40+ year old male here. More than 10 years ago when I studied I used to weigh 20 lbs more and did some lifting, but not in a structured manner. I used to do squats with 220+ lbs but this was only to a half motion range. Deadlifts I'd avoid like the plague, thinking they would kill my back.

Now I'm 140 lbs (5'7) and had only done cardio and bodyweight training for several years. I write fiction as a hobby, for example the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge. With my coworker (who also has done NaNoWriMo) we found out that we both like to write carries (mostly bridal carry) to our stories. Then last year we set out to test how possible these carries would be in reality. Turned out my coworker, who weighs more than me, could pick me up quite easily from the floor, but I could only pick her up from e.g. a table.

I had planned to begin a gym membership since some time (two years ago had a problem with pain in left shoulder and it was suggested by the physiotherapist) but had put it off for now. But now there was an interesting reason to see whether and how fast weight training would improve my strength. This time I would want to follow a proper program and track my progression. I came across Starting Strength and started in late March.

2 and half months later, I have progressed to 175 lbs squats and deadlifts. Picking up and carrying my coworker (who is slightly more than that) from a standing position is no longer a problem. Starting Strength works fast!