Today, I went to the YMCA for strength training. I did 10 minutes or so on the bike, then did the weight machines and a few free weights. But, one thing I really noticed were all the older women in the weight room. I mean these were really older. They looked to mostly be in their 70s. I must have seen at least 10 exercising there in under an hour.
Going to the Y at mid-afternoon on a weekday is a great time to go. The weight room is usually not that crowded so there aren’t long waits for most machines. At that time of day, you mostly get those who don’t work 9 to jobs. There are some college students, some who work flexible or later hours, some who maybe work from home, and the largest group — retirees.
So, it wasn’t unusual to see a lot of older people in the weight room. And, as usual, more were men than women. But, what really struck me today was that there were lot of these older women and they all seemed to be regular users of the weight room. Most were mostly using the machines, but they all seemed to be experienced and were often lifting weights much higher than I lift.
While I was using the leg curl machine, I noticed a woman using the chest press machine across the way. I couldn’t help but notice that she was lifting a weight several times higher than I do. I have never had much upper body strength and that is what went the first with my time off from strength training. As a result, I can only lift a very low weight. She was lifting more, though, than I lifted after almost a year of working with a personal trainer. And, she looked to be at least 80 years old! I couldn’t help but notice that almost all of these women were very trim and all moved around pretty easily. Yes, I could see that most of them were at least 10 year older than I am. I just hope that I am where they are when I get to that point.
It was a good reminder that even into later life, it is possible to strength train and that a lot of benefits can come from it. It was truly inspiring to watch.