I started lifting weight at age 48 because I wanted to tone up.
The program I used happened to include barbell work; in particular, what powerlifters call the big three competition lifts: back squats, bench presses, and (shown here) deadlifts.
I instantly fell in love, started training in powerlifting, and did my first meet four years ago.
This photo is from my most recent competition at the IPL World Championships in California in November 2021.
I never would have guessed how much lifting weights would transform me- body, mind, and soul. There’s something about it that puts me immediately and strongly in touch with a deep part of myself.
The iron is the most effective teacher I’ve ever encountered.
You have to be willing to recognize that you’re in a classroom, a therapist’s office, a dojo, a church… whatever paradigm works for you… and really, deeply reflect on what gravity is trying to teach you at that moment.
Lifting heavy weights has given me a sense of confidence and grit I can’t fully describe.
It helps me deal with failure and adversity and makes it easier to feel comfortable in my skin and be authentically myself; to say, “Here I am, world. This is me. Take it or leave it – either is fine.”
Physically, strength training has healed three decades of chronic back and neck problems. I can lift and move everything that needs moving in my daily life. The shape of my body has changed dramatically. And the work I’m doing now will enable me to stay healthy and active for years to come.
One beautiful thing about powerlifting is that there is no age limit– there are folks who compete in their 80s and 90s.
And that’s good because I don’t intend to stop. They’re going to have to bury me with a barbell.
Guest Writer: Miriam Levinson Lawrence, NSCA-CPT
Miriam is 54 and documents her lifting on Instagram @mirslam. She would like to encourage any women over 40 who are interested in strength training (even if they haven’t tried it yet) to check out the Old Ladies Lift Facebook Group.
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