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His Vs Hers: What’s Up with Gender-Specific Fitness?

Mar 09, 2016 02:00PM ● By Becca Newell
By Becca Newell

Generally speaking, there are plenty of differences between the thoughts and actions of men and women—from love and marriage to pampering and packing to, more recently, texting and online dating. And, to some extent, the same can be said for exercise.

Typically, when it comes to fitness, these differences are seen in one’s intended end goals. More often than not, women want to lose weight and/or tone up, whereas men look to add bulk. But there are also slight nuances in their exercise habits. (Of course, this is wholly dependent on one’s desired results. Exercise rarely falls under the one-size-fits-all category.). We met with Danny Lee, Director of Personal Training at Gold’s Gym in Crofton, to discuss these subtleties and learn a few tips for better training.

Maneuver to try: Bench press into deadlift. 
A perfect push-pull combo, begin this routine with a bench press—lying on your back and pushing a barbell upwards—and end with a deadlift, in which the barbell sits on the ground and is lifted to the hips and lowered back to its resting place. Alternate between the two moves, counting down from 10, at a suitable weight and as fast as possible, while maintaining perfect form.


It’s A Guy Thing

Trying to shed those extra pounds? Lifting weights will help, but it should be done in a metabolic manner, so opt for routines that will increase your heart rate and maintain it within its peak range. Keeping a fast pace, which doesn’t mean vigorously pumping iron at warp speed, but rather encouraging less rest time between movements, will help to achieve this.

Perfect form is an absolute must. “If you start sacrificing form for weight, then either it’s too heavy or you’re not focusing enough,” Lee says.

The Push-Pull Method. Stick to one muscle group—legs, for example—and perform an assortment of movements, like leg extensions and leg curls with leg presses and lunges, that work every muscle within that area. This way, Lee says, you avoid sabotaging the next day’s gym session because of sore, overworked muscles.

This One’s For The Girls

Maneuver to try: Squat presses. 
Engaging in a squat while holding 
a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder 
height. At the top of your squat, 
press the dumbbells overhead. This 
type of functional movement met with 
resistance works multiple muscle 
groups at the same time, helping to 
tone and tighten the body more quickly 
than a simple cardio routine.

 Metabolic Resistance Training is key. Think about spending less time on a treadmill and more time engaging in MRT exercises—or, as Lee describes them, “cardio with weights.” This doesn’t mean running shouldn’t be incorporated into one’s fitness routine, but working multiple muscle groups via MRT increases one’s heart rate, which burns more calories and, inevitably, encourages greater weight loss.

Lean muscle is also important. The more lean muscle acquired, the more calories will be burned at rest—particularly important for those of us with desk jobs! Lean muscle mass also helps to increase metabolism, which promotes fat burning at a faster rate.

A common weight-lifting misconception is that higher reps at a lower weight is a better regimen for women to follow. But Lee dismisses this “old school logic.” He says it’s important to ensure you’re using the highest weight your body can accommodate.

Despite your sex, one thing is certain: if you’re looking to lose weight, change up your workout routine every three weeks. Your body becomes accustomed to routine.”

—Danny Lee Director of Personal Training at Gold’s Gym in Crofton