by Matt Weik
For some reason, there seems to be this stereotype that men and women in the weight room cannot coexist or be training partners. Some women are even scared to death because of the amount of testosterone in the air in the weight room (that's a joke). Seriously though, many women are afraid to venture into the weight room because they're afraid of looking like a man when lifting weights, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Women can achieve a very tight and slim appearance through weight training. They can even drastically improve their overall strength and significantly simplify daily activities. And I personally know several women who train harder than most men I see in the gym. It's perfectly fine to train men with women, and here are some reasons why.
When you exercise in the gym, you have probably seen men exercising with women – more specifically, with your partner or spouse. This is completely normal and I can only recommend it. It's a great way to motivate and hold each other to account. If you're on Instagram, you'll likely see the fitness posts from fit couples working with the hashtag "relationship goals."
The fact that men train with women at the end of the day has no negative consequences. You have fun with your partner or spouse and train great to achieve your health and fitness goals. A couple that works together stays together, right?
Some women are stronger than men
Yes, it is true and I have experienced it firsthand. There are women who are MUCH stronger than men. And that's cool! I have great respect for women who control the weight room and throw serious weight around. Does that mean they're giant male chicks? Absolutely not. I've even seen muscular men lifted out by a woman. It is wonderful!
When men train with women who are just as strong as them, it makes the process a lot easier. Why? Because you don't have to constantly move the weights back and forth to adapt them to different strengths. You may even know some women who are power lifters and look at them that you would never know.
There is no natural way for women to "grow up"
Do you remember your time in health class when you talked about testosterone during puberty? Well, a little refreshment is that men actually produce a fair amount of testosterone, much more than women. Due to the high level of testosterone, men can build up a considerable amount of muscle mass. In general, men with extremely high testosterone levels are usually taller (more muscular) than other men with lower testosterone levels, even if they both exercise in the weight room. This is not to say that women cannot add high quality size to their frames, it will only be less than what a man can do. This goes back to the point that women shouldn't be afraid to grab dumbbells and a barbell and get a little out of their comfort zone if they have never done weight training in the past.
You might be thinking, "But Matt, I've seen female bodybuilders and they're jacked up!" True, but they are most likely also using some kind of anabolic steroids. Women and men flip-flop when it comes to hormones. While men have increased free-flowing testosterone flowing through their bodies, women have an increased amount of estrogen. Welcome to the world of evolution. This is partly the reason why men and women distribute fat differently.
It is fun
The last point is that training is fun and there is a better way to share the experience with someone who is special in your life. The fact that men train with women enables everyone involved to share in the health benefits and the fun of pushing your body to its limits.