Oddly, I couldn’t find any online information about having a menopausal hot flash while strength training, so I decided to be (apparently) the first to write on this subject.
I have had many hot flashes (menopausal) while lifting weights. It’s not that the exercise causes a hot flash.
Or at least I don’t believe there’s a connection. It seems as though the hot flashes occur randomly, and sometimes, I just happen to be in the gym when they happen.
And here’s what I do when it happens: nothing.
That is, I continue with my exercise as always. The only time a hot flash becomes an issue during a strength training session is when it’s time to do another deadlift set.
This is because the hot flash makes my palms sweaty, and the deadlift requires gripping a barbell from the floor and pulling it up to hip level. I don’t use gloves or chalk.
If you have this same problem, the only thing you can do is wipe your hands on a towel and/or shake them out in the air before gripping the barbell.
As a personal trainer, I don’t recommend gloves because they cheat you of developing natural grip power. Chalk will help with the sweat.
Or, you can wait for the episode to pass, if that doesn’t interfere with the timing of your sets and rests.
Other than interfering with grip in the deadlift, I don’t see how the menopausal hot flash can disrupt exercise other than just making you hotter and drippier than you normally would be.
At one point, I stepped outside into the cool night air. At one of the chain gyms I go to, there’s a door to an outdoor balcony that’s right off one end of the training area.
It was literally just feet from the training floor that I was using, and the cool night air felt great against my in-the-midst hot flash.
You can always stand before a fan if your gym has one. If not, simply proceed with your training.
You may want to have a towel with you. You’ll want to wipe sweat off your face. You may feel sweat dripping down your chest and back.
To that I say, so what. Menopausal hot flashes happen. Nobody in the gym has to know this, either. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.
I’ve had them between sets of bench pressing, chin-ups, leg presses, overhead presses and squats. I let them run their course and conduct my workouts as usual.
I don’t cease strength training just because I’m having a menopausal hot flash, and I don’t recommend that you do this, either. Just keep on training.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.