I am a man. I do not have experience personally with women’s health. But, I have been training and coaching women for 15 plus years. I see a lot of differences in the women I train versus the men that I train. Some of these differences are good to be aware of when working out. They will help direct the focus of training. They are not always true but the majority of the time this is what I see. In this blog I will share with you three of the biggest differences I see.


Pain Tolerance

One of the biggest differences I notice in training women versus men is something I joke around a lot about in my sessions.  I joke around but it’s been proven true so many times! Women have a higher pain tolerance than men. If a woman gets the common cold she’s able to run a household and/or go about her day fairly normal. Men usually want someone to take care of them. This has nothing to do with training… I know. But the pain tolerance does. I feel women can push through more than men on average and because of that gains can be made quicker by women. Women are more tenacious and grittier. 

The women that I train, even at young ages, seem to really work hard. They are motivated. The pain you feel when exercising and pushing your limits is not comfortable sometimes.  It’s in a woman’s DNA to give birth. If we think about the caveman days a woman may have needed to give birth without making a sound so predators wouldn’t harm them. In order to do that, one must be able to withstand a lot of pain. This is one big reason why I say women are “tougher” than men.


Lower Body Dominant

Another difference I see is that women tend to be more lower body dominant. I’m not sure why this is, but a vast majority of women I’ve trained or have known to workout have exhibited more strength with the legs than the upper body. The dreaded “leg day” is less dreaded and even welcomed by the female sex. This means that the upper body should take a lot of focus because it is a weaker group on average. I like to train my clients to be functional. Doing a pull-up is functional but most women cannot do many of them. I like to work a lot on grip strength and I like to do a lot of pulling exercises with women to help them have better overall strength and to be more well rounded.


Q Angle

The last thing I want to share is the “Q angle”. Women, on average, have wider hips than men. This is primarily for the reason of childbirth. But because of this the angle from the hip to the knee is greater. This doesn’t sound that important, but the significance of this is seen a lot in high school sports. Women have a much higher rate of tearing ligaments in the knees versus men. This is important to know so that exercises can be done to minimize this risk.


To my readers…

Thank you for reading my blog! These differences between men and women in regards to fitness are good to know and can only help in programming a balanced workout.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at jhershey@ampersandintegrative.com.



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