by Matt Weik
For some reason, there seems to be this stereotype that men and women cannot coexist in the weight room or be training partners. Some women are even deathly afraid of stepping in the weight room due to the amount of testosterone in the air (that’s somewhat a joke). But In all seriousness, many women are afraid of venturing into the weight room because they are afraid of looking like a man from lifting weights but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Women can achieve a very toned and lean look from utilizing weight training. They can even drastically improve their overall strength and make daily activities much easier. And I, personally, know several women who work out harder than most of the men I see in the gym. It’s absolutely fine to have men train with women and here are some reasons why.
If you frequent the gym, you’ve probably seen men train with women – more specifically with their significant other or spouse. This is completely normal and actually something I recommend. It’s a great way to motivate each other as well as keep each other accountable. If you are on Instagram you probably see the gym posts of fit couples working out together with the hashtag “relationship goals.”
The fact that men train with women at the end of the day doesn’t have any negative consequences. You get to have fun with your significant other or spouse and get in a great workout to help you both reach your health and fitness goals. A couple that works out together stays together, right?
Some women are stronger than men
Yes, it’s true and I’ve experienced it first-hand… there are women who are MUCH stronger than men. And that’s cool! I have huge respect for women who command the weight room and toss around some serious weight. Does that mean they are huge manly chicks? Absolutely not. I’ve even seen muscular men who were out-lifted by a woman as well. It’s amazing!
If men train with women who are just as strong as they are, it actually makes the process a lot easier. Why? Because you don’t need to constantly be changing the weights back and forth to accommodate different strength levels. You may even know some women who are powerlifters and looking at them you would never know.
There’s no natural way for women to get “big”
Remember back in health class when you talked about testosterone during puberty? Well, a little refresher is that men produce a fair amount of testosterone, actually, way more than women. It’s because of the high testosterone levels that men have the ability to put on a considerable amount of lean muscle mass. Generally speaking, men who have extremely high levels of testosterone tend to be larger (more muscular) that other men with a lower amount of testosterone even if they are both training in the weight room. Now, that’s not to say that women can’t add quality size to their frame, it’s just going to be less than what a man can. This goes back to the point that women shouldn’t be afraid of grabbing dumbbells and a barbell and getting a little outside of their comfort zone if they’ve never done resistance training in the past.
You might be thinking, “but Matt, I’ve seen women bodybuilders and they are jacked!” True, but they are also more than likely using some sort of anabolic steroids. Women and men flip-flop when it comes to hormones. While men have elevated free-flowing testosterone running through their body, women have an elevated amount of estrogen. Welcome to the world of evolution. That’s also partly the reason why men and women distribute fat differently.
The last point to be made is that training is fun and what better way to share the experience than with someone special in your life? The fact that men train with women allows all parties to share in the health benefits as well as the fun of pushing your body to the limit.