Ladies, have you ever wondered why you might have a harder time building muscle than your male counterparts? It can be discouraging to see accelerated progress in others when we don’t feel it in ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing a great job! Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on yourself, because here’s the thing:
Our fitness journey is our own, and no one else’s! Consider this- women, on average, have a maximal strength of about 60% compared to men overall. In a woman’s upper body, women average 25-55% percent compared to a man’s lifting power. That gap closes when we look at lower body strength- women average about 70-75% of a male’s strength. This means that even if you’ve been training longer (and maybe even harder), the men in the gym might be able to catch up to you more quickly that you would have imagined. They may even walk in on their first day ever in the gym and be able to bench press more than you! But that’s ok. Stay on track, because YOUR OWN fitness journey is not a competition, except for maybe with yourself, if you feel like tracking your progress. Remember, though, even day to day you might see differences, good or bad. It’s the overall trend that counts- We all have good and bad days no matter how long we’ve been training!
That doesn’t mean you should be intimidated by lifting weights. When done correctly and consistently, weight lifting has SO MANY benefits, some that are even more important for women (compared to men, not to say there aren’t amazing benefits for men as well!) as they age, like increased bone density (women have a higher risk for lower bone density as they age), for example, so don’t put down those dumbbells! You will gain strength, better your balance, experience improved mental health, and gain confidence-especially if you stop yourself from comparing your progress to other people’s! Comparison is the thief of joy, and you should take pride in yourself every single time you step into the gym.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter quite so much how much you can lift, really. What matters is that you perform to the best of YOUR ability, no matter where in your fitness journey you may be! And remember to take it day by day, because the important thing is that you are doing something for yourself that will build a foundation of functional strength that will serve you for a lifetime!
And PS- there’s no better feeling than knowing that you are setting yourself up for a healthier and happier future!