Friday, April 27, 2012

My Girls Lift Just Like my Guys...some harder!

To this day, I still don't understand why some (too many) people think women should train differently than men.  Of course there are some exceptions (figure athletes, pregnant clients, and sport-specific training vs those in the general public, perhaps), but when it comes to general health, I just don't see why women should be training differently than men.  I know the girls I train bust their butts in the weight room and equally so when it comes to their conditioning.  Personally, the only thing that changes is the language I use both during and between sessions.  

For example, a lower body power exercise such a Squat Jump is known to improve bilateral leg strength and power.  Technically, it also improves the function and aesthetics of the glutes.  Therefore, my verbal feedback to men may be something like, "this will help you jump higher and develop strong legs."  The ladies may hear, "this will help firm your thighs and make your butt look better."  In the end, it's all true but it's about relaying what I know will improve the given client(s).  

All in all, the only appreciable training difference between the sexes comes down to the language I use with them.  Both genders need to train hard, eat right, and get plenty of rest to look and feel their best.

I was looking through a few articles and found a piece from Integrate Fitness 411 that discussed this very topic.  Here is a piece of the article I really enjoyed and agreed with:

I've never trained my female clients differently than their male counterparts because everyone needs to be able to make the same primal patterned movements. If I did do things differently, it was because they were pregnant. And even then, while the intensity varied, the exercises didn't until they needed to.
With all of this being said, why do public gyms look like eighth grade dances with "Men in the weight room, women in the group class studio and cardio areas" as Lea Swenson, NASM-CPT, put it.

Why are women marketed toward classes? Why are they shown lifting lighter weights in ads? Is the emaciated model figure what Madison Avenue says a fit woman should look like? Why are women lead to believe that more cardiovascular activity burns fat? Why, for the love of Jack Lalane, can't Madison Ave just pump out factual exercise science????? Because it won't sell.

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