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View Full Version : True or False: Women over 50 cannot build muscle?



georgiehopper
11-25-2009, 05:38 PM
I was just told by a PT that it is physiologically impossible for me (a woman over 50) to build muscle. He said I can only make the muscle more dense and that I should be focusing on other types of working out instead of lifting heavy.

I would like to see some opinions on this as this is very disconcerting for me.

Emoore
11-25-2009, 06:16 PM
Of course you can. Where did this guy get his certification, a gumball machine? Ask him to show you sources. Oh, that's right, there are no reputable sources showing that women over 50 can't build muscle.

freebirdmac
11-25-2009, 06:21 PM
He does NOT know what in the hell he is talking about! No question. Run far, far away from that dude. I certainly am gaining muscle and did not start lifting until 48. I'm up a good 4 pounds since July (hit 50 in Aug), no discernible increase in body fat, legs up almost 3/4", relaxed arms up 1/4", back muscles showing that weren't there before... Hell there are studies on pubmed where the subjects were much older women and they showed how they could increase lean muscle mass.

What an unknowledgeable jerk.

georgiehopper
11-25-2009, 06:27 PM
He said the reason is that women over 50 produce no testosterone and that is what builds muscle.

Emoore
11-25-2009, 06:41 PM
A recent study in the Public Library of Science showed that women over 65 (not 50) did have a more difficult time utilizing protein to build muscle mass than either men of the same age or premenopausal women, partially because they make less testosterone. Note I did not say they made no testosterone. However, the study ended up recommending that women over 65 eat more protein and train with weights in order to build and maintain strength.

If you lift weights and eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, you will build strength and, to a lesser degree, some muscle size. You'll have a harder time with bulking than would a woman in her 20s or 30s, but you absolutely can get stronger and firmer.

What exactly did he recommend you do? Chair aerobics? People like this make me hesitant to call myself a PT. There should be a "non-moron PT" certification.

freebirdmac
11-25-2009, 06:52 PM
He said the reason is that women over 50 produce no testosterone and that is what builds muscle.

He really is a loser. We still have testosterone. Not as much as before, but it doesn't go to zero. In addition, heavy lifting stimulates testosterone production!

SophieM
11-25-2009, 06:53 PM
The closest I found to anything like that is this article, but it's for people 80 and older.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331091250.htm

freebirdmac
11-25-2009, 07:03 PM
Pay special attention to the latter part of page 6/column 2
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/pmc/articles/PMC1332466/?page=1

Seriously, that person knows nothing.

princessTiffany
11-25-2009, 11:13 PM
I'm looking for another reason to bust this picture out. . ....

http://www.stumptuous.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/reader_gayle_3_page-banner.jpg
Article: http://www.stumptuous.com/old-broads-the-golden-years-of-pumping-iron

Other link: http://www.agelesstraining.com/indexx.htm
The above site is the site of Kelly Nelson, I think.
Article on her: http://ezinearticles.com/?Did-You-Hear-the-One-About-the-77-Year-Old-Body-Building-Grandma?&id=579918

Morjorie Newlin: She is 87
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAUQd1xfyPs
http://www.chestnuthilllocal.com/issues/2006.09.14/images/091406locallife111.jpg
http://pdn.philly.com/2004/08/25/newlin.jpg

KyleAaron
11-26-2009, 01:11 AM
False, false, false, false.

Also false.

And total bollocks.

Women can build less muscle than men, older people less than younger people. But it is possible for anyone not entirely crippled to build some muscle, and it is possible for everyone to increase strength, fitness and flexibility.

Tell your PT to come visit me so I can correct his myths and misapprehensions. I always enjoy that.

sargefit
11-26-2009, 02:02 AM
Just do it, then go back to him in a year (except he probably wont be a PT in a year) show him what you have done and prove him wrong.

No wonder us PT's get a bad name.

KyleAaron
11-26-2009, 03:04 AM
I know sarge, it's embarrassing innit. Bad enough here Down Under and we have national accreditations and everything, unlike the Americans.

Unless you have a severed spinal cord somewhere around your neck, you can build muscle.

georgiehopper
11-26-2009, 03:49 AM
He told me to stop doing the hip adductor/abductor machines. I told him I was doing 210 pounds with them (Yeah, I know this isn't true weight) I have lost an inch of my hips which I directly attribute to using these machines. I figured starting out again, the machines would be good to use for the short term.

He doesn't want me to target specific areas, but instead do "exercises" that work the whole body and burn fat. Like a Jillian Michaels workout. ...and I don't want that. I told him that I don't need to lose 100 pounds or even 15... all I want to lose is 7 pounds.

He also said to stop the calf machine (doing 85 pounds with that)

But I LIKE doing this type of thing and not what he says I should do.

He is an online PT that I signed up with, so I'm just going to cancel. I signed up with him to have someone give me a "program" to follow. I figured a professional would be able to steer me in the right direction.

Oh well...

Thanks for all your replies...makes me feel better

strong kathy
11-26-2009, 05:40 AM
He told me to stop doing the hip adductor/abductor machines. I told him I was doing 210 pounds with them (Yeah, I know this isn't true weight) I have lost an inch of my hips which I directly attribute to using these machines. I figured starting out again, the machines would be good to use for the short term.

He doesn't want me to target specific areas, but instead do "exercises" that work the whole body and burn fat. Like a Jillian Michaels workout. ...and I don't want that. I told him that I don't need to lose 100 pounds or even 15... all I want to lose is 7 pounds.

He also said to stop the calf machine (doing 85 pounds with that)

But I LIKE doing this type of thing and not what he says I should do.

He is an online PT that I signed up with, so I'm just going to cancel. I signed up with him to have someone give me a "program" to follow. I figured a professional would be able to steer me in the right direction.

Oh well...

Thanks for all your replies...makes me feel better

False. I'm 51 and stilll gaining in strength and size .

Workin_on_it
11-26-2009, 06:03 AM
Just do it, then go back to him in a year (except he probably wont be a PT in a year) show him what you have done and prove him wrong.

No wonder us PT's get a bad name.

I agree, go do it! Give it your all and don't EVER let someone else tell you what you can and can't do! Each person is an individual and results will vary, but, to state an ignorant comment such as that?? I don't think so! Now, back to the gym and hit those weights!! :)

Tiffany_P
11-26-2009, 06:24 AM
He told me to stop doing the hip adductor/abductor machines. I told him I was doing 210 pounds with them (Yeah, I know this isn't true weight) I have lost an inch of my hips which I directly attribute to using these machines. I figured starting out again, the machines would be good to use for the short term.

He doesn't want me to target specific areas, but instead do "exercises" that work the whole body and burn fat. Like a Jillian Michaels workout. ...and I don't want that. I told him that I don't need to lose 100 pounds or even 15... all I want to lose is 7 pounds.

He also said to stop the calf machine (doing 85 pounds with that)

But I LIKE doing this type of thing and not what he says I should do.

He is an online PT that I signed up with, so I'm just going to cancel. I signed up with him to have someone give me a "program" to follow. I figured a professional would be able to steer me in the right direction.

Oh well...

Thanks for all your replies...makes me feel better

To be fair, his advice, if misguided, is not terrible. Full body workouts are great. For someone new to working out, they will yield the fastest results and build the most muscle. Compound movements are the foundation of any good muscle building program. You can certainly incorporate the calf machine and the adductor/abductor machines into your workout, but you'll get much better results if you focus on squats, deadlifts and lunges, which train the major muscle groups like quads, glutes and hamstrings while also using hip abductors, adductors and calf muscles for stabilization. So, he's right, but for the wrong reasons. You CAN build muscle at your age, but you won't get very far if you focus on the small ones.

georgiehopper
11-26-2009, 06:35 AM
To be fair, his advice, if misguided, is not terrible. Full body workouts are great. For someone new to working out, they will yield the fastest results and build the most muscle. Compound movements are the foundation of any good muscle building program. You can certainly incorporate the calf machine and the adductor/abductor machines into your workout, but you'll get much better results if you focus on squats, deadlifts and lunges, which train the major muscle groups like quads, glutes and hamstrings while also using hip abductors, adductors and calf muscles for stabilization. So, he's right, but for the wrong reasons. You CAN build muscle at your age, but you won't get very far if you focus on the small ones.

Yes, I currently do squats and lunges...but kind of afraid of deadlifts. I do a whole routine of things and try to use the bigger muscle groups before working on the smaller ones. It's just the hip machines are among my favorites so I like to use them.

I have been doing upper body and core 2 days a week, and lower body and core 2 other days a week. I do core stuff pretty much every day

One thing: I have a left thumb injury so am limited and use a lifting hook for that hand. I didn't want to tell the guy that though, because he would have really thought I'm ready for the old folks home.

I'm not new to working out or lifting weights..I just stopped doing it religiously for a long time.

Emoore
11-26-2009, 07:28 AM
Don't be afraid of deadlifts; they're one of the best excercises you can possibly do. The ability to safely lift a heavy object off the floor is very important. Start off light, get somebody to make sure you're doing it right, and work up from there.

Kate1
11-26-2009, 07:57 AM
Tell him BULL****!

I didn't start lifting again until I was 3 months shy of my 50th birthday. In the past year I have added muscle, lost fat and gone from a size 18 jeans to a size 6.

In addition, I am 25 lbs heavier than I was in college, but wearing smaller size jeans. You CAN do this. I am living proof. Went from barely being able to hack squat the 65 lb bar, and now am up to 255 lbs. I am so much happier & healthier!

Kate1
11-26-2009, 08:01 AM
I also just started doing deadlifts in the past 3 weeks - I do stiff legged deads 70 lbs, 3 sets of 10. Love them!

sargefit
11-27-2009, 02:02 AM
To be fair, his advice, if misguided, is not terrible. Full body workouts are great. For someone new to working out, they will yield the fastest results and build the most muscle. Compound movements are the foundation of any good muscle building program. You can certainly incorporate the calf machine and the adductor/abductor machines into your workout, but you'll get much better results if you focus on squats, deadlifts and lunges, which train the major muscle groups like quads, glutes and hamstrings while also using hip abductors, adductors and calf muscles for stabilization. So, he's right, but for the wrong reasons. You CAN build muscle at your age, but you won't get very far if you focus on the small ones.

Yes I too can now see his reasoning for general populations.

However, if a client came to me (one of the problems of online PT's is no face to face time, after all would you trust an online doctor or dentist?) and wanted a bodybuilding programme then thats what they would get.

Now sort of siding with him for a bit I would recommend if you are new to bodybuilding or returning from a long break for the first 3 months I would give a client something like starting strength. Get all the main lifts in, build up some decent strength with the compound moves that will help when we start to go with a little more isolation.

Is it possible to find a local PT for a couple of sessions to get you over the deadlift hurdle. I always say that even very experienced BB's could do with 1 or 2 sessions a year to make sure their form is correct and their progressions are right. Shame I am not closer as I would help, but am willing to help in anyway I can. Good luck though, you absolutely can achive your goals. Mark

PS: Dont worry about the thumb hook thing, you gotta play with cards you have been dealt.

KyleAaron
11-27-2009, 03:32 AM
He is an online PT that I signed up with
If you want advice online, you don't have to pay for it, just start a thread here.

Advice is only worth paying for if it comes from an in-person meeting and assessment. For example,

One thing: I have a left thumb injury so am limited and use a lifting hook for that hand. I didn't want to tell the guy that though, because he would have really thought I'm ready for the old folks home.
you should never be afraid to tell a PT anything which might affect your training, whether it be your health, your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences in exercise, or whatever.

A PT's advice is only as good as the information you give them. That's the benefit of the in-person meeting - they can get a lot of information from seeing you exercise, more than you could ever tell them, since each person has strengths and weaknesses they're not aware of, particular as beginners.

If you're going to pay for advice, get it from someone in-person. And interview PTs before hiring them, see if they have any nonsense notions like women being unable to build muscle if the moon is in Sagittarius or something.