Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"His & Hers" Should male and female workouts be that different? © 2015

When it comes to workouts, something I have always noticed is that many females would very often shy away from certain exercises, particularly free weights and resistance machines, and instead spend all their gym time doing cardiovascular and aerobic exercise. There's obviously nothing wrong with doing either or the two, however, there's been a misconception for as long as I can remember, that weight training and resistance machines are just for building muscle, and therefore appeal more to a male audience, while cardiovascular machines and aerobic exercises are for losing weight and toning up, and so they are mostly used by females. So the theory is that those people who are simply looking to shed some weight and add some muscle tone should just stick to the treadmill, cross-trainer or spinning classes, while those who want to build muscle need to lift weights. 

It's totally understandable that many females do not want to look muscular, and therefore they believe that their workout should be different in some way to that of a male who is looking to improve his physique, but just how different is the question. 
So understanding the basics of exercise is fundamental. Now, building muscle takes much more effort and dedication than accidentally lifting a dumbbell or barbell for more than one time.  Yes, it involves lifting weights and using resistance machines, however it is the extent to which those weights are lifted that determines whether or not, and how much muscle growth stimulation takes place. 

The outcome of a workout is completely dependent on the weight you lift, the range of motion and the amount of repetitions and sets you do. Furthermore, your nutrition and the amount of rest you get will also have an impact, but let's just talk about the workouts for the time being. 

The male and female muscular anatomy may appear similar in many ways, however females have a much harder time trying to increase muscle mass. This is primarily due to much lower amounts of testosterone present in their body. What this means is that even if a female lifted heavy weights for a number of sets and repetitions, the outcome, in terms of muscle growth is going to be far less than that of a male lifting the exact same weight for an equal number of sets and repetitions. When it comes to burning calories, trimming body fat, and achieving that much desired muscle tone, the workout is almost just as effective for both. Again, the hormonal differences between a male and female still make it a little harder, even when it comes to losing body fat and achieving muscle tone.

The bottom line is that the purpose of a workout is to exercise and strengthen every muscle in the body, as well as burn excess calories and improve the cardiovascular system.  Now, whilst half an hour on a treadmill, cross-trainer or in a spinning class is a great way to get the blood flowing and burn calories, there is only one way to properly exercise each muscle, and that is by applying isolated resistance using your own body weight, dumbbells, barbells or resistance machines. So having said that, there really shouldn't be that much difference between a male and female's workout in terms of the exercises performed.