Strength training for women in their 40's

Strength Training in my 40’s: By Jen Oliak

Lately, my fitness goals have changed from running to strength training. Now that I am in my 40’s, I feel that strength training is becoming more and more important.

I love to run, but over the years I’ve noticed that JUST running does nothing to build muscle strength. In my younger years, I could get away with no weight training and still look fit. I’ve always hated resistance training. But my forties woke me up to the fact that I can no longer avoid it.

So I joined a gym named Beastie 24/7 late last year. It took me several months before I looked forward to going — just like when I started my running routine. I felt clumsy. I felt weak.

The exercises did not feel good. They felt tedious. My hands hurt from the bars. I hated touching the dirty floor during my push ups and burpees. I would take breaks in the middle of my repetitions when the trainers weren’t looking. I hated doing sprints up the hill on Sepulveda Blvd while the bored people in cars would watch.

Every morning I was scheduled to go, I would have to psych myself up to make it to class. It helped that my friend, Pauline, signed up with me. We forced each other to go, even when we desperately wanted to skip.

We decided a good way to measure our progress with our strength training was with pull ups. When we tried on the bars by our running path at the beach, neither of us could do even one. It was deflating, but we kept going to Beastie.

Finally, after a few months of consistent workouts at Beastie, I was able to get up on the bars! One chin up! I was so excited. I started to feel stronger. Push ups started feeling more comfortable. I wasn’t getting as out of breath on sprints. I bought a pair of grip gloves to use for the bars and the dirty ground. I stopped cheating on my reps and I started to push myself.

Another 6 weeks later, I could do almost 3 chin ups (half way)! I got to know the trainers better. I got to know the others that were in my classes. I started to look forward to seeing everyone.

Two more months, and now I can do 7 half way chin ups! I feel so strong. I am now one of the strongest in my class, and I am increasing my weights. If I don’t make it to class, I don’t feel right.

This process is teaching me that we CAN get better in anything we make a commitment to. It’s never too late to get in shape.

Making healthy living a part of our lives is so important. So challenge yourself. Find something you want for your health and make a plan to do it. Do not give up. Once you start to see improvement, your mindset will shift. You will achieve your goals.

My next phase with my pull ups is to do FULL chin ups, not just half way downs. And after I reach that goal, I will aim for full pull ups. I know in time and with consistent training, I will get there! What is YOUR goal? Go for it!

If your goal is to start running, click here to see my post about how to start.  If your goal is to run a marathon, read about my New York Marathon journey. If you want to see me being goofy at the 2016 Rock n Roll LA Half Marathon, there are some funny Halloween pictures. And for some more inspiration, click here to see my post about videos I love.  Scroll down and watch “The Most Inspiring Video You Will Ever Watch.”  You will love it.

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.