THE SHOWDOWN: GIRL VS. GUY WORKOUTS
Written by: Dekkel Bachar
I’m not trying to stereotype, but typically when you see a girl at the gym she’s giving it her all on the cardio equipment while the guys are lifting as much as they can before they burst a blood vessel by the free weight racks.
While both are extremely important in ANYBODY’S fitness routine, there are tons of misconceptions about the differences between the fundamental way each sex should train.
I will tell you right now, that this article is based on generalizations about genders, and the way they train. That being said, the reason that women typically go to the gym is to get lean and tone their bodies, while men go to the gym to build muscle mass and ‘bulk up’.
With that in mind, the idea that women focus on cardio and males focus on resistance training makes sense. But what if I tell you that the way people perceive fitness, especially in that context, is misconstrued. The people that only do cardiovascular training and the people that only do resistance training are two extremes on the same spectrum.
Let’s start with the guys that are trying to bulk up and get as muscular as possible (who says size doesn’t matter?!). This typically means that your ideal day at the gym is lifting as heavy as possible, trying to hit your new PR (Personal Record). You walk by the cardio equipment- whether it’s the treadmill, elliptical, spin bike or stair master and look at it as if it was a gift from the devil.
As a trainer at a gym, the most common response I get to the simple question ‘did you do cardio today?’ is a look of confusion and an answer similar to ‘I walked here from my car didn’t I?!’
Yes, when you’re bulking the last thing you want to do is start losing weight, and yes, cardio training does help with fat loss. But if you’re going to give that argument, I will fire back with the fact that resistance training does too!
The thing with Cardiovascular training is that, like resistance, it can be done in a variety of ways resulting in a medley of different results. For example, if I were to do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), it would result in an increase in metabolism efficiency which in turn, promotes fat loss. If I were to walk on an incline on the treadmill for 20 minutes, it will help with your endurance (very moderately) but you sure as hell won’t burn enough calories to ruin your precious gains.
The next argument is that it’s boring as hell. Well, again there are different ways to go about getting your cardio in- whether it’s taking a class (*which is a great way to meet people [girls]), circuit training or blasting your music and forgetting everything that’s going on in your life for a little while. Either way, getting cardio into your regular routine is extremely important and should not be overlooked.
Now, onto the ladies. A lot of people think that if you get your hands on a weight your muscles will dramatically grow in size and you’ll god forbid get that masculine physique. Well, I’m sorry to be blunt, but you are 100% wrong. Like I mentioned about cardio, there are different types of resistance training that provide different results. So, if you don’t want to gain the muscle mass like guys typically do, work on a lighter weight with higher reps. (Maybe try 3 sets of 8-12 reps!) As a female, your testosterone levels are significantly less than that of a male. Meaning that unless you’re taking some sort of testosterone supplement you will not end up ‘looking like a guy’ from weight training.
Resistance training is so important, especially if you want a toned body and lean figure. When you train and strengthen your muscles, your body will burn calories more efficiently and bring your body fat percentage WAY down… Isn’t that what you’re trying to do with your cardio training...? Hmm.
The fact that each gender is so bias towards one type of training really boggles my mind. Let me put the argument differently.
Everyone loves food so here we go. Protein is important. Greens are important. If you don’t balance your diet with greens and protein you will start lacking nutrients (either way you go). It’s all about balancing it out.
So what have we learned?
1 The stereotype of ‘guy workouts’ and ‘girl workouts’ needs to stop
2 Cardio is not the devil, and it will not make you ‘lose your gains’
3 Resistance training will not make you look like a man
4 Balance is key
Dekkel Bachar | @Dekks_
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