Do Women Need To Train Differently Than Men?

Let me answer that by quoting one of the world’s leading trainers and owner of Ultimate Performance, Nick Mitchell, who says: ‘Men should train like women and women should train like men.’

The penny dropped for me with milliseconds of reaching the end of the sentence: it makes perfect sense. Allow me to explain in a little more depth.

A lot of men who lift weights are guilty of training with their ego, choosing weights that are too heavy for them in an attempt to impress. It’s less likely that a woman would have this mental approach to her training: it may seem a generalisation but it is often true. However, we are far from guilt free. Women often pick cardio equipment over the weights area of the gym, which was Nick’s point; we should train like men do – hard, heavy and with resistance!!

Surely not exactly like men though, right? My stance is – yes we should! There are many compelling reasons why resistance training like a man makes perfect sense if your goal is to attain a toned, feminine figure.

Consider this for a moment – the female fitness models you aspire to be like in the magazines. How do you think they train? The answer is like a man, a strong one at that! Let me explain.

The Impact Of Hormones

We all know that to carry a curvaceous, toned figure you need to maintain your lean muscle mass – that’s the stuff your booty, thighs and abs are made of. Lose muscle and you will look soft, saggy and very ‘unbikini body’ like. Testosterone, a hormone, is essential to this.

Women have approximately one-tenth of the testosterone of a man. Lifting weight, with lower rep ranges and heavy weight relatively to you, is one of the best ways to elevate your natural testosterone production as well as your growth hormone level. Combined, these are the essential ingredients for a lean, strong, toned body.

Calories – Friend Or Foe?

Glossy magazines are guilty of instilling bad advice into the female population of our world, making out that low calorie diets are the best way to get lean. Not true! You need to be in a minor calorie deficit (up to 20 per cent) to lose body fat. Beyond that you are putting your body under unnecessary stress and making it very resistant to fat loss, believe it or not!

Lifting hard and heavy like a man will enable you to burn more calories around the clock due to the ‘afterburn effect’. You’ll create an ‘oxygen debt’, which means for the next 30+ hours you will have to repay it – by burning calories. Combine that with added lean muscle mass and you have become a calorie-burning machine.


In your gym induction it is highly likely the misinformed gym instructor told you the best way to get a shapely behind is to spend hours on the cross-trainer and vibration plates. Stop and think: what creates the shape you desire? Muscle? Yes, exactly that! Does spending hours doing cardio build lean muscle mass? Absolutely not!! In contrast, deadlifting, squatting, lunging, bench pressing, overhead pressing and rowing weight will! Spend five minutes flicking across social media pages of bikini models who lift weights and you’ll see the evidence in their own words!

The day I realised weight training was for women was the day my figure literally transformed. All of my female clients lift, because it is the best way to burn body fat and get a feminine figure. Why not try it? I promise you won’t regret it.

Posted on: August 2nd, 2013