Midlife weight gain occurs for many women during menopause and it’s compounding an already-present problem of weight gain that begins in your 30s (if you let it). But as this post will share, it’s not the 10lb problem it seems. It’s worse.
In the aging process a gradual creep of weight is not what it seems. A weight gain of 10 lbs. per decade that is the average is really a 20 lb. body composition problem.
What do I mean?
Without exercise interventions (that you know I’m going to talk about) the average adult loses 5 lbs. of muscle mass per decade and gains 15 lbs. of fat. The result is a 10 lb. change on the scale, but a 20 lb. physical appearance change and a far more devasting health problem.
[Please, I can hear a few of you say, no not me, I’m the same weight as I was. OK, girlfriend… are you wearing the same clothes, same size, as strong? Or has that mass changed so it’s more fat and less muscle? Be honest.]
So, exercise, right? Yes, but as all the exercise modes have emerged over the last 40 years, there doesn’t seem to be a clear message to adults how to prioritize that activity. Barre exercise and yogalates won’t keep you alive and thriving as long or as powerfully as other forms of exercise.
The one that offers the most benefits? Resistance training. Also known as strength training or weight training, to be specific.
Resistance Training or Really Weight Training?
You’ll ask, what about bands, are they good?
Me: They’re better than nothing.
What about suspension training (TRX) is that good?
Me: It’s better than nothing.
You’ll ask, what about body weight?
I’ll say, you should be able to move your own body weight… and I’ll ask:
But what’s best?
The closest thing to the dog food bag, baby in a basinet, and china on the top shelf… is weights.
It doesn’t matter what shape. Kettle bells are weight, dumbbells are weight, books in a backpack are weight. And your body doesn’t know the difference.
Why strength training?
You may not lose weight on a strength training program, right away.
But read on, and decide for yourself, would this be OK even if you didn’t lose weight?
Without changing anything else (no more or less eating, sleep, water or stress changes) the results you can expect from starting a strength training program [like STRONGER] include:
- Loss of 4-lbs fat in 4 weeks
- Gain of 3-lbs muscle in 4 weeks
- And those results are typical each of the first three months.
What’s that mean? A total loss of only about 3-lbs?
And in full disclosure… some don’t lose at all. In fact, a few gain.
And that is flipping awesome! Why?
Offset Midlife Weight Gain with Weight Training
Because MUSCLE… metabolically active muscle that burns fat … is more dense than fat. That means you’re on your way to a better metabolism for the rest of your life. Losing muscle (since age 30 unless you’ve been lifting weights and increasing protein) has a damaging cumulative effect on metabolism.
If you don’t lose weight but you lose inches, your clothes will likely fit better … or looser. You might get reacquainted with some old favorite clothes or use a notch you haven’t used on your belt recently. Or, you may have to use those three little words I used to love to hear my mom say, Let’s go shopping!
There’s more. When you improve your strength (some adults who begin strength training increase strength by 50% during 12 weeks) you can do more… of the things you love and also the things that help you be more active, use more energy, and yes, lose weight if you need to.
The Good News: Eat More and Avoid Midlife Weight Gain
That’s not all. When you increase your lean muscle tissue you can also eat more. About 300-350 kcals more and still reap the rewards of increase metabolism and weight loss. Let’s face it, the deprivation diets you’ve tried backfire on you and literally, come back to bite you in the butt. When you eat more, you message your body to burn more. If you’re choosing high quality protein and whole foods like vegetables you’re also enhancing your health and satiety. Bye-bye cravings.
But just any weight training program isn’t a hormone balancing fitness program. The wrong exercise can be either too little or too much to be effective and may or may not allow the fitness opportunity you need.
So… you have choices.
1) do nothing and keep getting the same results you’re getting – until your metabolism slows more and you start increasing fat.
2) start lifting weights and guess that what you’re doing for exercise and recovery is both safe and effective
3) join us for STRONGER
Just Weight Train or Do More?
Imagine what would happen if you also got a little more conscious of foods that worked for you. Or you paid more attention to a good night’s sleep. Maybe, you added one or two days of interval training. Or you made sure you got enough protein every meal. ANY of those things will accelerate your progress beyond the example above.
In the program, the “quick start” guide allows you to choose how much you want to change. If you change nothing else but add the 12 workouts over 24-weeks you’ll enhance muscle mass, strength, and stamina.
That will increase metabolism, energy, and reduce risk of injury.
If you also add the included recommended changes for interval training, you’ll further increase metabolism and reduce injury risk.
When and if you also follow the post exercise nutrition recommendations, you’ll increase muscle protein synthesis that increases lean muscle, bone density, satiety and decreases cravings.
Your level of participation is up to you. But when you register is not.
Time is running out to register for the next start.
Don’t Wait to Weight
While it’s absolutely true if you are 90 and begin strength training you’ll make progress. But you will have spent more years sicker, fatter, or weaker than if you’d begun sooner. You will be more likely to fall, to fracture if you do, and to spend more of your life inactive and scared of another fall if you do.
Or, you can have the positive side effects of enjoying going to your closet, wearing what you want to, participating in events and seeing sights you’ve longed to see. You’ll be scoffing at the grocery bagger who asks if he can carry your bags to the car and be living where you choose to live. You’ll wonder if you’re the only one still enjoying intimacy when your friends complain about their libido and love life.
Register now before it’s too late! Doors to this 12-week program C-L-O-S-E prior to each program. The sooner you’re on the notifications list, the sooner you’ll be notified when we open. The sooner you begin strength training sessions designed based on science…. Not on an instructor’s mood, or the workout a trainer decides all his clients are doing today, just YOU… the sooner YOU benefit.
These comments are from women who’ve participated in a STRONGER program. Here’s what they’re buzzing about:
I also have thoroughly enjoyed/loved [this program]. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how much better I feel – and am a few #’s less!! I’ll complete wk 8 in a couple days. Yeah for F50 & Debra & staff! THANKS!!
Noticed better posture and thinner thighs
Stronger on Week 7 – noticing my biceps are more defined, a little less jiggle on my second wave goodbye, and thighs are stronger, more toned looking just above the kneecap.
I have noticed more definition.
More defined, stronger, not sure what my measurements will be. Not really concerned, I eat well now, and I’m much more concerned about being healthy. Personally, I need to work on balance. I have enjoyed the weekly accountability!!
Definitely more toned arms
More… They Love It
You have taken your extensive experience training athletes looking for improved performance as well as people like most of us looking for an improved quality of life (ability to ski without fear of injury, play basketball with our kids, improved muscle definition to feel more confident and to hold onto our youthful appearance!) and translated the lessons learned for us. Couple that targeted, effective, efficient approach to fitness after 50 with a gift for communicating in a way that feels like you are with us every step of the way … it is really unmatched. I feel like I learn something new each time I see a video and certainly when I watched the FB live event. Last thing .. your approach of pushing us to fatigue in a way that makes me feel like I gave it my all but at no point feeling like I might risk injury really works! I have always been dedicated to fitness and started to pull back after an injury. I am feeling full strength now thanks to this stronger program. I think I am stronger and much more balanced in my strength than I was 8-10 years ago. And I don’t plan to let up now!
– Karen O’Rourke, STRONGER 2x, participant student
Don’t wait any longer. It’s really not going to be convenient ever. Life isn’t really going to slow down (or, we wished for that and got it in the form of a pandemic, let’s not do that again) or be less stressful. Feeling stronger however will improve your current status. It’s open a limited number of times a year. Is now your time?