I've found that as I age I need to spend a little more time warming up, and make sure I include balance and flexibility work as part of my strength training. I pay attention to form and make sure I have sufficient endurance at any given weight before I increase it. I certainly have no plans to stop strength training, and I'm into my 50s now!
I hate weight lifting. But I realized at age 50, after twenty years of off-again and on-again weight lifting, that it no longer is a choice, but rather a necessity for me. Now age 55, it is not so bad, but I am not motivated enough to do it alone. I do well in a class setting.
I am impressed with responses to this thread of those older than me (now age 55) with the amount of weight they are lifting!
Inspiring posts! I have much of which to look forward in life! Keep them coming!
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
2,166 10/23/12 5:38 A
It is great that we coincide in that age is not a problem in lifting heavy.
Great advice that I have come to realize after a recurrent painful neck: Failure is failing to keep the form, not failing to lift the weight. Unfortunately that caused me to deload my squats and my presses :(
I think your definition of heavy may change, but you should still lift as heavy as you can. You might not be bench pressing your body weight at 90, but you could still bench press to failure.
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
351 10/22/12 4:03 P
Hey.. When I power lifted (briefly in the 1980's) I met a 65 year old in a power lifting competition. He was strong and moved like an athlete. Lifting stops you aging and improves your quality of life.
Equally, a guy I trained with at the same time was doing dumb stuff with weights (very very heavy lifting using non-standard lifts). I met him a few weeks back and it's clear that his youthful exploits have cost him badly. He cant move his arms above shoulder height now :(
The key is injury. A lot of the problem with age is accumulated injury. At 51 it looks like I have got rid of a chronic knee issue by losing weight, doing squats (with good form) and rowing, cycling and eventually running. It's still possible to recover from injuries even after 50.
Avoiding injury and building strength I think is about knowing how to fail on a lift:
1] The big four lifts are all very well understood - we know exactly what form to use. I have seen thousands of weight lifting exercises that have been rejected over time because they were ineffective or caused injury
2] Failure is about failing on form - not in ability to make the lift. This keeps things safe.
Once the intellect (I lost form) overtakes the ego (I CAN LIFT 10 kg more) then you are safe whatever age you are...
Research does show that as we age we need to increase the intensity of exercise as we did when we were younger - oir else our physical abilities atrophy. People tend to consign themselves to "age gracefully" - take gentle walks... use barbie weights in the gym..take up yoga.. . swim a little. It doesn't have to be like this.....
My grandfather played his last game of tennis against me when he was 67 - he thrashed me...He did die at 83 but was actually very very active until his 80's.
I am 75 and still using 20# and 30# kettlebells and 100# resistance bands for workouts. The only light weights I have are my 2# Indian clubs which I use as a warm up.
Today I will do this mini workout: Indian club warm up, then 8 kettlebell swings with 20# followed by 8 squat thrusts then 7 and 7 working down to 1 and 1 , 30 seconds rest then repeat the ladders another recovery then the ladders again. The three repeats of 15 abdominal wheel roll outs with 30 seconds recovery between sets. Then I will have someone call 911 for me
my mom is in her late 60s and lifts heavy. She started in her mid-60s, so it's not like she was always doing it. She has a ton of health problems including some pretty serious ones, spinal issues, etc. Where there's a will (and a decent doctor's advice) there's a way.
Jack LaLane lifted weights every day from age 15 until he passed away. He was over 90 years old when he died.
Anyone can lift weights at any age if they can move their arms. However, you said, "heavy" weights. How heavy are you talking about?
How much weight one lifts depends on how much they lifted earlier in life, and if they kept at it. People can lift weights at age 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90. While there will be decrease in ability, if you are lifting 20 pounds above your head at age 40, and keep it up for the next 4 decades, you should be able to lift more than 2-3 pounds at age 90. At least that is what Jack LaLane and my mom's girlfriend did.
I think it's going to depend on the person. I'm pretty sure that Sylvester Stallone and some other "older" action stars still lift. At least he and Bruce Willis and the other guys (that are slightly younger, in their 40s) all looked like they lift pretty good, at least in preperation for The Expendables movies. Hell, I think Chuck norris is in his 70s, and while it's not like we was parading around flexing, he still looked like he could kick some ass! My dad is in his 60s, and he still runs, I'm not sure how regularly he lifts, though, as he had a torn bicep a few years back. Your capacity to do really heavy lifts may diminish as you age, so that your max goes down, but I think one could still lift heavy, meaning heavy for you as an individual.
Edited by: JENMC14 at: 10/22/2012 (08:23)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
2,166 10/22/12 8:05 A
I was wondering if there is an age limit to lifting heavy. I always thought that age cannot and should not be an excuse or an obstacle, but the reality may differ of course.
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