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



Transport not so splendid

Festival goers wait in line for a bus home after attending the Splendour in the Grass music festival.

Festival goers vent anger.

RACQ says good riddance to Wicked rubbish

TOO MUCH: A Wicked Van spotted in Byron Main Beach car park.

RACQ welcome State Government action on offensive Wicked Campers

Splendour in the Grass’ inspiration and heart

Szymon Borzestowski’s album Tigersapp was honoured at Splendour in the Grass

Splendour's emotional tribute.

Latest deals and offers

Bindi Irwin: ‘I’ve lived 10 lives in one lifetime’

Bindi meets her fans.

SHE'S just turns 18 but Bindi's life has been full of experiences

Transport not so splendid

Festival goers wait in line for a bus home after attending the Splendour in the Grass music festival.

Festival goers vent anger.

Rockhampton cook through to MasterChef semi-final

FAMILY:MasterChef semi-finalist Harry Foster pictured with his mum Ria McClelland.

Harry Foster through to MasterChef semi-finals.

Pop icon and former Neighbours star buys into Byron

Singer Natalie Imbruglia. Supplied by Sony Music Australia.

Former actor turned pop singer joins Byron celebrity rush.

MASTERCHEF: Coast cooks to dominate finals

SO CLOSE: MasterChef's final four, from left, Matt Sinclair, Elise Franciskovic, Harry Foster and Elena Duggan. Elise’s elimination means now only the three Sunshine Coast contestants remain in the competition.

MasterChef finals will be mandatory viewing in three Coast homes

The best and worst bits of Splendour from our experts

The Amphitheatre received Flume with open arms and danced to his music on Sunday night.

The good, the bad and the plain weird

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started