Should women train differently from men?

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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Craig on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:03 am

Should women train like men? No way!

Some muscles give the male look, traps and forearms spring to mind and so in my eyes this rules out the deadlift from the females routine.

Next issue for women weight training is more about shaping the body (adding muscle to the right areas, maybe even taking away from others). Its quite common in women that there lower bodies will react strongly to weight training, look at the legs of female cyclists (the sprinters) or the speed ice skaters and you'll see what I mean. Adding some width to the shoulder area will be more pleasing to the eye that just slapping on mass and creating a tiny waist means no situps or crunches............ and I see everyone doing these. Calf muscles again, which women wants big calfs, best left untrained unless really underdeveloped.

Womens weight training is more complexe IMO, sure the principles are the same but the application takes more skill.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Pingu on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:18 am

Craig wrote:Should women train like men? No way!

Some muscles give the male look, traps and forearms spring to mind and so in my eyes this rules out the deadlift from the females routine.


I disagree! Look at GB! She is the deadlift queen and there is absolutely no way you can say she looks masculine!!!

Craig wrote:Adding some width to the shoulder area will be more pleasing to the eye that just slapping on mass and creating a tiny waist means no situps or crunches............ and I see everyone doing these.


Here you are talking about pure body sculpting rather than anything else surely? For sport specific training the aesthetics come second.

Craig wrote: Calf muscles again, which women wants big calfs, best left untrained unless really underdeveloped.


My calf muscles are very well developed, I train them and they still look feminine and are functional.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Craig on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:34 am

Pingu the routine you do has much more carry over to body sculpting than function strength / power.

GB is one person everyone has different genetics, just because it does not do it to her it doe not then mean it will not do it to the majority.............. my gran smokes 40 fags a day and lived to 92, never did her any harm........ get me?

Calfs are the muscle that rely on genetics the most for development, now say a pair of 14" calf on a women will look athletic however not many will desire a pair of 17-18" calfs.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Pingu on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:55 am

Certainly it started that way, I agree. That’s because I was learning from a body builder. However, now I am working to a swimming specific programme which is functional first and aesthetic second. The body sculpting focus at the start of my weight training journey came from my choice of person to seek advice from. Now I have switched to something which is directly aimed at my sport.

If we get into the genetics debate then it kinda applies both ways. To say keep certain items out of a woman’s programme due to the possibility of it affecting her body in the way you describe doesn’t take into account that it may NOT affect her body in that way. Surely a rounded approach with tweaking along the way if you find things are developing in a way you don’t like is better? Certainly if my arm didn’t prevent me from doing DLs I would be doing them. I know my weeny forearms and traps wouldn’t end up looking masculine. It’s just not possible for me physically. You don’t know if someone will respond in a certain way until you try it.

Also, it would be incredibly difficult to get 17-18” calves for a woman! Plus you have to look at their height/body size as well. A lady who is 6ft or so would probably quite easily get away with that size of calf! I’ve been gifted with easily developed calves, I train them, always have even before my weight training journey has started, and they are absolutely fine.

I do see what you are saying Craig, and I know it comes from a lot more indepth technical knowledge than I have, but I still disagree!
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby health4ni on Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:42 pm

Craig wrote:Should women train like men? No way!

Some muscles give the male look, traps and forearms spring to mind and so in my eyes this rules out the deadlift from the females routine.
Logically that makes sense Craig... but imo is wrong.

Deadlifts are a must for everyone. I do however prefer to do RDLs with my female clients but still use standard deadlifts to vary things.

One thing to remember is that women find it very hard to add lots of muscle; this thread has already quite clearly explained that. Females would need to lift heavy heavy heavy to get big forearms. It's just not going to happen. I've never seen it (natural ladies anyway). In fact, you're more likely to get bigger forearms doing rock climbing.

Posterior chain work is essential to all people, and perhaps even more so for females as their body fat tends to be greatest in the lower limbs, so such work is good to help "sculpt"/"tone"/"define" (whatever word you wanna use) those areas.

I have a 43 year old mother of 2 who is 5'1" and weighs 48kg; she did a 65kg deadlift this week. Considering she only trains twice a week (both times with me) I'm well impressed. Anyway, the point I'm getting to is that she had Diastasis recti after her childbirths. She was never able to get the "gap" closed (which was 3 widths of her fingers!) with standard ab work as prescribed by a physio (she is a doctor herself [not GP]). After only 3 months of twice a week work with me and always doing a deadlift variation (normally RDLs) every week, the gap is now down to 1/2 a finger width! She doesn't have big forearms, nor big traps and yet this lift has massively helped her almost get back to normal after 7years!

Ok, a very specific point, and one of course that has some considerations to genetics (blah blah blah). But my long and drawn out point (again) is that I think women can train ALMOST the same as men.

I do agree that trap work is really needed. But tbh on most men it isn't either; unless they're not doing "good" exercises to start with.

Calf work; agree with this. But again, calf work imo is as waste of time unless you are going to be a competing bodybuilder; spend more time on something more useful.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby GymBunny on Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:56 pm

Lol! Well womens training is certainly a thought provoking subject.

I agree with what Craig has said about trap building, my traps are definitely bigger than they used to be and I now think my neck looks almost stumpy, whereas before I loved how long as shapely it was. But, I'm pretty sure it's things like powercleans and hangcleans that are responsible for that, though deads probably have played their part.

I will take some comparative pics this weekend.

Health is also bang on the money about forearms, climbing does more to my forearms than anything I do in the gym.

Finally, yep, women's legs respond quicker. Or mine certainly do/have. It's the fat covering them that prevents the muscle lines showing through, though I am working on that.

To any ladies reading, you'l find you have strong points and you'll have weak points and it is working out which is which that can be tricky initially. Once you have, well sorry to say this, but the weak points will probably require a lot more hard work and dedicated training to bring them up to scratch. However tempting it is to concentrate on your strong points, try not to, as this will take you out of balance.

Lastly. Though we haven't really touched on it here, the battle of the sexyness is lost or won in the nutritional side. I neglected this for a long time and though I made good strength and muscle gains, they were not visible. I'm finally addressing that. I have to say having and understanding what is a good eating plan is harder than any lift any training programme.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby health4ni on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:04 pm

GymBunny wrote:Lastly. Though we haven't really touched on it here, the battle of the sexyness is lost or won in the nutritional side.
Most definitely.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Craig on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:24 pm

Lets be fair here a 65kg deadlift won't build significant muscle mass on anyone, however add a 100kg to that and your talking muscle building potential (masculine looking) in some cases. Even the light weigt classes in women deadlift contests seem to show trap development, interestingly though no excessive forearm development.

The whole concept thats its testosterone that splits male a female muscle building potential is laughable. So many other factors involved in muscle building and also so many other hormones. The upper body deveopment issue is going to be affected as much by neuro eficency learned from activities under taken as a child and teenager and androgen receptor density as by level of test. So the female upper body will be like the fat kid in cross country at school, it will take forever to get to the finish but will make it there in the end (a bit like my arms chassing the rest of my body :x )

Zara doesn't train legs (well quads and calfs)

http://www.brothersofiron.com/showthrea ... 48&page=18

good call IMO as they would over develop, shes obviously not stugging to put on muscle in that area.

or how about the legs female speed skaters develop

http://www.picsearch.com/pictures/athle ... inger.html

surely no one can actually think women can't develop lower body size........... and is it always wanted, given the original question?

Women should train heavy (for them), use progressive overload but pick the exersize's carefully and for the most part use more volume than men and theres much more than one hormone splitting us.

@GB I agree its all about balance and as for diet I know women tend to have way more hang up than guys (massive generalization :D) so I agree this is where the wars won or lost in most cases.

@Scott yep I agree RDL are the way forward for women, with the conv DL being bought in to deal with cases of very poor overall strength.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby kp1512 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:26 pm

[looking good in your 'tar Scott]
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby health4ni on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:31 pm

Craig wrote:Lets be fair here a 65kg deadlift won't build significant muscle mass on anyone, however add a 100kg to that and your talking muscle building potential (masculine looking) in some cases.
Oi, leave my client alone! lol :P

tbh I think for a "twice a week in the gym" mother of two that's not bad. But yeah, not massive muscle building work is going to happen there.

Also, not much I can really do in 2 days a week either.

--

I think female lower body development can be much easier to gain; as you say.

It's all about what you want to achieve, how you go about doing it (good progs,training hard, dedication etc) , knowing how your body responds and eating right.

But then I've just said the key to the whole thing anyway lmao
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Craig on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:34 pm

lol 65kg deadlift for women is good at that age, I'm sure she has no intention of lifting 165kg.
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby health4ni on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:36 pm

I can just do 165kg ffs!

No, she wasn't looking too keen to go for 60kg with the big 20kg plates on. But once she did it she was happy enough. Was good too, as other people (men!) were watching; and probably feeling rather inadequate. Now I just need them to come to me for help (bloody ego's get in the way though!).
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Craig on Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:41 pm

health4ni wrote:I can just do 165kg ffs! Sorry :mrgreen: (I'll stop digging)

No, she wasn't looking too keen to go for 60kg with the big 20kg plates on. But once she did it she was happy enough. Was good too, as other people (men!) were watching; and probably feeling rather inadequate. Now I just need them to come to me for help (bloody ego's get in the way though!).


Yep and they need it a million times more too I bet, nothing worse looking than a bloke with no traps, or ass, so squats and deads for males.............. and maybe for women :P
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby GymBunny on Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:34 pm

Loving your post Craig.

Here's a link to figureathlete and associated benefits lifting can have for your lurrrve life! ;)
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Re: Should women train differently from men?

Postby Pingu on Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:28 am

And there was me thinking that you would be posting about benefits like improved bone density etc etc...

...and get a link about sex. Honestly :roll:

But of course...that is GOOD to know and I will be reading at home later! :lol:
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