Women and weight training – the truth

The rumours in the gym these days are that women and men should be training and eating the same to achieve similar goals when it comes to fat loss and toning up.

Is there any truth to this? Yes, there is, a lot of it. However, we got a very different hormonal balance, so a few tweaks are in place.

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First of all, let’s clear this up. Toning up is muscle gain, no matter how you slice it. I do not understand why when men want to gain muscle, they need to tone up, where as women want to tone up and to do that they need to gain muscle. Same thing, two different expressions.

Women should not lift heavy

Wrong! In fact, women should lift “as heavy as men”. Not in terms of kilos, but strength levels. Why? Research suggest that women release more growth hormone (GH) during training than men, in percentages.

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GH single handedly burns fat and promotes muscle mass. This is amazing news for you ladies that want to burn the flab and get toned and HOT! How to do this? Focus on the ” TIME UNDER TENSION” when trainig, I.E when squatting, go slower down, count to 2 when at the bottom and explode up. Increasing the force production hits the high threshold muscle fibres, which will promote more strength and fat loss! Always focus on the negative, eccentric bit of the movement. I.E when dead lifting count to 3-4 every time you lower yourself down, always keep the muscle working and under tension as long as you can.

Diet

This is the controversial part, eat like men?

In essence yes, but common sense is allowed. Women do NOT need the same calorific intake as men, as women do not have the same amount of metabolically active muscle mass.

However, I advocate 4-5 small meals for all my female clients that are looking to burn the flab and get perky. The reason for this has very little to do with the metabolism that people talk about, but it has to do with INSULIN and LEPTIN control. Keeping the insulin stable, we avoid blood sugar spikes and control the fat accumulation.

The truth about female fat loss - cheat day

Another thing to take into the consideration are the re-feed or “cheat days” if you are on a low carb diet. The frequency of “cheat” days are largely determined of your body fat. Someone with +25% body fat can, or should I say, should go longer without cheat days than someone around 10%.

Also check out Cheat day vs no cheat day

In conclusion, having protein-based meals with sides of green leafy veg 3-4 times a day with well-planned, diet-friendly snacks is the best way to keep the hormones in check and burn body fat effectively.

In my own words, I’d love to see women lifting more, nothing is more disheartening than seeing the same ladies than joined the gym a year ago, still bashing about on the treadmill, with no significant change in their shape whatsoever.

Just thinking if it was me that wanted to develop my chest, and someone tells me that bench press is the best thing. If I don’t see results in 2 weeks, I’d quit or figure out something else. I have to admire the patience and determination. The truth is that most of these ladies would have achieved their goal within 2 months, rather than achieving nothing else but a headache and frustration in 12 months.

Women will not get big, period

To achieve significant amounts of muscle mass you need to have high levels of testosterone amongst other things. A woman has something between 6-8ng/dl of free testosterone in their blood stream, whereas for a man the figure is between 270-1100ng/dl. Still want to argue? No, go lift heavy, eat sensibly and enjoy the results!

As said, the training and diet for men and women to achieve the same goals, but looking different are very similar! Yes, we have hormonal balances that makes us either men or women, and no matter how we train we will always look as either a girl or a boy.

In the end of the day we are all humans and some biological, biomechanics and hormonal outputs are the same no matter if we wear dresses or pants.

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