Remember all those times when you and your boyfriend or significant other made a plan to get in shape together? And then do you remember all the ensuing disappointment and frustration when his body started showing results right away, while you saw barely any changes in yourself? This is a struggle that many women know well. The differences are chalked up to a variety of reasons, some of which have basis in fact and some of them… not so much.
Here are some of the most common fitness myths about men and women, busted:
1. Women and Men Can Do the Same Workouts & Get Similar Results
This one’s pretty easy to debunk. Anyone who has worked out with a partner of the opposite sex can tell you that the physical results aren’t the same. This is because of several reasons, but the foremost is probably the difference in hormones between men and women. Men have higher levels of testosterone, and women have higher levels of estrogen. Testosterone aids the production of muscle, while estrogen aids the production of fat cells. So even if you and your boyfriend are doing the exact same workouts at the exact same intensity, he’ll put on muscle and lose fat faster than you will!
2. Men’s Bodies and Women’s Bodies Aren’t Meant to Do the Same Workouts
Some people think that weightlifting is for men and cardio or bodyweight workouts are for women. However, men and women’s bodies are both capable of (and benefit from) the same kind of workouts! In fact, some experts say that men could really benefit from core-strengthening exercises like Pilates or yoga, and women could really benefit from strength-building exercises like weight lifting.
3. Women Should Do More Reps of Lighter Weights to Avoid Bulking Up
A lot of women prefer a slim, toned body as opposed to a bulky, Hulk-like body. There’s a common misconception that doing more repetitions of lighter weights will build lean muscle, while doing less repetitions of heavier weights will build bulky muscle. However, according to sports scientist Tony Boutagy, this is simply untrue. Any kind of muscle-exhausting repetitions, whether it’s from lifting small weights more times or large weights less times, will build the same amount of muscle. Even if you’re lifting giant weights, you probably won’t bulk up like men do because you have a higher amount of estrogen in your body!
The biggest takeaways here are that men and women are definitely capable of doing more integrated workouts, involving heavy lifting, cardio, and core-strengthening exercises – regardless of gender. If you notice that your own fitness journey is different from that of someone of another gender, don’t stress about it too much! Every body is different, and therefore every fitness journey is different, too. For more advice, news, and content, make sure you sign up for our email list!