There have been luggage weight limits for a long time, but they had been rarely enforced. The first time I remember the weight limits being enforced was at Miami airport when we were returning from a Caribbean cruise (Miami airport sucks). They nailed us for $25 each for two bags that weighed over 50 pounds. We had never heard of anything like that. We have since gotten smaller bags are more careful about packing. We try to keep the bags well under the 50 pound limit.
During our vacation we bought many books which can be heavy. My wife also bought some beads which are kind of heavy. And we also collected a bunch of sea shells, and rocks. In order to keep our checked baggage under 50 pounds, we loaded our carry-on bags with the heavy books, beads, and shells. The checked luggage contained mostly clothes, and shoes. Our checked bags weighed in at 46.5 pounds and 44 pounds. Our carryon bags are pretty heavy though. But with wheeled luggage, it is not that big of a deal since we don’t have to lift them much or carry them. We still made sure to pack the expensive and irreplaceable stuff in the carry-on luggage. But using this method we have managed to bring a lot of stuff home without paying the fees from the overweight luggage.