Bodybuilding: This chart proves that lifting weights at any age is a great idea
Just like the cringe worthy new year new me posts start popping up on your IG feed, you might also start considering doing something about the fat that surrounds your torso. It’s time to tone up and build muscle! But you’re not in your twenties anymore, and we all know that strength decreases with age; there is no point in starting strength training now. Where is he?
When visualizing how the force works, most people imagine an upward line falling off a cliff as soon as you hit 30. Like, straight down. After 30, you might as well avoid dumbbells and dumbbells; they are not good for you! Kettlebells are for teenagers, not old people like you, who will turn 35 this November.
What if we told you that there is a chart that proves that building muscle and strength at any age is not only possible but recommended? That you can start lifting at age 55 and be the strongest you’ve ever been five years later? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t lift adjustable dumbbells at present?
Take a look at the table above. It’s from Strongur (opens in a new tab), and it gathers data from thousands of IPF weightlifters, where IPF stands for International Powerlifting Federation. Weightlifters, unlike bodybuilders, train for strength and not for muscle size (weightlifters tend to be very big too, but differently), so they are a good indicator of how strong people may be at any age, if they train hard.
They are also highly motivated, have extensive training experience and compete doing just three exercises – deadlift, squat and bench press – making it easy to compare lifter performance data.
At first glance, this shows what we all expected: as you age, you lose strength. IPF athletes are strongest in their twenties. From there, strength decreases in both men and women.
However, this decrease is gradual and takes place over a long period of time. As you can clearly see, the strength index of a 45-year-old man is only 10 points below the strength index of a 25-year-old man. Women are in an even better position; most female IPF athletes seem to peak later than males, and the decline in strength also occurs later and more gradually.
How strong are you, really?
Many factors play into your strength at any time in your life, including testosterone levels (find out what testosterone is and how it affects you), stress, physical activity levels, and more. To say you’ll be as strong as an IPF athlete in your 40s and 50s is also a bit of a stretch.
However, you can probably be way stronger than you are right now in a few years if you just started lifting weights. Even if the first time you visited a gym was when you were 50, if you keep working out from then on, you’ll be stronger than ever on your 55th birthday. Easy like that.
It’s all about consistency and showing up at the gym, week after week, month after month. You’ll see results soon enough, but the real benefit of weightlifting is that your muscles and joints will get stronger and your body will become more resilient. You will be able to fall and not break your bones and pick up the crates with ease.
Don’t feel like joining a gym? Building a home gym in 2022 is also not a drastic idea. All you need are some free weights and a decent weight bench. Don’t let age stop you from building muscle and losing weight. you can get in shape at over 40!