Posted by: Ron
The differences in training men and training women just might surprise you.
Train women equally to men with one difference
It is another myth that training women needs to differ from training men. As if women had a different physiological make-up. Women’s muscles respond to the same type of exercise, the same volume and the same intensity. They may have differing muscle fibers but so do men. We are all unique in that aspect. Women do produce less testosterone than men so the muscle mass they can build will be limited, yet their training is the same.
The common misconception is that women need higher reps than men. That’s false. Women new to training are afraid of building big and bulky muscles “by accident”. The females I’ve trained always laugh when they hear that. They work really hard for all the muscle they have. None of it comes by accident. They still need to lift as heavy as they can, rest as little as possible, use strict and proper form and pay a lot of attention to what they put in their mouths.
There really is only one thing that differs in training women as opposed to men. Women have their menstrual cycles to consider. So if you are a woman and train yourself, make sure you take your cycle into account. If you’re a guy who trains women or your wife, girlfriend or daughter, you also need to know what stage in her cycle she is.
When she starts her period, she will likely be in some sort of pain or at least discomfort. As she loses blood, her energy levels will drop. This lasts anywhere from 1 day to 5 and even 7 days. You must take this into consideration and cut back on the volume. The intensity remains the same, so you can use the same weights and the same reps. Only cut back on the number of sets.
The nutrition also needs to change during the last 2 weeks before her period, the luteal phase. In order to minimize all discomfort and pain, she needs to reduce and eliminate all stimulants, especially sugar and coffee. This will also keep her energy levels high. Ideally a menstrual cycle is 28 days long. Since the level of health and well being differs from woman to woman, so do the length of their period. The healthier they become hormonally, the closer their cycles will be to 28 days.
So there are about 3 weeks in which women can train hard and about a week when it’s best to reduce their training volume.
Knowing when these stages are and taking them into consideration will make your training protocols for women, much more effective.
As a woman, have you noticed your energy levels change depending on what phase of your cycle you’re in? Let us know and help all the guys out there training their wives, girlfriends or daughters.