Before thinking in the context of limitations, there should be a through examination of biological and physiological facts. Sexual dimorphism is not the only factor in physical strength. As sports science demonstrates nutrition and training are more complex than so would realize. Women are relative new comers to professional sport, which may explain some of the difference in performance, which may not just be solely biological. Most information related to women and training is based off of studies conducted on men. This means more efficient method must be employed to meets women’s needs in terms of their biology, anatomy, and physiology. A woman can lift more than a man who is unfit or weak if trains rigorously. Men have the advantage of more natural strength relative to starting point in relation to training regimen. Women therefore have to train harder to reach a certain physical fitness capacity. Both men and women reach a physical fitness peak in which they can no longer become stronger or faster. The physical differences are why certain sports are separated by sex. However, there is a possibility of overlap. It is not impossible that a woman could beat a man of the same fitness level. Certain athletes male and female have a unique physiology, which give them an edge over their competition. The title should be rephrased, because women are capable of lifting more and being stronger than a man. It should be phrased “why physically fit women’s performance does not match that of men of the same size. “
Comparing men and women of a similar size gives us interesting results. The 69 Kg category has a difference in male and female records. The record holds 169 kg ( 372 lbs ) for men and 123 kg( 271 lbs ) for women. That is a difference of 46 kg. The assumption would be that difference in weight lifted would be larger compared to men. That would mean a woman in that weight category would just have to lift 46 kg (101 lbs) to be equal to male performance. This gap considering sex differences should be bigger, but it shows that women are not biologically limited. Women would have to train their upper body more.
It is harder for women to reach a certain fitness level due to biology, physiology, anatomy, and endocrine function.
Women have less muscle mass in their upper bodies. Compared to lower body strength this would be easier to build. The use of the legs is essential to weightlifting . This does not mean that women have stronger legs than men contrary to popular belief. The muscular strength difference can effect various parts of the body of the male. This means women have to train harder to reach a certain strength level. Intensity is the key to inducing more muscular hypertrophy. lifting heavy can be effective, even if it is done once a week. If a person is trying to be a serious athlete the regimen must be consistent. Maintaining muscle requires exercise and a proper diet. Women with no training only have about 52% of the upper body strength of a male. The lower body constitutes 66% of male strength. This means a woman of the same size would be at a 14% difference in physical strength. Sports that require upper body strength like boxing, powerlifting, or rowing. Men have more absolute strength and would actually be stronger from a training regimen.
Men would see results from their training regime faster compared to women. If both sexes followed the same training it would normally result in males have higher physical fitness capacity.
Men have the advantage in pure brute strength, however women appear to be more fatigue resistant. Women can lift a sub-maximal amount of weight for a period of time. The muscular endurance advantage is related to type I muscle fibers. This type of muscle fiber is more resistant to fatigue, yet cannot project explosive power. Type II slow twitch muscle fiber, which men have more of provides an edge on physical strength. One method of building strength requires the adjustment of the repetition maximum. Lower repetitions with heavy weights are designed to increase muscular strength can size. It is not merely having a large cross section of muscle, fiber type makes a difference.
1 RM stands for repetition maximum which is the most weight that can be lifted in repeatedly.
Men and women of a similar size could be closer in strength, but males maintain an upper body advantage. The strength difference seems small compared to the numbers considering differences in physiology. Theoretically, a woman would have to use most of her reserve strength to lift on the same level as a man of a similar size. Reserve strength is what a person has to perform task that do not take an immense amount of exertion. Maximal strength is used when using full effort for a physical task. A 69 Kg (152 lbs ) woman would have 66% of the strength of her male counterpart .
Puberty is when major change alter the fitness of the body. Prior to this time, boys and girls are at the same level of strength. Boys are not stronger than girls prior to puberty. There could be sociological reasons for why women’s fitness levels are lower. The desire to look thin or the emphasis on weigh loss based diets may be doing harm. Body image disorders and bone health decline could be a result in women’s declining strength as they age. Boys are still encouraged to do more sports and develop physical skills. Physical education classes for girls have a different set of standards, even when physiological differences have not have an impact on physical ability. Women have been excluded from the world of sports and fitness for a long period of time. The modern Olympics started in 1896, but women’s weightlifting one appeared in the year 2000. Even today women face obstacles. Discrimination does not account for the obvious changes that occur in the body. Boys’ bodies when they transform into men’s bodies testosterone allows for bigger muscles and denser bones.
The gonads which are the sex glads known as the testis and ovaries are responsible for the hormonal changes. The total amount of testosterone does not contribute to physical strength, rather it is the amount of free testosterone in the body. Men produce ten times more the amount of testosterone than women, which aids in muscular hypertrophy. However, it is not required for women to build muscle. Women have similar responses to weight training. The phrase “bulking up ” is inaccurate. It is building muscle. Estrogen would not be an impairment to weightlifting. Estrogen blocks protein damage. This can be useful in the fight against muscle soreness, although some damage is needed for muscular hypertrophy. Estrogen effects body composition in terms of fat to muscle ratio.
Puberty is a stage in the human life cycle in which a child’s body transforms into an adult one capable of sexual reproduction.
Puberty effects male and female athletes differently. Women gain more flexibility and balance. The biggest factor in lifting is that women have smaller and narrower shoulders, which results in reduced articular surface. Lower hemoglobin levels means the aerobic capacity is effected. Lungs do not grow bigger in the female body. The heart also remains smaller. Puberty reduces women’s physical optimum, while increasing men’s physical optimum. Weight training can still increase female strength. Endocrinology explains only part of the differences in strength and how much weight can be lifted.
There are other factors that determine strength . The nervous system plays a role in your ability to generate power. Neural efficiency is imperative to lifters. The way in which motor units are activated make a difference in strength. When a weightlifter picks ups a weight motor units are firing to the muscle fibers. The more efficient they are the easier it is to perform. There has been very little evidence to suggest that women’s motor neurons function differently. The length of limbs also effects strength. People with short limbs have an advantage in leverage. This may be to women’s benefit compared to men’s longer limbs. Variation in muscle length can also effect total strength. Having longer muscle length gives a person a greater strength advantage.
When doing research into sports performance, be careful of the sources used. What was cited was an article by the New York Times called “Why Women Can’t Do Pull-ups .” That was a false statement and there are women that can do this exercise ( Rebuttal to New York Times).
Tendons and their point of insertion are also factors in physical strength. If the tendon has an insertion point that allows the bone and muscle to be attached better, this would be a biomechanicial advantage. Tendons are what securely attaches muscles to the skeletal structure. Tendon fibers consist of callogen and are designed to resist heavy forces on the body. Age also is a factor. As a person ages, they will gradually lose muscle mass and strength. Weightlifting and exercise can reverse muscle and bone loss due to senescence . Women would be effected more seeing as mostly their body composition is fat and have lower amount of bone mass. Through the life cycle starting at youth boys and girls are the same strength level. When adulthood is reached men have more muscular bodies. During the elder years men lose a portion of their strength due to the changes brought about by lowered testosterone levels. Somatotype is also a factor. A person with a naturally mesomorphic body type will build muscle easier compared to an ectomorphic person. Endomorphic individuals may struggle to lose weight. This explains why a thin man who has more testosterone than a muscular woman is still physically weaker. Genetics particularly the influence ACTG 1, STY 1, PEX 14, and TGFA. Recently, scientists have identified these genes associated with strength. ACTG 1 has to give instructions to gamma y actin proteins to perform muscular contraction. Actin alpha 3 and ACE dictate muscle fiber distribution and endurance. These other factors may explain why some women could get stronger than some men on the same training regime.
Surely, there are women who can lift more than a man can. Absolute strength differs among the sexes. Yet, potential can vary vastly. Women are thought not to “bulk up” from weight training. There is no such thing as” toning “or “bulking up.” There is muscle growth. These colloquial terms appear in various fitness materials. The science articulates the transformation of the human body in a different way. Muscular hypertrophy functions in the same way for both sexes. There is a quantitative approach charting fitness progress by the amount of mass gained. Precise measures of strength must be calculated. Hand grip may be an estimation, but bench press totals are more reliable as an indicator of upper body strength.
These strong women can lift more than these thin men can. Men are on average stronger, but that does not mean every single man is stronger than every woman.The “bulky” female bodybuilders are not really that large at all. Margie Martin weighs only 154 lbs and Britt Miler when active was 125 lbs. Compared to the strongest males pictured would outweigh them most likely by 30 lbs or more. Here it is obvious that both strong men could out lift them based on their bigger upper bodies.
Muscular hypertrophy is dependent on stimulation and repair. After lifting weights, during the rest phase muscle repair themselves from the microtrauma. The cells will grow due to protein synthesis. Muscular hypertrophy can be classified into two different types sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar . Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy enables increased glycogen storage. When myofibrillar causes the actual myofibrils to get bigger. The vast amount of varying potential is genetic. A person’s unique physiology that is partly inherited by a combination of genes gives athletes an advantage. Florence Griffith Joyner and Usain Bolt are examples of such genetic gifts. This does not negate that there is a huge amount of diligence and effort that goes into training . Depending on the man, a woman could be stronger. A 181 lbs woman could bench press 85 pounds without training. Strength benchmarks are classified as novice, intermediate, advanced, and elite. The largest woman ‘s lifting levels go from 110, 120, 160, and 195 pounds as estimates. A smaller woman of 132 lbs can have a bench press weight of 70 pounds. Their ranges go from 85, 95, 125 and 150. These are rough estimates and it should be realized that every man and woman is different. The average American man weighs close to 196 lbs. The novice male lifter can reach 175 lbs for bench press. Intermediate male lifter can reach 215 lbs and elites in the 290 lbs range.These estimates are based on what was collected from coaches and trainers, meaning they are estimates.
These are some data samples from powerlifting events. The difference between the strongest elite men and women is 275 lbs. The difference is smaller with the weakest males and females with a difference of 65 lbs. The reason the bench press data would be pronounced is due to men having larger upper bodies and more androgen receptors in that part of the body.
A 114 lbs man in a class IV bench press range would still be weaker than a woman in an elite level of 135 lbs. The strongest woman with the 225 lbs bench press can out lift a 114 lbs man in the masters classification. There are women based on some samples collected that can out lift men in a group. what this indicates is that men just have an advantage in size, not muscle quality. The smallest person is female at 97 lbs. The smallest male is 114 lbs. The weakest male has a 17 lbs strength advantage. This is why weigh classes are used in sports, because otherwise the largest men and women would dominate.
Technique also is pivotal to weightlifting. There are multiple theories on what is the best one. What best describes the lifting technique is a movement pattern. Gradually adopting these movement patterns makes the action more biomechanically efficient. Learning a series of movement patterns would therefore improve the performance of an athlete. A weightlifter must learn to do full ranges of motion incorporating their legs and upper body. Women have to be aware of certain anatomical differences when doing such lifts. Pelvic floor strength is pivotal considering many women have incontinence. This is also a problem for female lifters. Taking into consideration that women are different in the quadriceps angle training would have to modified to prevent injury. Women who are large in the bust must also contend with extra weight attached to their chest. Technology has become helpful in this circumstance, with the invention of the sports bra. The sports bra allowed more women to engage in physical activity with more comfort.It should not be assumed that bigger muscle automatically means more strength. Body composition and muscle fiber type seem to be the major factors in that determination.
The bodybuilders may look strong, but may not be able to lift as much as an Olympic weightlifter.
That is why it is possible that a man that looks huge may not even be able to out lift a woman that appears smaller. Varvara Yuriyivna Akulova lifted 661 pounds (300 kg) in 2006. At only 48 pounds in the year 2000 she lifted 220 pounds. She made her way into the Guinness Book of World Records at the age of eight as “the world’s strongest girl.” That 661 pound lift would be in the elite level range of male lifters. This exception demonstrates that people regardless of sex carry a combination of genes that contribute to their performance. Akulova comes from a family of strongmen and circus performers. Her father also used old time strongman training techniques with her as a child. Her athletic feats are a combination of genetics, training, and technique. While learning new physical skills contributes to performance, there is also a mental factor.
Psychological state effects performance. Motivation is essential specifically at the highest levels of competition. This is why sports psychology has become so critical. Having a competitive spirit and enthusiasm makes a large difference. There seems to be a competitiveness gap that exists between men and women in sport. This is part sociological and biological. Testosterone is thought to increase levels of risk taking behavior and competitiveness. The endocrine system has a major influence on behavior of organisms. If women have less testosterone, they may have less of a desire to be competitive. This cannot be based on biology alone. Competitiveness can be fostered in environment or is related to personality type. Men are expected and encouraged to be more competitive compared to women. Boys are taught physical skills from a early age and girls are discourage from full use of their bodies. There is progress however, with more women getting involved in sports at younger ages. Yet , the drop out rate remains high once girls enter puberty. The physical changes are harder for girls who are in sports competition. Once the growth process is over, it becomes easier to navigate training. There is no “mentally stronger sex” as the text proclaims. Men have just been stereotyped as being the tougher ones. This has been harmful in regards to mental health for men who have limited outlets for emotional expression. Both men and women can see benefits to psychological well being with physical activity.
The question arises is why women do not have the same physical fitness capacity compared to males if the muscular and respiratory system are the same . Human evolution and the product of sexual dimorphism are the reasons. There are several theories for why men are bigger and stronger. Sex selection and more specific natural selection contributed to the survival of hominids. The difference in size probably meant that competition for females was fierce and males fought for access to them. Not only was there fights for females, but territory among the genus homo species.Male competition for females may not even be the correct answer. Hunting could be a probable theory. Primates probably needed stronger males to be able to run fast and be in shape to capture food. This may have been the case when archaic humans added meat to their diet. As human evolution progressed, size differences between males and females got less pronounced compared to our early primate ancestors. Neantherthals were most likely stronger than modern humans.
Human evolution caused a number of changes to the body. The cranial volume increased, humans became bipedal, and the size the intestines decreased to accommodate a part meat consumption.
Sexual dimorphism related to size was larger in neanderthals and denisovans. There may have been a possibility of cross breeding between neanderthals, denisovans, and archaic humans. Much of these are claims are still theoretically in regards for the reason for sex differences. To date there has not been a discovery of a common genetic ancestor (mistakenly called a missing link), which all primates branch off from the evolutionary tree. Women’s bodies evolved a certain way to accommodate pregnancy and thus enabling the propagation of a particular set of genes and traits into the environment. Natural selection favors a trait, which is why it may have a recurring appearance in certain groups of plants and animals. Sex differences are nothing more than physical evidence of biological evolution. Making claims that differences are indicators of superiority or inferiority is false and unscientific. Nature only cares about survival, not the biological properties of the organism. Triolbites, dinosaurs, and early mammals became extinct, because they could not adapt to a changing environment. What should be realized that biology and sexual dimorphism can be flexible. That is why some women can be bigger and stronger than some men. Considering this information it is clear that women do have the ability to out lift men depending on size, height, weight, somatotype, genetics, technique, and years of training experience.