Middle-aged lady just starting weight lifting -- help!

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My husband and boys have a weight bench in the garage. I am noticing how weak I am and would like to give the weights a try. I do not know where to start.

My family are rugby players, cross-fitters, and tackle-football people. I don't want their advice. :)

So, can anyone point me toward some advice for a middle-aged woman (healthy weight) to begin using that weight bench?

Thank you!

Replies

  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
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    Actually I would not worry about the bench for now. Master your own bodyweight then move on to added resistance.

    Master pushups, bodyweight squats\lunges, etc first.
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
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    Thank you! I already do lots of squats (about 100 per day), some pushups (hate them), planks, hand-weights, etc. and tons of walking.

    I thought perhaps the bench presses that I see my boys doing could help me with the dreaded pushups.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    i touched my first barbell at 49 (basically).

    so my intro sources were

    - stronglifts 5x5 (for the programme format - i don't grok the hysterical-marketer attitude much)
    - starting strength third edition for the form and mechanics. there are things in it that i don't subscribe to for myself anymore, but still a very big source of lightbulbs for me.

    tons and tons of google, and then among all the different sources that gave, it was buyer beware. i like alan thrall, like a good bit of the mark bell 'visiting expert' stuff that i've seen, and i used to really really like elliot hulse in his teaching mode before he jumped the metaphysical shark and started making me cringe. and of course there's a lot of footage out there of mark rippetoe actually coaching the principles of starting strength.

    and yee hah! another of us \o/
  • GrayRider61
    GrayRider61 Posts: 337 Member
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    Check out nerdfitness.com for a great beginner bodyweight workout.
  • juliewatkin
    juliewatkin Posts: 764 Member
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    I started lifting in my early 40's. A website I came across that helped quite a bit with form and great articles is https://stumptuous.com/
  • susanp57
    susanp57 Posts: 409 Member
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    Your age or your gender have nothing to do with it. Your problem is a lack of knowledge. The above suggestions are fine. Another would be a couple of sessions with a personal trainer who can personalize a workout for you. Also take a look at the bodyweight workout in Strong Curves. There are a few small items of equipment suggested for it.

    HTH,
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,619 Member
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    Stronglifts is great, only 5 lifts to learn. Watch some videos and practice good form. If the empty bar is too heavy for bench or OHP, use dumbbells to start.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    i am 50 and love weights. Since you dont want your kids or husband helping you, which i can understand, See If you can find a trainer in your area and get a few sessions on proper form and technique.

    And dont hesitate to get on the bench press. Use a broom stick or piece of PVC pile to feel the movement, and it feels ok, have your husband spot you with the bar. If you have dumbbells, you can grab a couple and use the bench for a million great exercises. Look into programs, like strong lifts or strong curves. And there is a lot you can do with a bench and some weights, more than just the conventional bench press.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Actually I would not worry about the bench for now. Master your own bodyweight then move on to added resistance.

    Master pushups, bodyweight squats\lunges, etc first.

    i totally disagree. bench press is an awesome exercise and any generally healthy person can do it at any level.
  • erienneb66
    erienneb66 Posts: 88 Member
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    I'm younger but a female and I started lifting while I was really heavy. In the past year I have been lifting I haven't lost weight until recently but I lost about a clothing size just from lifting but admittedly not paying attention to food till about a month ago (which is when I totally started losing weight).

    I LOVE lifting. I do the bench deadlift and squat. But I started with a trainer to make sure my form was OK before I started doing the progressive load. Bench is my weakest lift but it's still great. As long as you have the form down, these lifts are great and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • AliceDark
    AliceDark Posts: 3,886 Member
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    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Actually I would not worry about the bench for now. Master your own bodyweight then move on to added resistance.

    Master pushups, bodyweight squats\lunges, etc first.

    Why? She doesn't need to be able to do a push-up before doing dumbbell presses or even bench pressing the empty bar. She could also easily start out doing goblet squats or squatting the empty bar (depending on the setup she has available) vs. doing just a bodyweight squat. If she has appropriate equipment available, there's no reason (barring injury or other extenuating circumstance, which she hasn't mentioned) that she shouldn't use it.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
    edited July 2017
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    SonyaCele wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Actually I would not worry about the bench for now. Master your own bodyweight then move on to added resistance.

    Master pushups, bodyweight squats\lunges, etc first.

    i totally disagree. bench press is an awesome exercise and any generally healthy person can do it at any level.

    Agreed. A person doing a full pushup is lifting about 65% of bodyweight. That means that a 150 pound person would be lifting 97.5 lbs. Most women are not going to start out benching anywhere near that but could certainly start out with lighter weights on bench press (dumbbells or a bar.) I don't see a reason to wait.

  • annaskiski
    annaskiski Posts: 1,212 Member
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    I second Stronglift 5x5. I has a good phone app, and just a few exercises to master....
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
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    jemhh wrote: »
    SonyaCele wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Actually I would not worry about the bench for now. Master your own bodyweight then move on to added resistance.

    Master pushups, bodyweight squats\lunges, etc first.

    i totally disagree. bench press is an awesome exercise and any generally healthy person can do it at any level.

    Agreed. A person doing a full pushup is lifting about 65% of bodyweight. That means that a 150 pound person would be lifting 97.5 lbs. Most women are not going to start out benching anywhere near that but could certainly start out with lighter weights on bench press (dumbbells or a bar.) I don't see a reason to wait.

    Thank you for this! Pushups are so hard for me, even after working at them for months and months. I did try the bench press with just about 30 pounds and it felt pretty good -- really doable for a starting place. And, no, I certainly couldn't have lifted 90 pounds. :)
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,442 Member
    edited July 2017
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    Here's a great thread to read through, @7elizamae. For what it's worth, I started with Stronglifts 5X5 at 39 years old, and am now competing in powerlifting, 3 years later.

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1