Lewiston man lifts weights at age 94

LEWISTON — Roland Fortin was born on Dec. 10, 1915 — 94 years ago — and he still visits the gym for an hour every day.

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Roland Fortin of Lewiston, 94, works out at Planet Fitness on Wednesday.

"I've been doing this since forever," he said Wednesday morning at Planet Fitness on East Avenue.

A couple of years ago, the Lewiston man gained notoriety for challenging fitness expert Jack LaLanne, then 92, to a boxing match. LaLanne never took Fortin up on it.

Boxing has long been a passion of Fortin, who trained Lewiston fighter Joey Gamache.

"When I was training Joey Gamache, I was at the gym every night with him," Fortin said. "And then he came to live in Florida with me and we'd go to the gym in Miami every day."

Now Fortin keeps in shape so he can continue to serve as a pallbearer at Fortin Funeral Home, a business started by his father in 1905.

"If you are a pallbearer, you need (strong) legs and arms; that's what I'm worried about," he said. "I can't be a pallbearer if I don't have strong legs and strong arms. When I'm in town, I'm on top of the list and they call me."

Fortin says he never smokes or drinks, which has helped him stay in good health.

His workout routine isn't too tricky, he said.

"I just do my work and then I leave," Fortin said, moving from one machine to the next. "I have a lot of friends at the gym. It's mostly always the same people who come to those gyms."

He takes his time, making sure to regulate his breathing and not strain any muscles. He prefers to lift heavy weights in low repetition, a tactic that builds up explosive strength, rather than endurance. Often, Fortin lifts the maximum weight available on machines.

And though he was looking forward to his 94th birthday, he felt like he was on "borrowed time," he said.

"I'm going to get sick sooner or later; I'm ready to go, anyway," he said. "But until then, I'll keep going to the gym."


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 's picture

Wow. Time I got my butt off

Wow. Time I got my butt off the couch and joined him.

Jonathan Duchette's picture

This guy is awesome.. Hey be

This guy is awesome.. Hey be positive you are 94 I hope you get to 100 happy, healthy, and strong what an inspiration

Terry Frost's picture

Now that's very impressive

Now that's very impressive Mr Fortin ! May you have many more years of working out !!!


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