Put simply, it is up to your own goals and preferences. No training style, exercise type, or amount of exercise is off-limits for women!
However, there may be some training methods and exercises that can be performed differently by women or may be preferred based on their differing aesthetic goals to men.
Women differ functionally to men based on their differing hormones which can have a huge impact on ease of muscle growth, energy levels and sport performance. Many female gym-goers fear becoming ‘bulky’ and avoid lifting heavy weights or following the same training program as a male.
However, large muscle gains are more difficult for women to achieve since they produce much less testosterone to men. This fear has stemmed from numerous pictures of female body builders who have worked tremendously hard, putting in years of dedication and altering their diet to increase their muscle mass.
So, what are some reasons females may choose to work out differently to men?
Females can have smaller rest periods between sets!
The female body recovers faster than males because it can tolerate metabolic stress better. In simpler terms, women can get more oxygen to their muscles making them work under stress for longer.
Females may benefit from more reps!
The female body also generally has less fast twitch muscle fibres than slow twitch in comparison to the male body. This allows a higher rep range being useful to gain better results in women as this will use slow twitch fibres. Put simply, more muscle mass and strength improvements from greater reps.
Female joints may alter form.
Oestrogen can act as an anti-inflammatory which may prevent injuries being felt straight away. Do not avoid small aches when exercising! Also, hypermobile joints are seen to be more common in women, this may mean certain exercises should be performed to protect from injury and to ensure strength gains.
It is common for females to be quad-dominant.
Activating hamstrings and glutes can be difficult. Aesthetically speaking, women tend to want to grow and shape these muscle groups. Hence, focusing on posterior chain muscle exercises may be more important in a female training program if this is their goals.
Volume training can have a greater effect.
Since women benefit from a higher rep range this improves their high-volume training abilities. Women may not achieve the same power output as men though they can achieve similar results through volume training.
Women and men do differ biologically, and this can impact on how they choose to train and how their body responds. However, women should train as hard as they want and choose what style works for them. Regardless of gender, your training program should be based on your own goals, preferences, and abilities.