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Is Strength Training Bad If I’m Over 50?


Exercise and the lack of prescription of it to the aging population is highly under-utilized in our current society.

There is a common belief system that states that when you get older, pain, lack of proper movement and just letting things decline is normal. (We think that’s a bunch of BS).

It is quite common these days to meet someone who is suffering from several of the following ailments (back pain, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol etc); has seen a doctor, yet has never been prescribed two of the most impactful things to help improve the body and the internal health of it; diet and exercise.

Society’s Belief System Is Broken

Somehow when we age we convince ourselves that experiencing weakness, and a lack of fluid movement means that exposing ourselves to strength building exercises will result in injury. Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Maintaining or even building muscle mass for men and women over 40 is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do.

As we age our muscle fibers start to shrink and we experience atrophy. The loss of mass is different for every individual, however the following factors will play a role in how fast this progresses. (Genetics, diet, smoking and alcohol use, and—most importantly—physical activity level.)

Remember the old saying “use it or lose it” – the same applies for the strength and muscle mass of your body.

Benefits of Strength Training After 50

Studies have shown that weight training increases bone mass, which lowers the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures.

Which means that if you were to slip on ice, or fall when you are older, all of the strength and resilience you have built would set you up for NOT getting injured, or at least not as badly as someone who hasn’t developed/maintained their muscle mass & strength.

But what about joint pain?

Exercise cannot reverse arthritis, but lifting weights helps reduce symptoms by strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround joints.

How To Strength Training Responsibly

Probably the best thing to do is to start off slow.

When training you want to layer in the intensity, and respect how the body feels. You are aiming for muscle fatigue NOT pain.

Sometimes it is hard to “dial it back” as we age. However if you are looking to utilize fitness as a tool to longevity, you also need to treat your training in the same manner. The stimulus should be just enough to produce change, but not so intense that you risk coming back to train at your next session.

And last but not least train with coaches who know how to prescribe and diagnose proper movement patterns/options to scale based on your current ability.

Aging Is Inevitable, But Being Weak Is Optional.

Choose Strong because you can.

Happy Training!


Coach Erin, Coach & Gym Co-Owner

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