Welcome to the Successful Aging Academy!

This wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

I was the fitness guy.

I was an All-American athlete.

I taught others how to build the best version of themselves, but as I was about to find out, I hadn’t even been taking my own advice.

It was the summer of 2012, and I had turned 50 the previous November.

My family was fortunate enough to spend a good deal of time on Lake Winnesquam in New Hampshire.

One of our favorite spots is a small inlet at one end of the lake called the Loon Sanctuary.

Much of this section is off-limits to boaters, providing a safe breeding ground for the Loons. The entire area is surrounded by trees with really only a few homes dotting the lake side. Many times there may be only one or two boats there.

As a result, it is always calm and beautifully peaceful.

One day the family was out for a boat ride and we anchored in this area. It was a beautiful warm summer day. Just idyllic.

We had spent a good deal of time there and now it was time to head home…

While packing up for the day, one of those inflatable, life preserver “floaties” my son had been using went overboard. I insisted he go get it, but he was all dried off, and refused to go back into the water.

This ‘discussion’ went on back and forth for a minute or so.

Meanwhile, the float was drifting further and further away, pushed by the wind and the slow current of the lake. I was quite annoyed at my son at this point, and at the thought losing the floatie, so I jumped in to go after it.

In retrospect it was a bit silly to get so annoyed. The device could not have cost much at all to make, but it seemed wasteful to let it go, and of course, we weren’t going to be that family polluting the lake with plastics.

As I was swimming towards it, it continued to drift away; a bit like a cartoon or one of those Hitchcock movies where the hallway just keeps getting longer, as I tried to reach for it…30 yards, 40 yards, 50 yards…I would stop every once in a while, saying to myself, “Where the hell is this thing?”

I was still very irritated and also starting the get a bit fatigued.

It is important to understand one point of physics here.

The total distance I swam by this point was not excessive for a regular swimmer…but I wasn’t a regular swimmer any more.

I am what you would call a ‘sinker’. I had a decent amount of muscle mass which, in this case, did not help my progress.

I finally reached the floatie, and realized I had covered a lot of distance, and my arms and legs were alarmingly tired. There was no way I was getting back to the boat carrying this foolish $1.00 floatie and I was too tired to climb on top of it. It was the type with a solid middle and not even little handles on the side.

It was just an inflated plastic disk.

It didn’t allow one to put the arms through to rest, and I couldn’t help but think, “What a stupid design!”

My arms were so exhausted, I couldn’t even pull it underneath me to catch my breath.

I was in a cove and I thought to myself, “I am much closer to the shore than I am to the boat. Let’s head there.”

This, also, was now a real struggle.

I quickly realized, without wanting to panic, that things had deteriorated from a casual swim to a far more threatening situation.

My arms and legs felt like lead. Each movement required a huge effort.

Meanwhile my children could see that I was struggling, and hopped onto some more $1.00 floaties that were on the boat and started to swim over to me.

Looking back, I’m not sure what they intended to do once they got to me. I significantly outweighed both of them…but I certainly appreciated their effort and instincts.

On this particular day, my mother, who was in her 70’s at the time, was also sitting in the boat watching all of this unfold. Although a swimmer for most of her life, today, she made a far better decision than I did.

She knew full well she could not swim this distance and be of any help. In fact, it would likely have made things worse. She wisely decided to stay in the boat.

Just to top things off, even my two dogs were there; perched on the side rail of the boat just wondering what all the commotion was about. Rescue dogs they are not. Each one weighed about ten pounds.

It really is remarkable what goes through your head in a critical situation like this.

I thought, “This is really, really going to be bad if drown in front of my entire family. I’m really not good at swimming anymore. I’m a ‘sinker’ and this was really a bad decision.”

I was literally out of my depth.

By this time I had discarded the floatie. It was only making things worse.

I had to try anything to get to the shore. I’m trying every swimming stroke possible to get there, and even inventing some new ones; anything to get to the shore. I could hardly move my legs anymore and I could no longer lift my arms above my head.

My wife at the time had gone onshore earlier into a little forested area with some paths and was picking blueberries. She, thankfully, heard the commotion, and came running down to the waterside.

I was now about 20-25 yards from shore. It might just as well have been a mile.

I could hardly move.

She yelled to me “Are you OK?” I gasped back “No!” At this point, the water was maybe 8-10 feet deep. Deeper than your average swimming pool with no chance of me touching the bottom.

She jumped into the water and reached me. I was in panic mode by this point. She was able to grab onto me, and in spite of my feeble efforts to help, eventually helped me get to shore.

Had I been another 20 yards out, quite frankly, I’m not sure she would have succeeded.

I clearly remember desperately trying to touch bottom. I thought, “Please let me touch bottom. If I can just touch the bottom, I know I’ll be OK.”

Finally we reached shore.

When I was able to stand on solid ground, I was wobbly and gasping for air in a way I had never experienced. My oxygen intake had been so compromised, my lips as well as the nail beds of my fingers and toes were blue.

I felt incredibly weak.

It took about 15 minutes to recover enough to make a move.

My kids were all the way there by now, and looking at me with a bit of shock in their eyes. It was so unexpected, everyone was caught off guard.

“When did dad become so vulnerable?” I could see them asking to themselves.

They were so used to seeing me easily do just about any physical activity I wanted.

But, suddenly all that changed…

Once I felt able, there was only one way back.

I climbed on top of that god-forsaken flotation device and waded back to the boat.

For hours I didn’t speak…

When did this happen? How did this happen?

Why hadn’t I taken my own advice? Where did all this go so wrong?

What was it that prevented me, a fitness professional, from making the changes in my own life that I should have?

Was I ignoring the changes my own body was going through, while I preached to others about what they should do to improve theirs?

That day I nearly drowned, as well as the weeks that followed, brought me to a revelation.

I had survived.

“I had come as close to death as I ever had in my life, and survived.”


I couldn’t help but dwell upon all the people who have had similar experiences but didn’t survive. Older, younger, it didn’t matter.

This event made me reconsider everything I was doing, and even what I recommended to others.

Shortly thereafter, I started to work solely with people over age 45.

It became my mission.

And the deeper I dove into the topic, the more I realized even though regular fitness over 45 is vital and proper nutrition is the key at any point in life, it was the mental side that made all the difference – especially as we age.

Mindset was the ultimate key! We’ve got to take a closer look at:









Of the small victories




Habit change





Lifestyle change


Goal setting

And planning

The people who succeeded had all of these things in place.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the foundation of the Successful Aging Academy.

From that point forward, I started working with clients by convincing their minds first.

Everything else started to follow…

These clients took a deeper, more realistic look at themselves, and their true reasons for wanting change.

Once their reasoning becomes clearer, success became inevitable!

Clients then fully expected to reach their goals…and they did.

They moved towards their goals in both small steps and massive leaps. But always forward.

This is what they said…


Ronald J. Mastrocola

“The success I have achieved with Successful Aging Academy (SSA) has been tremendous. I haven’t really thought about health and nutrition until recently as conditions have changed. SSA has been transformative! I have made significant changes in attitude and habit as a result of the program which has allowed me to succeed.”

(Ron has been participating in the program with his wife, Nancy. See her testimonial below. BTW, we strongly recommend couples join the program together for true support!)


Nancy Mastrocola

“SAA has been a life changer for me. At my age I have finally found the support system, exercise plan and nutrition plan that works! It’s not easy to make this kind of change. The one on one interaction offered with Art was what made it work for me!”

Good luck!!


Rick Cavallero

“It has been an interesting journey I have begun with Art and the Successful Aging Academy group. At first I was just looking for a way to lose some weight and maybe get in a little better shape but it has turned into much more than that. I am feeling more transformed than simply thinner. Sure, my pants fit better now, and that’s certainly a big win for me … but that’s not the real value here! Through his advanced consultative approach Art has helped me identify and remove many bad habits that I spent almost half a lifetime developing and replace them with healthy ones.”


Jodi Mugnano

“I started this program with the hopes of losing 15 pounds by my 50th birthday in January..

I only recently started the program and have lost 4-5 pounds but, more importantly I see a changes in my body.

The work outs that Art has provided has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. There were days I felt intimidated by the workouts and just wanted to go to a spin class or a class I was comfortable in but, I felt if he put the time into providing me with workouts then I needed to give them a chance…

I am happy with the program thus far and look forward to reaching my goal by January and going into my next decade feeling and looking healthier”


Chip Huckins

“Art McDermott has accomplished something via The Successful Aging Academy that everyone, but especially “boomers” like myself, should utilize in his or her life.

He has put together a fantastic program that integrates exercise, nutrition and a lifestyle approach with an end goal of overall wellness that will be life changing if adopted and integrated into a daily routine!”


Dave Sollars

David Sollars Consulting

“Art brings a unique combination of passion and professionalism to his field. His ability to inspire that is backed up with many years of experience makes him one of the most effective providers of his service in our area.”


Maria P.

“I have tried 5 different, very popular diet programs. They were all very expensive and didn’t work. I know everyone says the same thing, that’s because it’s true. Like you said to me in the beginning, don’t diet, just make better choices – always.
And now I do and that’s what’s working for me. No diet has ever made me feel this good!! Thanks”


Sanj Devani

“You can easily skate through boot camps and see no results or minimal results.
Realize that this is a full lifestyle change that Art propagates. It means regular body fat measurements and a recommended diet that Art personally puts together with you. And to get the results you desire you have to follow through not only on the exercises during your workouts, but to start to radically changing your diet and lifestyle activities.

The change in lifestyle is the more difficult part (hard to put away that extra glass of wine!) and takes longer to break the “bad” habits but the results are worth it. For the first time since college I can start seeing the definition of abs that I thought were lost to the mists of time.

I still have another 12-15 lbs and 3-4% of body fat to lose but knowing (and more importantly seeing) my results so far I would not hesitate in recommending this program to anyone who is serious about fitness and having an active and healthy lifestyle.”


Ed Bassett

“As the scales started to show a positive response, then when the mirror started to reflect those changes, I found renewed energy, belief, and incentive.
Over the past 5 weeks, I have dropped almost two full pant sizes and 20 pounds. I’m not surprised about the weight loss, although, I am a bit astounded by the physical changes…
I recommend this program to everyone. If you want to get stronger, if you want to be better in sports, if you just want to lose some weight, join in.”

So why wasn’t anyone else talking about this, or taking this type of approach, when the answer seemed so clear?

The majority of solutions for people my age usually involved some type of watered down workout with a little nutrition thrown in.

Not good enough.

Not when you’re over age 45 and most things seem to be working against you.

Your hormones.

Your schedule.

Past failures.

Even your body itself.

It also became clear that there was a shocking lack of options for anyone over age 45 looking to improve themselves.

I had to design this solution from scratch…

Who is this program for??

In Hollywood they call it “The Hero’s Journey”…

It’s a classic story line where the ‘star’ (protagonist) of the story goes through trials, tribulations and seemingly overwhelming challenges on the way to eventual victory.

They learn lessons about themselves and life along the way…coming out far wiser in the end.

You can’t help but root for them as you watch it all unfold.

Except, THIS story happens in the real world…

No, I’m not talking about me or my story….
(Although, my experiences have certainly helped me create the foundation of this program, as you’ll see.)

That’s not what I mean…

YOU are the hero of this journey.

My hope is that you allow me to play the role of your Guide…

My name is Art McDermott.

And why should you listen to me?

I have been involved with fitness, and all aspects of the fitness industry for the majority of my life.

A few years ago, I started keeping track of how much body fat I had helped people lose. At last check, it was over 5000 pounds. Two and half tons of fat…gone.

I’ve been a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist since the NSCA first produced an exam back in the early 1980’s.

When it became clear that the vast majority of results my clients achieved came through nutrition, I became a Certified Nutritionist.

I’ve made a study of how the mind and brain work. I understand that once you get your mind convinced and working in unison with the right plan, anything is possible! As the saying goes “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it”.

I’m not pointing all of this out to brag…

I point all of this out so you can understand that if you are looking for a solution that finally works, one that comes real world solutions, The Academy and its unique program can help.

What can you expect?

Once you complete the program, you’ll walk away with a Successful Aging PLAN…with the resilience and mental strength to carry it out.

You’ll greet each day with a new attitude.

Your mindset will shift from “It’s too late; this is going to require so much work, and I’m not sure I can stick with it.” “Can I even do this?”

To an approach that says, “I’ve got this. I know exactly what I need to do next, and I am 100% confident I can get there. Let’s do this!”

Two entirely different mindsets.

We won’t stop until we have pinpointed YOUR “motivational centerpiece”.

Together we will determine the deep, emotional reasons you NEED to do this.

We’ll find your “WHY”.

We will then pinpoint – in no uncertain terms – what obstacles stand in your way.

Next we’ll break then down and sweep them aside.

You’ll understand your triggers and challenges.

The reasons WHY you failed before.

Finally, we will work together directly to create a proven plan that works!

One that you can live with long-term.

No fads. No gimmicks.

Make sense?

Here’s what’s included:

This coaching program is delivered online and is highly interactive.
I’m with you every step of the way…

The Mindset

  • We will work together to establish your goals
  • Discover your “Why”…your deeper emotional reasons for wanting change
  • We’ll build a plan for overcoming your biggest obstacles
  • We’ll create a mindset where you KNOW you’ll succeed!

The Community

  • You’ll become part of a private community with people exactly like you, facing the same challenges, and seeing the same steady wins
  • Check-ins
  • Advice
  • Shared experiences
  • Support

The Coaching

  • You will have access to me through a number of different channels, to answer your questions
  • Through accountability software
  • Through direct Voxer access
  • Through our private Facebook interactions
  • Through email
  • I will answer your questions quickly…when you need answers.
  • I will be conducting a weekly “Live” Q&A Call where you will have the chance to get answers in a live group forum. This is the power of the group!

The Resources

You will have access to our growing library on Health and Fitness, addressing topics that matter to you and your loved ones

  • Advanced nutrition
  • Stress Reduction
  • Advanced Strength Training
  • Correcting Sleep Issues
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Supplements
  • Even Happiness and Positivity Training

The Nutrition

  • You’ll receive customized meal plans designed to meet your goals
  • Exact foods
  • Specific shopping lists
  • Even preparation recommendations and tips
  • All with the flexibility to meet your changing needs
  • They will be available to you anywhere in the world

The Physical Solutions

  • You will receive a training program designed specifically for you. No one else.
  • This could be rowing, biking, running, weight training, Interval training, etc.
  • You’ll have access these workouts, wherever you are.

While this may seem like a lot…it’s never overwhelming.

The last thing you need is more of that in your daily life…

This entire program is presented in easy to implement segments.

If any of this resonates with you. If you would like to speak to me directly before you do anything else, just set up the call.

Keep in mind the words of these clients who were once in your position:


Jamie Moses

“Just wanted to thank you for offering such an awesome program. I love the group dynamic, and being able to work at your own level. I particularly like the variety of activities and the sense of fun that’s built into the program, it keeps it interesting and challenging.”


Julie Serino

“I went to Art at the beginning of March because I was struggling to lose the “holiday” weight I had gained. I knew I needed to re-work my diet, but I am horrible at portion control and have a major sweet tooth, so I went to get some advice and have my body fat calculated.
When Art suggested that I go “grain free”, 2 things came to mind…

1. Will it even work? and

2. Will I be able to do it? (I grew up on pasta at least 4 meals a week).

But I said “OK” because I trusted Art and because I knew I needed something to kick start me.

The results were INCREDIBLE! Now before I tell you about it, I would like to address everyone out there who may hold the misconception that I am somehow “metabolically gifted”, you should know these 3 facts about me

1) I am 40 years old

2) I have a low thyroid (causes weight gain and fatigue) and

3) I take other medications that can cause weight gain of 50 lbs or more in some people.

That being said, after 8 weeks, not only did I lose weight, I lost 4% body fat so far! (and the best part is that I lost absolutely zero muscle mass).

In addition, I was on several different G.I. medications for symptoms that I did not recognize as related to wheat intolerance. I am now off of all but one medication that is on an “as needed” basis now instead of daily.

I feel great, I look better and I have Art’s program to thank for it. I’m still working toward my goal…so go ahead and follow Art’s advice as best you can and you will definitely enjoy the results!”


Lyz Farnham

“I have been familiar with Art for many years since my son and nephew have been working with Art for years with incredible success, as both are playing at the Division One / Two levels in competitive college programs. I had gotten myself in to a situation in which I had gained a significant amount of weight and was devoid of any motivation to do anything about it. My blood pressure was up and my morale was down….

…I can honestly say that this has changed my life and I have never felt better….Before you know it, you are doing things that you never thought possible.

My results were more energy than I can ever remember, I feel better about myself, and my blood pressure is in the normal range.

Although I have more weight to lose, I am confident that I will lose the rest. I know that this may be a cliché, but, if I can do it anyone can. Just ask my family and friends! In the end, after the six week session, I am down 18 pounds!

I want to thank Art for helping to motivate me and changing my life.”


Laurie Liatsos

“I have been familiar with Art for many years since my son and nephew have been working with Art for years with incredible success, as both are playing at the Division One / Two levels in competitive college programs. I had gotten myself in to a situation in which I had gained a significant amount of weight and was devoid of any motivation to do anything about it. My blood pressure was up and my morale was down….

…I can honestly say that this has changed my life and I have never felt better….Before you know it, you are doing things that you never thought possible.

My results were more energy than I can ever remember, I feel better about myself, and my blood pressure is in the normal range.

Although I have more weight to lose, I am confident that I will lose the rest. I know that this may be a cliché, but, if I can do it anyone can. Just ask my family and friends! In the end, after the six week session, I am down 18 pounds!

I want to thank Art for helping to motivate me and changing my life.”


Maria P.

“I’m not sure if you want me to expand on the fact that I’ve lost a bit of weight (over 17 pounds in the last 8 weeks). But there’s more to it than that…

I feel so much better than I did just 8 weeks ago. I feel so strong and definitely more firm than I was before. I don’t cringe when someone hugs me (because I always knew the soft rolls were right there).

I have gotten my eating under control and without all the junk in my diet, I obviously feel better in that department. No silly cravings. If I do make a choice that I probably shouldn’t have, it ends right there. I don’t start a whirlwind of insane eating and cravings. I just don’t.

All the things you have said to me about breaking habits in 21 days, and why work so hard exercising and not focus on nutrition have stuck in my mind.

I appreciate your gentle but firm questions about “how are things going?” I know I have to respond and I always want to be proud of my answers for you. I still have a ways to go with this, but working with you has been better than any diet program I have tried.”


Indu Isaacs

– Art’s longest “tenured” client

“I have now worked with Art McDermott as my personal trainer for over six years and I am always impressed by his creativity in customizing my workout, with full understanding of my individual needs, abilities and limitations.

Every year I end up significantly healthier than the preceding years…”


Ed Basset

“What can I say about Art?

Where do I start?

It has been great!

It’s been a blast!

I’ve gained strength, lost weight, and started to transform my body. However, I must admit, initially, I held some skepticism, not so much in the program, but rather, in myself, to have the will power to follow through and not succumb to bad habits.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. I found the boot camp sessions fun, challenging, and, due to a myriad of different exercises, interesting. Sure, they were tough. I sweated. But, through it all, Art continually managed to get me to try, to try harder…”


Sanj Devani

“I am 45 years old and in roughly 16 months I have lost around 33-34 lbs of weight and more importantly close to 10% body fat. My body composition has radically changed in a relatively short period of time and that’s tough once you get into your 40’s. In contrast I spent 6-7 years in a “regular” gym faithfully doing 45-60 minutes on the ellipticals and a 30 minutes weight circuit for 3-4 times a week. The result of those 6-7 years in a “regular” gym were a weight gain of around 20 lbs.”


Ronald J. Mastrocola

“…My entire mindset has changed thanks to the tools available through SSA; one to one coaching, nutrition plans, workout plans and group interaction has kept me on track. I no longer revert to bad habits, thanks Art!”


Rick Cavallaro

“I feel we are really working together to build an overall system that works and scales for me and my goals and needs. Like any journey, you can get go down a wrong road and get lost very easily if you set out without plans and directions. Lucky for me that Art has been there to point me down the right path…”

Our Mantra…

Disrupt the status quo.

Embrace action.

Be mobile and strong.

Dictate your own future.

Be a successful aging rebel.

Be ready.