I'm finishing up on my second week of the challenge and am still needing to increase weights, which I am doing gradually. I'm wondering what I can aspire to. How many pounds are the women over 50 who are doing the challenge or have completed the challenge able to left?
I'm not quite over 50 (close!), but perhaps can share my experiences to help. I'm in week 9 and have done BFL several times. At this stage, I have barely increased my weights, especially my upper body weights. I use freeweights (dumbbells), and the highest weight I use is 12 lbs per arm (and not even that for some exercises). In the last couple of weeks, I've added 1.5 pound wrist weights just to get a slight increase. I hit my nines nearly every time, but I don't often hit 10's during my upper body workouts. This seems to work for me, as I am feeling stronger and am definitely seeing toned muscles, and I have lost over an inch of flab per arm. Progress!
I think if you try to go too heavy too soon, you could compromise form. I believe BFL states to never compromise form for weights. I also think that you should aspire to only go as heavy as is comfortable for YOU. Better to stay true to proper form than to think you need to go heavier too soon. We women aren't going to bulk like men. As long as you are lifting properly and reaching your high points, you will see results. Listen to your body!
Congrats on finishing your second week! Keep us updated!
Hi Jennie and Elle,
Ok, I'll be 50 soon. I've been working out for 39 years consistently and been insured a number of times... My advice to you is to take it slow. When I tried BFL 3 or 4 yrs. ago I kept on increasing cause I thought I could and I ended up with a pulled back and was out of commission for 3 months and took another 3 or 6 to get back at all (also gained a ton of weight) then I also hurt my shoulder and that took several months to heal, my right quad (caught that in time) but was out of legs for several weeks and most recently, bicep tendonitis...
Right now I start with 10's and end up with 15's for biceps, back and triceps. Chest I'm up to 20lbs. but when I bench press I have a 45 pound bar and add 5's and 10's on each side. Whatever I can do that day. Back lat P/D machine, up to 50 but I am not pushing it further... Biceps I start with 5's and don't go past 10's for now. and squats, I use 10's and 15's, lunges I am using 5's and 10's.
It's not worth the injuries and setbacks to keep increasing. I'd say keep that weight for at least 4 workouts and then decide from there...
I am 51. I use all free weights. I have worked up to 15 lb free weights on certain exercises only. The rest of the time, I use a variation from 3 lb to 10 lb weights. It depends on which exercises you are doing, and I use the chart in the book as a guideline. I do my best to increase more on the set of 6 reps. When I can do more weight, I do.
I am in week 11, and firming up nicely. I will need to do a second challenge because I'm not where I'd like to be yet.
You will come to know how much to push yourself. It is a balance between increasing strength and injury. I keep thinking that If I injure myself, it's all over. Be sensible, but always strive to do more.
© Abbott Laboratories,2013