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Thread: resistance training for mature (i.e vantage-aged) women?

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  1. #1
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    resistance training for mature (i.e vantage-aged) women?

    I'd like to know what other women, 50+ years, do for weight/resistance training. I used to do the weights in a circuit room in a gym until 5 years ago; my work changed (too far from gym) so I have done body weight stuff at home but not in a planned way. Two weeks ago, I decided to join again because I missed the gym's benefits. The strange thing is that I seem not to have lost strength, especially in the legs. I've been 3 times and love to lift heavy. So, it got me to wondering what other women do and how they feel about what they do.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aili View Post
    I'd like to know what other women, 50+ years, do for weight/resistance training. I used to do the weights in a circuit room in a gym until 5 years ago; my work changed (too far from gym) so I have done body weight stuff at home but not in a planned way. Two weeks ago, I decided to join again because I missed the gym's benefits. The strange thing is that I seem not to have lost strength, especially in the legs. I've been 3 times and love to lift heavy. So, it got me to wondering what other women do and how they feel about what they do.
    You should look into Superslow resistance training, perfect( and logical) for everyone but especially useful for ' vantage-aged ' people ! Some good articles on the subject here:

    Articles | Renaissance Exercise | High Intensity Training

  3. #3
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    Thanks OldSchool (neat name)! I shall check into this. I do super slow weight work now so am curious whether it will be the same thing and what more I can learn. much appreciated

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    What I do may or may not apply to you, as I did powerlifting for a while when I was in my 30s.

    I have settled in on bench pressing on a 5 day cycle, dead lifting and squatting on a 7 day cycle. I have days when I do handstand work for shoulder development or pullup/chinup work because I want to be able to do those (can't yet). I also have parallettes and am working on an introductory program.

    I require very little volume to make improvements. I get plenty of rest. I see no reason to max myself out and take a chance on hurting myself or overtraining at this age.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I don't understand all that you speak of (cycles, etc.), since I use those machines instead of free weights. The one thing I do find is that my shoulders seem to be weakest (always were) and lifting 20 pounds 10 times seems an effort. I too get good sleeps. I did not max out yesterday at the gym , but did feel that I had exerted myself in my muscles, sort of weaker. Today I feel fine, no aches and pains.
    1. What do you mean by "I require very little volume to make improvements"?
    2. What is 'parallettes' and why are you doing this?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aili View Post
    The one thing I do find is that my shoulders seem to be weakest (always were) and lifting 20 pounds 10 times seems an effort.
    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.

    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.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aili View Post
    Thanks. I don't understand all that you speak of (cycles, etc.), since I use those machines instead of free weights.
    A "five day cycle" means I lift one day and take 4 days off from that lift. I have optimized my lifting by recovery time.

    The one thing I do find is that my shoulders seem to be weakest (always were) and lifting 20 pounds 10 times seems an effort.
    Women tend to have low upper body strength. It takes a lot of time to overcome that.

    I did not max out yesterday at the gym , but did feel that I had exerted myself in my muscles, sort of weaker. Today I feel fine, no aches and pains.
    I have found that I am never sore the day after I bench press, but still I make maximum improvement by taking 4 days of rest.

    1. What do you mean by "I require very little volume to make improvements"?
    Compared to the guys, I do very little exercise. I don't need to do 5 sets each of 5 different variations on an exercise to improve my strength. And I take breaks between sets.

    If you want to get maximally strong, you should find someone to help you learn how to use barbells.

    I am 58.

  8. #8
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    Wow, I have heard that barbells are superior to machines in many ways. So thanks for the reminder. My arms of funny, strong biceps and paddling arm, but sucking at lifting overhead.
    I totally get that using barbells engages the whole body whereas machines tend to work on muscle groups, and so, I will plan to get a lesson (or more). I do get already some stuff.
    It sounds as if you do weight training each day. Do you keep it low volume each day? Where is the equipment you use each day.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aili View Post
    Wow, I have heard that barbells are superior to machines in many ways. So thanks for the reminder. My arms of funny, strong biceps and paddling arm, but sucking at lifting overhead.
    I totally get that using barbells engages the whole body whereas machines tend to work on muscle groups, and so, I will plan to get a lesson (or more). I do get already some stuff.
    It sounds as if you do weight training each day. Do you keep it low volume each day? Where is the equipment you use each day.?
    I never much liked doing overhead work. Handstand work agrees with me.

    I have a bench and rack in my living room, and a pullup bar mounted on the wall in my dining room. Odds and ends get put in a corner when they're not being used.

    I do something most days. I also take long walks.

  10. #10
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    just checked re 'parallettes'. very cool.

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