How Strength Training for Women Differs from Men Adults should strength train at least two times weekly. Advanced lifters should strength train up to six times each week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Weight-training recommendations don’t differ between men and women. However, men may have a slightly different response to strength training than women.
Muscle Mass GainsWhile women and men both experience increases in muscle strength in response to weight training, men often experience larger muscle mass gains. A study published in 2010 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reports that strength training leads to slightly greater, but significant, muscle volume gains in men compared to women. Therefore, men are genetically prone to building bigger muscles than women as a result of strength training.
Men appear to show increased tendon strength in response to exercise compared with women, which may mean they are less susceptible to injury. However, women and men are both susceptible to injuries if they over train, lift weights that are too heavy, or strength train using improper form.
Muscular Endurance Workouts
Goals for strength training may include increases in muscular endurance, growth or strength. The number of sets and repetitions men and women should perform to boost muscular endurance doers not differ with gender. The ACSM suggests men and women should complete two to four sets of 10 to 25 reps, with 30-second to 1-minute rest periods between sets, to increase muscular endurance.
Muscle Strength and Size WorkoutsWhile men may genetically be able to get bigger and stronger than women, workouts that boost muscle strength and size do not differ between men and women. To increase muscle volume, the ACSM recommends completing one to three sets of 8 to 12 reps, or three to six sets of 1 to 12 reps, depending on experience level — with 1- to 3-minute rest periods between sets.