You know you've reached middle age when your weightlifting consists merely of standing up. ~ Bob Hope
- Get big.
- Get ripped.
- Get shredded, brah.
That didn't appeal to me at 21, much less at 51. But here I am, hitting the weights three times a week.
You do the three times a week to not be weak. It has nothing to do with being buff, or whatever the bros are calling it these days.
Getting stronger when you're older flat out makes your life better, and I'm always down with that. Let's take a look.
Being strong doesn't suck
Of course, having a bit of muscle isn't a bad thing. In addition to the aesthetic enhancements, being stronger can come in handy if you've fallen and perhaps would prefer to get up.
Strength training is also useful for encouraging your uppity teenage progeny to think twice about testing you. Just saying.
But there are lesser known reasons to lift heavy things in middle age. Things like slowing muscle loss, building up connective tissue, helping with weight loss, improving balance, boosting bone health, easing arthritis, and getting better sleep.
The benefits of strength training run deep
Nicholas Rizzo is on a quest to get you to lift weights at middle age and beyond. “There is this misconception that older aged individuals should stay away from any strenuous activity that can build strength like weightlifting,” Rizzo maintains. “Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Plus, the science says you're actually in trouble if you're not lifting:
The data revealed that adults 65 years and older who strength trained twice a week had a 46% lower mortality rate and that strength training reduces all causes of death, including cancer and cardiac death.
We're not senior citizens yet, Further faithful. But it stands to reason that if we can start adding reasonable amounts of muscle now, we'll be better prepared for our later years.
Plus, you should see these guns … brah.
10 Surprising Health Benefits of Strength Training (Appetite for Health)