Why strength train?
Strength training should be the foundation of any women’s workout plan particularly if you are over the age of 40.
In this blog, I am going to outline the benefits and then show you how you can incorporate strength training at home with minimal equipment.
I have made a video on the EXACT same topic you can watch here:
From around the age of 30 you start losing muscle and when you hit your 40s your hormones, like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone start depleting, which results in loss of muscle and you also gain fat in places that you didn’t have fat before.
The most effective way to address this is through weight training or strength training. You also need a good meal plan or diet to ensure that you are getting the most out of your strength training.
And don’t worry you WON’T get ‘bulky’, remember you are just putting back the muscle you have lost over the years. This will build your metabolism and help you to burn fat more easily. This is because when you have developed some lean muscle you burn calories while you are just sat around.
This has what has enabled me to lose weight and drop 20 lbs of body fat at age 53 :
So now I have got your attention about the benefits and success of strength training for weight loss lets go through how you do this at home.
Can strength training at home be as effective as the gym?
People often believe that you can only effectively strength train by lifting heavy weights at the gym.
But that’s not true.
I have been working out from home and prepared for a photo and video shoot with a minimal amount of home equipment.
How can I strength train at home?
You can strength train very effectively at home with a few basic pieces of equipment:
- Dumbbells of between 3-5 kilo or 6 to 11 pounds
- Resistance band
- Glute band
If you can also include these that would be great but not absolutely essential:
- A weighted jacket
- A pull-up bar
- 8 to 15 kilo dumbbells or 18 to 34 pounds
A great way to divide out your workouts is to do two sessions of upper body and two sessions of lower body per week.
In all your workouts you should always include some compound movements as these burn the maximum amount of fat and get your heart rate going. Compound movements involve working multiple muscle groups with one movement whereas isolated movements work just one muscle group.
So, a typical leg and glute session would look like this:
- 4 sets of 10 squats with dumbells
- 4 sets of 10 on each leg lunges with dumbells
- 4 sets of 10 on each leg step ups (on a chair) with dumbbells
- 4 sets of 10 on each leg single leg chair squats
- 4 sets of 10 to 15 glute bridges with glute band
Meanwhile, an upper-body day would look like this:
- 4 sets of 10 to 12 coffee table dips
- 4 sets of 10 pull-ups (assisted with band if required)
- 3 sets of 10 to 15 overhead dumbbell shoulder press
- 3 sets of 10 to 15 lateral raises
- 3 sets of 10 to 15 bicep curls
You could also include an ab workout at the end of each workout.I have put together a FREE glute and ab resistance training workout which you can download here:
Now, in the gym if those exercises get too easy you would go heavier on the weight to increase the difficulty or intensity.
It is really important to keep challenging yourself by increasing the intensity in some way otherwise you will not build muscle which is the goal of strength training.
But because you have probably only got one set of dumbbells or one resistance band at home these are the strategies you can use for increasing the intensity:
- Increase the reps (repetitions which is how many times you do the movement)
- Slow the movement down.
- Pause or slowing down at the ‘concentric’ part of the movement which is when the muscle is under most tension. So, in a squat that would be when you are nearer the ground.
- You can also do Isometric exercises which are when you hold the movement for a longer period of time. A good example is holding a plank for a minute.
- Reduce rest times between sets. So instead of resting for say a minute you can reduce this to 30 seconds. This will put more demand on your muscle.
- You can incorporate a weighted jacket to make your workout more challenging (this has really been a game changer for me! I would highly recommend this.)
And when you have finished your workout it is really important to stretch to avoid getting injuries and muscle soreness, DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) the next day.
So, there you have a great strength training plan you can use at home.
What else can you do to ensure you get maximum fat burning from strength training?
It’s important to mention the other two strategies for effective weight loss when you are over 40 are:
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- A healthy wholefoods diet that is high in protein
I have included all these things as well as an effective home strength training plan in my six-week shred challenge, weight loss program for women over 40.
I developed this program because I know from my OWN experience what worked when you were younger for weight loss will no longer work when you are over 40 and it gets tougher to shift that stubborn belly fat.
This program has 3 main strategies that will help you lose weight effectively when other programs have failed:
- An at-home strength training plan to build your metabolism and burn fat.
- HIIT workouts to burn fat not only while you are working out but up to 48 hours after.
- A diet plan specifically for women over the age of 40 to balance hormones and fuel the workouts.
You can find out more about why lots of women are shedding pounds by clicking on the image or this link