Eighteen months ago, I started a weightlifting journey that has changed my body and my outlook on feeling strong, capable, and confident. As a woman over 65, under 5 feet tall, and overweight, getting involved with barbell back squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and bench presses has been the most inspiring–and fun–experience.

My Numbers Speak Volumes

  • Deadlift: 185 lbs
  • Barbell Back Squat: 95 lbs
  • Front Squat: 80 lbs
  • Overhead Press: 65 lbs
  • Bench Press: 90 lbs

During this time frame, I’ve evolved from someone worried about dropping a 45 lb bar to a woman who knows she will eventually achieve a 205 lb deadlift. 

The Community of Strength

One powerful aspect of this journey has been the community of other weightlifters I’ve met, particularly other women. There’s support and respect in our shared experiences of lifting heavy weights and celebrating personal bests. The goals I see others set make me want to improve. 

Another is my pride and pleasure in my steady improvement. Although weightlifting takes commitment, what makes it work is consistency–showing up, day after day, week after week, to build muscle and work on form, often focusing on small movements that add up to bigger lifts and heavier weights.

The Unexpected Beauty of Lifting

DALL-E made this for me.

Lifting heavy has shown me that our bodies can build muscle and add strength, regardless of age or size. The compound movements of weightlifting, like squats and deadlifts, have toned my physique, enhanced my core strength, improved my balance, and helped my posture. These physical changes accompany a mental shift—a vision of myself as strong and physically powerful–at a time when much of the world sees women my age as weak and diminished. In addition, the concentration that lifting weight requires has become a great focusing tool, releasing tension and helping me think more clearly.

As I train with weights three to five times a week, I am excited to track the progress I see. Building this skill and sticking with this practice has already shown me how much focus, persistence, and habit can accomplish. From now on, I hope it only gets better.

Eighteen months ago, I started a weightlifting journey that has changed my body and my outlook on feeling strong, capable, and confident. As a woman over 65, under 5 feet tall, and overweight, getting involved with barbell back squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and bench presses has been the most inspiring–and fun–experience.

My Numbers Speak Volumes

  • Deadlift: 185 lbs
  • Barbell Back Squat: 95 lbs
  • Front Squat: 80 lbs
  • Overhead Press: 65 lbs
  • Bench Press: 90 lbs

During this time frame, I’ve evolved from someone worried about dropping a 45 lb bar to a woman who knows she will eventually achieve a 205 lb deadlift. 

The Community of Strength

One powerful aspect of this journey has been the community of other weightlifters I’ve met, particularly other women. There’s support and respect in our shared experiences of lifting heavy weights and celebrating personal bests. The goals I see others set make me want to improve. 

Another is my pride and pleasure in my steady improvement. Although weightlifting takes commitment, what makes it work is consistency–showing up, day after day, week after week, to build muscle and work on form, often focusing on small movements that add up to bigger lifts and heavier weights.

The Unexpected Beauty of Lifting

DALL-E made this for me.

Lifting heavy has shown me that our bodies can build muscle and add strength, regardless of age or size. The compound movements of weightlifting, like squats and deadlifts, have toned my physique, enhanced my core strength, improved my balance, and helped my posture. These physical changes accompany a mental shift—a vision of myself as strong and physically powerful–at a time when much of the world sees women my age as weak and diminished. In addition, the concentration that lifting weight requires has become a great focusing tool, releasing tension and helping me think more clearly.

As I train with weights three to five times a week, I am excited to track the progress I see. Building this skill and sticking with this practice has already shown me how much focus, persistence, and habit can accomplish. From now on, I hope it only gets better.