As our CEO and founder at Ultimate Performance, Nick Mitchell, states “Some men would be better to train like women and some women would be better to train like men.”
So, should women train differently from men?
Physiologically, muscle tissue functions largely the same way, regardless of your sex. Fortunately, the myth of heavy weights making women “bulky” is 100% not true!
The bread-and-butter exercises we use with our clients to achieve their incredible results haven’t changed that much since we opened our doors. However, the target areas and training volume we apply may vary from person to person.
Remember, how much food you do (or do not) eat determines whether you lose, gain or maintain weight – differences between the sexes therefore simply come down to how many calories you need to eat to achieve your particular goal.
Resistance training is one of the main ways that you signal to the body to retain lean body mass during periods of caloric restriction. More lean body mass means increased metabolic rate, insulin sensitivity and generally looking a whole lot sexier naked!
A good program should be well balanced and focus on strengthening all musculature. While women tend to prefer to focus on the legs, glutes, shoulders and arms, male target areas are more likely to include the chest and arms.
Regardless of gender, the main priorities should always be lifting at an effective intensity for growth, progressive overload and effective recovery.
Good news for anyone worrying about gaining too much muscle… to date no one has suddenly become hench without a lot of time, effort and passion.
A key difference between the sexes is that women tend to recover faster and can move between sets more quickly while maintaining the same level of intensity. Women may also find that their performance, metabolic rate and recovery may vary throughout their cycle, due to differences in circulating hormones, such as estrogen.
However, the main priorities for the vast majority of individuals are exactly the same – keep to key nutritional habits, make time for effective recovery and stress management and train HARD!
Gemma Atkinson, actress, radio presenter and advocate of weight training for women, gives her insight into how weight training won’t make you “bulky”. She speaks about her experience training with Ultimate Performance and the benefits weight training has on her health and general lifestyle.