Want to train women effectively? You need to understand their unique physiology
A guest blog by Naomi Ferstera.
“Women are not little men”. This is the phrase that caught my attention while flicking through my stories on Instagram a few years back. It was a recommendation for “The Women’s Book” by Lyle McDonald.
What may not be well known by the general public, but is well known within the exercise and nutrition science world, is that there is comparatively less research on the exercise and nutrition response in women. Most studies on nutrition, physiology, and exercise, have been done on men; with the results of these studies then applied to women. This is obviously frustrating, due to the massive physiological and psychological differences between the two sexes. It is completely ludicrous to think that we could study the male response to exercise and diet, and then simply apply the same process to women.
And this lack of research is not benign. For over 20 years, I have listened to many women voice their frustrations over their body’s inability to change in response to diet and exercise, like their male counterparts. I have also lost count of the number of women who would experience bewilderment as they smash PBs in one session to completely struggling with the simple stuff in the next. Often just written off as an anomaly or off day, when in fact this is not an off day at all, but due to basic female physiology, namely the menstrual cycle.
The frustrations and the general lack of information around women’s physiology, training and diet, propelled me to write a mini-webinar series called Strong Women. In this series, I focused on the menstrual cycle and the role that the major hormones had on the response to training and food. My hope was that this would help alleviate the frustration women were feeling by teaching them that their training and dietary methods, may in fact not be suitable for them and that potentially, they were being trained by people who had insufficient understanding of the menstrual cycle’s acute impact on the response to training and diet.
In my upcoming FILEX Online Masterclass for FILEX Members on Thursday 13 August, I will be presenting an adapted version of Strong Women called Train Like a Girl, which will focus on the important roles of the major menstrual cycle hormones, the impact these hormones have on training and body composition and how we can use the menstrual cycle to maximise our training and diet response. If you are a fitness professional this is a session not-to-be missed to better understand and work more effectively with female clients and members.
To register head to the Masterclass tab in the Members Portal or if you can’t attend the date catch up with the masterclass recording available after the event! Not a FILEX Premium Member? Learn more about the great inclusions at members.filex.com.au.