I coach a LOT of females ranging form people that have never worked out up to high level bikini, fitness and PowerLifting athletes.
Here are some of the differences in training females and males.
If you are a female these little changes can help you get stronger and improve your workouts.
8 Ways That Women Need Different Training Than Men.
1. Less Rest Time Between Sets
Women require less rest time between sets than men. Give a woman 3 minutes between sets and she will be bored beyond belief.
I have to time my female strength athletes to make sure they take enough adequate rest time as women usually feel like they need to do something all the time. Resting and recovering while lifting weights is very important.
2. More Volume Of Sets
Women can handle a much larger work load of sets than men. I can hit my female clients with 10 sets in a 30 minute workout and they are fine. Try getting guys to do this and they will struggle big time.
However women seen to be able to handle lower body volume very well but not as much when it comes to upper body volume.
3. More Frequency Of Training
Women tend to recovery faster and can train more days per week than men. Some of the top women I coached for all levels of athletics trained 5+ days a week. Most times I am encouraging my female athletes to rest more, which they have trouble doing.
4. The Importance Of Technique While Lifting
I have met some women who are naturally just strong, you know brutish type strength.
But most of the women who are strong in the gym are strong technically and mentally.
To be strong in the gym it’s not about raw strength, it’s about technique, practice and hard work. For a woman to lift heavy weights technique is always very important.
5. Slow & Continuous Improvements Add Up
The Kaizen Principle, slow steady gains over long periods of time add up. A female can hit a 250 lb. deadlift and go to 255 lb and it can be nailed to the floor. Know your numbers and take small improvements over time. Read more on The Kaizen Principle on my blog post here.
6.The Need For Grip Strength
Every female I have trained got overall stronger once their grip improved. I know this could also be applied to men but overall grip strength is something that females tend to lack when starting lifting. Once grip improves things in the gym improve fast.
One of the simplest things you can do to improve grip is do weighted carries and thick grip training. If you are not doing these two simple things you are not as strong as you can be.
Grab a set of these thick grips and use these in your accessory work and arm day.
Weak grip is usually a limiting factor in women’s strength that can be fixed with a bit of work and direct grip training.
7. Women Love To Get Strong
Women are much easier to coach than men.
Women generally are more coach able and listen better to coaching (not all keep in mind).
Men are more stubborn when it comes to lifting weights. Most men seem to like pump type workouts and machines where a lot of women love strength once they are taught how to lift properly.
Women love learning about strength and technique.
8. The Approach To Mental Training
I coach my female clients very different than male clients. Guys can use aggression and anger a lot more for lifting than women.
With my female clients I have to “trick them” a lot when it comes to lifting. Not tell them what is on the bar, and coach them mentally differently than males. Once a female lifter trusts that you believe she can lift the weight there is a MUCH higher chance she will make the lift.
Guys always think they can lift more than they can, women far too often under estimate what they are capable of doing.
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Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.