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When does one stop increasing weights

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4/16/13 11:33 A

Ernestine Shepherd is now almost 76 years old. In 2011 she was named the world's oldest female competitive bodybuilder. Super cool and inspiring video:

Posts: 6,130
4/15/13 7:41 P

I plan on being a 99 year old woman doing bicep curls and chest flyes. I will not give up weights unless they pry them from my hands............Love my weight lifting. And yes it's about good form....doing 8 to 12 reps..........It's also based on ones personal goals. Mine.........building serious muscles............

Posts: 4,848
4/15/13 5:08 A

I plan to lift weights until I can't anymore. I have no plans to stop on my 95th birthday or whatever.

As you increase the weight you lift, eventually you will get to a point where you pretty much can't increase the weight -- or some days you can, but then you have to drop it back down the next time -- and you can sit at the same weight for 6 months or so, or you can try different exercises. I prefer push myself to my lifting maximum on Exercise A, then maintain that while working up to my max on Exercise B, and so on. There are so many exercises out there, and by introducing new ones, you may find you can eventually increase Exercise A after all.

Also if you are losing weight, you will find that as your weight decreases, you will be able to lift more or less weight on different exercises. Gravity exercises like pull ups, push ups, and dips will get easier and you will be able to "increase" the weight on those even though you may not be increasing the net weight, just the added weight. Leverage exercises may get harder as your body weight declines too.

Posts: 33,498
4/14/13 5:24 A

At that age you'll be muscle wasting simply from aging, and not able to lift what you could while younger, so you'll actually lift less and less. But if you keep up a routine, you'll slow that down and reduce muscle wastage as much as possible.

This 74 year old lady looks awesome!

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4/14/13 1:10 A

Thank you all for your input! But one more question. I could continue strength training into my 70's or even 80's? Don't know anyone that age who does so have nothing to go by. I just assumed one would stop trying to go up in weights as they aged, kind of no need, but I guess as long as I can do it....

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4/3/13 10:39 A


progress will slow as you improve, but it's pointless to set some kind of end-stage.

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4/3/13 2:53 A

Everyone is limited by the genes that they happen to have.They will determine the point beyond which one cannot lift more weight, run any faster, etc.

Favorable environmental factors can help with small improvements to this genetically determined max. weight that can be lifted. However, they will remain small relative to what the genes dictate.

Posts: 33,498
4/2/13 10:16 P

Yes you'll stop. Nobody can lift a house. :)

If you are as functionally fit as you wish to be, you will focus more on maintaining your lean body mass than on building new mass. This is a time where, if you increase at all, it will be very slowly. You will probably do a pretty similar workout most workouts, with little to no actual increase in reps or weights.

If you're not there yet, keep plugging the weight up!

And if you want to increase strength, keep plugging it up. As in the house analogy, you can't keep increasing weights forever, but you'll find the increment of increase slows down. Eg at the start you might increase the reps every workout and the weight every month. By the time you've become quite strong, you may be increasing reps every month or two months, and weight every 4-6 months. Or increasing weight in 1lb increments instead of 10lb increments. :)

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4/2/13 6:55 P

When you reach your goals. :) Whatever those goals may be, that will determine when/how you stop increasing weights and focus on maintaining.

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4/2/13 6:46 P


As long as you can perform 8-10 reps with proper form, you can keep moving up (no more than 5% increase in weight though), but it really depends too, whether your goal is to build muscle strength or muscle endurance.

Coach Nancy

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4/2/13 6:34 P

I'm 60 and have begun to wonder when, if ever, does one stop increasing the amount of weights one uses? I do strength training exercises and cardio.

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