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How to Start Weight Training at Home After Age 40

Women Lifting weights after

One question that I get asked a lot is whether it’s possible to build muscle and build strength by lifting weight at home. The answer is a resounding YES, and I’m here to guide you through every step. 

In fact, 90% of my clients train at home, and most are using just dumbbells. 


Benefits of lifting weights at home

  • Privacy: The gym can be intimidating. Home training eliminates that, offering a private space to learn and grow.  In addition, it’s good to take video of yourself training to assess your technique, and I’ve found women feel much more comfortable doing that at home than at the gym.  

  • Saves time: Most of my clients have jam-packed schedules and saving 30-60mins by not commuting to the gym can mean the difference between getting started lifting and putting it off till you have more time.  When you train at home, you can do it when it suits you (maybe while dinner is in the oven) and be available if your family needs you. 

  • Equipment Availability: Your equipment is always available, no waiting for someone else to finish their sets.  

BONUS:  When you train at home, your kids and partner see you lifting which may get them thinking about their own fitness too. I’ve had clients whose husbands have started once they’ve seen their wives get stronger and my own kids all started lifting weights after seeing me train at home. So you may end up inspiring those around you! 


The downside of training at home 

Training at home does present a few challenges too. 

Some muscles are harder to work at home than at the gym. Another downside is that there is less variety of exercises at home using dumbbells.   

But when you understand that variety is not necessary for progress, then hopefully you can put these ‘downsides’ behind you and focus on the joys of getting stronger and firmer again.  


What kind of equipment do you need to lift weights at home? 

Start weight training at home

You can start with very minimal equipment. 

  • Dumbbells: All you really need is some dumbbells. What size depends very much on your own strength and the exercises you do, but an assortment of dumbbells 5 – 10lbs should get you started.  If you don’t have dumbbells at home, you may be able to buy some used (thanks to the pandemic many people have some lying around the house gathering dust) or you can invest in some adjustable dumbbells

  • Space: You need about 1 yoga mat’s worth of space. I started my lifting journey in the narrow space beside my bed.  

  • Yoga mat: Because you’ll be on the floor for some exercises, an actual yoga mat will make things more comfortable for you.  

  • Sturdy chair or bench:  For some exercises, you’ll need to be able to sit, hold on for balance, or even use as part of the exercises. Generally, a sturdy kitchen chair, trunk, sofa or bench will do the job.  If you have one, an adjustable weight training bench works great.  

Some keys to success when start weight training at home 

You can achieve a lot of training at home, but it’s not as easy as just getting some dumbbells and doing random exercises a couple of times a week. There is a science to building muscle. To achieve the best results: 

  • Get your hands on a program that trains each of your muscle groups twice a week 

  • Each session should have 4-6 exercises 

  • Follow the same program for at least 10 weeks – swapping too soon can slow progress 

  • Apply progressive overload 

  • Allow for a minimum of 48 hours of recovery before training the same muscles again 



Get Started Lifting Weights At Home 

Weight training at home isn’t just a possibility; it’s a viable path to achieving your fitness goals. With a solid program, strategic recovery, and consistency, you can transform your health and strength without stepping outside your door. 

If you’re looking to start weight training and could use a bit of guidance, explore my self-study course Learn to Lift at Home

Happy Training!  

X Lynn 



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Coach Lynn Sederlöf-Airisto

Certified Menopause Fitness coach

About the Author

Noticing unwanted changes in your body in midlife and not sure what to do about it? I get it & can help!


I'm a 52-year-old Certified Menopause Fitness Coach who has been there and turned things around by re-vamping my fitness habits, and now I am helping other women do the same.


Weight training is the key to keeping your body strong & capable - so let's get you started: I offer online self-study courses, group programs, and 1-to-1 coaching.  You can also learn a lot from my podcast 40+ Fitness for Women. Welcome to my world!

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