Make your home page

Greenfield man shows you’re never too old to get in shape

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Many people believe that weight gain naturally comes with age, but one Greenfield man is fighting – and winning – the battle of the bulge.

Mike Ballinger, 49, learned in December 2006 he was in need of a hip replacement. At 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 235 pounds – much more than is considered healthy – Ballinger knew he needed to make a lifestyle change.

“I realized if I’d lose some weight, the recovery would be a little easier,” says Ballinger who consulted four doctors before he went through with the surgery.

Ballinger had a four month waiting period before the hip replacement and took the opportunity to clean up his diet and begin exercising.

“I was able to get down to 207 before the surgery,” says Ballinger who had hired a trainer to make early progress before his hip replacement in April 2013.

Ballinger kept the weight off and was motivated once again to take things a step further. In late 2014, his trainer encouraged him to sign up for an upcoming National Physique Committee (NPC) competition – the NPC Natural Indiana Championships.

Training for the competition required Ballinger to begin doing more cardio and clean up his diet.

“I get up at quarter till 4, hop on the bike — and I’m usually at the office by 5:30 a.m.,” says Ballinger, who spends 30 minutes on a stationary bike in the morning and up to 90 minutes lifting weights after work. He says in the weeks leading up to the competition, his morning cardio increased to 60 minutes.

His nutrition is simple and measured. He eats a protein shake and a serving of dry cereal for breakfast. He eats between 4 and 5 ounces of chicken breast for lunch, accompanied by about 100 calories of fruit. Ballinger “saves his calories for dinner” by eating a steak with a large bowl of vegetables.

His food consumption breaks down to about 50 percent protein, 30-35 percent of carbs and 20-25 percent fat.

Ballinger finished 9th in the Masters Over 40 division in his April competition and is currently training for his next NPC show coming up in August.

“Just being active will actually keep you younger for longer,” says Ballinger.