The Secrets of Power-Packed Strength Training

Menopause is an inevitable phase in a woman’s life that brings a whirlwind of changes. The gradual loss of muscle mass and bone density can be particularly concerning among these. During this challenging time, I discovered a powerful ally – strength training.

Strength training is a superpower for women in menopause, supplying a definite boost in the recipe for menopause health. It’s important to note that while strength training can be efficient, it’s not the only aspect of a healthy lifestyle during menopause. A well-rounded approach that includes a balanced diet, cardiovascular exercise, and stress management is typically recommended.

In this post, I’ll share my personal journey and explore how strength training helps build muscle and contributes to overall well-being during menopause.

1. Strength Training: Menopausal Muscle Mystery

One of the lesser-known but critical effects of menopause is muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the gradual decline in muscle mass, strength, and function that occurs as a natural part of ageing but accelerates during menopause. This muscle loss can have far-reaching consequences for women’s health, as muscles are not just for appearance; they are essential for supporting a high quality of life.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine ( investigated the effects of a 12-week strength training program on postmenopausal women. The results were striking. The participants exhibited significant increases in muscle mass and strength.

Moreover, their bone density improved, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This study highlighted the potential of strength training to combat muscle and bone loss during menopause.

2. Discovering the Hidden Power of Strength Training

As I embarked on a journey to regain mastery over my body, I made the difficult decision to bid farewell to the countless hours spent pounding the pavement, my trusty go-to exercise. I thought that strength training was reserved for bodybuilders or young gym-goers. However, the more I delved into it, the more I realised it was a powerful tool for women like me navigating the uncharted waters of menopause.

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study in 2006 revealed that strength training increases lean muscle mass and improves bone density in postmenopausal women. In addition, an interesting article by Mishra N, Mishra VN, Devanshi. Exercise beyond menopause: Dos and Don’ts from 2011 –, outlines ways to incorporate strength training into your exercise regime.

Here’s how my personal experience aligned with these facts about strength training during menopause:

Fact 1: Muscle Burns More Calories

My struggle with weight gain was real, and I desperately needed something to rev up my metabolism. Enter strength training. By incorporating it into my routine, I not only regained lost muscle but also kick-started my metabolism. I was finally able to manage my weight more effectively.

Fact 2: Improved Bone Health

As a woman in menopause, I was acutely aware of the risk of osteoporosis. My doctor had mentioned that the drop in oestrogen levels could lead to weakened bones. Strength training became my secret weapon. I knew these resistance exercises would help my bones adapt and become denser, reducing the risk of fractures.

Fact 3: Hormone Balance

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that resistance training could influence hormonal balance. The research showed that it could increase growth hormone and testosterone levels. These hormonal changes were precisely what I needed to combat the muscle loss that had haunted me.

Fact 4: Enhanced Mobility and Independence

As I continued my strength training journey, I noticed something remarkable – my mobility and physical function improved. Everyday tasks became more accessible, and I felt more independent. It was as if I had unlocked a new level of vitality that I thought was lost forever.

Fact 5: Mood and Cognitive Benefits

Menopause had brought its fair share of mood swings and brain fog. The mood-enhancing and cognitive benefits of strength training were a game-changer for me. The release of endorphins during my workouts not only improved my mood but also sharpened my mental clarity.

3. Starting Your Strength Training Journey

From my own experience, as I entered my 50s, I noticed my body was changing in ways I hadn’t expected. The hot flashes and mood swings were challenging, but what caught me by surprise was the subtle yet relentless muscle loss. It was like my body was slowly slipping away, and I knew I had to do something about it.

If you’re a menopausal woman like me, intrigued by the idea of strength training, here are some steps to get started:

  • A. Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Before diving into any exercise program, consult your healthcare provider, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. Their guidance will ensure you embark on a safe and tailored fitness journey.

  • B. Choose the Right Type of Strength Training

There are various forms of strength training, from weightlifting to bodyweight exercises. Pick the one that resonates with you and suits your needs. You can start with simple bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and planks.

  • C. Gradually Increase Intensity

Start with lighter weights or resistance and incrementally increase the intensity as your strength improves. The progressive challenge is critical to seeing results.

  • D. Prioritize Proper Form

To prevent injuries, ensure you’re using proper form during your exercises. Consider working with a certified fitness trainer, especially in the beginning, to get your form right.

  • E. Include Rest Days

Muscles need time to recover and grow. Incorporate rest days into your routine to allow your muscles to recuperate.

  • F. Stay Consistent

Consistency is the cornerstone of strength training. Aim for at least two to three sessions per week to experience the benefits fully.

  • G. Mix It Up

To keep things exciting and continue making progress, vary your workouts by changing exercises, increasing weights, or trying different routines.

Here are some engaging exercises that will give you serious bang for your buck.

ExerciseTargeted MusclesHow to Perform
1. SquatsQuadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings– Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
– Lower your body by bending your knees and hips.
– Keep your back straight and chest up.
– Return to the starting position by pushing through heels.
2. Push-UpsChest, Shoulders, Triceps– Start in a plank position with hands under shoulders.
– Lower your body by bending your elbows.
– Keep your body in a straight line.
– Push back up to the starting position.
3. Dumbbell RowsBack, Biceps– Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
– Bend at the hips while keeping your back straight.
– Pull the dumbbells towards your hips, squeezing shoulder blades.
– Lower the dumbbells back down.
4. LungesQuadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings– Stand with feet hip-width apart.
– Step forward with one leg, lowering your body.
– Keep your front knee at a 90-degree angle.
– Push off the front foot to return to the starting position.
5. PlanksCore (Abs, Back), Shoulders– Start in a push-up position but with elbows on the ground.
– Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
– Hold the position, engaging your core muscles.
– Aim for 30 seconds to 1 minute or longer as you progress.

These exercises target key muscle groups, promote strength, help counteract muscle loss and support overall physical function during menopause. It’s essential to start with a suitable weight or resistance level and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with each exercise. Always prioritise proper form and consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider if you’re new to strength training or have any underlying health concerns.


My personal experience has taught me that menopause doesn’t have to be a time of despair. With the addition of strength training, you can confront exercise challenges head-on. Strength training becomes a superpower, along with a healthy dose of proteins during menopause by building muscle, enhancing bone density, and promoting overall well-being. I hope the ideas in this post convinced you to include strength training in your menopausal journey and embrace its transformative benefits as you embark on a path to a healthier, stronger, and more confident you during menopause.

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About me

Turning 50 was an unexpected wake-up call. Panic surged through every fibre of my being as I wondered, “Is my youth slipping away, leaving me behind”.

Standing at the crossroads, I realized I wasn’t alone in this whirlwind of emotions. Many women over 50 experience similar moments of self-doubt and apprehension. The truth is our bodies and minds undergo natural changes as we age. It’s essential to remember that ageing is a privilege denied to many, and instead of fearing it, we must embrace a healthy and happy lifestyle over 50.

Using the advice we share in this blog, many women, including me, have found relief and are better able to manage this transition of life and feel more fulfilled both at home, and at work.

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