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Dr Reveals Why Strength Training Is The Best Way To Combat Male Menopause (Manopause).

As men age, they often face a natural decline in testosterone levels, sometimes referred to as Manopause. This hormonal shift can decrease muscle mass, energy, and overall strength. However, combatting these changes head-on with the right approach is possible. Strength training emerges as a powerful tool to mitigate the effects of Manopause, offering benefits that extend far beyond the gym.

Why Strength Training?

Strength training isn't just about building muscle. It's a key component in maintaining overall health, especially as men navigate the challenges of middle age. Engaging in regular resistance exercises can help:

  • Preserve Muscle Mass: As testosterone levels decline, so does muscle mass. Strength training can counteract this effect, promoting muscle growth and maintenance.
  • Boost Metabolism: Muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest. Increasing muscle mass can boost men's metabolism and aid in weight management.
  • Improve Bone Density: Resistance training benefits bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  • Enhance Mental Health: Exercise releases endorphins, which can help improve mood, reduce stress, and combat depression (not to mention libido).
  • Support Cardiovascular Health: Strength training can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Promote Restorative Sleep: Regular exercise, particularly strength training, helps regulate the body's internal clock, leading to improved sleep patterns and increased sleep quality, essential for coping with the hormonal changes of male menopause.

Expert Commentary

We spoke to Dr Alexis Missick, from UK Meds on this topic:

"Strength training can help combat signs of male menopause by addressing hormonal changes and promoting overall well-being. During male menopause, men will experience a decline in testosterone. This leads to symptoms such as reduced muscle mass, increased body fat, and decreased energy levels. Strength training stimulates testosterone production by causing the body to experience stress. This stress then triggers the release of hormones, including testosterone.

Strength training can also reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. Both reduced body fat and increased muscle mass are linked to higher testosterone levels, helping to combat hormonal changes long-term.

Male menopause can also cause difficulty sleeping. Regular strength training sessions help regulate the body's circadian rhythm, or internal clock, which governs the sleep-wake cycle. Exercise, including strength training, can help synchronise this rhythm, promoting better sleep patterns.

Strength training can also reduce stress and anxiety levels, another complication of male menopause. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators and stress relievers. 

Finally, the male menopause can cause issues with libido. By positively influencing hormonal balance, enhancing self-esteem and confidence, and improving overall physical and mental well-being, strength training can also help improve libido."

Starting Your Strength Training Journey

For men experiencing Manopause, starting slowly and focusing on form is essential to prevent injury. Various exercises targeting all major muscle groups can ensure balanced growth and strength development. Aim for two to three strength training sessions per week, allowing for rest days in between to promote muscle recovery. 

Incorporating Strength Training into Your Routine

  1. Begin with Bodyweight Exercises: Push-ups, squats, and lunges are great starting points.
  2. Gradually Introduce Weights: Incorporate free weights or resistance bands as you build strength.
  3. Focus on Compound Movements: Exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, and squats work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, offering more bang for your buck.
  4. Seek Professional Guidance: Consider working with one of our personal trainers to tailor a program to your needs and goals.
  5. Listen to Your Body: Adjust your training intensity and volume based on your feelings. Recovery is just as important as the workout itself.