RIP Tom Hafey

I first wrote about Tom Hafey in 2011. Sadly, the former Australian rules football player and coach recently passed away at age 82. As for his relevance to this site, I didn’t write about Tom Hafey because of his coaching or athletic career. I admittedly know little if anything about Australian rules football. What fascinated me about Tom Hafey wasn’t his sporting experience, but rather the enthusiasm that he had towards life. Even as he approached 80 years old, Tom Hafey continued to exercise with a daily routine that would put most youngsters to shame.

In the video below (filmed last year), Hafey shares some of his wisdom regarding health and longevity.

Hafey’s simplistic routine certainly allowed him to age gracefully. As he neared his 80th birthday, he was even asked to portray a healthy 70 year old in the commercial below. It wasn’t difficult for him to play the part of a younger man.

Tom Hafey is the type of person whose story is worthy of remembering and sharing. It is one thing to read about aging, yet entirely different to hear from someone who walked the walk with obvious success. Hafey lived life to the fullest and was able to remain healthy and active with a regular dose of calisthenics. The work that he performed is readily available to all. He did not rely on a commercial gym or any specific equipment. Instead, Tom Hafey subscribed to the idea that the world is our gym. The secret to his success was rooted in hard work and consistency. He didn’t do anything flashy, but he did keep doing. And while some may argue that is routine was overly simplistic or repetitive, it’s impossible to argue with the results.

RIP to a true inspiration.


“Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” – George Bernard Shaw

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  1. “If it is to be, it is up to ME” I love that quote.
    I get very motivated from these types of people……Jack Lalanne was my hero growing up. We can learn a lot from people like this.

    Thanks for sharing Ross

  2. The alarm on my iPhone that wakes me to do my morning workout is now labelled “Tommy would do it”. RIP Tommy Hafey. You are an inspiration.

  3. That is awesome to see something about Tom Hafey on this website.

    You truly show you are a man of the world with this post and not just focused on the US. (Which I am afraid to say many Americans do)

    Tom was an inspiration. 500 pushup, 500 situps a 10 K run followed by a swim. Every day, even at 80 years of age.

  4. Thanks for featuring Tommy. The dude was legitimately as upbeat as the videos show.

    I do a regular bunch ride that finishes near his house next to the bay you see him exercising in/at. With out fail, the dude would smile, wave, and say g’day. Dark? Cold? Rainy? Windy? G’day!

    He knew he was on his way out (he died on the 12th). He had a few talking gigs lines up for Friday (16th), so arranged for others to cover them, then told his family to delay the funeral until Monday (No point stuffing up those talking gigs he reckoned).

  5. As an Aussie, I can tell you that Tom was a legend.

    He reflected a different era, when people just got on with things without whinging or expecting hand-outs.

    There is a huge debate in our country at the moment about the federal budget. Everyone is complaining about cuts to government services and tax rises etc.

    People like Tom were proudly self-sufficient. They just got on with their life without worrying about anyone else.

    (I’m not trying to be political here at all).

    Tom was just simple, honest and hard-working. Exercise to him, I think, was functional. Life’s tough. Only the fit survive.

    Great bloke.


  6. Never heard of Mr. Hafey before now. This website is definitely numero uno when it comes to the 411 on anything about fitness. I couldn’t believe the body on this guy at 80 years old. His body at 80 looks better than 85% of the 40 year olds out there. He was probably healthier at 80, than 95% of the 40 year olds of today. 40 years without cake!!! Damn. I can’t go there, but great story. Next to Jack Lalanne, the fittest man I’ve ever seen for that age.

  7. Cool videos. This made me think. I actually train in the same gym as the world record holder in the “MEN Masters 4 (>70) DEADLIFT 59kg”-class.

    Obvously, he is over 70, but he’s a training maniac for his age. He goes for long, hard bike rides everyday. His deadlift sessions have 3 times more volume than my deadlift sessions, and I’m talking intense volume, not just lollygagging. Guys like him and Tom Hafey are cool.

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