Sadly when I mention lifting weights to women, the most common response is: I DON’T WANT TO GET BIG, PUT ON MUSCLE OR LOOK LIKE A MAN.
Seriously, if putting on muscle were that easy…If you only knew the amount of weight I lift, you’d feel more secure in knowing that you’ll NEVER bulk up if you take up weight lifting. Not to brag, but I regularly lift much more than my bodyweight and I have yet to ‘bulk’ up.
Muscle is the best friend to my metabolism to keep it going strong so I want as much muscle on my frame as I can, especially as I age. The biggest complaint I get from 40+ women is that their metabolism seems to slow down in their 40’s. What has actually happened is that they’ve likely lost some lean muscle so their body isn’t as metabolically active. They eat the same amount but tend to gain weight since they have less muscle and a sedentary lifestyle.
If you want to turn it all around, take heed to what my friend Dr. Dan Ritchie has to say here:
Top Reasons Why Older Women Should Lift Weights
By Dan Ritchie
Co Author of Functional Fitness
If you are a woman over the age of 50 then one of the best things you can do to improve your health, fitness and quality of life is to lift weights. Unfortunately very few older women lift weights regularly and, from my experience, those that do lift weights don’t do it correctly.
The biggest mistake I see women making is only lifting light weights. Women want to look feminine and “toned” and absolutely do NOT want to get “big and bulky”. So they resort to lifting light weights a bunch of times. The problem is that is not an effective way to actually achieve the results you want. Women, even more so than men, need to get stronger and build muscle.
Getting stronger means lifting heavier weights 10-12 times (which would make 1 set) and then repeating it after a short rest (which would make 2 sets). As an older woman you need not worry about getting big and bulky or looking masculine because you couldn’t do it if you wanted to. Older women do not have the hormonal support to build big muscles without REALLY heavy, high-volume training and serious nutrition. And even then it is pretty tough!
You CAN get stronger and you CAN build some muscle mass by following this advice but you will NOT get big and bulky. Trust me on this. I have worked with many, many older women who have trained regularly and I assure you this is so. In fact even when I trained College athletes I only had 1 athlete that complained her legs were getting too big! Her legs weren’t that big she just couldn’t fit in her size 4 jeans anymore cause they were getting too muscular. She is the last and only female client I ever remember saying to me…..my legs are just getting too muscular! And she was a 19 year old stud female athlete, and we trained over 60 Division I gals.
So here are my top reasons why you, as an older woman, should lift weights:
- It keeps you functional
- It can improve your balance
- It will strengthen your bones
- Keep the muscle, lose the fat
- Look leaner, shapelier and sexier
Maybe one of more of these reasons is hits home with you. If so, then quit making excuses and start lifting weights. It is never too late to begin but the sooner you do the better.
Don’t know where to start?
I have an at home fitness solution for you if you want to start lifting weights but you are:
- new to fitness
- recovering from an injury
- 50+ and need a ‘gentle’ approach
- looking for ‘follow along’ videos
- need ‘coaching’ along the way
My friends Dr Dan Ritchie and Coy Sipes have put together Functional Fitness. I know the workouts are fantastic if you’re looking for any of the above things. I did most of the videos with the good doctors.
This is a fantastic program to get you moving safely. Often times I’ll present programs that are a little too aggressive. If you need a place to get started with your return to fitness, this is the one.
You’ll also get some cool bonuses (one from yours truly):