“I discovered that in the dance and theater, most acts are about three minute long, so whatever performance I did in order to get the applause of the audience, I had to do something for about three minutes. With powerlifting, in three seconds you reach down, get the bar, pull it up, and then you the applause. That’s a lot easier.” – Edith Traina
In a lot of ways, 97 year old powerlifter Edith Traina is right on the money with that statement. Yeah, powerlifting is a lot different when it comes to dance and the amount of time the body is required to perform for an applause.
The Tampa Bay Times recently reported on a group of senior aged female powerlifters who forge on in their training, even though they’re often the only ones competing in their weight divisions at meets. Throughout the year, the powerlifting grandmas training out of Strong Life Tampa Bay, Florida compete in about six competitions a year. Last fall at the Hillsborough County Senior Games, Traina earned gold in her weight class with a 60 lb bench press and 130 lb deadlift.
“Turns out that since I have been powerlifting, which is about five years now, my breathing has improved, my COPD [is not completely gone], but it’s certainly not only under control, it’s so manageable that I hardly even think about it anymore.”
[It’s never too late to start, here’s how to start powerlifting after the age of 40!]
It’s no secret that resistance training offers a plethora of health benefits that extend far past the muscle gained under the bar. In the video, family physician Dr. Tanya Gold actually discusses how after following and working out with these ladies, she changed her mind on her perception of “lifting heavy” at older ages.
Dr. Gold points out that after the age of 30 you can lose upwards of a pound of muscle a year, and lifting heavy is one of the best ways to combat this loss.
To conclude the video, Traina sums up lifting for most strength athletes perfectly, “And on the mornings I really don’t want to go to the gym, I have to remind myself, ‘If I want to breathe, then I need to participate.'”
Feature image from Tampa Bay Times article.