Older Women Lifting Weights

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retiredjg
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Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:13 pm

So....the menfolk have a very active power lifting thread going on, but I did not see any participation from women. Surely there are some women here who lift weights!

Tell us about it. :happy

I'm particularly interested in older women (say over 60) who are lifting weights, but am also interested in the experience of any age group.

letsgobobby
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:16 pm

You first!

Have you read, "The Barbell Prescription"?

https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescrip ... 0982522770

livesoft
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:23 pm

My spouse does Body Pump
and a friend of mine on the other side of the world is a certified Body Pump instructor. She is quite intimidating.

Does that count?
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:31 pm

What do you mean "older"? :wink:

I'm now into body weight exercises. See: Pull-ups and Push-ups (Women participation encouraged...)

Before then, I did my weight lifting with machines. Safety was a primary concern, not to mention dropping weights when you exercise on the second floor of your house.

If you have a partner who can spot you, fine. If not, get something that is safe to use by yourself.

Many years ago, I had Bowflex - the one pictured here. I always put in my maximum effort, then went for one more rep. If I let go, all that happened was that the rod would snap back. There's no mass, therefore no force to break anything. No weight to drop. No way to hurt yourself.
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retiredjg
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:37 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:16 pm
You first!

Have you read, "The Barbell Prescription"?

https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescrip ... 0982522770
I have not. As a matter of fact, I have not read anything yet. :happy

I don't want to sound negative, but this appears to be a book by, about, and for men. There does seem to be a chapter on women, but it seems to be almost an afterthought.

We are not men in a different body. We are a bit of a different thing. Well, actually, we are a completely different thing :D.

If you have read it, perhaps you (or your wife) might comment on how much this publication actually applies to women. I'd be willing to read it based on your or her recommendation.

likegarden
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by likegarden » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:39 pm

Older people do not have those young bodies younger people have, so be careful that you do not hurt yourself. I am an older man and do not lift weights as a sport. But working in my yard I damaged a knee, then started a limp, and that limp seemed to have created arthritis in my right hip, and doctor talked about hip replacement. So watch out!

Edit : I like to work in the yard because it gives me varied regular exercises, there is fresh air, and its results please me. I am 78 years old, and had removed 25 ft tall trees before without problems, but this time it was a little more, etc. and I got a rip in the meniscus of my right knee, so watch out and know exactly your limitations.
Last edited by likegarden on Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

retiredjg
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:44 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:31 pm
What do you mean "older"? :wink:
I'm interested in hearing about experiences of any age. That does not mean it will be right for my older body...which is what i'm really interested in hearing about :D

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Hayden
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Hayden » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:45 pm

I lift weights twice a week with a trainer. For years, I resisted hiring a trainer. I thought, why in the world would I pay someone to stand next to me while I lift weights? I finally decided that this is important and is a good use of my money.

The first trainer had me doing things I had no business doing -- those are the words of the physical therapist I went to when I got injured.

The second trainer had me do a canned routine that he used with all his clients. It was not tailored to my body and I didn't improve.

The third one's great. He has been excellent at figuring out which muscles are weak, and at tailoring excercises to my physique.

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Lynette » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:11 pm

When I retired I decided to redo both both the front and back yards. In the front of my yard I now have two rows of trees that form a hedge. On the one side I have arborvitae Emerald and on the other side five fairly mature Alberta Spruces. I am the owner of a rotary tiller, etc. etc. I get a lot of compliments on my garden.

I get up at five in the morning to water all the new trees and lawn that I am trying to repair. I gave in and am having the nursery deliver and plant two large trees. I have an expensive system of drains as I had water in my basement. The guy who cuts my lawn rides with his machine dumps goo into the drain and knocks off the downspouts. So my landscaping is defence against the lawn guy! For the new drain I had installed to take runoff from the new driveway, I have stones to keep down the weeds and keep the lawn guy out. I take my SUV to the Big Box store and they install the bag of stones close to the edge. When I get home I pull it into my wheelbarrow etc. etc.

I spent the afternoon cruising around and looking at trees in houses and nurseries. I am thinking of getting another tree to hide the drains. But that can wait till next year.

Once I get over this madness, I will go back to my gym. When I was still working I had a personal trainer. But I do yoga and pilates. I think that lifting my body weight is equivalent to lifting weights.

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by mouses » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:17 pm

Lynette wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:11 pm
When I retired I decided to redo both both the front and back yards. In the front of my yard I now have two rows of trees that form a hedge. On the one side I have arborvitae Emerald and on the other side five fairly mature Alberta Spruces. I am the owner of a rotary tiller, etc. etc. I get a lot of compliments on my garden.

I get up at five in the morning to water all the new trees and lawn that I am trying to repair. I gave in and am having the nursery deliver and plant two large trees. I have an expensive system of drains as I had water in my basement. The guy who cuts my lawn rides with his machine dumps goo into the drain and knocks off the downspouts. So my landscaping is defence against the lawn guy! For the new drain I had installed to take runoff from the new driveway, I have stones to keep down the weeds and keep the lawn guy out. I take my SUV to the Big Box store and they install the bag of stones close to the edge. When I get home I pull it into my wheelbarrow etc. etc.

I spent the afternoon cruising around and looking at trees in houses and nurseries. I am thinking of getting another tree to hide the drains. But that can wait till next year.

Once I get over this madness, I will go back to my gym. When I was still working I had a personal trainer. But I do yoga and pilates. I think that lifting my body weight is equivalent to lifting weights.
I think you need a new lawn guy. There are good ones out there, although they seem to be hard to find.

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BL
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by BL » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:26 pm

For a more moderate attempt to keep in shape:

https://www.ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads ... y-2016.pdf

Stay Active and Independent for Life is popular in our area and is supported by the RSVP program. Prior to this we had Bone Builders, a similar program. It is local with no charge to participants. Great for strength and balance.

This may not be enough for those who have done serious exercise programs before. It is for both men and women, but more women are involved. You can add weights as you are able.

letsgobobby
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:30 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:37 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:16 pm
You first!

Have you read, "The Barbell Prescription"?

https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescrip ... 0982522770
I have not. As a matter of fact, I have not read anything yet. :happy

I don't want to sound negative, but this appears to be a book by, about, and for men. There does seem to be a chapter on women, but it seems to be almost an afterthought.

We are not men in a different body. We are a bit of a different thing. Well, actually, we are a completely different thing :D.

If you have read it, perhaps you (or your wife) might comment on how much this publication actually applies to women. I'd be willing to read it based on your or her recommendation.
I'd say the take home message is extremely important. That is, as we age, we lose strength so fast that eventually our weakness will kill us. We will fall and break a wrist because our bones are weak, or we will trip and our core and pelvic muscles will be so weak that we'll hit the ground and develop a subdural hematoma. My patients die of old age this way, or perhaps even worse they don't die, and moulder in their chairs or beds. The books philosophy is the antidote.

The book suggests essentially a powerlifting routine, with an emphasis on large, complex, functional movements like "putting something over your head," "picking something up off the ground," and "standing up from a sitting/squatting position." As you say it includes modifications for women and for those in their sixties and seventies.

The programming is based on Mark Rippetoe and his Starting Strength routine and if you Google it you'll find tons of info including work with "older women" (older than you).

So I avoided your question because you're right, I'm not sure which parts do or don't apply to women. But I think you should still skim the book, and then if interested find a qualified trainer who is experienced at training "older women," and try the routines. These are technique driven lifts so the right coach matters a lot.

skjoldur
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by skjoldur » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:31 pm

DW, who does not participate on this board has been lifting weights using the Starting Strength method for about a year or so. She is almost 60. She started after see the benefits for me after I had been doing it for a couple of years. I hope you don't mind if I chime in with our experience even though I am not a woman.

We have both had the experience of various longtime aches and pains (knees, backs, etc.) clearing up after a few months of lifting. Of course, lifting then leads to it's owns aches and pains, but we are convinced that this is an excellent trade.

We can hike steep hills more easily, pick up heavier stuff, and generally are tougher and more physically solid. It's been a huge benefit for both of us.

We use an experienced trainer so we have a lot of expert help monitoring technique, helping choose weight progressions, and figuring out how to work around obstacles to training. In some cases he knows when to suggest variations on the standard lifts to address a particular technique issue or physical limitation.

We have both had the experience that as you get stronger you encounter issues that temporarily prevent you from adding weight other than strength. Then you need to work out those issues (maybe stretching certain stiff joints, tendons, or muscles, or maybe modifying technique a bit etc.) but then you can move on to higher weights. This seems to be a regular part of getting stronger that I don't see discussed much.

FWIW, many lifters in our gym are women, and a few of those women are significantly stronger than many of the men (including me).

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Boglegrappler » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:37 pm

Years ago in the YMCA where we went to get some competition once a week, there was a sign that stated something to the effect that the human body was the only machine that wore out if you didn't use it.

Regrettably, my own discipline level isn't as high as it should be.

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by CFM300 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:53 pm

I have coached many women -- from high school girls to women in their 40's, 50's, 60's. Every single one of them performed squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press. Those are all just stylized, scalable versions of natural human movements. Deadlifts are just picking something up off the ground. The overhead press is just putting something over your head, like your backpack to put in the overhead bin on an airplane.

I start everyone with no weight and go from there. One woman began by sitting on a bench and standing back up. Weight is added gradually. I have incremental dumbbells, and barbells that weigh as little as 15 pounds that can be loaded in increments as small as 1# pound.

The Barbell Prescription is for anyone who wants to be stronger and healthier, male or female. One of the authors is an MD/PhD and the other is a highly experienced strength coach.

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by randomguy » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:11 pm

retiredjg wrote:
We are not men in a different body. We are a bit of a different thing. Well, actually, we are a completely different thing :D.
Men and woman are both 99% human. Sometimes the differences matter but in general the differences for exercise are minimal.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:21 pm

This thread is motivating to me. I had a brief time of inspiration some years back (when I was in my late 40s) from the book Strong Women Stay Young, written by a couple of PhDs, based on research they published in JAMA.

I need to find a way to get back to a regimen along the lines suggested in the book, which is eminently practical (in my view) for women in their 60s (like myself and the OP.)

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Lynette » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:29 pm

mouses wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:17 pm
Lynette wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:11 pm
I think you need a new lawn guy. There are good ones out there, although they seem to be hard to find.
I could easily buy a mower and do my own lawn but when I travel I can be away for a few weeks and my city gets icky if one does not mow one's lawn. I feel sorry for these lawn care guys as I know that they have a quota to complete and I have had this service for about 20 years.

Lynette
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Lynette » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:32 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:21 pm
This thread is motivating to me. I had a brief time of inspiration some years back (when I was in my late 40s) from the book Strong Women Stay Young, written by a couple of PhDs, based on research they published in JAMA.

I need to find a way to get back to a regimen along the lines suggested in the book, which is eminently practical (in my view) for women in their 60s (like myself and the OP.)
Thanks for the book reference. I need to do some studying on this as well. Yoga is very popular at my health club. We do squats, push-ups etc. The one thing that I think is importance as one gets older is balance. I'm not good at balancing on one foot!

I think I prefer pilates as some of the yoga instructors get a bit carried away too much on the quasi-religious aspect for my liking.

retiredjg
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:45 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:11 pm
retiredjg wrote:
We are not men in a different body. We are a bit of a different thing. Well, actually, we are a completely different thing :D.
Men and woman are both 99% human. Sometimes the differences matter but in general the differences for exercise are minimal.
I would agree that many things are the same.

But most exercise books are written for a target audience of males in their teens to 50's. Women over 60 have very different needs from men in their teens to 50's. We may all need exercise, but how it needs to happen might be very different.

You may just need to trust me on this. :happy

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by BogleFanGal » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:51 pm

I'm not in the age groups mentioned - but getting closer a whole lot faster than I'd like! I've lifted weights for the past 15 years. Nothing heavy or too lengthy- 45 min or so.

I treat it like washing hands or brushing teeth - everyday necessities. I don't skip it unless I'm sick. While exercise is important at any age, weight training in particular, is extra valuable for women close to and after menapause. Menapause can really wreak havoc on bones, metobolic rate and bodies in general. :annoyed

But as others said, safety and good technique is a must - true for either gender. Better to use lighter weights, go slower and control the motion vs doing too much, too soon and risking injury.

Bonus - I can have a couple more of these without guilt :sharebeer :D

lynneny
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by lynneny » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:40 pm

A friend and I, total novices at weight lifting at 62, are doing this:
https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/21-Day ... e-37016988

I've been doing yoga for years, and it's really improved my upper body strength, as well as balance and flexibility. I usually do power yoga classes, since I see yoga more as an exercise than a spiritual experience. (Before doing yoga, I was a runner, and had no upper body strength at all. I had to quit running after chronic tendinitis, sciatica, lower back problems).

Miriam2
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Miriam2 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:22 am

randomguy wrote: Men and woman are both 99% human.
And what is the remaining 1% :shock:

randomguy
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by randomguy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:18 am

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:45 pm
randomguy wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:11 pm
retiredjg wrote:
We are not men in a different body. We are a bit of a different thing. Well, actually, we are a completely different thing :D.
Men and woman are both 99% human. Sometimes the differences matter but in general the differences for exercise are minimal.
I would agree that many things are the same.

But most exercise books are written for a target audience of males in their teens to 50's. Women over 60 have very different needs from men in their teens to 50's. We may all need exercise, but how it needs to happen might be very different.

You may just need to trust me on this. :happy
So what need does a 70 year old woman have that a 70 year old man doesn't?😁 There are adjustments for age and gender. But they tend to be pretty minor.

totallystudly
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by totallystudly » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:44 am

I would agree that many things are the same.

But most exercise books are written for a target audience of males in their teens to 50's. Women over 60 have very different needs from men in their teens to 50's. We may all need exercise, but how it needs to happen might be very different.

You may just need to trust me on this. :happy
Stop making excuses. Muscles are muscles, they work the same way in men and women and you have the same muscles that men have. If you do squats your legs will grow. If it makes your muscles burn when you are lifting, you are doing it right.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:54 am

Am in the right age group but wrong gender. Just started a bit of weights, trying to look buff to scare off my tennis opponents ;-)
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

Rupert
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Rupert » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:16 am

I think the problem with books written primarily with men in mind is that women don't want to look like men. They, in general, don't want "guns," giant pecs and thighs, and bulging shoulders. They want to maintain/increase strength and prevent osteoporosis without adding a lot of obvious mass. I've also noticed in my gym (which is in a community center that caters to a lot of older women) that many women seem to prefer working out in a class full of other women. Body sculpting and kick boxing classes are as popular as Pilates and yoga classes in my gym.

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by NHRATA01 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:08 am

Rupert wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:16 am
I think the problem with books written primarily with men in mind is that women don't want to look like men. They, in general, don't want "guns," giant pecs and thighs, and bulging shoulders. They want to maintain/increase strength and prevent osteoporosis without adding a lot of obvious mass. I've also noticed in my gym (which is in a community center that caters to a lot of older women) that many women seem to prefer working out in a class full of other women. Body sculpting and kick boxing classes are as popular as Pilates and yoga classes in my gym.
Well, the real problem is there's an old and oft-held misconception by a lot of women (including my wife btw) that strength training is going to turn them into linebackers. The reality is that isn't going to happen without an extreme level of commitment to weightlifting as well as the dietary needs/supplements to put on such muscle mass. And female bodybuilding (itself much different from powerlifting) is light years different than a lady lifting some weights to improve health, build some functional strength, and avoid osteoporosis. A lot of these high intensity high impact training like kick boxing can be harder on the body then simple weightlifting.

Stefi Cohen is probably among the top female powerlifters out there, 500+lb deadlift. In her workout garb it is clear she has notable muscle mass yet still a feminine shape (as opposed to certain bodybuilders). But she posts pictures in regular clothes and dresses on social media, and you'd be hard pressed to think she was an elite level powerlifter based upon the preconceived notions of what an extremely strong woman looks like.

It is interesting how things evolve over time - I started lifting 20+ years back in my teens and it was rare to see women in even my age group using the squat rack and bench press, let alone deadlift. Now at my gym I see women in the teens and 20s squatting all the time, and even some who deadlift. And it's filtering up to women in the 30s, 40s and above slowly but surely too. From a biological standpoint, sitting down and standing up with any load on the back is about as mechanically ideal of an exercise as the human body could perform.

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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:21 am

Rupert wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:16 am
I think the problem with books written primarily with men in mind is that women don't want to look like men. They, in general, don't want "guns," giant pecs and thighs, and bulging shoulders. They want to maintain/increase strength and prevent osteoporosis without adding a lot of obvious mass. I've also noticed in my gym (which is in a community center that caters to a lot of older women) that many women seem to prefer working out in a class full of other women. Body sculpting and kick boxing classes are as popular as Pilates and yoga classes in my gym.
I second that this is a misconception. It is extremely difficult for the vast majority of women to gain muscle mass anything like what you would see on a male bodybuilder or power lifter. The female body builders you might be thinking of as what to avoid are almost always on steroids, HGH, and/or a cocktail of other performance enhancing drugs. Even with drugs, it takes an obsessive amount of commitment for anybody (male or female) to get extremely muscular. Long story short, absent very unusual genetics, you could lift heavy 5x a week for a decade and never look bulky or overly muscular. When many women say they want to look "toned", what they actually want is the body they would get through regular lifting. Most fitness classes will do wonders for cardiovascular health (which is very important), but they won't do much for strength, weight loss, or that toned look most people want.

totallystudly
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by totallystudly » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:40 am

Well, the real problem is there's an old and oft-held misconception by a lot of women (including my wife btw) that strength training is going to turn them into linebackers.
I third that misconception and the premise of the idea kinda silly. You don't just touch weights and get big. Guys have the same excuses for PEDs. They say
Aw that guys on steroids
.... My response is yeah but you still have to lift the weight...
The reality is that isn't going to happen without an extreme level of commitment to weightlifting as well as the dietary needs/supplements to put on such muscle mass
So true, and I think lot of women and some guys run from the pain and discomfort of training. Squats are really hard. Deadlifts are really hard. Walking lunges are really hard and they all should be. You feel like a truck ran over you the next day, but that is part of the process.

Pilates and yoga are waaaay easier than the exertion required for these basic exercises and you don't have doms generally to deal with. The only thing I think you understate is the dedication and intensity required to really push your body to these levels.

I have also seen and know several fitness and female bodybuilders and they look REALLY feminine and sexy. As stated the toned look is essentially an out of competition bodybuilder.
Stefi Cohen is probably among the top female powerlifters out there, 500+lb deadlift.
Just saw a YouTube video of her D lift 545!!!!!!! That is INSANE, especially for her bodyweight of 120ish pounds. 4x+ your body weight is crazy. Thats a pretty good lift for a 200 pound dude. Oh and she looks good and feminine too.

Kompass
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Kompass » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:49 am

Men’s and women’s shoulders start at a different rotation angle.
Women’s knees rotate inward when weight is applied. Men’s don’t.
Women have greater range of motion in the hip joints than men.
Women over 60 (post menopausal) have probable bone density differences due to different hormones levels.
Yes, muscle tissue is the same.

Since weight lifting is applied geometry with force these things DO matter. A good trainer (or book) should know this.

Another way for both genders to get a good resistance work out with much lower risk of injury is to use resistance bands or body weight exercises.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

pspice78
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by pspice78 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:52 am

I'm *only* 40 but I lift weights. I did a figure competition a couple of years ago even. Right now I've been into doing the challenges that Nicole Wilkins puts out every couple of months and I get motivation from her facebook page. She has a "PhotoShoot Challenge" that is starting on July 22. Her programs aren't strickly written for women but her fanbase is mostly female. Her programs are very well written and give choices for meals and even include vegan friendly options. https://nicolewilkins.com/

letsgobobby
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:53 am

The video I see is of a sumo DL. ton of weight, but different exercise than a DL. Shorter distance to pull, and more favorable back angle. Easier exercise. Just sayin.

randomguy
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by randomguy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:23 am

totallystudly wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:40 am
Well, the real problem is there's an old and oft-held misconception by a lot of women (including my wife btw) that strength training is going to turn them into linebackers.
I third that misconception and the premise of the idea kinda silly. You don't just touch weights and get big. Guys have the same excuses for PEDs. They say
Aw that guys on steroids
.... My response is yeah but you still have to lift the weight...

Woman need to give the guys these workout programs that turn you into linebackers with huge guns, pecs, and quads:) I know tons of guys that would kill for that program:) Gaining mass for most natural lifters is hard. One commonly referred to study

https://broscience.co/the-muscle-buildi ... s-natural/
lifting + no drugs = 4lbs of muscle
no lifting + drugs = 8lbs of muscle
lifting + drugs = 14lbs of muscle

The high level take away is that for most people putting on mass is really hard. For woman/people over 40, it is even harder. There are a few super responders of both genders out there but the odds are really stacked against you being one. And it is pretty easy to stop putting on mass when you are happy with your look. Just stop the overload.

Age is a much bigger issue than gender. I wouldn't recommend any 70 years olds to start lifting heavy after 40+ years of inactivity. But they can all use the same general principles of progressive overload to slowly try to be better than they are today. And yes form adjustments always have to be made to match how your body can move.

In 30 years, I have a feeling that the woman that has been deadlifting and the like with cross fit for the previous 40 years will be able to keep on doing it. Obviously they will be dropping the load and increasing recovery time like any aging athlete needs to do.

It is important to remember that throughout history people were so much more active than today. Most of it was volume (i.e. doing 12 hours of manual labor) but there was also lifting (i.e. carrying your water from the well to the house) of pretty heavy weights. Use it or lose it. The tough part for a lot of us is that we have lost it and have to figure out how to get it back without hurting ourselves:)

GAAP
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by GAAP » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:18 am

I would strongly urge anyone interested in exercise to stay within the bounds of science -- not hyperbole from someone with something to sell.

General fitness, power-lifting, bodybuilding are three different goals, requiring three different approaches -- be sure what you use as a workout is appropriate.

One of the best sources that I've found for science-based exercise information is https://exrx.net/. It is aimed at professionals in the field, but is approachable by non-professionals. The site itself is a bit rough around the edges, but there is a wealth of information available.
About Us

ExRx.net began in 1999 as resource for exercise professionals, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts.

Our site features comprehensive exercise libraries (nearly 1800 exercises), fitness assessment calculators, and reference articles.

We have received an average of nearly 50,000 individual visitors per day from around the world.
Recognition

ExRx.net has been a recommended internet resource in the ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (5th Edition), pgs 224, 349.

ExRx.net has been recommended to the members of the US Armed Forces by exercise professionals of the US Department of Defense and the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute.

Wyle Laboratories contacted ExRx.net seeking permission to use our exercise instruction materials for a revised NASA Astronaut Fitness Manual.

The American Board of Family Practice (ABFP), a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties, was granted permission to post a link to Food Exchange Calculator on the ABFP website, www.abfp.org, as part of its certification program for family physicians.

Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH) was granted permission to republish Childhood and Teenage Obesity: Intervention Strategies.

Human Kinetics publishing was granted permission to republish our Food Portions guidelines in one of their many publications.

New York Police Department (NYPD) was granted permission to republish the ExRx.net Exercise Readiness Questionnaire for use with their employees.

ExRx.net is also a NSCA authorized CEU provider. ExRx.net Weight Training and Kinesiology sections serve as study modules for earning NSCA Continuing Education Units to maintain CSCS and NSCA-CPT certifications.

skjoldur
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by skjoldur » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:41 am

Some relevant videos:

88 year old woman starts lifting after a fall. Builds up to 88 lb deadlift, 25 lb squat, 27.5 lb press.
http://www.westminsterstrength.com/2016 ... -deadlift/

90 year old woman starts strength training, stops using her walker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3585w9FmOGs

NHRATA01
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by NHRATA01 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:55 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:53 am
The video I see is of a sumo DL. ton of weight, but different exercise than a DL. Shorter distance to pull, and more favorable back angle. Easier exercise. Just sayin.
A lot of women who compete pull sumo over conventional since it favors their hip mechanics more, and yes as mentioned if an allowed lift in competition it reduces ROM and makes for a heavier lift total. On forums the sumo vs conventional debates get as heated as the vanguard vs. fido discussions on here, lol. :)

In regards to Stefi though, not sure what she pulls for a max on conventional but saw a vid of her doing an easy 315x8 stiff leg off a 4" deficit, so I'd bet she could easily pull 450+ conventional.

But I don't want to derail the OP's thread here.

stoptothink
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:56 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:53 am
The video I see is of a sumo DL. ton of weight, but different exercise than a DL. Shorter distance to pull, and more favorable back angle. Easier exercise. Just sayin.
Depends on your own biomechanics. Sumo and conventional are both allowed in powerlifting competition. I, a pretty large male who can deadlift pretty close to 3x bodyweight, am much better at conventional pulling.

chabil
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by chabil » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:06 am

Great thread.
I have always done some weight bearing routines along with aerobics. I recently experienced knee pain and weakness in my left leg and was recommended physical therapy focused on strengthening core muscles - abdomen, buttocks, thighs and legs with weights. My left knee was significantly weaker than the right and was slightly bent.
I continue to do these exercises now and they have helped me considerably. I don't feel the unsteadiness as I did before and am able to hike 6 miles easily. And no more pain.
Besides this I also do weights form my shoulders, arms, and and back muscles.
I do all this with free weights, 10 lbs max.
It is not for body shaping as much as for health and fitness.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:20 am

How old is old? I'm 39, and I've been lifting weights consistently, for fitness, for 20 years now. Currently focusing on half marathons and lighter kettlebell workouts because work/kids make it hard for me to hit the gym regularly (the 10 minute commute is time I sometimes don't have). Quick thoughts:

1) I do like the basic Starting Strength program, if you have access to a gym. Don't be put off by the focus on men. There are differences to which women need to attend, but they don't matter too much when you're beginning (except that in general, mastering a pull-up is something a reasonably trained man can do, but will take focused work for a woman.) Think like a boglehead and keep it simple. Deadlift, squat, bench, press, and rows will do most of what you need.

2) Hire a trainer at first to learn the movements properly. I didn't -- but I was 19 when I started and when you're 19 you can be dumb because your body can recover better. You can start light (but you are likely stronger than you think.) Quite a lot of lifting is about training your nervous system, not your muscles, so learning the movements under lightish weight will help with coordination, balance, etc.

3) You're going to want to take extra care of your core, especially if you've had kids. The big lifts are good for that, too, but if you have ab separation or a weak pelvic floor, work with the trainer to find modifications that work for you. (It might mean that you do split squats instead of deep squats, for example.

4) Keep moving! My mother, 62, has always been a soft, non-muscular woman (and gorgeous, I should add), and walking every day is keeping her in great health. I will probably never get her to lift a weight, but I have basically zero worries about her falling or losing her balance or her independence.

wstrdg
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by wstrdg » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:00 pm

Do find someone who knows what they're doing to train you for a few months. This can be a relative, friend, gym, etc. You want good form to build strength, not huge weight lifts to show off

"Full range of motion" is important. Don't cheat. This is part of good form.

Good form means you won't hurt yourself

Younger people can do greater weight/lower repetitions. Older people will benefit from lower weight/greater repetitions

Alternate muscle groups, so you don't repeat groups without a day or two to heal. You become stronger with stress, repair, repeat. For example, do chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday, shoulders on Wednesday, repeat.

Expect severe burn about 48 hours after you start a muscle group. It goes away. Enjoy shampooing your hair -- haha!

IMO nothing makes you feel better faster than lifting weights

As mentioned above, if you don't have a spotter, use a machine of some sort.[/list]

totallystudly
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by totallystudly » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:45 pm

Younger people can do greater weight/lower repetitions. Older people will benefit from lower weight/greater repetitions
Nonsense, i asked your muscles, and they said they don't care. It's all about intensity and volume, although at the extreme ends with weight it can be a bit rough on the joints. Just ask Ronnie Coleman who needed a hip replacement and was known for squatting 800+. Do you need to squat 800 pounds to have fantastic legs? Absolutely not. Younger people pushing too much weight can tear their joints up if they aren't careful or are pushing too much weight vs focusing on quality reps.

You can build just as much muscle using lighter weights vs heavier if you are pushing to failure. It isn't a young va old thing, it's intensity, volume, and progressive overload period.

Tom platz is on video doing 315 for 50 reps in a single set and then 315 for 40 as well as 405 for 40 and 525 for 23 or so reps. Nobody ever accused him of having puny legs and his hips are fine and he still squats at 70+ years old.

deikel
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by deikel » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:57 pm

totallystudly wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:45 pm
Younger people can do greater weight/lower repetitions. Older people will benefit from lower weight/greater repetitions
Nonsense, i asked your muscles, and they said they don't care.
You are ignoring the other chemical changes in the body that go on when you age - like the reduced ability to repair damage (muscle or joints), swelling and reduction in lymph flow ect.

There is more difference in young vs. old than there is in man vs woman and a hell of a lot difference in trained vs untrained. Assuming you are starting out AND are older, you should start low weight - higher repetition and ideally under some guidance so you learn it right from the get go.

Weight exercises are ideal for older folks by the way, precisely because you can fit them to once ability in amazing detail.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immidiatly and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

mxs
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by mxs » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:35 pm

Lifting weights can be roughly divided into three different types; Cardio - low weight / high reps, Strength - moderate weight / moderate reps, and Power - high weight / low reps. I would suggest older folks should generally do Cardio weights.

Weight training also has two general types; free weights and machines. I would suggest that everyone is better off doing free weights if able and able to do so safely due to free weights being closer to natural movements and stabilizing muscles being involved.

The big three lifts are bench, squats, and deadlift. I am a big fan of dumbbell bench, as each arm is independent. Squats while holding dumbbells (or nothing at all) are good. And the same is true for deadlift. Something like squats Mondays, bench Wednesdays, and deadlift Fridays is a good plan.

So long story short, do low weights, high reps, and you should be fine. Do some cardio like walking or running after lifting and on your non-lift days and you are set. Depending on strength, getting a set of 5, 10, and 15 pound dumbbells to start with is a good idea, and may be all you need.

By the way, women aren't that different from men when it comes to lifting.

2015
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by 2015 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:47 pm

I'm reminded of a woman I saw in a gym in West Los Angeles a couple decades ago. While her physique was outstanding, it was her focus and concentration that were most impressive. It was obvious she had been at it for quite some time. She was simultaneously excellence and elegance in action.

alfaspider
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:29 pm

deikel wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:57 pm
totallystudly wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:45 pm
Younger people can do greater weight/lower repetitions. Older people will benefit from lower weight/greater repetitions
Nonsense, i asked your muscles, and they said they don't care.
You are ignoring the other chemical changes in the body that go on when you age - like the reduced ability to repair damage (muscle or joints), swelling and reduction in lymph flow ect.

There is more difference in young vs. old than there is in man vs woman and a hell of a lot difference in trained vs untrained. Assuming you are starting out AND are older, you should start low weight - higher repetition and ideally under some guidance so you learn it right from the get go.

Weight exercises are ideal for older folks by the way, precisely because you can fit them to once ability in amazing detail.
Recovery is going to take longer as you age regardless of whether you are lifting heavy or light. Regardless of whether you are doing more reps or fewer, if you are adhering to the progressive overload principle, your body will have to take time to repair and rebuild as you progress.

The peril of telling older folks that the should be lifting light is that they often fail to progress because it gets very hard to appropriately ratchet up with the intensity without going heavier. Eventually, you run into cardiovascular limits rather than strength limits and the workout isn't really a pure strength workout anymore (nothing wrong with that, but it just won't be as effective at getting someone stronger). Higher numbers at a lower rep range isn't necessarily safer. With a very high number of reps, the chance of using improper form as you tire gets higher.

That being said, if you are just starting out- regardless of your age- you should be starting light as you learn proper form. The weight range you work with should be dependent on your ability level. Also, there's no reason to ever do 1r rep maxes except for competition or as an ego boost. Programs like 5x5 routines that focus on going heavier aren't recommending any particular weight- just the appropriate weight for your ability level.

CFM300
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by CFM300 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:58 pm

totallystudly wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:40 am
Squats are really hard. Deadlifts are really hard. Walking lunges are really hard and they all should be. You feel like a truck ran over you the next day, but that is part of the process.
THAT is a huge misconception.

Many simple, effective progressions will not produce significant soreness. Many people have gotten very strong by moderately increasing weight and volume over time. I'm talking about 200-pound men in their 30's squatting over 500 pounds and 130-pound women in their 50's squatting 100+ pounds. Again, with virtually no soreness after the first week or so.

Carson
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Carson » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:11 pm

I just want to say it is awesome that you are doing this. I am 37 and have lifted weights for 20 years, I think it's made a huge impact on my physique and health.

I'm an avid at-home exerciser and had great results with the programs that Cathe Friedrich has to offer. If you are new, consider the ICE series, if you get a little more experienced, X-train, and the big one for serious weight lifting is the STS series.

I've heard great things about HIIT conditioning exercises combined with weights and clean eating to really put a stop to the weight gain that seems to creep up with some certain, er, hormonal changes. :annoyed
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

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Elsebet
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by Elsebet » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:36 pm

I'd recommend trying bodyweight fitness first. I'm 41 and female and do this routine 3x per week all in my own home:

https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitn ... ed_routine

There's also a bodyweight fitness book called "You Are Your Own Gym".

mxs
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Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

Post by mxs » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:58 pm
totallystudly wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:40 am
Squats are really hard. Deadlifts are really hard. Walking lunges are really hard and they all should be. You feel like a truck ran over you the next day, but that is part of the process.
THAT is a huge misconception.

Many simple, effective progressions will not produce significant soreness. Many people have gotten very strong by moderately increasing weight and volume over time. I'm talking about 200-pound men in their 30's squatting over 500 pounds and 130-pound women in their 50's squatting 100+ pounds. Again, with virtually no soreness after the first week or so.
Agreed, the first two weeks or so of new lifting causes soreness, but after that it is minimal. For general fitness, being able to squat/deadlift little to no weight 20 reps in a row for 2 to 5 sets is a good goal to achieve and maintain.

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