Thursday, July 07, 2011

Training male vs female clients

We have about a 50/50 mix at aegis between male and female clients. Though the methods for training each are broadly similar, there are a couple of considerations

- women generally have higher work capacity, they can do more work per session. I frequently put female clients through workouts that would kill a small horse.

-while men have greater relative upper body strength, there's far less of a difference on lower body exercises.

- women are capable of more reps at a given percentage of their max. For example, a guy lifting 90% of his maximum weight on an exercise might only get 3 reps, while a woman might get 5 or 6. So when writing programs, where I would a have guy do 3-5 reps I'll have a woman do 4-6.

- women always want to take less rest between sets, men want to take more. It's often necessary to slow women down so they are able to perform the exercises correctly for the required reps. Men you just have to shout at til they get off the floor.

- women don't care about the weight on the bar. Whereas it's sometimes all men care about. You need to sometimes reign men in from putting too much weight on the bar and lifting with ugly form. With women it's usually a case of convincing them they are stronger than they think.

-muscles to emphasise on women for aesthetic purposes are different to men. The program will still be based around big movements (though I'll do a lower volume of heavy deadlifts with women and more squatting instead) but I'll often program in some higher rep exercises at the end of a session for specific muscle groups.

With women you want to develop the glutes, hamstrings, deltoids, Lats and triceps. You want to de-emphasise the traps, forearms and neck.
With men the traps, forearms and neck are "power" muscles that can and should be developed.

So, small differences worth considering when your putting a program together.

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