Personal Training for Perimenopausal Women

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Introduction to Personal Training for Perimenopausal Women

Perimenopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, typically occurring in her 40s or early 50s, marking the transition towards menopause. This period can bring about various physiological and psychological changes, including hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and decreased bone density. As a personal trainer, understanding these changes and tailoring fitness programmes to address them is crucial. Here’s a guide on how to effectively train perimenopausal women.

Understanding Perimenopause

Perimenopause is characterised by fluctuating hormone levels, particularly oestrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes can lead to:

  • Weight Gain: Metabolism often slows down, and fat distribution may change, leading to more abdominal fat.
  • Bone Density Loss: The risk of osteoporosis increases as oestrogen levels decline.
  • Muscle Mass Reduction: Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, becomes more pronounced.
  • Cardiovascular Changes: Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases due to changes in lipid profiles.
  • Mood Swings and Sleep Disruptions: Hormonal fluctuations can affect mental health and sleep patterns.

Key Considerations for Training Perimenopausal Women

Personalised Assessments:

  • Conduct thorough assessments to understand the client’s current fitness level, medical history, and specific symptoms of perimenopause.
  • Consider using questionnaires to gauge their mood, sleep quality, and dietary habits.

Strength Training:

  • Focus on building muscle mass and strength to combat sarcopenia and enhance metabolism.
  • Incorporate resistance exercises using free weights, machines, and body weight. Aim for compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
  • Ensure proper form and gradually increase resistance to prevent injuries.

Cardiovascular Exercise:

  • Include regular cardiovascular workouts to support heart health and manage weight.
  • Opt for low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling to reduce joint stress.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be beneficial, but it should be tailored to the individual’s fitness level and preferences.

Flexibility and Balance Training:

  • Incorporate stretching routines and yoga to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Balance exercises are essential to maintain stability and prevent falls, especially as bone density decreases.

Bone Health:

  • Weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, and resistance training help maintain and improve bone density.
  • Educate clients on the importance of calcium and vitamin D intake for bone health.

Mental Well-being:

  • Recognise the emotional challenges of perimenopause and provide a supportive environment.
  • Incorporate stress-reducing practices like mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques.
  • Encourage social interactions and group classes to enhance mood and motivation.

Nutrition Guidance:

  • Offer basic nutritional advice or refer clients to a dietitian. Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  • Emphasise the importance of hydration and reducing processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol, which can exacerbate symptoms.

Monitor Progress and Adapt:

  • Regularly reassess the client’s progress and adjust the training programme as needed.
  • Be flexible and responsive to changes in symptoms and fitness levels.


Personal Training for Perimenopausal Women requires a compassionate and informed approach. By understanding the unique challenges they face and implementing a well-rounded fitness programme, you can help your clients navigate this transitional period with strength, health, and confidence. Remember, the goal is not just physical fitness but also improving overall quality of life.


  • Chughtai, M. (2020). Managing menopause symptoms with exercise. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 54(2), 123-129.
  • Dugan, S. A. (2018). Physical activity and menopausal symptoms: what is the role of exercise in the menopausal transition? Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 30(6), 352-358.
  • Greendale, G. A., & Karlamangla, A. S. (2019). Menopause as a window of opportunity for favourable cardiovascular risk factor changes. Cardiovascular Research, 117(6), 1112-1120.
  • NHS. (n.d.). Menopause. Retrieved July 4, 2024, from
  • Pal, L. (2017). Perimenopause: from research to practice. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 60(4), 773-784.

Looking to learn more?

Are you a fitness enthusiast? Check out Storm Fitness Academy’s PT courses to learn how to work with a range of clients with different needs, such as pre and postnatal, perimenopausal, older people and clients with disabilities.

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