Gender differences in training you should be aware of
| Health |
By Voja Budrovac
It is important to understand that everyone is different and everyone has a different training capacity and style. There are countless factors that will affect your training results. One of the biggest factors that will affect your training results is gender. Our physiognomy differs between genders, so it makes a lot of sense that our training regimes need to be based on the practices that will suit our gender and make the best results. Men and women express about 3000 skeletal muscle genes differently. So, there are some gender differences in training you should be aware of before starting your personal fitness journey.
Muscles, metabolism, and performance
Firstly, it is important to note that both genders have a similar fiber type composition. There was this urban myth that men are more fast-twitch muscle fiber-dominant than women, but this turned out to be a misconception. However, female muscle fibers usually have a lesser amount of anaerobic enzymes than male fibers which makes them more reliant on aerobic metabolism for energy. Additionally, men have notably larger muscle fibers.
All these differences in muscle fibre size explain the difference in strength between men and women. All of this does not mean that women should not engage in strength training. There is an abundance of exercises that are performed to suit women, and if you are interested in finding out more you should contact a virtual personal trainer to help you with everything.
Women beat men in endurance activities because they are more reliant on aerobic metabolism than men. What this means is that women can keep a steady-state workload much longer than men, they can resist fatigue better than men, and need a smaller recovery time between sets.
As we have seen above, men have larger muscle fibers and rely on anaerobic metabolism and women rely on aerobic metabolism and burn more fat which makes them better at endurance sports. However, for endurance sports or anything other that involves fitness, having a healthy and nutritional diet is key.
The importance of estrogen and testosterone
Estrogen is a primary female sex hormone and assists in muscle repair after a hard exercise. Women recover from muscle damage more quickly than men because of estrogen. The hormone also has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other side, testosterone is highly associated with muscle mass and strength. The combination of these two hormones is the answer to the question of why men have bigger muscles and are usually naturally stronger.
Is training recovery different for women and men?
There is a lot of research in training recovery and gender and what is interesting is that there is evidence to support three stances. In some studies, women recover more quickly, in other men recover more quickly, and the third stance is that there is no difference between genders and recovery time. So, there is still a need for more research regarding this topic.
Training adaptations and gains through gender
Contrary to the popular belief, women do not have smaller and fewer results when beginning a training program. According to studies, untrained women and men will make the same kind of progress when beginning a training program. This information will surely come as a surprise as we know that men usually make greater gains, while women tend to slow down and easily plateau. But why is that so? Men will make greater gains in size and strength because of testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is necessary for positive protein balance which is then necessary for muscle growth to happen. Because of testosterone men are more likely to be in a positive protein balance. This on the other hand means they have bigger chances to grow muscles and strength.
Why are these differences important for your training regime?
Maybe you had some differing opinions while reading this article concerning gender, performance, and training abilities. It is not the point of this discussion to say which gender is better at which kind of working out regime. People need to be aware that it is really important to modify every single exercise to your personal needs. If you are not willing to gather all the information by yourself maybe it is time to think about hiring a professional. It is important to push your body, but it is also really important to understand its limits.
It is important to know which exercises will do something substantial for your body and which will just risk injuries. One of the most important things when working out is to prevent injuries that might occur if you are not careful. There is no point in doing a certain exercise every day if it does not help your overall performance. It is important to educate yourself as not to waste time.
How big are the gender differences in training?
When it comes to fiber composition, start training adaptations and training recovery, men and women are not so different. What plays a giant role and makes the biggest difference is metabolism, fiber size and anabolic hormones. This means that the exercises will not be different if we are looking at muscle groups. Men and women will have to have different training regimes because women will stop progressing as quickly as men at some point. So, it is important to stay alert and focused on your health. Finally, the most important thing is to look at your training as a personal fitness journey and not as a competition.