When I began participating in women’s bodybuilding, it was still a novel form of entertainment to certain unique individuals who found themselves attracted to the sport. I remember feeling misunderstood by my peers and also by those who interviewed or photographed me. When I look back, I think that bodybuilding allowed me the freedom I required to be obsessive about my body when other people my age were more concerned with going to school, or getting a good job.
Some people have suggested that I compete again in competitions for women over 50. Personally, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather not do! There’s something about the “sport” that seems strange and desperate to me. The thought of a group of middle-aged women prancing around on a stage in bikinis and high-heeled shoes isn’t something I aspire to do. You know the saying, “Been there, done that.” Well, I already have. However, I do respect women of a certain age who look and feel great because they’ve taken care of themselves.
Please don’t confuse my negative perception of the sport of bodybuilding with the benefits of weight training. There is a difference. Bodybuilding becomes an obsessive lifestyle where the body is obsessed over and worshiped. Bodybuilders spend hours staring at themselves in mirrors from every possible angle.
Conditioning with resistance weight training can be the most efficient way to condition the entire body. Working out with weights is a simple way to attack each individual muscle group. When you use lighter weights, you can also benefit by proper form and control during the repetition. I find it possible to achieve a nice muscle and tendon stretch through a full concentric and eccentric contraction. Many people of all ages receive excellent results in very little time working out with free weights and machines. When performed regularly, weight training will add lean body mass to your form and decrease stored body fat.
At age 50, I no longer feel the desire to punish myself with physical exercise. I don’t challenge myself by lifting a lot of weight, or training for long hours in the gym. I’m also not as concerned with how fast or how far I can run. My only real concern is that I’m still able to get a work out by lifting and running. For all I know, I may be the world’s slowest runner, but that’s O.K. because at least I can do it. If you have the desire to enter marathons when you become physically conditioned, then go for it! If it’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing, you should do it!
Our bodies were designed by our Creator to be functional and we should move with ease. For this reason, I prefer physical activity that doesn’t cause me to become too sore. That way, I’m more inclined to be consistent. I enjoy long hikes in the forest, galloping my horse down long open trails, and “Jowancing” (the word I made up to include jogging, walking and dancing altogether) to the rhythm of the beat. I also enjoy practicing yoga. Yoga clears my head, helps me relax and focus, and provides me with freer range of motion. Flexibility is very important to me because I’ve noticed my joints becoming stiffer with age and old injuries I didn’t notice when I was younger, beginning to haunt me. For the record, yoga is another excellent way to strengthen the upper and lower body, while also building a strong central core.
We can do this TOGETHER!
It’s not important to me if some people don’t agree with my opinions. I’m not here to make everyone like me or follow my lead. My program is not intended for everyone and I’m not trying to attract serious athletes who are already in condition. I’m here to encourage and inspire the person who is inactive, lacks motivation for whatever reason, and needs someone to encourage and guide them in the right direction. My clients are women of a certain age and lifestyle. You’re the woman who had many demands and sacrifices in your life. You were busy caring for husbands, children, and everybody else. In the process, you let yourselves go because you were the last one you took the time to care for.
But…that’s the past and this is today. Your life is about to change. This is your time to shine!
The first thing I want to help you do is determine which physical activities you enjoy doing. I want you to look forward to exercise because it makes you feel good! Once we decide what it is you can do and enjoy doing, we’ll create a workout plan around those activities. You may have heard the saying that goes, “No pain, No gain.” Forget about that! Exercise doesn’t need to be about pain. As we age, we need to stay active and flexible. The last thing we’d want is to be discouraged by pain or injury. The point here is that you get off the couch and start moving! In order to reap the benefits of fitness, you need to do it regularly. If that means starting out slow, a little bit at a time, then that’s fine. That’s what we’ll do. This is your program and it’s got to work for you.
If you want to lift weights to become conditioned, I can help you there too! In fact, I will design a plan around the health club if you prefer that.
I want you to become an active, healthy and happy woman that enjoys who you are and is comfortable in your body.