Weight(less)-lifting in space

Astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to earth from the International Space Station last week, having racked up a number of records, including the longest time in continuous orbit for a female astronaut (288 days), the most cumulative hours of spacewalking for a female astronaut (53 hours, 22 minutes), and the most cumulative time in space of any US astronaut, male or female (665) days. And Whitson “broke all these records at age 57, and also set a record for the world’s oldest spacewoman.”

All fabulous, but check out her space station weight workout on the ultra-cool Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, in this video she posted on Twitter. (In a weightless, gravity-less environment, ARED simulates the resistance experienced by earthbound weight-lifters.)

While we’re on the subject, Manon Bradley has written a great article on why “midlife”-aged women should take up power-lifting. As the current European female age-group record-holder for bench press (she is 50 years old, and lifted 83 kg – or nearly 183 pounds), she knows a thing or two about her topic. There’s a short video about her at the end. “It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you lift.”

OK… Public accountability time. I said I’d report back on my chin-up challenge progress, so I’m here to report – not much progress! But it begins this week. We have a nifty piece of multi-exercise equipment called a “power tower” (ours is by Weider), but I forgot that when we moved and reassembled it in our basement, the ceiling was too low to put the chin-up/pull-up bar back on it. So last week we finally disassembled and reassembled it out in the garage, where there’s clearance for one’s head :), but then I had to order a heavy resistance band (we got one of these) for the “assisted pull-up” part of the training program I shared with you. Now that all the pieces are in place, I can get started!

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