If you ever wondered…should women workout exactly like men?, then this article was specifically written to answer this question. For so long, women have always been hounded by the idea that they should not do the kind of training that men perform. Because of these, a lot of females have only been doing light cardio and little to no lifting at all. And if someone does squats and deadlifts, other gym goers get confused. After all, women shouldn’t train like men, right? These manly trainings should only be done by women who are into competitive bodybuilding or athletes, right? Wrong.
It’s time to stop thinking that women are too fragile to even consider lifting weights or that their muscles are not designed to carry heavy loads. This line of thinking only intimidates women since not a lot of them are doing it, and they have the fear of the unfamiliar. Others believe that if they work out like men, they will get bulky muscles. In turn, they are stopped from taking full advantage of their workout sessions due to a misguided line of thinking.
First off, it’s important to get the idea across: getting bulky from training will less likely happen to women, unless they are taking special medications that will increase their testosterone production. Muscle buildup only happens with elevated testosterone levels, which women only have in small quantities and is not enough to create huge muscles.
Speaking of muscles, when you train for strength, you will still be building muscles, but of the leaner kind. That said, as you increase your muscle mass, you will also be improving your metabolism. So whether you are using machines or free weights, you are building your muscles which in turn burns your calories. And the effect does not stop after you’re done with your workout. The more intense your training is, the higher the afterburn effect will be, which means that you will still be torching calories even when you are just doing minimal activities after your workouts.
With better muscle development, your speed, endurance and stamina will also improve. Now, you can go on longer in your cardio sessions and even avoid plateaus in your training. By improving your muscle mass, you are also improving your performance, be it for weight training or other types of fitness workouts.
And when people tell you that you shouldn’t lift weights, don’t listen to them. Instead, listen to your bones. Weight lifting helps women prevent the onset of osteoporosis or the loss of bone density. At this point in your life, you might not be experiencing it yet. However, once you are nearing 50 years old, you will be suffering from it, especially if you haven’t been keeping your bones well-developed in your earlier years. So what better way than to help build your bones and avoid osteoporosis? You guessed it right, lifting weights. Aside from preventing the degradation of your bone density, the development and strengthening of your muscles and bones help you maintain your balance. With better stability and agility, you can improve your coordination and avoid injuries and cramps, be it during workouts or in general.
One of the best advantages of working out and doing lifts like men, for women, is that they can optimize the results within a matter of weeks. Unlike light cardio, performing high intensity cardio sessions and weight training have faster results. Aside from the obvious improvements in the physique, you will also observe that you have become stronger and can endure longer training incrementally. With faster results due to consistent workouts, you feel more confident, more optimistic and more motivated to continue with your training.
While men have the goals of getting huge and enormous guns, and women want to look shapely and sexy, this does not mean that both sexes should have different training regimen. The best foundation to become stronger, leaner and fitter starts with building muscles. To achieve better muscular mass, you need to lift weights consistently and progressively, especially in load. You need to able to produce effort in lifting your weights up to muscle failure for you to get optimal muscle gains. And since women have lesser testosterone than men, the muscle-building hormones are also much lower. For this reason, women actually have to train harder than men instead of lesser. The only time that women should not workout like men is when it comes to leg days. Most women wouldn’t want to grow their quads in terms of cross sectional area. That is why, most leg exercises for women target their glutes, hips, hamstrings and their posterior chain. Squats, lunges and deadlift variations are great for this kind of exercises.
Aside from training, women should also learn the value of workout nutrition. Eating before and after workouts is crucial for energy, muscle development and recovery. Without it, it will be harder to build muscles and achieve her fitness goals.
But when should women not train like men? No, this isn’t the part where you will be told that women should do lesser workouts than men. On the contrary, the female body is actually more capable of doing an even higher degree of training. Women have better resistance to fatigue, even in cases when both sexes have the same level of strength. This means that women can do higher total training volume or more reps and sets than men if they have hypertrophy goals.
Although women have lesser testosterone, they have higher estrogen levels, which is actually an anti-catabolic hormone in the body. This can be of great advantage among women since anti-catabolic hormones help in muscle repair and prevent protein breakdown and muscle degradation. Because of the elevated levels of estrogen in the body, females can also train with higher volume before reaching muscle failure. More so, women’s bodies are more tolerant with metabolic stress. So yes, women can train heavy and according to their strength capacity.
The female body is naturally built for endurance as part of evolution. This allows them to train with more reps and have even lesser recovery time. As a woman, don’t let the testosterone-driven gym intimidate you. By knowing your strength and capacity, use it to your advantage and work towards better and more satisfying results.