I go to the gym 3 times a week and work with a trainer here in Moldova at the low frills state gym (the trainer’s choice due to his affiliation there). The majority of the exercises that I do are related to increasing strength or toning muscles.
So the other day, on my way out, the manager of the gym comes over to tell me “You know, you shouldn’t be lifting 30 kg. People are talking about you and laughing.” I ask him “Why not?” and he replies “Because it could give you a heart problem. Men are one thing, maybe for a woman of 20, but…” As I left, I told him I would take his advice under consideration in order to get rid of him without making a scene and/ or insulting his intelligence.
When I got home, my husband was shocked to hear this story and suggested we send in someone with a video camera to post it on Facebook for others to see how ridiculous this gym manager is. The experience was a good reminder how lucky I am to have such a supportive husband, and if I didn’t have this, I’m sure I would have taken this unconstructive societal pressure more to heart than I did otherwise.
If you look on sites like The Center for Disease Control, the American Heart Association, etc. you will see that they all recommend weight training for men and women of all ages (including the elderly, which I hope is a category for which I don’t yet qualify!), and they underline that this is shown in studies to reduce blood pressure and be good for your heart. They also recommend lifting challenging weights that can be repeated in several repetitions (e.g. 6-12 times, in 3 intervals) which is exactly what I have been doing under the supervision of a certified American trainer.