Similar Strength Gains in Men and Women after 16 Weeks of Training

It doesn’t matter who you are, young or old, man or woman, alien or earthling, strength training will make you stronger, more powerful, and more muscular. That being said, there are differences between the sexes that could influence your training results. Men have much higher levels of muscle-building hormones, and there are also differences in muscle architecture, energy storage, muscle recovery, motor unit activation, and many other factors. In theory, men should have a physical advantage when they start training, giving them a head start to faster gains.

A new study shows that this might not be the case in practice. Twenty-eight untrained men and 31 women underwent a strength training program lasting 16 weeks, consisting of 10 to 12 exercises for the whole body performed 3 times per week.

The female subjects were, as expected, not as strong as the men at the start of the training period. They weren’t at the end either, but regardless of any physiological advantages the men might have had on paper, they weren’t the ones gaining the most.

Strength endurance increased in both women and men, correlating with maximum strength, but the gains observed in the women were higher in those observed in the men. Despite the fact that women generally have lower starting strength than men, they seem to gain strength when training just as fast or even faster than men. 

Reference

EFFECT OF 16 WEEKS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING ON STRENGTH ENDURANCE IN MEN AND WOMEN. Rev Bras Med Esporte vol.25 no.5 São Paulo Sept./Oct. 2019 Epub Oct 07, 2019.

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