Women’s Strength Training – Practical Tricks
Gender differences in strength training –series 2/6
In the early stages of training men and women can achieve similar rate in the strength development. In general, however, men are training proportionately with much larger weights than women very soon.
This is often because women tend to do training too gently, while men are waving weights that are even too heavy for their technique and strength levels. Some people may reproach this generalisation, but basically this is the case very often.
To be able to follow weights used in training and strength development, it is good idea to use training diary. And if it is not showing 20-80 % rise (depending on the exercise) in the first months, quality of the training should be checked.
In my opinion, women should pay attention to very powerful and as fast as possible concentric phase of lifting. Continuous slow lifting with too much attention paid to correct lifting technique only emphasizes the relative weakness of women, that is, smaller size of fast twitch muscle fibers and decreased ability to recruit them. Effective way to activate fast twitch muscle fibers is to take weights down with controlled movement and lift up as quickly as possible. I have found that this “mental image of lifting technique” alone can increase maximal strength levels 5-10 % of my female personal training customers.
In the next blog we are examining gender differences in muscle growth.