It’s never too late to get strong as you age – and powerlifting for seniors is one of the easiest and most productive sports to pick up. When I say powerlifting, you might think it’s a young person’s game, but that couldn’t be further from the truth as 71-year-old Toni Wolfe has found out. The Australian great-grandmother recently set a world masters powerlifting record in the Global Powerlifting Committee competition. With a record-breaking 140kg deadlift at 69.5kg bodyweight! We examine powerlifting for seniors – even if you have no experience.
Health Benefits of powerlifting as you age
Reason 1: It’s Not What You Think It Is
Powerlifting sounds like it’s going to ruin your joints, destroy your body, and is cut out for the toughest people.
“The reality is the opposite: strength training is one of the safest things you can do for your body and powerlifting has one of the lowest injury-per-hour rates of any sport.
You stay safe as you build both strength and muscle mass. Regular training produces stronger bones, healthier joints, better core strength, and protects you from long-term muscle weakness.
It’s also friendly and welcoming, with a community of likeminded people who want to see you succeed.
This makes it one of the best sports to get into as you age, where the social impact is huge, and everyone is super happy to see you. Everyone loves older competitors prove that athletic success has no age limit! See here for getting started, powerlifting for over 50.
Reason 2: Powerlifting for Seniors -It’s Essential for Health
The way you age isn’t just a slide toward frailty – it’s all about what you do.
Age doesn’t mean decline; it means your body starts to reflect your lifestyle. Adding strength training is one of the best ways to combat age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) and strength/power loss (dynopenia).
These are two of the most common conditions associated with lower quality of life, loss of independence, and early death as we age.
An 80-year-old weightlifter has the muscles and skeleton of a 40-year-old person. It’s hard to overstate the powers of strength training to prevent frailty and reduce the effects of aging on the muscles and bones.
Powerlifting training is a safe, healthy, proactive way to improve your health and even reverse the negative effects of aging by building muscle.
Other amazing benefits include:
Easier weight management
Stronger bones: Prevent loss of bone density
Significant improvement to mental health
Improved metabolic health and insulin control
Improved heart and circulatory system health
Better long-term cognition and ‘brain aging’
Better sleep quality
Improved mental health & cognition
It’s hard to argue with benefits to every area of your life!
Reason 3: Powerlifting for Seniors – You can be competitive whenever you start
Many athletic traits will sharply decline with time – no matter what you do, you can’t be as fast as a 21-year-old.
However, strength is persistent. You can build strength easily whatever your experience, and without damaging yourself. You can become – and remain – strong for much longer than most other changes to the body.
Getting strong can happen at any age and it can happen quickly, in relative terms. For example, a few years of powerlifting training can make you competitive in your local or national masters powerlifting federations – and what’s a few years?
Time brings maturity and perspective, hopefully, and it can be converted into smarter, more effective training than your average 20-something. If you focus on sustainability and the right approach, you can become competitive at any age.
It’s no exaggeration to say that regular strength training can be the fountain of youth, health, and happiness we’re all looking for. Powerlifting in particular is a sociable, supportive sport full of people who appreciate long-term growth and health.
If you’re looking for a new way to exercise and socialise, but you don’t enjoy cardio, then try powerlifting. It’s far more accessible than you might think.
Check out your local powerlifting societies and barbell clubs – where you’ll find friendly trainees and experienced coaches – try the USAPL club finder for your local affiliated club.
Get started now to boost your health, find new confidence, and prove to yourself that you’ve got what it takes to become really strong.
Challenge the status quo!
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