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Should Women Train Like Men?

Should Women Train Like Men?


Should Women Workout Like Men?

There is much controversy on the subject of men and women training. One thing is clear – to build muscle there is a specific formula that must be followed. What about male verses female training in general?  Truth be told there are reasons women should train differently than men and I am about to give you the reasons why.

Men and Women: We’re Different. Use It to Your Advantage

Yes, yes. We’re equal. That doesn’t mean our exercise programs and fitness regimens should be equal. The fact is men and women are built differently. To get the best results possible, we need to tailor our movements to address the unique strengths, weaknesses and needs of our bodies.

What Women Have That Men Don’t

Women aren’t built like men. Our shoulders, wrists and other joints are smaller and have less strength. That means women are five to ten times more likely to suffer a stress fracture.

That’s not all. Because ladies have a larger “Q” angle, we’re more likely to suffer non-contact knee injuries and medial rotational instability. Poor diet and too much aerobic exercise makes 30-something women prone to osteoporosis and dowager’s humps (a rounded spine, at the base of the neck). Almost half the women over the age of 38 will struggle with some degree of incontinence.

Don’t worry though. Women have a particular advantage over men: We are 40% more energy-efficient than men when running the same distance.

In other words women have the energy, we just need to learn how to use it to our advantage.

What Women Really Need in Their Exercise Program

Ask long-time researcher and fitness expert Paul Chek and he’ll tell you women’s fitness routines should include four main exercise types: flexibility, stability, strength and power. And we need to include these four traits into our fitness routines the right way.


Free-Moving Muscles — Start by doing daily stretches and flexibility exercises to loosen muscles restricting your movement. This will give you the ability and freedom to work on the rest of your body without risking an injury.

Stability — Next build stability in your core, particularly the transversus abdominis (TVA) region. Why? It will prevent injury, improve incontinence, and build the muscles in your back, pelvis, legs and feet. Stability ball and free-weight exercises are perfect for this step.

Free Weights — Instead of sticking to the machines all the time, make sure you do some free-weight routines. Why? Free weights improve your posture and stabilization, rather than forcing you to do most movements in a sitting position. Not sure where to start? Try some lunges. And don’t be afraid of the weights either. Women have high estrogen levels and lower levels of testosterone (the hormone responsible for building large amounts of muscle), so you won’t start looking like a body builder.

Power and High-Speed Movements – If you keep doing the exercises in the previous steps for 8-16 weeks, you should be close to having full flexibility in your joints and muscles, not to mention more strength and stability. When that happens, it’s time to ramp things up a bit and boost the amplitude and/or velocity of your exercises. This will increase the force through the joints, muscles, and tissue. Just be aware that women are most at risk when performing these types of exercises, so don’t overdo it.

Beauty and Ideal Body Shape

What men and women see as their ideal body shape significantly influences how they exercise. After all, the whole point of doing all this work is to get the curves in the right places, right?

Women, for example, will exercise their obliques differently than men. And here’s why. Women want a small waists, so they won’t work all of their abdominal muscles and will avoid certain movements. They’ll also avoid using heavy weights on their obliques to prevent building muscle mass and expanding their waist.

Now It’s Your Turn


All you need is a bit of discipline and the right information. Well, you now have the information. All you need now is the discipline. And you’ve got that covered, right?

If you need a workout program that takes a womens’ need into account and haven’t tried FULL-BODY-LICIOUS, you can get it here: I have taken all four aspects of women fitness  and designed a program specifically suited for a woman’s body.

FULL-BODY-LICIOUS will create balance, flexibility, improve strength and power and will put the curves on the right place.

If you are a FULL-BODY-LICIOUS member let us know how it has helped shape your body below. All comments are welcome. Use your transformation to inspire others to do the same!





Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Anna says:

    Great article, thanks Flavia. I LOVE FBL!!! I was already pretty fit before starting, but FBL really strengthened my core, and improved my endurance. Absolutely the best program I’ve ever done.

  • caraboska says:

    Praise the Lord. Some of us want to go for the more substantial look. Some of us like it when the entire gym stops what they’re doing to cheer us on as we churn out 20 reps at 70 kg (154 lbs) in our third set of side bends with low cable, or our trainer tells us he isn’t even going to watch us do back extensions on the Roman chair because it’s just too scary to see us with that 55 pound dumbbell clasped to our chest. Some of us get great satisfaction out of lifting 330 pounds working our traps on a calf machine and would like to be able to have that kind of results with all of our body parts 🙂

    Yes, there are some legitimate anatomical considerations when using heavy weights, but that is just an argument for being ultra careful about form, going for gradual incremental improvement, having a good spotter… And resistance training is actually good for combatting osteoporosis – witness my 71-year-old stepmother who hits the gym probably five days a week and is in better shape than she was 40 years ago!

  • Marie Negron says:

    Flavia!!! I just wanted to say how happy I am using your program. I started about 2 months ago, I was already in pretty good shape but I needed a boost in my routine something that would kick my butt. I must say that my core now has more strength and is more toned, I can run faster and longer distances without being so tired like before. Even my ex trainer is asking me where did I find my new exercises, and everybody is noticing the changes in my body. If anybody reading this is still in doubt about purchasing this workout program, well don’t wait a second more. Flavias program is designed for women in mind and our needs. I love it!!!! Anything that Flavia recommends I will consider. Thank you!!!! Marie

  • Marie Negron says:

    Hi Flavia !!! I just wanted to say how good and happy I feel after using your program. I also was in good shape before, but once I started your program I can run faster and longer due to my new achieved strength. I’ve noticed results in my core most of all and I feel great. Even my ex trainer is asking what am I doing differently I tell her it’s flavialicious!!!! Thank you for everything I love your program!!!!!

  • susan diez says:

    I purchased FBL a couple of months back but haven’t been able to access it.
    I’ve tried contacting Flavia’s webpage about it but have not gotten a reply. It’s been very frustrating for me not to ba able to access something that I totally paid for!
    If anyone knows how I might be able to get in, please send me an email to: [email protected]

  • Sarah says:

    Yes I agree with Anne, before using FBL I didn’t realise how unbalanced some of my muscles were in relation to each other, especially the stability muscles, and how much stronger my core could be. What I really enjoyed about the program was the huge variety of exercises (plus all the extra exercises that I could pick and choose from for substitution purposes), the use of different equipment to keep things varied, the combination of two or more target areas of the body in one exercise, that my whole body got a workout every training day including all the stability muscles, and lastly that the emphasis was not on how much weight to use for each exercise rather it was that your intensity should be high. An absolutely fabulous program and looking forward to the next one!

    • Flavia says:

      Thanks so much ladies! I am super happy to hear that. I can’t wait to film some new stuff I have been trying out!!!

  • Robin says:

    I’ve been wanting to let you know for quite a while now so I’ll take the opportunity now and tell you I love your program! Thank you! Please keep your articles and recipes comming as well.
    Very much appreciated!

  • Debi says:

    Hi Flava,

    I have bought your program and worked through it for a few weeks. I am reasonably in shape but I find the program too long and too many exercises as I cannot fit them into the time you suggest. I am much older. How do I break down or remove some excersises to make sure I am excerising my body in a balanced fashion? Alas I have been weight lifting but enjoying it more.

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Debi, thanks for your questions.
      Day one, take out row with squat and add single-leg squat and take out the abs.
      Day 2, try to get better and better at this one (you should be able to get it down to around 45 minutes)…this one is a great day for abdominals and cardio. If you need to take out some of this, take one full tri-set out of the abs and rotate each week.
      Day 3, take out last tri-set with abs and single-leg curl.
      Day 4, take out the second to last tri-set but add the single-leg hops as the last exercise in the tri-set (making it 4 exercises instead of 3)
      Day5, take out the pike walk and move hip raise in there instead and cut out the last tri-set of the day.
      ***you should add 2 sessions of cardio 20 minutes doing whatever you enjoy doing during the week.

      Let me know if you need anything else and let me know how it goes.

  • Juliet says:

    Hello Flavia. I have ordered your workouts and I am always thinking of how to get in better shape but here’s the problem – I am in the Army and go to the gym at 0500, then do another hour of physical training (exercises of someone else’s choosing – 3 days or running and 2 days of muscle failure). I want to do more when I get home but I work late and am so exhausted. I am usually starving as well and just want to eat something quick and go to sleep. It’s hard to keep that momentum of living well going for more than a few days. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you.

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Juliet, is there a way to ask the person choosing to incorporate some FBL moves into your training? What you could do is some of the home techniques from FBL when you get home if you are feeling up to it, on the days that you run. You could go through 1 set to start and work your way up. As for quick meal ideas…I am putting out some great content on nutrition this week with a chance to get brandnew meal plans that I created.
      I would suggest doing some meals on one of your days off for a few days…cut veggies, plan out your week so you have it set and therefore won’t grad something for convenience. Cook a few meals at the same time to plan ahead. This is the only way I stay on track on busy days.

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