Women – The Weaker Sex?
There is a reason why traditionally Women have been referred to as the ‘Weaker Sex’! And while this reason does not spill over into the emotional or spiritual planes, it has to be admitted that Women are simply built differently in the physiological sense – specifically in the parameter of brute strength – And the reason is biological – the amount of Testosterone produced by a Woman’s body – has a major role in defining the physical strength of a woman.
Yet, despite the overwhelming Natural bias, it has been my experience at the Gym or in the space of Personal Training that while Women want to lose weight and have a toned body, they are terrified of developing muscles…of looking as they say ‘like a female body-builder’!
And that is the single biggest reason that a lot of Indian Women stay away from Strength Training or Working out with Weights, because they think, nay worry that they will end up looking ‘too masculine’ or ‘muscular’.
In fact, even in men, it takes great dedication and a massive infusion of protein – both natural or in the form of supplements – to achieve that bulked up muscular physique. But as a result of this misconception, women tend to stick to cardio exercises – which while good for building stamina & fat loss – do not prevent muscle loss. And that is not what an Ideal Workout should do for you.
Science denies it. So does Nature!
There is a large body of research that is available on this issue – all of it stressing on the quantitative presence of Testosterone responsible for muscle development. And to break it down a little; we need to understand the basics of herculean physique development…
Our body is composed of muscles, bones, fat mass and water. Each of them has a specific percentage and if that proportion is tampered with, either because of our lifestyle, food or illness; we stride away from fitness. Whenever we do Strength Training in the form of lifting or moving weights, our body responds in a definite manner utilising significant amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbohydrates fuel our workout, Fats are added stores of energy and Proteins aid muscle growth. While both men and women broadly react alike; more the exposure to weights, more the body grows – however, there are certain limits to how much you can grow – especially for Women!
And herein lies the myth busting fact – Women will almost never become as muscular as men even if they work out with Weights unless they – like female competitive bodybuilders – consume a large amount of Steroids and Growth Hormones to achieve that muscular, ripped look.
The Indian Example
To reinforce this fact, spare a thought for those Indian women who work around the clock in farms or at construction sites lifting heavy materials for countless hours – they are not heavily muscled. Lean but not bulky. Or for that matter, look around you when you’re at the Gym next time – I’ll bet my boots that you won’t see a bulked up woman regardless of how many weights she is lifting!
Yes, physically active women are fitter, leaner, toned and healthier provided they have a balance of healthy meals and exercise in their lifestyle; but they never become bulked up unless they ingest synthetic substances for that purpose – namely without bio-chemical substance intrusion, women cannot accomplish immense muscle augmentation.
Muscle strength is enhanced mainly by engaging a large number of muscle fibres during a Workout and is highly reliant on diet, genetics, muscle fibre types, and the kind of training performed.
And although, the same scenario prevails in both the sexes; the fact that growth hormones, such as Testosterone that are responsible for muscle mass are 30 times lesser in women than in men, will not allow women to be hulk-ified.
So rest easy 🙂 and lift on, ladies!