Weightlifting: This Chart Proves That Lifting Weights At Any Age Is A Great Idea

Just like the cringe new year new me As the messages start showing up on your IG feed, you might also start to consider the possibility of doing something about the fat around your torso. It’s time to tone up and build muscle! But you’re not in your 20s anymore and we all know that strength decreases with age; there is no point in starting weight training now. Where is there?

When visualizing how the force works, most people imagine a rising line falling off a cliff as soon as you hit 30. Like, straight ahead. After 30, you might as well avoid bars and dumbbells; they are not good for you! Kettlebells are for teens, not seniors like you, who will be celebrating your 35th birthday next 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? That there’s no reason why you shouldn’t lift adjustable dumbbells at present?

Graph showing strength index correlated with age of IPF athletes

(Image credit: Strongur)

Take a look at the table above. It’s from Strongur, and it gathers data from thousands of IPF weightlifters, where IPF stands for International Powerlifting Federation. Powerlifters, unlike bodybuilders, train for strength and not for muscle size (powerlifters also tend to be very big, but differently), so they are a good indicator of how strong people are at any age, if they train hard.

They are also highly motivated, have extensive training experience, and compete by doing just three exercises – deadlift, squat, and bench press – making it even easier to compare powerlifter performance data.

At first glance, it shows what we all expected: As you get older you lose strength. IPF athletes are strongest in their mid-twenties. From there, strength decreases in both men and women.

However, this decrease is gradual and occurs over a long period of time. As you can clearly see, the Strength Index of a 45 year old man is only 10 points lower than the Strength Index of a 25 year old man. Women are in an even better position; most female IPF athletes appear to peak later than men, and the decline in strength also occurs later and more gradually.

How strong are you, really?

There are many factors that affect your strength at any point in your life, including testosterone levels (find out what testosterone is and how it affects you), stress, levels of physical activity, and more. To say that you will be as strong as an IPF athlete in your 40s and 50s is also a bit of an exaggeration.

However, you can probably be path stronger than you are right now in a few years if you would just start lifting. Even though the first time you visited a gym was at age 50, if you keep working out from then on, you will be stronger than ever by your 55th birthday. Easy like that.

It’s about consistency and showing up to the gym week after week, month after month. You will see results soon enough, but the real benefit of lifting 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 boxes with ease.

Don’t feel like signing up for a gym membership? Building a home gym in 2022 isn’t a radical idea either. All you need is some free weights and a decent weight bench. Don’t let age keep you from building muscle and losing weight; you can get in shape at over 40!

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