Should woman train in the same way as men? This is one of the first questions that many of my new clients ask me. The answer is that we are all different, with varying abilities and goals. I also might add that all men should not necessarily train the same way either.
If two men come to me with different goals, they get different plans. If two men come to me with the same goals, they get different plans again. It’s all based on ability, body constitution and metabolism as well as many other individual factors.
Targeting Different Areas
So how does it work for women? To put it simply, the plan that is right for you is the one that will allow you to reach your goal. This may require several phases of training and your plan might be different to anything you have done before.
If you are trying to gain muscle, lose body fat and/or get fitter, then you need to train and eat to fit your unique goals.
Different Training Sessions
Next up comes specificity within your training sessions. The exercises you select, your rep ranges, tempo and rest periods can all be selected and manipulated to achieve different things. A circuit of exercises with 20 reps of each movement will achieve something very different from heavy sets with long rest on the same movements.
Your exercise selection should also reflect the changes you want to see with your body. You should always train your body as a whole, but it’s also good to focus on specific areas that you want to work on.
For example, you might be looking to build more muscle in your legs. In that case, you need to train your legs in such a way to stimulate muscle.
Fat loss is a little different. You can’t ‘spot reduce’ body fat which means that it’s not as simple as doing lots of sit ups to drop midsection fat. Instead, you should focus on your overall training and maintaining muscle with your exercise selection.
One of the most important considerations when designing your training plan is whether you would like your weight to change and, if so, then how. In order to address this, you must look at the most important and unique factor - your energy balance. Calories surplus, deficit and calories in vs calories out may all be issues that you need to consider.
So, it’s clear to see that there are many ways for women to train. But if both your training plan and your nutrition reflect your goals, then you’re on the right track.