It’s no secret -In a world where we swim in a sea of temptations, everyone wants to do something on their quest to look better naked and feel better mentally. The most common way to achieve this is, you guessed it -weight training! But the culture around weight training sparked endless debates on whether weightlifting is effective for the ladies, as it is for men. Surprisingly, the answer is not as clear-cut as one might think due to the wide variety of things to factor in. Although the weightlifting culture has been portrayed as a hardcore, men-only type of thing, the truth is that ladies too can benefit from it! So if you're a woman who's been hesitant to start weightlifting because you think it's only for men, fear not! This blog post debunks some of the common myths about weightlifting and shows that both men and women can benefit from this type of exercise. Keep reading to learn more!
The Benefits Of Training
Regardless of gender, we humans have one very complex system meant to move us through space... The musculoskeletal system, that consists of all your bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves! What this means is that our human existence is pretty much a constant series of muscular contractions, both conscious (like walking to the store) and unconscious (like your diaphragm contracting so you can breathe.) If we follow that train of thought, we can conclude that it will be borderline audacious to AVOID muscle contractions (training), whether you are a man or a woman. Even more so, moving and eating well is the LEAST anyone can do to respect, take care of, maintain and improve their muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves! Weight & cardio training have massive benefits for your overall health, regardless of your gender.
However, there are certain differences in both genders that may have an effect on how quickly you progress, what physical qualities you’re best suited for, etc. So let’s have a look!
Anatomical & Physiological Differences
If you’ve ever stood naked in front of a mirror with your loved one, it’s quite obvious -Anatomically, both genders have pretty much the same configuration of muscles. We all have biceps. We all have glutes, and we all have calves. (duh!) In terms of the main physiology of training, the processes are still analogical -Both genders use the same mechanisms to break down & recover certain energy compounds, as well as recover the muscles. Now certainly, there are certain hormonal differences between both genders. However, contrary to popular belief, these differences have an impact on how quickly progress is achieved, as well as how certain physical properties are improved. Now, one of the main differences is in the above-mentioned skeletomuscular system. As we said, that system has the same configuration for both genders. However, the composition is slightly different. In women, the musculature is made up of more type 1 slow-twitch muscle fibers. In men, on the flip side, the musculature is made up of more type 2 fast-twitch muscle fibers.
What Does This Mean?
When it comes to how all of these differences manifest in the gym, it’s quite simple:
1. Women have higher levels of endurance
2. Women recover quicker
3. Men have higher levels of maximal strength and are better at short-burst power outputs
4. Men reach fatigue quicker and have greater recovery time.
With this in mind, we can say that women can generally train with greater volume & repetitions, as well as shorter rest times between sets.
Though there are some anatomical & physiological differences in both genders, training should be structured depending on your goals rather than your gender. Whether you are a man or a woman:
1. Do heavy, challenging work with weights (For the goals of looking better & getting stronger/more explosive) Try FLEX Class
2. Do moderately heavy, challenging work with weights (For the goals of improving strength endurance) Try FLEX Express Class
3. Do low-intensity cardio exercises like jogging/skipping/swimming (For the goal of increasing your endurance) Try DEFINE BARRE Class
4. Do stretching & mobility work for the goals of becoming more flexible and mobile! Try NOGA RELAX, NOGA FLOW, or PILATES+ Class
So go ahead, ladies, do your squats, deadlifts, and bench, and you men, do your hip thrusts!