The Ultimate Strength Training Blueprint For Women Over 50

The Ultimate Strength Training Blueprint For Women Over 50

Getting in shape after 50 is quite challenging, and I understand your struggles. After 50, your body goes through big changes that can affect your health and well-being.

You may struggle with many issues and not know where to start. You may be unsure which workout is best: yoga, pilates, circuit training, or HIIT. Most times, recovering from past failures, managing current injuries, and fearing exacerbations can make workouts complicated.

Similarly, dietary changes can be difficult to implement. Even if you know the changes needed, you may not know how. Due to time and energy constraints, raising children, running a business, and prioritizing work or retirement can complicate the process.

But there is a way out of all of these problems: make an exercise plan that fits your lifestyle. 

As part of an exercise plan, regular physical activity, especially strength training with dumbbells, is very helpful. It makes you live longer, improves your quality of life, keeps your bones strong, lowers your risk of chronic diseases, and makes you more mobile and balanced. 

A key idea in strength training is progressive overload, which means slowly adding more weight, frequency, or repetitions to your routine to keep your body guessing. 

For women over 50 to stay active and independent, they need to include weight training and gradually add more weight to their weekly routine.

So, I’ll be sharing my strength training blueprint with you so you can take the right steps to start feeling better right away and get the quality of life you want.

Muscle Specificity: The Process of Muscle Aging in Women over 50

Numerous studies have shown that the complex physiological process of muscle aging in women over 50 is the result of many factors. Each muscle group is different in size, function, and strength.

Researchers have found that larger muscle groups, like the glutes and legs, can handle heavier loads better. The reason for this is that these groups have more muscle fibers, which supports making more force. This loss of muscle mass that happens to women as they age is called sarcopenia. The larger muscle groups lose more, which reduces their force and gains strength.

However, the biceps and triceps move more precisely and have fewer muscle fibers. Most of the time, lighter weights are best for training these muscle groups. Some research suggests that muscle quality and function may decline with age in smaller muscle groups.

As we age, muscle density decreases and intramuscular fat increases. Women over 50 may experience muscle weakness and decreased function due to these changes.

Understanding muscle aging is crucial for women over 50 to benefit from exercise and resistance training. Research on muscle group needs can help women over 50 prevent muscle decline and improve musculoskeletal health.

READ ALSO: Is Weight Lifting for Women Over 50 a Good Idea?

The Science Behind Different Strength Training Weights

Strength training weights are chosen based on muscle specificity. According to this principle, muscles change based on the demands that are put on them. 

When a certain weight really challenges a muscle group, it causes tiny tears in the muscle fibers. This is called muscle hypertrophy. During the repair phase, the muscle gets bigger and stronger. 

A good challenge that promotes growth and adaptation without putting you at risk of injury depends on choosing the right weight for each muscle group.

If they understand muscle specificity, women over 50 can create a balanced and effective strength training plan. This approach addresses muscle group needs, improving muscle health and function.

Here’s a detailed guide to using dumbbells, keeping in mind that different weights for different muscle groups maximize effectiveness and safety.

1. Biceps: Curling Strength

  • Absolute Beginner: Start with 2-5 lbs (0.9-2.3 kg) to get accustomed to the weight and focus on form.
  • Beginner with Experience: Increase to 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) as your strength and confidence grow.
  • Intermediate: Progress to 10-15 lbs (4.5-6.8 kg) to further challenge your muscles.
  • Advanced: Use 15-20+ lbs (6.8-9+ kg) to continue building strength and definition.

2. Triceps: Toning Power

  • Absolute Beginner: Begin with 2-5 lbs (0.9-2.3 kg) to ensure proper movement and muscle engagement.
  • Beginner with Experience: Move up to 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) as your triceps become stronger.
  • Intermediate: Advance to 10-15 lbs (4.5-6.8 kg) for increased resistance and muscle building.
  • Advanced: Step up to 15-20+ lbs (6.8-9+ kg) for intensive muscle work and sculpting.

Some Recommended Dumbbells For Strength Training

3. Shoulders: Sculpting Endurance

  • Absolute Beginner: Initiate with 2-5 lbs (0.9-2.3 kg) to safely build foundational strength.
  • Beginner with Experience: Increase to 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) as your shoulder stability improves.
  • Intermediate: Elevate to 10-15 lbs (4.5-6.8 kg) for enhanced muscle endurance.
  • Advanced: Challenge yourself with 15-20+ lbs (6.8-9+ kg) for peak performance and sculpting.

4. Chest: Strengthening Core

  • Absolute Beginner: Start with 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) focusing on controlled movements.
  • Beginner with Experience: Progress to 10-15 lbs (4.5-6.8 kg) as you gain strength and confidence.
  • Intermediate: Advance to 15-20 lbs (6.8-9 kg) for deeper muscle engagement.
  • Advanced: Move to 20-25+ lbs (9-11+ kg) for maximum strength and definition.

Some Recommended Dumbbells For Strength Training

5. Back: Core Stability

  • Absolute Beginner: Begin with 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) to focus on posture and form.
  • Beginner with Experience: Gradually increase to 10-15 lbs (4.5-6.8 kg) as your back muscles strengthen.
  • Intermediate: Move up to 15-20 lbs (6.8-9 kg) for continued muscle growth and definition.
  • Advanced: Use 20-25+ lbs (9-11+ kg) for intensive back strengthening and sculpting.

6. Glutes & Legs: Foundation of Power

  • Absolute Beginner: Initiate with 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) to build basic strength and balance.
  • Beginner with Experience: Increase to 10-20 lbs (4.5-9 kg) as your lower body becomes stronger.
  • Intermediate: Progress to 20-30 lbs (9-13.6 kg) for significant muscle building and toning.
  • Advanced: Step up to 30-40+ lbs (13.6-18+ kg) for optimal power and endurance.

Some Recommended Dumbbells For Strength Training

General Strength Training Tips for All Levels

  • Prioritize Form: Always focus on maintaining proper form over lifting heavier weights.
  • Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight when you can comfortably perform your target reps.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your muscles feel and adjust weights accordingly.
  • Rest and Recovery: Ensure each muscle group has adequate rest before being worked again.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Especially as a beginner, consider consulting with a fitness professional to ensure you’re on the right track.

READ ALSO: 4 Best Strength Exercises To Do Regularly in Your 50s

Strength Training Dumbbell Tips

If you’re considering purchasing an at-home set of dumbbells to cater to all muscle groups from beginner to advanced levels, here’s a suggested weight range:

  • Beginners: 2-10 lbs (0.9-4.5 kg). This range is excellent for those just starting out and includes weights suitable for smaller muscle groups.
  • Intermediate: 10-20 lbs (4.5-9 kg). As you progress, this range will allow you to continue challenging your muscles effectively.
  • Advanced: 20-35+ lbs (9-16+ kg). For those who have developed significant strength and are looking for more challenging weights, this range will cater to large muscle groups and more intense workouts.

Having different weights lets you adjust your workouts to your fitness level and progress at your own pace. Start with what is challenging but manageable and build up as you get stronger.

Closing Thoughts

For women over 50, adding dumbbell exercises to their weekly routine helps them age gracefully, confidently, and vitally. Understanding how weights work for different muscle groups helps create a safer and more effective workout. Regular strength training with progressive overload challenges muscles and improves health.

This journey is about independence, quality of life, and enjoying your years to the fullest, not just appearance. 

Remember that no matter when you start, dumbbell exercises will benefit you for years to come.

First, consult with doctors and certified trainers to create a safe and effective exercise program, especially if you have health issues.

Choose to become stronger and healthier with the right tools and knowledge to maximize your fitness efforts.

♡ Love ♡,


Ready to unleash the best version of yourself? Join our transformative 14-Day Glow Up Fitness Course today and start a journey to sculpt your body, sweat it out and glow!

Get expert training throughout your 14-day glow-up fitness course to ensure proper form and maximum impact. Say goodbye to excuses and hello to a healthier, more vibrant you!

If you find fabulous50s content useful and would like to support my work, you could always BuyMeATea 🫖 (completely optional, only if you want to!). Your support will help me create more quality videos and content created just for you… Fabulous women over 50! With love and appreciation, thank you. 🙏🏻😘


About Author

Schellea Fowler

Schellea Fowler

Schellea Fowler, founder of Fabulous50s, has amassed over three decades of excellence in small business leadership and expertise. Beyond her personal achievements, Schellea’s legacy is enriched by her role as a mentor, guiding emerging entrepreneurs with best practices from her experience. Post-2016, (after retiring at 50) her commitment to growth led her to further qualifications, all while maintaining her vision to empower and inspire women to feel excited about the stage of life they are in, and to and embrace and celebrate the aging process.

Recently, Schellea decided to expand her knowledge base. She’s currently immersed in the Clean Health Master Personal Trainer program.

Her additional qualifications include: Fashion Styling from the Australian Style Institute, Advanced Personal Colour Analysis from AOPI,  and Meditation Teacher Training from Yoga Coach.

Above all, Schellea’s mission is simple yet profound: to support women in embracing the aging process with confidence and grace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Author

Schellea Fowler

Schellea Fowler

Schellea Fowler, the visionary founder of Fabulous50s, brings over three decades of small business leadership and expertise to her legacy. Not only has she excelled personally, but she has also become a mentor, generously sharing her wealth of experience with emerging entrepreneurs.

After retiring at 50 in 2016, Schellea’s commitment to continuous growth led her to pursue additional qualifications. A qualified fitness instructor, she is presently continuing her master trainer program, specializing in exercise for older adults. Through Fabulous50s, Schellea remains devoted to her vision of empowering and inspiring women to embrace and celebrate their current stage of life.

Her additional qualifications include: Fashion Styling from the Australian Style Institute, Advanced Personal Colour Analysis from AOPI,  and Meditation Teacher Training from Yoga Coach.

Above all, Schellea’s mission is simple yet profound: to support women in embracing the aging process with confidence and grace.

Learn how to burn fat and build muscle fast with guided instruction.

Product Recommendation

Menopause Fix

Disclaimer: This content is not sponsored and all opinions are 100% my own. If I LOVE a product first, and there is an affiliate link available, I will use it. However, I will NOT look for a product that pays a commission first, and then do a review…EVER!

Some links are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I may receive a small commission for the sale. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you are free to use the link or not. It’s totally up to you. If you do use my links…

If attached, information provided in the videos is of a general nature only and for entertainment/educational purposes. We strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Performing any of these exercises is done so at your own risk.

Thank you so much xxx


Lost Password

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Return To Login

Welcome to the Fabulous50s!

Get access to all our freebies & challenges by simply signing up for a free account or logging in here.