How Do You Stay in Top Trimmer Shape?

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on March 4th, 2012

Auto upholstery is not for the weak. You need strong legs, a solid back and hands like vice grips – especially if you plan on lasting in this industry as long as Lucinda Howard of Tin Lizzie Affair Automobile Upholstery. She opened up shop in Dallas Texas 33 years ago and is still going strong. That, no doubt, is due to a combination of quality work and a workout regimen that puts most trimmers half her age to shame.

The Dallas Morning News recently profiled Lucinda in its Health & Fitness section:

Fitness routine: Tae Bo workout twice a week, treadmill four and Bowflex three times weekly.

Favorite way to spend a 30-minute workout: Watching a musical TV show with fast music while working out on my treadmill.

Piece of equipment you can’t live without: My VCR player. Yes, my Tae Bo tapes are that old.

Shoes you wish you owned 10 pairs of: Chung Shi toning shoes

Proudest exercise moment: The first time I got 100 on a doctor’s stress test

Advice to someone who wants to follow your routine: Decide you want to make exercising and taking care of yourself a lifetime commitment. Start with a little at a time, and you’ll see how it changes your life so quickly.

Greatest fitness inspiration: Rachel McLish, bodybuilder, and Billy Blanks, Tae Bo instructor

How your workout defines you: I am more flexible, more agile, more confident. I challenge myself every day to defy the inevitable aging process by keeping my body moving. [more]

With a workout routine like that, I bet Lucinda can pull a vinyl top like it’s nothing.

Question: What are you doing to stay in top trimmer shape?

4 Responses

  1. Nadeem says:

    A great comment left about this article on another upholstery forum:

    kodydog: Yep, eating right and working out. If you want to be upholstering when your in your 70’s.

    Can’t tell you how many people complain about the bulge around their belly. When I suggest a two mile walk every day they say, but I don’t like to exercise. Who does? But it feels good when I walk across a parking lot and can say, I could out run most the people here, well maybe not that 25 year old over there but you know what I mean.

    Running for the lower and kayak for the upper. All out side and enjoying nature. Doesn’t get any better than that.

    Am I a Hulk Hogan, or Swarchenegger? Not even close. But it sure feels nice after a good work out, standing in the shower, take a deep breath, and that feeling of euphoria.

  2. Alchemy84 says:

    I definintely belive grip strenght is key. Having strong fingers helps just about every phase of upholstery, from tear down, to stretching materials, to keeping everything lined up as you feed material through your sewing machine.
    I picked up a couple different grip strengthing items from a company called Gripmaster and use them regularly to keep my hands in top condition.
    Other things I do is live an active lifestyle and lifting free weights to keep muscles toned, which is important since I work alone I have to be able to lift and move almost everything I work on by myself.

    • I never gave much thought to how important grip strength is in our trade until I broke my left wrist last year. I still don’t have the strength in my hands that I used to but wrapping my wrist up at work really helps.

  3. Retired… Strong Habds and fingers is correct. Sence Retireing Ive Had Ligaments in both arms broken loose, now have to get shots in both hands for trigger finger but I have Diabetes which when working was extremly hard to control. eat complex carbohidrates something that will stick with you during the day. I walk and do a little weight lifting now and of coarse I have become a yard man since retireing , you know mow the lawn trim the hedges plus paint the deck and wash the car. to me thats pretty much all the exercise I can stand at the moment.

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