailer-mounted cameras.

Almost 650 speedsters caught in first three weeks

Old Ipswich courthouse to face the wrecking ball

The old Ipswich Courthouse has been set for a facelift for more then two years.

Developers consider knocking down $3.3 million 'ugly' building

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

Local Partners

Gatton family claims game show success

A GATTON family walked away with more than $11,000 after an exciting three-night run on game show Family Feud.


How cyclists could peddle funds into community

BIGGER AND BETTER: Bicycle Queensland has partnered with Somerset Regional Council.

BIKE riders set to flock to the region later this year.

Big flicks could soon be seen at major shopping centre

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: The Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre have lodged an application with the Brisbane City Council to build a new cinema and entertainment precinct.

New entertainment and dining options have residents excited.

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Why Emma Watson turned down Cinderella

Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

HARRY Potter star has standards when it comes to Disney princesses.

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!