The Different Training Patterns of Men and Women
Written by Dr. Richard Hall PhD, SNS, CPT on December 4, 2020
Dr. Michael Lange and Dr. Richard Hall have traveled thousands of miles this past year to conferences and symposiums and along the way visited gyms and fitness centers across the country. Both are researchers and scientists and have developed observational skills they use daily, and have applied them to this research study. The two doctors observed the training patterns of hundreds of gym members and have concluded that men and women have decidedly different training methods and choices in the gym, some good, some not so good. In short, men walk by the cardio machines and head for the weights, and women would spend hours on cardio machines, but will not venture into the free weight or machine area.
There are reasons why each individual has chosen their paths…some are the result of valid reasoning, while others are just uninformed choices. Hopefully this article will shed some new light and assist you in making wise choices.
Weightlifting and cardio exercise are two very different and distinct functions, however, it’s not a choice, your body actually needs both. The term cardio is derived from the Greek word Kardia which in short means, the heart. The various forms of cardio can include, running, jogging, swimming, walking, biking, and of course the cardio machines ( tread mills, ellipticals, stationary and recumbent bikes, stair climbers etc)
Cardio will increase blood flow, elevate blood pressure, increase respiration (breathing), cause perspiration, and exercise the heart muscle along with other muscle groups depending on which cardio routine you use. (do not fool yourself into thinking that cardio alone is great for weight loss…did you know a candy bar will cost you about 30 minutes or more on a cardio machine, and a piece of chocolate cake is over 60 minutes, and that is to just break even)
Weightlifting stimulates the primary muscle you are focused on, as well as the secondary muscles, and tendons/ ligaments. You are actually tearing down the muscle fiber, but don’t worry, this is natural and part of the process. When the body repairs the muscle fiber after your workout, that is when it becomes stronger and will actually take on a new size and shape.
Men (like women) should most definitely add a cardio element to their exercise program for respiration and heart health and can be a tremendous boost for your wellness profile. Just a word of caution, do not overdo your cardio time, anything can have a downtime when done to excess. Two hours of treadmill work can lead to progressive wear and tear on ankles, knees, hips etc. This is not meant to discourage, just be aware of what good limits are, and your limits as well. Of course this is under advisement of your health care provider, family physician, etc. before you begin your program.
Women seem to steer clear of free weights, and weight resistance machines as part of their exercise regimen, and both Doctors feel this is for several reasons. For many years, the weight room was off limits to women, but not any more. It has taken many years to dispel the rumors surrounding women weightlifting and was thought that women would gain too much muscle mass and become bulky. I remember, as a novice in the gym, I would hear it said that one could become “muscle bound” , or women would stimulate hormones to the degree that it would cause their voice to deepen and even sprout facial hair…well no wonder women stayed out of the gyms! Of course none of the above is true with a normal amount of weightlifting. Remember that the results of weight training are progressive and takes time to develop, so there should be no concern that one day you will wake up and see this great amount of muscle mass that you do not want. I tell prospective weight trainers that you are in control of your body much like an artist is of his/her creation…you can change it at any point. What women should expect from weightlifting is increased strength, more energy, better sleep patterns, stress reduction, greater confidence, body fat loss, overall improved body wellness, and of course, a body transformation , and these points hold true for men as well.
Proper nutrition planning and food choices will enhance your weight training and promote positive health and wellness. Supplementation is a key factor and both Doctors agree that two products in their Fortifeye Performance Nutrition line are ideal for this purpose. Our FIT formula is a one of a kind supplement that was formulated to take as both a pre workout, and post workout drink. It contains the ingredients to power you up with energy before you workout ( but without stimulants and caffeine) and then put your body into “recovery mode” after the workout. If you are exercising and not recovering properly, then you could actually damage your body, and the results that you seek will not be there.
Also , the other formula that both Dr. Michael P. Lange and I would highly suggest as a “one-two punch” for your exercise program is the addition of one of our proteins. Your body requires protein, especially after exercising, as part of your recovery process. There is no substitute for protein, it helps insure the “muscle integrity matrix” (a term I coined that includes muscle strength, muscle shape/size, elasticity, etc). We have two protein choices, in several flavors, which includes our Super Protein Concentrate, and our Whey Protein Isolate . The main differences between Isolate and Concentrate are done through our micro-filtration process. The unwanted fat, lactose, and carbohydrates are removed, along with some calorie reduction in our Isolate and is what I refer to as a “lean and mean” protein. Since Concentrate protein breaks down slower in the body, it usually tends to satisfy the hungry pangs a bit longer, and gives the body a feeling of fullness.
We recommend using FIT before exercising, and then FIT and one of our proteins after your workout session. Remember, these are suggestions only, we recommend that you check with your Doctor or Health Care Provider before you begin your exercise regimen. As I always say, when it comes to checking your health with your Doctor before you begin, is like having your car mechanic have a look under the hood before you get on the road. On behalf of myself, Richard Hall, PhD, and Dr. Michael P. Lange, we wish you health and happiness!