Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Should Women Train Like Men?

Today I was asked by a client: "Should Women Train Like Men?" I paused (something I rarely do; perhaps I should?) before answering "Yes or No."

"Yes, Women should/can perform the same movements as their male counterparts. The requirements of a female cyclist are the same as a male cyclist; the needs of a female firefighter are equal to that of a Fireman; and the benefits of Training are not discriminatory."

I then continued with:

"No, Women shouldn't train like Men; and neither should Men. I don't believe in Sex training (at least not as it relates to this question) I believe in Training. Proper training is for everyone! Smart Women & Men all should engage in movements that enhance mobility, increase stability and fortify the body."

It truly was a great question. Many people with seemingly better credentials than I will argue the counterpoint to my above statements. "Women want to tone & Men want to bulk" they'll say; or the old "Men are stronger than women." It's statements like those that make me realize how utterly clueless the smarter people are!
The question or issue isn't "should people with different goals & abilities
train the same?"
Of course not, I don't care what sex you are!
Part of the problem (that leads to the question in the 1st place) is the stereotype that Women like using those cute little pink weights & Men of course like to pick up heavy objects. Really? The fitness industry is partially to blame for this as they always depict the Women with the aforementioned pink weights in her hands. In my opinion, not only is this an unhealthy image of what Women are capable of; but it in no way helps to alleviate the health risk many women face Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a serious health risk that affects too many women. While there is a heredity component to this; a strength training program is about the best prevention for bone loss there is. A women with the pink weights isn't being helped at all, while a smart women who "Trains Properly" receives tremendous benefits in the way of bone strength, joint integrity and injury prevention. What Men don't want that? Perhaps the question is "Should Men Train Like Smart Women?"

Frank Pucher

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