Purpose Examine gender differences and issues concerning women and resistance training. Educate female athletes about balance of training components
Misconceptions Certain misconceptions about women and resistance training have limited the benefits for women due to the creation of inadequate training programs.
Common Myths Women can’t get strong Strength training causes women to become larger and heavier. Women should use different training methods than men. Women should avoid high intensity or high load training. With the right exercise, you can get rid of trouble spots If you don’t lose weight, there’s no point in exercising
Gender Differences Does resistance training produce the same effects in women as it does men????? Body Composition Muscle Hypertrophy Hormonal Response Strength and Power
Body Composition Both genders increased FFM and lowered body fat % at the same rate in a short term resistance training program (8-20 weeks). Males generally have higher FFM than females
Muscle Hypertrophy DEFINITION: An increase in muscle mass and cross sectional area. Average male has greater muscle cross sectional area and more muscle fibers. The average women’s muscles do not hypertrophy excessively. Encouraging and discouraging for women After a 10, 12, and 20 week study results showed no change or small changes in body circumferences in women.
Muscle Hypertrophy Because muscle tissue is denser than adipose tissue, an increase in muscle mass accompanied by an decrease in adipose tissue equaling the gain in muscle mass will result in a slight decrease in body circumference.
Hormonal Response Testosterone At rest men have 10 to 20 times more serum testosterone than women. This is why there are gender differences observed in BW and composition. It increases PRO synthesis, which induces hypertrophy.
Strength and Power Avg. woman’s maximal mean total body strength is 60% of the avg. man’s Avg. Upper body strength is 25-55% of man’s Lower body strength is 70-75% of man’s Muscle’s rate of force development is slower for the avg. woman than for the avg. man. Thus training for explosive strength is vital in order to enhance RFD and improve power performances.
More gender differences Males muscle fibers from greatest area to smallest are Type IIA-I-IIB Women are I-IIA-IIB Explains strength and power output differences Women plateau earlier in training but see greater initial strength gains.
What does this tell us? Women are at a disadvantage physiologically than men when it comes to strength and power. In order to reap the benefits of RT a woman has to activate her muscle tissue by lifting heavy weights (<60% 1RM).
Benefits of RT Decrease body fat percentage Increase in strength Increase in muscular tone, shape, and definition Better muscular control Improved bone mass Increased resting metabolic rate Improved self esteem and confidence
Outside the Norm Larger than average increases in FFM and limb circumferences in some women are probably related to several factors… Greater than normal resting testosterone, GH, or other hormone concentrations Greater hormonal response than normal to RT Lower than normal estrogen testosterone ratio Genetic disposition to develop large muscle mass
Other Factors Nutrition Cardiovascular Exercise Sport Specific Needs
Top 10 Reasons to Strength Train Muscle is more compact than fat, so you’ll get leaner Strength training fortifies your bones and improves flexibility, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and injury You can reap benefits just from doing a 25 minute workout 2X a week Research shows that the stronger you get, the more energetic and active you become. This change helps with weight control too. Strength training raises your metabolism by as much as 15 percent, so you can eat more.
Top 10 Reasons to Strength Train Studies indicate that it reverses age related muscle loss, dec. risk of heart disease and may cut the risk of breast, and colon cancer. It reduces stress and anxiety You fall asleep more quickly, sleep longer and more deeply It improves balance, so you’ll play better You feel stronger, which boosts confidence.