Heavy weightlifting programs (lifting heavy weights) centered around old-school exercises like deadlifts, snatches, barbell squats, the bench press and military press are popping up in gyms everywhere these days, and for good reason: studies show that this type of training is highly effective for building strength and power. That can translate to more functional independence over the long term.
As with any form of exercise, however, the benefits also come with some risk, and those risks increase as we age.
To find out whether heavy lifting is safe for adults 50 and over, we dove into the research and found an expert with his own experience.
I’m 58-years-old, and I stopped lifting heavy weights 12 years ago. I was 46 at the time, and I quit because I was just—getting—tired.
For some reason, my heart wasn’t in it anymore. Lifting heavy weights and doing all of those things to get bigger is appealing to young guys. They do it to feel better about themselves, or they do it because they think women will find them to be attractive. Some even do it to make other guys envious of them.
I began lifting weights when I was 11, but I didn’t really know what I was doing until I was in my late 20’s. My reasons for lifting were because I was a small guy and I wanted to compensate for that. When I was 34 I became a volunteer firefighter, and because I was small and needing to be able to rescue people much larger than me, I continued to lift heavy weights in order to do my job.
And then through my own personal growth and development during the next 12 years, I stopped being a firefighter. Along with that came the complete loss of interest in lifting heavy weights.
I was tired of going to the gym, tired of loading stacks of plates onto a bar, and tired of straining under the load as I pushed to complete my reps and sets. I was tired of preparing all of my meals in advance, and making sure I was getting enough protein, and I was tired of all of the horseshit that goes along with that. I was tired of being obsessed with my own body, and being driven by the cultish desire to get bigger and stronger.
I stopped doing all of that, and I began doing bodyweight exercises at home instead. Over the years my exercise regimen has evolved to include functional mobility exercises and even some yoga. I also do some kettlebell exercises, and I spend a lot of time riding my mountain bike.
I lost 20 pounds. I’m wearing smaller clothes, and I look better. I actually feel better too, and I’m more flexible now than when I was in my 20’s. If I could go back in time and do things differently, I would have avoided lifting heavy weights like the plague. It’s the mark of an obsession and it takes a toll on your body.
We hope you found this information useful. But, overall lifting heavy weight at an older age isn’t healthy for you in our opinion. With that being said, if you do lift at an older age an your not experiencing any problems an your healthy then continue to stay fit!
Thanks to NextAvenue for today’s post
Here’s a link to their site https://www.nextavenue.org/