- Erika Rischko is an 81-year-old “fitness junkie” who has 131.8K followers on TikTok.
- The German octogenarian posts workout clips and dance videos with her husband Dieter.
- Rischko told Insider she’s a “late bloomer,” having found a love of fitness in her 50s.
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An 81-year-old German woman has become a TikTok sensation due to her fitness and dance videos.
Erika Rischko from Langenfeld, near Cologne, has 131.8K followers on TikTok, having joined in spring 2020 when Germany was in lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
She told Insider she “never ever” imagined her videos would receive so much attention though.
@erikarischko I got nothing to do other than workout ???? ???? ##nothingtodochallenge ##nothingtodo ##lockdown2021
Rischko describes herself as a “fitness junkie” who “loves to work out and dance with my hubby.”
Her husband Dieter, who is 82 in April, regularly joins Erika in her videos, and the duo have taken on many of the biggest TikTok dance challenges of the past year.
@erikarischko Yep, we feel it everywhere ???????? ##headshoulderskneesandtoes ##headshoulderkneesandtoes ##seniorcitizen ##ofenbach ##oldpeopledoingtiktoks ##quarterhead
But it’s Rischko’s fitness that has wowed many of her followers – she regularly posts videos of herself performing planks, weight-lifting, and working out with her TRX.
Having not fallen in love with exercise until her 50s, Rischko wants people to know it’s never too late to get fit.
“I am a late bloomer,” she told Insider. “My daughter signed me up at a gym when I was 55 and since then I have been exercising regularly. I like to mix it up – TRX, DeepWork, spin classes, weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, and functional fitness. Yet, if I had to pick just one, it would be functional fitness.”
Despite TikTok’s association with Gen Z, the octogenarian has fallen in love with it.
“First and foremost I really enjoy the app, it is so much fun,” she said. “Secondly, I love a challenge and I truly enjoy these duets, and then there are all these great comments which in turn motivate me to post more videos. Further, by now I really hope to inspire people no matter their age to be more active.”
Rischko said the reactions she receives are “overwhelmingly positive.”
“I love comments such as ‘You are an inspiration,’ ‘You prove age is just a number,’ ‘Can you be my grandparents, please adopt me,’ etc,” she said. “I am truly honored and I still cannot believe so many young people follow me, like, and comment on my videos.”
Rischko is “still in awe” when she looks at the views, shares, comments, and likes on her posts: “It’s very surreal,” she said.
But Rischko isn’t the only senior fitness influencer – Joan MacDonald AKA Train With Joan started weight training aged 70 in January 2017 and now has 1.1 million followers on Instagram who follow her workouts and journey.