This 81-Year-Old Fitness TikToker Is Smashing Stereotypes One Video at a Time

Kayla Blanton
·3-min read
Photo credit: TikTok
Photo credit: TikTok

From Men's Health

  • Fitness TikToker Erika Rischko, 81, proves that it’s never too late to try something new.

  • Rischko’s workout videos started to gain traction at the start of the pandemic, when gyms were closed and TikTok surged in popularity.

  • You’ll find her pedaling out mountain climbers, bear plank climbs, and holding 30-second weighted planks.

Fitness TikToker Erika Rischko, 81, is proof that it’s never too late to try something new—and succeed. The mother of two and grandmother of one began regularly working out in her mid-50s when her daughter signed her up for a local gym membership. Now, according to Good Morning America, she exercises twice a day, several days a week—and thanks to social media, her 100,000-plus followers can join her.

“I am really honoured and humbled that younger people are being inspired by me,” Rischko told the outlet. “I love comments such as, ‘You are so inspiring, life goals, couple goals, can you be my grandparents?’” She continued: “If I can change the stereotype of old people being boring or not being active just a bit, that makes me very happy.” Her husband, who’s also 81, often joins her at the gym and appears in many of her posts.

It’s safe to say that Rischko is more than just active—she often switches up her workouts, and she doesn’t skimp on intensity. If you scroll through her TikTok or Instagram page, you’ll find her pedalling out mountain climbers, bear plank climbs, and holding 30-second weighted planks. She’s all about maintaining her strength, and reminds followers that “every move counts—functional balance and strength training prevent falls and fall-related injuries.”

Rischko’s clips really started to gain traction at the start of the pandemic, when gyms were closed and TikTok surged in popularity. Her daughter knew the world would love them and urged her to share more—so she began participating in some of the app’s fitness and dance challenges. “The response was just overwhelmingly positive, which I have found very uplifting as I have been very insecure all my life,” she told GMA.

Her TikTok videos have more than 2 million likes at the time of publication. “I would have never expected to get this many uplifting comments and followers,” she added. “Both apps [Instagram and TikTok] have helped me to stay up to date with technology and what the younger generations are up to these days.”

Her advice for people of all ages looking to be more active? “Do not do anything extreme, there is no need to—and start slowly,” she said. “Just eat healthy, but do not chastise yourself.” She added that it’s important to personalize your routine. “Find a sports activity that you enjoy because if you do not enjoy it you will not last,” she said. “And if you are not as disciplined as I am, find a workout partner as it is not that easy to cancel on somebody.”

She only wishes she would’ve started working out earlier.

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