Eric Peterson, Published December 31 2013
Legendary Cobbers coach Christopherson back into coaching, this time as a trainer
This time he’s helping a different age group. Christopherson is a fitness coach at a south Fargo health club, which is for people 50 and over.
“Because I work out a lot myself, it is a natural,” said Christopherson, who is 75 years old.
Christopherson usually works three days a week at Welcyon Fitness After 50 – a club owned by his daughter, Heather Teigen, and her husband, Troy Teigen.
“I have seen the coaching in him come out,” Heather said. “It is really fun to see him with the members. … He is such a great example of what you can achieve if you work regularly and eat right.”
Roger Monson, 67, is one of the club regulars who Christopherson helps coach.
Monson said while he didn’t starting working out at Welcyon because of Christopherson, having the former football coach around helps keep Monson coming back.
Christopherson does more than encourage and show proper technique, Monson said. The two also talk a lot about the local sports scene, both current and past.
“The social piece is very important,” said Monson, who used to work out at home. “I wouldn’t want to come and just work out alone, not talk to anybody. It’s a relationship, too.”
Christopherson said he has continued to weight train since he retired as Concordia’s head football coach in 2000. He finished his 32-year coaching career with a 218-101-7 record.
Christopherson guided Concordia to 11 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and two NAIA national championships. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Working out regularly since he left the sidelines, Christopherson said, has allowed him to keep doing activities like the downhill skiing trip he took last winter.
“If you don’t work out, you can’t do stuff like that,” said Christopherson, still a regular at Concordia home football games.
“He is such a great example of what you can achieve if you work regularly and eat right,” Heather said of her father.
Christopherson said it’s been satisfying to help people in his age group reach their fitness goals. He’s been working at the club since it opened last fall. His wife, Sandy, is also a fitness coach there.
Christopherson said he can relate to the members who want to maintain their muscle mass and tone past the age of 50.
“People don’t want to be cooped up. They want to have independence and go out and meet people,” said Christopherson. “You can lose about 10 percent of your body muscle mass per decade. … The good news is they can get a lot of it back very quickly.”
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