A 100-year-old woman has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest female powerlifter.

Edith Murway-Traina, from Tampa, Florida, was honoured with the title on August 5, just three days before her milestone 100th birthday, and features in the 2022 edition of the book, which was published last week.  

The world’s oldest female powerlifter

Edith Murway-Traina performing a deadlift in competition

Her daughter, Honey Cottrell, said, “We knew she probably was one of the oldest but were shocked (and very proud of her) to be told she holds a world record.  Our entire family is honored that our mother is a record holder, and Guinness World Records has given her this honor.”

Speaking about the positive benefits of being a powerlifter, the record-breaking centenarian said, “You can’t help but discover as time goes on you are healthier. You don’t even know it. You don’t even think about it. But you become healthier because you are a part of the program.”

Edith was a former dance teacher at the local recreation center, so she was no stranger to physical training. 

It was through dance that Edith met her now close friend, Carmen Gutworth, who would introduce her to the gym at the age of 91. Edith took to lifting like the proverbial duck to water. 

“While I was watching those ladies doing their thing, I thought I just as well should pick up a few bars, and I did.”

“Going on a regular basis, I found that I was enjoying it, and I was challenging myself to get a little bit better and a little bit better. Before long, I was part of the team.”

Under the watchful eyes of her trainer Bill and her friend Carmen, Edith began winning trophies during senior competitions as a powerlifter. Her friend says she’s famous for her rapid lifts off the floor.

“She bent down and picked it [the bar] up as if it were her purse,” says Carmen. “She will not quit and anything that’s hard, it makes her more determined.”

As you might expect, Edith has proven an inspiration to many others, and not just senior citizens, who want to get fit by lifting weights or become powerlifters.

She also admits that her wins in the last few years have led her to receive so many trophies that she didn’t have enough space to store them at home.

Although her training was brought to a standstill by the global pandemic, she’s excited to be training again and hopes to compete in the near future again. When she last competed, in 2019, Edith was 98 years, 94 days old. 

Edith is right: why lifting weights is the best strategy for staying in shape in the long term

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Going ham on cardio and reducing your muscle as much as possible will not make you healthy in the long term, and there is rigorous scientific evidence that proves it

We’ve already written about why lifting weights, not doing strenuous cardio, is the best strategy for staying in shape in the long term, especially as you get older. We’d recommend taking a leaf out of Edith’s book and becoming a powerlifter rather than a marathon runner.

In the article linked above, we wrote:

Although cardiovascular exercise will burn more calories in the short-term than weights-based exercise, strength training helps to retain muscle mass in the face of aging, which appears to be the crucial factor in this long-term study. After the age of 30, muscle mass gradually decreases, reducing the body’s basal metabolic rate – its basic daily energy need – thereby making it easier to put on weight as time passes. Cardiovascular exercise does little to build muscle, and in excess can actually lead to muscle loss.

A long-term study of 10,000 men showed that older men who performed resistance exercise stayed in much better shape than those who performed cardio.

The researchers used longitudinal data on more than 10,000 healthy men for a period between 1996 and 2008, charting how the men’s waist measurements had changed over those 12 years. All of the participants in the study were between 40 and 75 when the study first began.

“Because aging is associated with the loss of skeletal muscle mass, relying on body weight is insufficient for the study of healthy aging”, stated the lead author of the study. “Measuring waist circumference is a better indicator of healthy body composition among older adults.”

The men were divided up according to the amount of aerobic exercise they did, and then according to the amount of strength training they did.

Results from the resistance exercise study, which clearly showed that weight training is superior to cardio for staying in shape in the long term

The results clearly show that those who also did strength training saw a much greater decrease in relative waist circumference, with the result for those performing more than 25 minutes a day being especially striking. The relative waist circumference change was actually most for those who performed 25 minutes a day of strength training but did not adhere to the aerobic-exercise recommendations.

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