Why Women Don’t Lift Heavier
Last month I talked to you about why women don’t lift heavier when they go to the gym. Quick recap: 1. Lack of confidence 2. Fear of getting bulky 3. Big sweaty guys by the big weights. (If none of this is ringing a bell, go back and read “Ladies! It’s time to do some heavy lifting!”)
This month we are going to go a little more in-depth from the physiological side of the fear of getting bulky.
“I don’t want to be bulky or look manish” is a common push back that I have gotten over the years when trying to get women to not only lift weights but lift heavier weights. They have seen pictures of women who are taking part in body building competitions and fear that if they lift anything over 10 pounds, that’s how they’ll look. It’s not going to happen naturally (without steroids) and here are a few reasons why.
We Don’t Have The Muscle Mass
First women do not have as much muscle mass as men. A man’s body composition is about 40% muscle while a female’s is 30% muscle. Men have 40% more muscle in their upper body than females and 33% more in their lower body.
Women tend to carry more body fat, some of which is deemed essential, than men. About 10-12% of our body fat is deemed essential while for men it is 2-4%. That extra body fat that we need in our bodies makes it harder for our muscles to “show” or look as defined as men’s do. This is normal and healthy! So you can see, men come to the weight room with more muscle mass and less body fat in general. This makes it much easier to see those muscles!
Big Changes At Puberty
Another big difference is hormones and how they play a huge role in our muscle development. Lots of these changes happen at puberty… The men get an increase in testosterone which gives them a boost in muscle mass. Women get an increase in estrogen which increases our body fat for childbearing. The average adult male had 270-1,000 (ng/dl) of testosterone, and women have 15-70 (ng/dl). You need that testosterone to build muscle and we just don’t have it.
Specific and Rigid Training
And lastly, those women who do the body building are training and following a nutrition program that is nothing like what the average workout women will. Totally different routine all around. And you probably don’t want to follow it.
Women’s bodies are just different than men’s. We have the ability to gain strength, become functionally strong and increase muscle definition, but you won’t experience the muscular look you’re fearing. Our bodies are unique and that’s an amazing thing!
So there you have it. The top 3 reasons why women will not gain the bulk that men will: muscle mass, body fat, and hormones. Now go to the gym and lift heavier weights – safely with good technique, please!
Are you ready to get better results and improve your health and wellness? Iron Tribe Fitness Redmond can help you find better health and wellness. Visit our website or call us at 425.558.4766 to schedule a free consultation with us.
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