Fitness Education Logo

Should Women Stop Lifting Heavy Weights During Menopause?

June 8, 2022
4 minute read

There are some very good reasons for women to take up weight training in the lead up to menopause*. Weightlifting is an effective exercise for building and maintaining bone density and strength in menopausal women. Importantly, the level of bone strength a woman has going into the menopause transition, will determine key health markers for the rest of her life. 

However, it is important to understand that weight lifting for menopausal women is  not low weight, and high reps. Menopausal women need high weight and low reps. 

Endurance lifting does not give the explosive power needed to fire up the contractions and muscle stimulation to strength muscles and bones effectively.

We need to train menopausal women to lift heavy.

Lifting heavy  - high weight / low reps has other benefits for menopausal women too.

During peri-menopause women may notice that they may be putting on extra weight, particularly around their middle. The strategies they used in the past (eating less, working out more) not only may not work any more, but may be causing them to put on even more weight. I am sure if you are working with women in their 40’s, then you have been party to these conversations.

There is no single magic bullet for weight loss, but lifting weights is one key element of the solution. Restoring muscle loss and maintaining lean muscle mass is important is driving metabolism, which generally slows during the menopausal transition.

Post menopausal women are also at a much higher risk (again, thanks to the reduction of oestrogen) of heart disease, including heart attack. Lifting heavy improves cardiovascular health, blood pressure and blood flow. Improving blood flow to and from the skin is key for the body to self regulate and respond to hot flushes.

Lifting heavy weights is important for menopausal women, but it also co-incides with the time that they are at most risk of prolapse or other pelvic floor dysfunction.

As trainers we need to include heavy weight and explosive training into exercise prescription, but not at the expense of pushing our clients to prolapse.

How do we do this?

Here are  my top 5 tips:

  1. Start with mobility movements in all planes (sagital, lateral and transversus) to help the connective tissue prepare. Connective tissue also loves hydration and collegan. Coach your clients on the importance of including these daily.
  2. Coach technique before loading. This includes: 
    • good posture – starting from feet up. Pressing big toes into floor will help activate the deep front line (fascia train) which activates pelvic floor. Check all joints, are they stable?
    • exhale on exertion – start this exhale at start of lift – not a puff out at the top
    • make sure there is no valsalva (bearing down internally)
    • pelvic floor is activated before and during the lift and released after the lift
  3. Use a seated form (on a swiss ball or a bench) or perform in bridge position to further support pelvic floor if needed. Ie: If your client has pelvic floor dysfunction and / or their pelvic floor is feeling heavy or noticeable before the work out.
  4. Start with isolation exercises and then move to compound exercises. Simple / known exercises, coupled with your coaching, can significantly help your client to concentrate on exactly what muscles should be firing
  5. Rest and recovery. During the session this could mean using supersets. And this type of training should have 2 – 3 days recovery between.

Explosive force is what we are trying to achieve. This will also help to determine weight and rep. A good example is also including jump training into this work out. However, many people have not jumped since they were kids and may have to re-learn the technique. Starting with bent knees, swinging arms, exhaling on landing. Use a small step or even big weights on the ground that they can jump up onto and to build confidence with the movement. The goal with jump training is to land with feet together. Keeping feet close together on landing will also help support the pelvic floor. 

And finally, always check in with your client after such a session. How did they pull up afterwards? Did it have a negative repercussion on their pelvic floor? Are they feeling strength gains in their activities of daily living? These are all great questions as well as recording progression and responses.

Menopause, much like periods and postnatal, is shrouded in secrecy for both trainers and clients. But it doesn’t need to be. All your clients who experience menopause will appreciate you sharing the knowledge of exactly why this will benefit them and their menopausal transition. 

*Remember: The term menopause is a time stamp. A woman is menopausal when she has had one year free of periods. Post this year she is post-menopause. In the years leading up to menopause (which can last up to 10 years) is called peri-menopause.

Want to upskill in Training Women Aged 50+? 

If you’d like to upskill in Training Women Aged 50+, Fitness Education Online have partnered with Mish Wright to create a CEC course “Training Women Aged 50+”. This course provides Fitness Professionals with the knowledge and a better understanding of how to safely train this demographic.

Training Women Aged 50+ is registered with

  • AUSactive / Fitness Australia: 8CECs
  • Physical Activity Australia: 3PDPs
  • REPS New Zealand: 4CPDs 

Click here to check out Training Women Aged 50+ (8CECs)

PS: At Fitness Education Online, we have one of the largest Facebook Groups in the world for Personal Trainers and Fitness Professionals. Everyone in there is super supportive and we all share tips and ideas. We would love to invite you into the Group - click here to join

Connect with Fitness Education Online on Social Media 

Click here to join our Facebook Group

Click here to follow us on Instagram

Click here to listen to our Podcast on Apple 

Click here to listen to our Podcast on Spotify

Click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel 

Other Resources

Fun Boxing Workout Ideas You Need to Try

60-40-20 Circuit

Blue Side BG

Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to the professional development of Personal Trainers. We have over 30 registered AUSactive CEC courses.  Click here to check them out!


About The Author: Michelle Wright
Writer | Educator | Speaker

As an avid writer, I contribute articles to many online and print publications. I am also regularly invited to speak at fitness conventions and business events.

I have created many independent courses in both women’s health and business. My own personal journey led me from teaching (B.Ed and Dip Teach) to the fitness industry, first as a group fitness instructor/personal trainer and then creating and running the award winning fitness franchise, mishfit®.

I created the Women’s Health & Fitness Summit in 2014 and grew it to be a two-day event held at beautiful venues such as Crown, RACV and The Grand Hyatt. This event hosted the most revered and respected women’s health and fitness presenters and trainers from around the world and was attended by hundreds of women. Many returning every year.

Follow & Connect

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Post
Can I Deliver Outdoor Fitness with Certificate III in Australia?
How to Become a Group Fitness Instructor in Australia
Does an Exercise Science Degree Qualify you as a Personal Trainer in Australia
Best Personal Trainer Insurance Options in Australia (2024 Version)
5 ways to support weight loss and maintain muscle mass
Ep 317: Fat Loss During Menopause with Benjamin Siong
Ep 316: Calories in vs Calories out - fact or fiction with Benjamin Siong
What is SIS30321? Exploring the New Standard in Fitness Certification
Ep 315: Fat Loss Myths with Benjamin Siong
What is a Gym Instructor?
Ep 314: Nutrition Fundamentals for Lifters with Eric Helms
Ep 313: Perth Fitness Business Conference with Dan Williams
Ep 312: How to use technology to help clients with behaviour change with Josh Buss
Ep 311: Saskia Jordan - Winner of the New Zealand Up and Coming PT of the Year
How much does a Personal Trainer earn in Australia?
Ep 310: Running a seniors fitness business with Meg Stickl
Ep 309: How to add a Kids Fitness component to your fitness business with Manny Laris
Ep 308: How to get into Corporate Wellness with Debbie Bellinger
Ep 307: Debate: Free vs Paid Marketing - which is better? with Jono vs Susan Baxter
Ep 306: How to run a kids fitness program with Emma McCann
How difficult is a Personal Trainer Course?
Ep 305: Training Women – Anatomy and Biomechanical Differences with Kayla from AWPT
Ep 304: How to generate more referrals with Dr. Suzan Baxter
Ep 303: How Jacob went from a struggling PT to being one of Australia’s top online coaches with Jacob Sutton
Ep 302: How to train young athletes with Trent Pirihi
Ep 301: How to scale to 6 figures online with a done for you program with Steve Papps
Ep 300: How to become a kids yoga instructor with Loraine Rushton from Zenergy Yoga
Ep 299: How To Avoid Client Injuries with Physiotherapist Chris Bryceson
Ep 298: How Personal Trainers can make more money by working less by Matt Dart
Everything Cortisol
Everything Oestrogen: Essential Knowledge for Fitness Professionals
Ep 287: How to protect your voice as a fitness professional with Noelle Nocciolo and Ashley FitzSimmons-Olsen
Supporting Clients with Endometriosis: Insights and Strategies for Fitness Professionals
The Fitness Pro's Guide to Embracing Period Dysfunction: Why It's a Game Changer
The Hidden Key to Optimising Your Client's Fitness: Tracking the Menstrual Cycle
The PCOS Advantage: A Game-Changing Guide for Fitness
What is the difference between Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness
Osteoporosis: How Diet, Exercise And Lifestyle Can Help Fight Osteoporosis
ANZAC Day Workout
Do you need a Cert III in Fitness before a Cert IV?
How Much Do Personal Trainers Make
How to become a Personal Trainer in Australia
Fitness Registration Bodies in Australia
Fitness Expo 2023
Personal Trainer Cancellation Policy
Adult Exercise Pre Screening Tool
How long does a Cert 3 in Fitness take?
Boxing Bag Workout: The “10, 2, 2”
12 Days of Christmas Workout
Functional Training Circuit for Small Group Training and Bootcamp
Fitness Games for Bootcamp: The “1, 2, 3” Game
Boxing Partner Workout
Boxing Drills using a Resistance Band
Boxing Workout for Bootcamp – “The EMOM”
Is exercise alone enough to lose a significant amount of weight without changing other lifestyle factors?
Boxing Workout for Bootcamp: The “Power / Speed” Drill
Personal Trainer Success Story: Karla on Online learning
Personal Trainer Success Story: Terry “Go for it regardless of your age"
Boxing Drills for Bootcamp: The “4 Combo’s: 4 uppercuts”
Personal Trainer Success Story: Jane Juggling a career and family life
Kickboxing Drills for Bootcamp: “3 Body Rips, 3 Roundhouse Kicks”
Boxing Circuit Workout Ideas: The Agility Ladder Interval Drill
Kickboxing for Bootcamp and Group Fitness: Should I use “Thai Pads” or a “Kick Shield”
Bariatrics 101
What Does Cert 3 In Fitness Allow You To Do ?
How to raise your rates as Personal Trainer
Mastering your day to maximize your efficiency as a Rent Based PT in 2022
Supporting the Bigger Client
Boxing Workout for Bootcamp 15, 30, 45, 60
Boxing Workout Ideas for Bootcamp: “The 2-10’s”
How To Structure a Boxing Workout for Bootcamp
“Exercise Considerations for the Bigger Client”… Health and fitness at any size
Boxing Circuit Workout Ideas: The “Punch, Run, Bodyweight”
Boxing Courses for Personal Trainers: Should you do one?
How to Become a Highly Profitable Rent based Personal Trainer in 2022!
One Arm Kettlebell Row: 5 of The Best Variations Available
To weigh or not to weigh? Should Trainers Ditch The Scales Once and For All?
5 Questions every Fitness Professional should be asking their female clients... (especially when aged 37+)
How to Run a 30-Day Plank Challenge… Sub30 Style!
How to Help Female Clients Work With Their Hormones
10 Steps To Launch Your Fitness Coaching Business Online
Does a Certificate III in Fitness Qualify You to Train Kids?
1 2 3 103

Want to hear about our latest post, podcast, and bootcamp idea?

Fitness Education Logo White
HomeAbout UsCoursesVIP MembershipBlogPodcastContact UsLogin
Copyright 2022 Fitness Education Online All Rights Reserved
Google Rating
Based on 306 reviews