Whilst resistance training as a whole will benefit the conditions discussed, there are some subtle specifics that can lead to faster improvements.
Generally, the differences in training are not significant, as a strong focus on the above 10 principles will lead to vast improvements themselves.
Training and Menopause in Women
However, with menopause, the devil is in the detail. As we know, there is a decline in the ovarian production of oestrogen and progesterone, which act as ‘controls’ for cortisol and insulin.
It is often the case that in these women, they will be more stress-sensitive, and as such, this should be factored into their exercise regime.
During intense and long-duration exercise, cortisol is produced. In order to produce a positive adaptive response to exercise, cortisol is necessary and very beneficial.
During resistance exercise in particular, the rise in anabolic hormones in combination with cortisol provide a very healthy and beneficial response, whereby the body will work to lose fat and build muscle.
However, many women fall into the trap of partaking in too much long-duration exercise, in the hope that doing lots of repetitive motion will lead to more calories expended and more fat loss.
The ‘calories in/calories out’ equation is fundamental to weight loss, but for these women in search of body recomposition, we must look at it from a slightly different angle, whereby we balance out the often ‘off the rails’ hormonal system.
Therefore, shorter intense bursts of exercise will be more beneficial; weight training, high-intensity interval training, metabolic conditioning, and limiting their workouts to no more than 45-60 minutes.
Perhaps what’s more important from a physiological standpoint for menopausal women is the act of balancing their yin and yang, so to speak.
This means including relaxing activities such as walking, yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and different types of massage. By creating a smarter stress-inducing exercise regime, they can help stir their menopausal physiology to work in their favour.
Training and Andropause in Men
In terms of andropause, the message is similar for men, with a strong emphasis on heavy (relatively speaking), intense bouts of resistance training.
There is a need to use resistance training to drive up the anabolic response, and help regain some of the endocrine plasticity that we discussed in Part 1 of this series.
Research tends to point at high volume with moderate to high intensity, utilising short rest periods and big compound moves for best hormonal responses across all age groups. (1)
For these guys, incorporating the 10 principles will work perfectly in priming their physiology to regain their manhood.
It’s clear from the scientific research and the results we get with hundreds of our clients in their 40s, 50s and 60s that resistance training is extremely beneficial for your fitness, brain function, mobility, muscle mass and strength, and overall health-span as you age.
It’s never too late to start some form of resistance training – whether you’re 19 or 90. But ensuring you follow the 10 principles set out in this article is key to ensuring you get the maximum benefits from resistance exercise, while training safely, intelligently and with purpose.
Having a professional Personal Trainer create a bespoke exercise programme designed around your capabilities, needs and personal goals is always advisable.