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Diet and Exercise Tips Interview Question #9

Female Muscle Growth: Should women train differently than men when it comes to strength training?

Female muscle growth is achieved by applying the same principles of exercise as men must apply. So, for the most part, no. However, it is truly according to what your individual goals are and what your fitness level is at the onset. Of course a woman shouldn’t train like a male power lifter, but as far as general fitness training goes there really isn’t a lot of difference. 

If a man and a woman come to me wanting to feel better, lose a little weight, tone and condition or simply stave off the aging process their routines can and may be very similar. 

The biggest differences are many times the men will be stronger and they may want a bit more size or muscle growth than the woman wants. In that case, I will train the man a bit more aggressively with heavier weights and lower reps and maybe more overall sets and, therefore, a generally tougher workout. Also, I may do a bit more for the arms for a man than I do for a woman. 

However, this is not always the case. Some men are not concerned in the least with getting bigger and they just want a good general fitness routine. 

For a woman I generally do a bit more exercises for lower body because women are much more concerned with their butt and hips and such. 

Likewise, many times I will prescribe more cardio for a woman simply because she needs to lose more fat than her male counterparts.

Other than that, the workouts are pretty much the same because there is no difference in female muscle and bones and male muscle and bones physiologically when it comes to what it takes to tone, condition, and reap the benefits of strength training. The thing that makes a man bulk up isn’t the exercise routine, it’s the testosterone. 

In other words, I could train a man and a woman with the same routine and get two completely different sets of results because of the male testosterone. But there is no such thing as one workout fits all. I design workouts with each specific client’s goals in mind. 

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