Ask the Ageless Lifter: What Strength Standard Should I Aim For?


Q: Are there any useful or game-changing strength standards for over-40 men and women?

This is such a useful question that I’m going to tackle it, although my answer may leave some of my readers dissatisfied. But let’s take a stab at it.

My first thought is that we should ask ourselves why we’re seeking such standards in the first place. My take: We love standards because it gives us something to shoot for, and also because it’s a way for us to rank ourselves with respect to our peers. If you can do one pull-up and your friend can’t do any, well, that says something about where you “stand,” right?

The problem however, is that there are a lot of characteristics that must be considered when we’re trying to assess who our “peers” are. Age and sex are two of the most obvious, but we also need to consider height and weight. Digging deeper, there’s…

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