HEALTHY LIVING: 5 tips to stay in shape at any age from a 60-year-old Wallingford bodybuilder

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 tips to stay in shape at any age from a 60-year-old Wallingford bodybuilder

WALLINGFORD — At 40 years old, resident Theresa Schweers made the decision to change her body type.

“Nothing motivates me. It’s a lifestyle,” she said. 

She started competing in bodybuilding competitions 20 years ago in the Physique division of the National Physique Committee (NPC). The now 60-year-old recently came in second at the 2019 NPC Powerhouse Classic in East Haven in the Women’s Physique Masters Over-35 category and third overall.

The NPC is the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States. 

Schweers is also a personal trainer at Montanari Brothers Powerhouse Gym in New Haven.

She encourages her clients to stay healthy and reminds them that age is just a number. 

Her own fitness routine consists of three-hour workouts daily. Here are five tips from Schweers for staying fit:

1. No one can tell you how to eat

An essential tip Schweers teaches her clients is to understand macronutrients.

“Fat, carbs and protein with every meal,” she said.

Schweers recommends steering clear of fad diets and focusing on balanced nutrition.

She added that she eats five times daily, but doesn’t necessarily encourage others to do the same.

“No one can tell you what is right for your body, you have to experiment,” Schweers said.

2. It’s all about your mentality

Schweers said in order to make noticeable changes in the way that you look or physically feel you have to examine your attitude and find out what is holding you back from achieving your goals.

“Bottom line is, if you want to change your body you have got to change your mind,” she said. 

3. Train smarter not harder

Schweers is grateful that she didn’t overdo it early in her bodybuilding career. She avoided common injuries that weightlifters suffer due to lifting heavily while neglecting proper form.

“I train very hard, but I train very smart” Schweers said of her weight-lifting regime.  

She recommends beginners and older people, especially,  always warm up before beginning a workout program.

4. Don’t expect to see changes right away

Schweers said she didn’t see significant changes in her body until about two years after she started strength training.  No amount of cardio or aerobic exercise in her 20s to 40s, changed her body like weight lifting.  

“If you want to change your body you need to weight train” said Schweers. 

Resistance training can be touted as one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle. A person’s body composition can change over time as new muscle forms.

5. Compete with yourself

Although Schweers gets up on stage with dozens of competitors from all over the the country in physique competitions, she said, “I’m not really competitive.” 

Schweers was drawn to competing because she fell in love with bodybuilding-style training after meeting her mentor, Mike Katz, a former American International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) professional bodybuilder. She said training is about being stronger and better than she was the day before. 

If you’re interested in Theresa Schweer’s expertise you can email her at

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native,  NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris –



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