Destroying the myth – a woman lifting heavy weights, looks like a man

You hear this again and again from women in the gym and outside it, when they are offered to either lift the weight or increase the weight that they are already raising. "I do not want to do this, because I do not want to look like a man." Many people, including men, believe that weight lifting exercises in a certain way transform a fair sex into a stereotypical image of a female bodybuilder. But this has nothing to do with reality and power exercises.

In this article, we will discuss and compare physiology, hormonal adaptation to strength exercises and the role of nutrition in the growth of muscle mass in men and women.

Despite the fact that the structure of the body of men and women is similar, there are numerous physiological differences that affect the ability of the sexes to gain muscle mass.

The main reason why women can not build muscle mass as quickly or to the same extent as men is the difference in hormonal status.

Testosterone is one of the androgen hormones responsible for anabolism in our body. It is testosterone responsible for masculine signs (increased hairiness (especially on the face), low voice, increased muscle mass).

Testosterone is present in the body of both men and women, because it is necessary for the hormonal balance and functioning of our body. However, in men, testosterone levels are much higher than in women; its "normal" index in the blood fluctuates in the range of 0,95-4,3 pg / dL, compared to 0,7-3,6 pg / dl in women.

However, the potential for muscle growth is determined not so much by the total testosterone present in the body (since most of this hormone is linked to either sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) or other non-specific proteins such as albumin), and free testosterone ., the amount of testosterone not bound).

In men, the level of free testosterone is 0,3-5% (on average, 2%) of total testosterone, and its normal range in the body is 270-1100 ng / dL, compared to only 6-86 ng / dl free testosterone in women.

The female "equivalent" of testosterone is estrogen. While estrogen is able to increase the level of growth hormone, it also raises the level of SHBG, which reduces the amount of free testosterone in the body and cortisol, which reduces the amount of muscle mass.

In men and women, a similar percentage of muscle fibers of types I, IIa and IIb are observed. However, the cross-sectional area of ​​muscle fibers (PPS) and the total anatomical cross-sectional area of ​​muscles (APS) in a woman is

60-80% of the same indicators for men.

Thus, despite the possibility of muscle hypertrophy for a relatively short period of time and a similar percentage increase in either muscle mass or volume as a result of exercise, the increase in PPP and APS in women is less than that of men.

Strength exercises and hormonal adaptation

Studies have shown that in men, strength exercises dramatically increase the level of total testosterone; while in women they do not cause such changes. However, it was proved that after performing strength exercises in women, the level of free testosterone increases by 25%.

Nevertheless, because at rest the concentration of free testosterone in women is less, then any increase is not so significant as to cause muscle hypertrophy to the same extent as men. Thus, it has been suggested that other anabolic hormones, such as growth hormone, may be responsible for muscle growth in women.

The role of nutrition in the growth of muscle mass

Diet is an important component of a set of muscle mass. To build muscle, you need to consume more calories than just to maintain the shape. Since women are usually inferior in size to men (that is, they have less mass and size of bones, etc.), they need fewer calories, and they eat less than men.

If for the recruitment of muscle mass women absorbed as much food as men, then, most likely, along with muscle hypertrophy, they would gain a large amount of fat tissue. In addition, women tend to be more prone to eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, etc., which adversely affect muscle hypertrophy and cause loss of muscle mass.

Masculinization in women occurs not as a result of weight training with heavy weights, but as a result of excessive levels of male hormones (testosterone) combined with adequate muscle growth stimuli (constant power exercises and nutrition aimed at muscle growth).

Stereotyped image created in the media about a woman bodybuilder is the result of the constant use of the above-named male hormones (steroids) in order to increase muscle mass and size. Women who do not do this can train so intensively and lift as much weight as they want, and yet they will never even come close to "looking like a man".

In men, the level of free testosterone is 0, 3-5% (on average, 2%) of total testosterone, and its normal range in the body is 270-1100 ng / dL, compared to only 6-86 ng / dl free testosterone women. That is, it is written that women in 15 times weaker than men, but this is a wild nonsense. If this were so, then an ordinary woman 4 kilo would raise with great difficulty and could not endure for a long time. A record in raising the bar would be calculated not 250-300 kilo, and 20-30 kilo. Nolik attributed chtoli forgotten?

A girl under 20-m number of beauty, but it's probably not female bodybuilding, but bodyfitness.

Hello, write an article about the periodization in bodybuilding and its types, which is better.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here