Read 'women lifting heavy'! if you lift heavy, what do you do? Especially if you are over 40.

If you're on a program, what is it. If not, what is your typical week? It was much easier in my 30s to lean out. I have been struggling since hitting 40 not only with my weight but with flab. I lifted a lot in my 30s but doesn't seem to be working in my 40s...looking for new ideas.

Currently I lift 3 days a week and do cardio 4-5 times. My lifting right now is 3 days of full body. So 1 arm and 1 leg each set 4 sets. Trish


  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,602 Member
    My friend and I did stronglifts 5x5. I'm under 40 and she turned 49 this year. We have had great results. Your diet, as well as consistency and progressively lifting heavier, will play a major role in how well any program will work for you.
  • VegasFit
    VegasFit Posts: 1,232 Member
    Right now I do a split routine and usually 20 minutes of interval stepmill 3-4 days a week. Those workouts my boyfriend writes for me or I pull from magazines or or other web sources. Besides that I take boot camp style classes that incorporate a variety of resistance levels, high rep, low rep, body weight for rep count or time. It just varies. I know the classes have benefited me the most in progressing in the last couple years because they are things I would not do on my own.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,262 Member
    I'm 39 but hopefully it is okay to answer :)

    I do Wendler's 5/3/1. It's four days per week, though you can arrange it to be three days (or even two really.) I like it because of the slower weight progression. Some weeks I arrange it MWFS and some weeks MTRF, depending on my schedule. I do cardio (mostly walking but sometimes a bike or running) two times a week.
  • rrrca
    rrrca Posts: 8 Member
    crossfit, all you need. the snatch complexes I was doing my first week left me so sore.
  • WakkoW
    WakkoW Posts: 567 Member
    I'm 43. I'm pretty active, and personally don't find weight management any different than in my 20's or 30's. It has always been a matter of intake vs output. I lift 4 days a week and run 6-7 days. I've also been pretty consistent with some sort of weight training mixed with running for the last 15+ years so I guess that helps. Programs have varied in the years and there have been times when I took longer than anticipated breaks, but muscle memory is real. Currently my focus is on the Olympic lifts (snatch and clean & jerk).

    Leaning out is mostly diet. If you are trying to lose fat, carefully count your calories. Lifting is great for maintaining muscle mass. For beginners, I would say find a full body lifting program to do 3 times a week and alternate with cardio 3 times a week with a full day of rest. Whatever you choose for cardio, do some intervals to mix it up.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    I'm 40, about to be over 40 :wink:

    I've not lifted for the past month, but when I was, I was doing All-Pro's intermediate 2 program. I did Starting Strength to get going, and Wendler's 5/3/1 after. Wendler's didn't work as well for me so I switched quickly. I tend to cheat if I don't have a solid number of reps I know I need to do. I was running by then and was tired a lot of the time. 1+ often just ended up as 1 when it should have been more.
  • TnTWalter
    TnTWalter Posts: 345 Member
    thanks. my diet has been my main struggle. i've gotten much better with keeping calories down but have been thinking about all the time i spend lifting and not really seeing results and want to get intense. got to replace the flab with something. ;o) i was looking into the 5/5 and 5/3/1 so i'll do more research. keep replies coming.
  • VegasFit
    VegasFit Posts: 1,232 Member
    I agree with Wakkow about the weight management. My losses or gains have always broken down to my diet. But I do know that I've been lucky enough to not have any hormonal issues or have to take any medication that might effect weight gain. I do go in for regular check ups and blood work so if you feel like you are doing everything else right and still struggling that might be something to look into.
  • WakkoW
    WakkoW Posts: 567 Member
    TnTWalter wrote: »
    thanks. my diet has been my main struggle. i've gotten much better with keeping calories down but have been thinking about all the time i spend lifting and not really seeing results and want to get intense. got to replace the flab with something. ;o) i was looking into the 5/5 and 5/3/1 so i'll do more research. keep replies coming.

    Well, you aren't completely wasting your time even if you haven't shed the fat yet to see the muscles underneath. You are stronger and and if you keep it up will be better prepared for old age. The older I get, the more I'm motivated by the thought of being able to keep active as I age.

    Diet is the thing I think many of us struggle with, but you can't out run or out lift a bad diet.

  • canary_girl
    canary_girl Posts: 366 Member
    I lift moderate (fail around 9-10), cycle (spin class) and run intervals on the treadmill mon-fri. I eat high protein, high fiber, lower carb. I don't worry about fat, but I likely eat a lot of it (nuts, lots of guacamole, and sriracha mayo is to die for). I've lost 40 lbs over the course of 8 months. I'm at a healthy weight, but would like to lose maybe 3-5% more of my body fat.

    I do Body by Design. It's back/biceps, chest/triceps, shoulders/legs, usually m,w,f.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
    Im over 40. i power lift conjugate method, and i eat lots of protein.
  • mamasmaltz3
    mamasmaltz3 Posts: 1,111 Member
    edited August 2015
    I'm 40 years old. I started lifting heavy about 2 1/2 years ago. First barbell program was Stronglifts. After I stalled out on that program I switched to Wendler's 5-3-1. I ran about 6-7 cycles of that then had an adductor pull that i had to work around. I do my own variation of 5-3-1 now, based on how I'm feeling. I just competed in my first powerlifting competition where I squatted 305lbs, deadlifted 315lbs and bench pressed 160lbs. I'm totally hooked. I had a blast at the competition.

    I lost over 70lbs about three years ago. I gained back about 15lbs and am looking at starting a cut soon to drop a weight class. I'm never going to be skinny, but the lifting has made me love my body like I never have in my life. I want to be strong and I'm not willing to lose strength in order to be smaller. My cut will be very slow and it will probably take several months to lose 15lbs. As long as my lifts keep going up, I'm good.
  • TnTWalter
    TnTWalter Posts: 345 Member
    edited August 2015
    for me, it has been much different in my 40s than my 30s. I was able to get lean quickly in my 30s. I have been lifting since I was 32 when I first decided to get fit after giving birth to 3 kids within 3.5 years. I was never heavy until my 3rd then I became a marshmallow. LOL. But once I decided, it only took 9 months to get fit and lean [went from 42% body fat to 16-18%]. Stayed that way throughout my 30s. I would go up and down in lean-ness but could easily drop down if needed.

    From 40-42 I had some friends die and turned to wine and food AND became sedentary.

    I have spent >2 years trying to get back to fit.

    Here is me at 37/38

    anyway so it's frustrating. I am starting to see some muscle and my tummy is getting better. It's just slooow going. Thanks for all the tips and advice. Feel free to friend me so you can keep me accountable on diet and exercise! :O)
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,551 Member
    it always is. Probably the number one reason people fail at this game is they lack patience.

    settle in for the long haul and just keep doing the things.
  • ExRelaySprinter
    ExRelaySprinter Posts: 874 Member
    I'm 49 and i've started doing Stronglifts 5x5 three times a week
    I also do a HIIT type workout after i lift and go running for 1/2 an hour 3 times a week.
    OP you look great in that photo!
    I'm sure you'll get there again,..Good Luck.
  • pmm3437
    pmm3437 Posts: 529 Member
    Your doing it right, strength training to maintain/increase muscle mass, and overall exercising to help keep up your TDEE.

    Biologically, everyone starts to lose muscle mass naturally in their late 30's to early 40's, and it continues for the rest of our lives. That is part of the reason why its gets harder.

    Other factors cause/contribute our BMR starting to taper off and down slope.

    For those of us that do, we use a combination of exercise and better nutrition to account for and combat this natural change.

    We have to work harder at it, so we have to want it more.

    GL in your journey, and keep your head up. As least your making the effort to change your life and health for the better, and you are seeing results.