Stay Strong: Lifted’s Menopause Bootcamp

Helping women get fit at any age.
Holly Rilinger, left, and Jennifer Ford. Photo: Kim Miller

By Julia Szabo

It requires more than muscle to lift weights; perhaps more important is the desire to get moving toward living one’s healthiest life. Women 50 and up who need motivation to take up strength training have terrific incentive: Lifting weights helps rebuild bone density lost during menopause and perimenopause. 

Menopausal women now have a vibrant virtual community to cheer them on: Lifted Menopause Bootcamp, the concierge program launched in January that’s the brainchild of strength coach and Lifted Method founder Holly Rilinger and yogini Jennifer Ford. Menopause is top of mind for both women, because they’re in the middle of it right now. 

“Think about our mothers, and our mothers’ mothers,” Rilinger says. “No one really thought about living a powerful life past 50. They knew a life change was coming, and they thought there was nothing they could do about it.” How things have improved: “We live in such an exciting time now, because science is telling us that there are many things we can do to live a healthy, strong life well into our 70s, 80s and 90s. It’s never too late—the ship has not sailed for any of us.”

Rilinger’s partner in life and business, Ford—Lifted’s yoga/stretching/mobility expert—was diagnosed with osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. After one year of strength training with Rilinger, her osteopenia is now gone, and she’s inspired to watch Menopause Bootcamp participants discover, as she did, their inner weightlifter: “It’s magical to see women in their 60s, from all over the world, pick up weights for the first time,” says Ford. Adds Rilinger, “Not only can you reverse osteopenia, you can prevent osteoporosis completely—that’s what we are looking to do for women.” 

Other collaborators on the program have included Alloy Women’s Health and Mary Claire Haver, M.D., author of The New Menopause.

What if, like this writer, you’re a stroke survivor who’s been warned not to lift heavy weights? “Get another opinion,” Rilinger says, “weigh the risk, then focus on what you can do, like walk on a treadmill with a weighted vest. I will find a way to make you stronger.” 

While Menopause Bootcamp is completely virtual, Lifted will host a special in-person boot camp in July and Menopause Summit workshops throughout the season; check the website or Instagram for dates. On July 27 in East Hampton, The Swell will also host an event where Rilinger will be the leading expert on movement and strength.

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