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Debunking Gender Myths #2: Men’s Muscles Respond Quicker To Training Than Women’s

blog muscle science for women Apr 02, 2021

In the previous post, we debunked one of the most common myths about women and building muscle. 

If you missed it, check out: Myth #1: If women lift heavy weights, they’ll become bulky

Let's chat about another very common misunderstanding when it comes to training differences between men and women.

Myth #2: Men’s muscle responds quicker to training than women’s muscles

Hate to break it to ya but there are no special “men’s muscles” or “women’s muscles.”

Muscle is muscle and it responds to “good” stress that forces it to compensate and adapt (AKA grow bigger and stronger).

Physiologically men start out with a lot more muscle than women, especially in their upper bodies, so it may appear that they have an easier time growing it. Men also tend to have lower body fat levels which makes it easier to see muscle definition, especially in places like the arms and back. Also, men have more testosterone, which increases protein synthesis and growth hormone -- two key factors that promote tissue growth.

So yes, maybe on the surface it seems like men have an easier time growing muscle than women. But, it’s not all bad news for the ladies!

There’s evidence to suggest that estrogen, the dominant female hormone, is anti-catabolic. This means it's good for stimulating muscle protein synthesis and enhancing stamina and recovery, which can work in our favor for training. This may be why it’s often said that women can handle higher training volume and recover faster from tough workouts. 

Yes, men and women are different; our skeletal structure and hormonal makeup can have an impact on training methodology. But our muscles are not different.

Aside from an understanding of our individual, unique physiology, goals, and challenges, we do not have to assume that women need to train differently than men (less weight and higher reps, for example).

This type of complexity and the amount of misinformation out there about women and muscle growth is part of the reason why we created the Muscle Science For Women program: A 12-week program on the theory & application of strength & muscle-building.

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