Should women train differently than men?

In a physical perspective, there is some difference between women and men. Women are often described slower and weaker, because of the physical factors, but that’s not necessarily the thing. Women can be stronger and faster than men, like the same way some men are stronger and faster than other men. It depends on the training background and many other things. But in the scientific perspective, there are many differences between men and women. So should they train the same way?

men vs women

Both women and men have the same muscles and muscle functions are same. Although women have higher body fat mass for given body weight. Also, women have a different hormonal and nervous system, which why they burn more fat in the same intensity as men. I’m not doing deeper with this one as it would go too much for nutrition side.

Women also have lower red cell mass and VO2max, as the lungs are relatively “smaller” than men. But, women have proportionally more type 1 fibres (slow), which make them more resistant to fatigue. Women perform better with higher reps and slower reps tempo. Because of the type 1 fibres and higher estrogen levels, women normally benefit and handle more volume. Men other hand are more explosive and gain force and speed faster than women. They don’t need as much recovery time after explosive training than women, but otherwise, women recovery faster and don’t need as much rest between the sets as men. It’s a complex process why women recover faster, but after exercise one main point is that women have better nutrition delivery to muscles, which speed up recovery. So roughly speaking women could training more frequently than men, but that doesn’t mean all the women on the other side of the screen can add more workout their day.

Because women have lower arterial blood pressure, meaning that they get more oxygen and blood to muscles during the exercise, they can tolerate metabolic stress better. So they don’t produce as much metabolic byproducts such as lactate, this also makes women better in endurance.

Menstrual cycle

One of the biggest difference between men and women is the menstrual cycle. This also makes the difference between women. Many women feel stronger and perform better during the first half of the cycle as the estrogen it’s higher. This gives advantages to heavy lifting. During the second half estrogen level, drops and progesterone increases, causing more mood changes. Here the body is more efficient burning fat and retains water. During this focus can be in more endurance and less heavy lifting.

Of course, all women are different, everybody functions individually. Some might suffer from severe pain during the period, and disturb training, while others don’t have any problems. Training should be always be personalized and coaches should always consider menstrual cycle, especially if athletes feel their performance drops and their mood changes much.

same kind of training or different

Even, women and men bodies are different, and both have their own advantages, our muscles work in the same way. The question is not that can women and men train together or same way, the question is who can train together or same way? Women and men can train together and make the same training if they are at the same fitness level. If one of them is relatively slower runner than other, is not the best idea to do every workout together, as the only one will get the benefits. Also if they do the same strength training, the only one might get the benefits, if their weakness is totally different.

The short answer above answered both questions. It’s good to train people at a different level, but not always. Running with someone faster than you, it’s good speed workout for you and can be steady-state workout the other. Focus more on what is good for you and what your body needs and then who is your training partner. There are also several options for a bigger group, you can always divide the group in the smaller one or play with the number of reps and distance so that everyone benefits.

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