There’s no doubt women can do everything men do, there are certain ways of training and getting stronger that are better suited to the female body. We asked Adala Bolto, the founder of ZADI Training, for more information.
When it comes to working out, do women need to train differently from men? It’s a question I first asked the internet, which returned some inconsistent results. Then, I asked an expert.
“While there is no doubt that women can do everything that men can do, women may see better results if they train towards their own personal goals and also with the female body in mind,” says Adala Bolto, the founder of ZADI Training.
“For women, our goals are usually around posture, muscle tone, women usually will want to torch fat or they will only want fat in certain areas of their bodies and following a program that caters for that can help them achieve that.”
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Physiologically, there are some differences between the sexes. Women tend to be better at endurance, while men—because they tend to have bigger muscle fibres—they’re usually able to generate more force and therefore tend to excel in strength and speed.
“Another thing to note is your menstrual cycle,” says Bolto.
“You will be stronger in the first two weeks than in the last two weeks, due to hormones. So, it is better to train harder when you are stronger and listen to your body and use lighter weight and appropriate reps when you are not.”
Barre, woman-focused high-intensity interval training, like Bolto offers at ZADI Training, and Pilates are particularly beneficial for women as they don’t allow for much rest in between exercises.
When it comes to strength training, though, many women avoid weights because they think it’ll make them bulky, but Bolto wants to assure you that it takes a LOT to bulk up in the way you might be fearing.
“It takes a lot for people to build muscle,” explains Bolto matter-of-factly.
“You see people in the bodybuilding world eating their chicken and rice meals six times a day and training twice a day, quitting alcohol and getting lots of sleep, it is a huge effort to get those results.”
“However sometimes people naturally build muscle in areas they don’t want to build, so if that’s the case for you, carry a lighter weight when doing those exercises… But in general, you really need to be committed to bulking up if that is your goal.”