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Men and women tend to have very different ideas when it comes to working out. His idea of exercising is heading to the gym and pumping iron – the heavier, the better. Whereas she would much rather go for a gentle run or attend a yoga class.

But, which sex has the best idea of fitness? Who is doing it right?

Whilst there isn’t one exercise regime that suits everyone, men and women could  learn a lot from each other, in terms of training. According to the experts, that is.

What causes the difference in exercise regimes?

The major factor that causes differences in male and female workout habits is motivation.

Whilst men exercise to build their strength and muscles and create an overall bigger body – men love to bulk up. Women prefer to tone and lose weight, creating a smaller and more delicate looking body.

Men workout to build their muscles, they have a goal in mind. They know if their minds how big and strong they want to get, and that is what they focus on.

Men who play sports instead of going to the gym, do so because they enjoy it, it’s fun and it’s competitive. Whilst some women play sports for the same reason, the majority do it to help them look and feel better. Instead of for enjoyment purposes.

Whilst women get anxious about how they look at the gym – they don’t like revealing too much or showing sweat marks. Men often like to look like they have been exercising, the sweatier they are, the better. Whilst women care how they look when exercising, men do not. Their sole aim is to become stronger, how they look is irrelevant.

Female workouts vs. male workouts

Overall, women tend to have a more stable approach to exercise than men do. Female-friendly workouts tend to include a mixture of cardiovascular exercise, like running and swimming. As well as strength exercises like resistance training and lifting dumbbells. Women are also major fans of relaxation and flexibility exercises like yoga or Pilates.

Women are often comfortable to take part in exercises classes and take advice from their instructors, whereas men tend to be less comfortable with this. Perfect workouts for women tend to be things like Zumba classes and strength training classes, whereas men rarely attend this type of exercise.


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The majority of men, like to take part in sports based activities like football, rugby and cricket. Things that don’t require them to be instructed by someone. Whereas most women prefer to take part in activities like yoga and dance classes instead of team-based activities.

The only workout classes that men enjoy, tend to be extreme fitness classes, like strength boot camps, etc. Men enjoy simply working out, whereas women like to socialise, relax and enjoy their exercising time.

Overall, men tend to work out more regularly and for longer periods than women do.

Does physical difference play a part?

The physical differences in gender, such as men being bigger built than women, plays a part in how fitness can be approached. For instance, whilst men may find strength training most beneficial, women may find flexibility training more valuable.

Of course, there is also a difference between what men and women can physically do. For example, some exercises like squats are done differently by men and women due to their build.

Women are built with a lower percentage of muscle and so; they won’t be able to bulk up as much as men can. It is also important that women don’t use weights that are too heavy for them. Otherwise, they may injure themselves.

Whilst men may be stronger than women, their bodies are not as flexible. Which means that some flexibility workouts women enjoy, may not be suitable for some men, due to their lack of flexibility.

Another physical difference is that most men have more upper body strength than women do. This may partly be because they keep their chests more defined than most women do.  As well as being due to factors related to build.


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Can men and women take anything from each other’s workout habits?

There is a lot men and women can take from each other’s fitness habits. For instance, more recently gaps in fitness preferences of men and women have started to slowly close.

For example, whilst women traditionally preferred flexibility and cardiovascular exercise to strength training. More women are now becoming more interested in strength training. This may be because strong, lean muscles can aid weight loss.

Many women are nervous about doing too much strength training and looking overly muscular. Strength training doesn’t have to turn you into a bodybuilder, if you lift low weight dumbbells, you can strengthen and tone without building up too much muscle.

Some women are worried about lifting weights that are too heavy and injuring themselves. However, most women can handle heavier weight amounts than they think they can. It is just about being careful and stopping if a weight feels too hard to lift.

For women who don’t know what weights they should be lifting, they can book an appointment with a personal trainer for some advice.  A few sessions with a qualified personal trainer will allow you to find out the best ways you can keep fit and healthy without injuring yourself.

Men can also learn a lot from women’s fitness habits. Women can show men that exercise can be a fun, social activity. It doesn’t need to be a solitary event.

Whilst many men are anxious about attending fitness classes, women can show them that fitness classes are a great way to workout. Whilst men may be afraid of making a fool of themselves in a fitness class, women can show them that exercise classes are fun and pressure-free.

Although men and women tend to exercise in different ways, there is no reason their exercise habits can’t crossover. Both men and women could learn a lot from the opposite sex, in terms of exercise routines.

By trying out new things, both men and women may discover new and more exciting ways to workout.