Doing 10 reps with 20lbs is going to hurt today. Next time, try doing 25 and only 5 reps. Keep adding weight and reps and soon enough 10 reps at 20lbs will be a warmup.
Originally Posted by Aili
Also, the reason to do free weights rather than the machines is because the free weights make you employ all your little stabilizer muscles. This gives you strength in your belly and back.
By the way, before I changed my diet I had frozen shoulder. Look that up. I was practically immobile in one shoulder. I could not even sleep with my arm under my pillow. The diet change made the pain go away, but I still lacked full range of motion. When I first tried bench pressing there was so much clicking and popping and it was really uncomfortable. But I kept doing it. For squats, you are supposed to put your hands pretty close together on the bar. I couldn't do it. And it hurt really bad what little closeness I could do. But every day I tried to put my hands just a little closer until I could get to the proper position. There is no pain anymore and I have much better range of motion and there's way less clicking and popping going on in there.
All this stuff, the strength training, the mobility improvements, everything. It all just takes time. Lots of time. It's slower than you think, especially at this age. But it pays off.
You should go over to the Starting Strength forum and read some of the stuff written by the older folks there. They are so inspiring. Some trainers over there actually prefer our older demographic because we work harder and are more proud of our progress.
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.