Should Men and Women train differently?‏

When it comes to fitness, we're talking anatomy and physiology, joints, bones (levers), and muscle, among other things. Male, female, young, old, strong or weak, muscle and joint function are the same. Look at female and male fitness competitors and bodybuilders. They have lean, strong, fit, and functional bodies. They train their bodies with the same exercises, with few exceptions. They train similarly for strength, intensity, and muscular endurance. There ARE some exceptions at advanced levels, but for all beginners and intermediates, training should be the same at first, and very similar for your first year of training if you want the best results for your efforts.

Women and men who don't want to get too big... you're not going to. And for some reason if you find yourself at a point where you think you're a little too muscular, then it's easy to get smaller muscles. Just stop training as hard. Dial it back a notch and your muscles will surely shrink, because the stimulus to remain "too big" will no longer be there. It should only take a month to go from "too muscular" to "just right"! Then you stay at that level of training to keep that level of muscularity.
Why it's not easy to get Too Muscular!
The body has to work hard to create new muscle tissue, and it has to expend a lot of energy (50-100 calories a day per pound) to keep extra muscle alive and well. Your body isn't going to make muscle unless it is necessary to adapt to some extra stimulus that is above and beyond what it has dealt with prior. Adaptation only takes you so far, and then gaining even more muscle gets exceedingly difficult because applying a sufficient stimulus becomes more difficult.
Factors that affect muscle growth:
Limitation to exercise stimulus - training with heavier weights, and more reps and sets, and how many workouts you can do in a day has its limits. We only have so much energy to expend, and then we have to recover and let the body adapt. Time, energy, nutrient intake, and recovery periods are all limitations.

The body's need to regulate body temperature - after a point, too much muscle creates too much heat, so your body has a reason to limit further adaptation due to temperature control.

Mechanical Efficiency - muscle growth that exceeds tendon growth and strength to accommodate mechanical efficiency will cause a limitation to adapt further.


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