Forget that men and women need different workouts. Find out why guys and girls should exercise the same way. Throw the pink dumbbells aside and check out this powerful workout program for yourself!
Author: Tony Gentilcore, Certified Functional and Strength Training
With my girlfriend, this happens almost at every workout. After confidently completing a series of sets in a squat rack, one of the gym goers walks up to her and cautiously asks what sport she is doing or what competition she is preparing for. “To life,” she invariably answers. Most people like this answer, but some people are shocked by it. They can’t figure out why a girl does deadlifts, squats with a barbell and pulls up on a horizontal bar for pleasure.
I’m sure you understand what I’m getting at. Girls don’t train like guys, right? They can’t lift weights, right or not? Why would women need squats, bench presses, or pull-ups if they don’t compete in bodybuilding, do any sport or wrestling, and don’t use strength in their daily lives?
My girlfriend confuses many gym goers, because they are used to seeing women as delicate flowers for which heavy lifting is contraindicated. This and many other stereotypes, instilled in the representatives of the fair sex 24/7, can be safely called utter nonsense. The notion that women cannot be strong and athletic and should not lift weights is an annoying misunderstanding that must end!
Train the same
In the vast majority of cases, men and women should exercise in the same way. No, I, of course, understand that from an aesthetic point of view, men and women pursue different goals: men most often want to be pumped up and strong, and women – slim and fit. The truth is, you can achieve these goals using the same workout programs, and you need to be aware that you cannot create a sexy and slim figure without gaining muscle mass!
And to build muscle, you must lift weights and provide the body with enough calories to recover. Muscles don’t magically appear, and endless sets of 20 reps with 5kg dumbbells isn’t enough either. It doesn’t matter if you are a man, a woman or a Martian.
The number of muscle fibers and the effort required to lift such an insignificant weight cannot be compared with lifting real weights 6-10 times to muscle failure. There is a time and place for high-rep workouts, but it seems to me that their role is too exaggerated, and this leads to unsatisfactory results.
With rare exceptions, it is indeed much more difficult for women to gain muscle mass, because 10 times less testosterone circulates in the female body than in the male. And to solve this problem, girls often have to train at least, but twice as hard as boys.
Legs are an exception
When it comes to leg workouts, I take a slightly different approach when working with the fair sex. After all, most women don’t chase the teardrop-shaped quads, and if so, the flag is in their hands!
From my own experience I know that at the very moment when a girl cannot “fit into her favorite tight jeans” because her hips have become five centimeters wider, I will suffer a terrible punishment. To avoid an unenviable fate, I shift the focus to hamstring training with variations of the sumo and Romanian deadlifts that work the hamstrings, and also force clients to do a barbell bridge that kills the gluteal muscles.
Of course, I also include squats in the training program, but I recommend a wider stance for girls and always achieve the perfect technique for performing the movement. To do this, I teach them not to break their legs at the knees, but to gently lean back during the downward movement of the hips, so that the main load falls on the quadriceps.
To target the quadriceps, I actively use those exercise options that create an accentuated load on the thigh muscles. In particular, I prefer reverse or side lunges to regular lunges and steps onto a step platform. Seemingly trivial advice, such as tilting your body forward slightly during lunges, can be critical. Even a slight forward bend shifts the focus to the gluteal muscles and hamstrings, while a straight posture combined with an upright calf position puts more stress on the quadriceps.
Time to lift weights
There are not so many situations in which women should not exercise the way men do. Of course, such a circumstance as pregnancy completely changes the matter and requires a separate conversation, but in other cases, girls should train in the same way as guys, in order to create a strong and beautiful body with the help of the right training programs!