Older weight lifters???

Should older adults (Let’s say 50 years +) lift weights? I get asked this question a lot so here’s my answer.

In a word….YES

Research has shown that weight training has a large number of benefits for older people. Including (but not limited to)….

  • Feeling better both physically and psychologically
  • Helping to control weight
  • Improving metabolism
  • Helping lower blood pressure
  • Helping lower cholesterol
  • Helping control diabetes
  • Improving bone and joint problems like arthritis
  • Helping to reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Helping to reduce the risk of a stroke
  • Helping to manage pain.
  • Helping to maintain and increase joint movement
  • Improving balance
  • Helping with getting quality sleep
  • Increasing muscle mass
  • Increasing bone density

Current guidelines recommend that older adults perform strength training exercises two to three days a week.

In my experience, as long as the adult is healthy there is not major reason for them not to get into the weights section and perform the same sort of exercises as ‘younger’ adults (Even if there are pre-existing injuries work arounds are always available)

I’m not saying that cardio fitness is no longer important; of course it is, but the long list of weight training benefits shouldn’t be overlooked. As people age, fundamental movements that we take for granted on a daily basic can become that much more difficult (Climbing stairs, sitting on the couch, getting down on the ground to play with the grandchildren) it makes sense to try and offset these and stay strong and in control.

Focus on movements like:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Chest Press
  • Rows
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Hip Thrusts
  • Lunges

We don’t have to be trying to set new world records for weight lifting with these exercises, in some cases body weight will suffice.


I firmly believe that progressive resistance training should be encouraged among healthy older adults to help minimise the loss of muscle mass and strength as they age. This in turn will improve balance/flexibility/mobility and drastically reduce the chance of falls which is a big worry within the older population.

As always, I would suggest seeking professional help from someone qualified to give you guidance.