Let me begin by saying that I am 56. However, that by itself means very little except that I have many friends all of whom experience what is referred to as ‘menopause’ differently.
This stage in a woman’s life is characterized by certain physiological changes which pretty much apply to everybody in similar ways. I believe that, as fitness professionals, we should be knowledgeable about that aspect of menopause.
Yet, the effects of it can vary widely. I always disliked the notion that it is something like a ‘disease’ with ‘symptons’.
I do not train ‘menopausal’ women differently because of that fact by itself. I make an assessment, as with everybody, and based on the assessment and the stated goals of the clients, the program is designed. If conditions change, as they sometimes do, we make adjustments.
I have made the observation that ‘menopause’ seems to impact some women much more psychologically than physically. I have seen a crisis in women who very much identified themselves with the reproductive aspect of womanhood, and who found it difficult to have that ‘taken away’. And yet, problems with identity can arise from other factors as well, such as a divorce or an illness.
In summary, there are physiological changes which manifest themselves differently from person to person, but the best approach to training is a good assessment, an open communication and an open mind.