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Kueber defies Old Man Time with his daily workouts spanning seven decades

Pete Kueber uses a cable crossover machine during his daily workouts, which can last several hours. The 77-year-old has adopted a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating well. He courages others to adopt this as well. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Some call him a fitness fanatic. Others call him a nutrition nut. But Pete (Herman) Kueber just thinks of himself as healthy and dedicated.

The 77-year-old spends several hours a day working out. He estimates he's been working out for 70 years.

"It started out as play in school," Kueber said. "Who could run the fastest, who could jump the highest and who could lift the biggest armful of wood for the stove."

He was in the U.S. Air Force and taught physical training for many years as one of his duties.

Kueber likes to challenge himself all the time, he said. He does a total body workout twice a day. It includes 40 minutes of aerobic activity on an elliptical machine, followed by strength training.

"It includes every muscle in my body," he said.

Kueber can be found exercising at the Fitness Center of Park Rapids in downtown.

For a warm-up, Kueber does 500 situps, which makes him break a sweat at about 450 situps, he said. Then, he does forearm and hand exercises. After that, he uses the cable crossover machine.

He had a bad accident about 11 years ago when he was running. A vehicle ran a stop sign and Kueber was struck by the vehicle. He had a pinched nerve and the muscles in his right arm atrophied, he said.

"Guess how much the doctor inspired me? He said the arm probably wouldn't recover," Kueber said. "But he was wrong."

It is not fully recovered, but Kueber is continuing to work on gaining strength in his arm.

"I think most people give up too quick," he said.

He farmed for a number of years, which was also a good workout, Kueber said. He still stacks hay bails in the summer.

In the fall, he hits the gym again and starts by working out for about two hours a day. By spring, Kueber said he's up to five hours a day.

Kueber tracks all his numbers: pulse, blood pressure, cholesterol, to make sure he is in good shape.

"I do feel very strongly about good nutrition and fitness," Kueber said.

He tries to eat according to the food pyramid.

"Not around Christmas," he joked. "But, I do try to eat healthy."

Kueber said his goal is more about endurance, not strength.

"I do high reps with lower weights," he said.

Kueber would like to inspire others to get in shape. His advice is to make exercising fun.

"You have to decide what you want," he said. "If your goal is heart health, then emphasize the aerobics. But, it depends on what your goal is."