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Muscle Makeover: Why Resistance Training is Essential in Menopause

The Flipping 50 Show

Release Date: 06/07/2024

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Resistance training is essential in menopause. It is supportive of your hormones. It’s an endocrine organ. It supports blood sugar levels, moods and more! All inside!

Are you navigating menopause noticing unfavorable changes in your body composition? This episode of Flipping 50 is your ticket to understanding why muscle matters now more than ever. Discover how resistance training can transform not just your muscles, but your overall menopausal journey, with expert insights and actionable tips.

I’m sharing a new study on resistance training to combat muscle loss, increase bone density, and improve metabolic health during and after menopause.

The study aimed to identify the most effective resistance training protocols to combat osteoporosis by improving BMD in postmenopausal women. It specifically evaluated the impact of different exercise intensities and frequencies.

Resistance training is essential in menopause for maintaining bone density and metabolic health.

Questions We Answer In This Episode:

  • Why is muscle mass particularly important for women entering menopause? [00:24:04]
  • How does resistance training impact bone health and help prevent osteoporosis? [00:07:24]
  • What are the best resistance training exercises for women over 50? [00:19:24]
  • How often should menopausal women engage in resistance training? [00:15:54]
  • What are some common misconceptions about weight lifting and menopause? [00:08:54]
  • How can resistance training improve hormonal balance during menopause? [00:20:44]

The research concluded that for postmenopausal women, resistance training at moderate intensity, conducted three times a week, offers the best outcomes for increasing BMD. This protocol should be integrated into fitness routines to effectively manage and mitigate the risks of osteoporosis in this population.

Monday and Friday 10 repetitions (80%)

Wednesday 16 repetitions (65%) - unilateral work

Might be an ideal combination to provide stimulus without endocrine disruption (cortisol/adrenals/thyroid)

Objectives

The study aimed to identify the most effective resistance training protocols to combat osteoporosis by improving BMD in postmenopausal women. It specifically evaluated the impact of different exercise intensities and frequencies.

Methods

Studies assessed resistance training's impact on BMD. The studies were categorized by exercise intensity (high, moderate, low) and frequency (high frequency of three days per week and low frequency of two days per week).

Findings

  1. Overall Effectiveness: The meta-analysis found that resistance training is beneficial in increasing BMD in postmenopausal women, particularly at lumbar spine and femoral neck sites.
  2. Intensity and Frequency: Moderate-intensity training (65%–80% 1RM) performed three times a week was most effective in improving BMD. This regimen provided a balance that was intense enough to stimulate bone density improvements without the risks associated with high-intensity training.
  3. Comparison of Protocols: The study revealed that while all resistance training positively impacted BMD, the moderate intensity at a higher frequency provided the most significant benefits.
  4. Statistical Analysis: Data were analyzed using network meta-analysis, which allowed for comparison across multiple interventions. The results suggested that moderate-intensity, high-frequency training was superior to other combinations in improving BMD.

Conclusions

The research concluded that for postmenopausal women, resistance training at moderate intensity, conducted three times a week, offers the best outcomes for increasing BMD. This protocol should be integrated into fitness routines to effectively manage and mitigate the risks of osteoporosis in this population.

Monday and Friday 10 repetitions (80%)

Wednesday 16 repetitions (65%) - unilateral work

Might be an ideal combination to provide stimulus without endocrine disruption (cortisol/adrenals/thyroid)

Reference:

"Comparative efficacy of different resistance training protocols on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: A systematic review and network meta-analysis" by Z Wang et al. (2023) examines various resistance training regimens and their effectiveness on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women.

Resources:

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