Should Women Train Differently Than Men?
My answer to this long-debated question is two-fold.
First part: absolutely.
I realize my above answer is shocking, however, no it isn’t sexist. We should all train differently from one another because we each have our own bodies with our own priorities and goals. Your training should be different from your friends’ for the simple reason that you are not them. Customize your workouts and then explode through your set goals.
Second part: Not really
As a trainer and a scientist, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I see women (even men too) break these ridiculous societal barriers that we have placed upon our physical form. Women shouldn’t lift barbells full of plates…women shouldn’t be using heavy dumbbells…women should be delicate little flowers…etc. What bull that is. Knowledge is power, and power is sexy; which means that knowledge is equally sexy.
While our goals may be varying (i.e. men want to be yoked and women want to be toned) the rule remains the same: you won’t have yoked, toned, or ripped anything without first building muscle. Muscle must be cultivated over time. And with considerable effort then come those gains you want. Understanding how the muscle works and how much energy you can muster out of it is critical when creating your workouts as well as your entire program. Man or woman, the amount of muscle recruited and energy exerted to lift a weight twenty-five times without failing is never as beneficial or as comparable to lifting a weight 6-10 times to failure.
Know that when I discuss this matter, it comes from a place of science and hard-earned understanding. The second part to this question is in reference to testosterone levels and mass distribution. Long has it been known that women have roughly ten times less testosterone than men and about 40% less upper body strength. Which means that muscle building and strengthening is naturally more difficult for a woman (generalized, but still accurate). Does that mean women should train more intensely and more often than men? No. Not in the slightest. It means you can train however hard you want. Lifting heavy weights and working those big muscle groups will NOT turn you into a man – or at least as big as one (unless of course you are cheating). To truly understand that women and men, although physically different, should train the same (in terms of exercises, not necessarily weight) in order to achieve those long deserved gains – or cuts – will be the moment you start building on that plateau.
Intensely short synopsis today! Women, please understand that you can train like a beast and still be a completely alluring beauty!
Matthew Picanco, BHSc.