Weightlifting for Women Over 50

Weightlifting after the age of 50 is an ideal way for women to maintain optimal health and minimize the effects of aging. Maintaining your strength by lifting weights will improve the quality of your life, allowing you to tackle your daily chores with ease and have the energy left for hobbies and activities you enjoy.

Reasons to Lift Weights

Women begin losing muscle mass around the age of 35, and the process accelerates after menopause, or around age of 50, unless you strength train regularly. You can preserve your precious muscle and develop beneficial new lean muscle mass by lifting weights. Also known as strength and resistance training, your body responds immediately on a cellular level in response.

Benefits of Lifting Weights

You have about 700 skeletal muscles that account for approximately 23 percent of your total body weight, according to Z. Altug in “The Anti-Aging Fitness Prescription,” and keeping those muscles healthy and strong will help keep you independent and vibrant into your 60’s and beyond, as well as giving your arms and legs a lean, toned appearance. Lifting weights not only keeps your muscles strong, but increases bone density as well, reducing the risk of fractures among women over 50.

Types of Weight Lifting

Types of weight lifting include the use of selectorized weight machines that are specifically designed for a particular body part. They are very safe and effectively isolate the muscles. Cable machines and free weights are other options that challenge more muscle fibers than machines because of the increased range of motion. Body weight exercises like crunches, push ups, pull ups and dips require no special equipment and are functional.

Misconceptions about Weight Lifting

Many women still have the misconception that weightlifting will yield unsightly, masculine bulk. But women do not have the testosterone levels required to build massive muscles. Sarcopenia, the inevitable loss of muscle that comes with age, is a greater concern over the age of 50 than the fear of gaining bulky muscle mass.


If you have never lifted weights, you would be wise to hire a personal trainer who specializes in training women your age. As you know, your body is different after age 50 than it was in your 20’s, and the differences need to be respected. A qualified trainer can provide you with a balanced strength training workout, teach you proper form and technique, and keep you safe to ensure optimal muscle building benefits.

About the Author

Becky Miller, an ACE-certified personal trainer, has designed strength training programs for people of all ages and fitness levels since 2001. She specializes in empowering women of the baby-boomer generation. Her writing career began in 2004, authoring weekly fitness columns and feature articles for the "Navarre Press" in Florida. She earned her B.S. in business from the University of Colorado.