“I’m too Old to Lift Weights” and Other Strength Training Myths

“I’m too Old to Lift Weights” and Other Strength Training Myths

How often have you heard out-of-shape, middle-aged or elderly people say it’s too late for them to begin an exercise program of cardiovascular endurance and strength training? Instead, they’d rather sit on the couch and wait until the grim reaper arrives at their doorstep.

But the truth of the matter is this: you’re never too old to train. In particular, you’re never too old to lift weights. That’s right, steel plates and iron bars. “But wait just a second,” a slim woman might say. “Lifting weights will make me bulky.” Again, another myth exposed.

If anything, training with weights can not only make you stronger, but it will also decrease your body fat while improving bone density and circulation—something that’s very important for women as they reach the years where osteoporosis can become a real structural problem.

According to a new LinkedIn post written by the master weight lifter himself, Arnold “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger , he addresses some of the same nagging questions he’s been getting for decades.

“Should women do strength training?”

“Am I too old to lift?”

“Won’t resistance training hurt my running?”

Says the 76-year-old Arnold, “Fitness is for everyone.” Even more specifically, weight training is for everyone. Many studies prove that people who possess a strong muscle structure tend to live longer lives. What’s more important, they enjoy a better quality of life. Because after all, strength makes everyday life so much easier.

If You’re a Runner

Lots of long-distance runners want to stay thin and light so they can run faster. Therefore, they will avoid weightlifting. This is a mistake. Strength training will not only improve your running, but it will also help with your endurance. Strength training can help improve any sport you’re engaged in. From golfing, to tennis, to soccer, to boxing, lifting weights makes you stronger andgives you a competitive edge.

In the old days, lifting weights was seen as a negative since athletes assumed it bulked you up and made you muscle bound. Once again, this is a myth. Today, many sports teams enjoy their own gyms that make the old Golds Gym of the 1960s and 70s look tiny by comparison.

If You're "Older"

Even if you’ve turned the corner on 50, 60, or even 70, its never too late to start in on a strength training program with a certified personal trainer. Studies illustrate that strength training can help minimize injuries. It assists with coordination and balance, while it strengthens your bones and exercises your heart, which is a muscle.

Arnold should know. He’s recently turned 76, trains everyday with weights, and currently has two popular TV shows and a new movie in the works. He credits resistance training with keeping him fit, young, and feeling good.

If You’re a Woman

If you’re a woman, Schwarzenegger swears there is nothing to fear about getting bulky or heavy when you train with weights. This is a myth that has been going around for years. It’s as if women believe by going to the gym and engaging in a strength training program, they will immediately walk out looking like Mr. Universe.

First of all, it takes four to five hours of weight lifting per day, six days per week, to even think about qualifying for Mr. Universe. Secondly, strength training with light to moderate weights for thirty minutes every day along with thirty minutes of cardio will make your body stronger and more lean since your body fat ratio will be greatly improved.

You will also have far better digestion resulting in proper waste elimination in the mornings. This is important as you get older since you want to avoid certain cancers. Also, if you’re a woman, it’s important to maintain strong bones and proper posture to avoid osteoporosis.

Strength training at any age will improve your body and mind in ways you never thought possible. Now get off the couch and go to the gym. Your body will thank you for it.

Mary Clark is a recently retired and decorated Colonel in the New York State Troopers. One of

the highest-ranking female law enforcement officials in New York State, she served for more than

three decades. Today she devotes herself to helping others achieve their life goals through a

combination of physical fitness, achieving an optimal mindset, and life balance.

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