Women Run Faster After Taking Newly Developed Supplement

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds Combo of minerals and other nutrients might boost performance

According to a study conducted by Ohio State University women saw an increase in running speed with a nutritional supplement. This experiment involved women who took this new nutritional supplement  and another group of women who took a placebo. This was a great way to devise the experiment rather than telling the placebo group that they were not taking anything special. Such findings indicate that there is a possibility that women’s athletic performance can be greatly improved, if tailored to their biological and physiological structure. The major problem is that exercise physiology studies or experiments mostly use men. Women are not the same as men, which is why if they are to get the best training and nutrition programs, experiments must used female subjects. Women are now serious athletic competitors and they need supplements to meet their competition and performance objectives. The results were published in the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition . Such studies are going to change women’s athletic performance by fixing deficiencies in nutrition. While training is essential, diet and nutrition have proven to make a difference in athletic performance.

        The minerals that were given to women included forms of iron, zinc, copper and  carnitine. The supplement also phosphatidylserine, which was derived from both fatty acids and amino acids. Carnitine was also derived from amino acids. phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid responsible for the health of human cells. The omega 3 fatty acids that are in it called EPA and DHA. The role it fills is to maintain healthy cell membranes. Phosphatidylserine can be produced in the body, but can also be found in particular foods. This phospholipid contributes to cellular function and also provides help to other tasks. Phosphatidylserine  is responsible for bone matrix formation, heart beat coordination, hormone secretion by the adrenal glads, and testicular function in men. The phospholipid also may play a role in maintaining neuron health and cognition.  Carnitine can be found in most cells of the human body. It is involved in energy production. It must transport fatty acids to the mitochandria, while removing waste compounds formed out of the organelles. There are carnitine supplements, yet the evidence that it can improve athletic performance is inconclusive. It seems that it is better when combined with other minerals as the study demonstrates. Carnitine has a variety of compounds which consist of L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine.

Professor Robert Disilvestro the lead author and of the study stated : “I decided to start with minerals that are commonly low — or thought to be low in many diets — and brought in some of the supporting cast.” This reasoning appears to be correct in the formation of more efficient supplements. This also has implications beyond athletic performance. The reason many people may not be in great health is that they are not getting the proper nutritional requirements. Knowing this, some individuals could be doing the proper amount of exercise, yet are having deficiencies in diet.

Understanding phospholipids and other amino acid derivatives can be more beneficial to women seeking to improve their performance.  Robert Disilvestro discusses that there are some nutrition problems women have as serious athletes. This supplement also holds an economic opportunity. Disilverstro is seeking to develop this supplement for commercial use and was supported by Gatorade Sports Science Institute. They are not involved in commercialization efforts, but is possible they will be. This is an example of applied science. What applied science does is take the research and knowledge discovered then uses it for practical purposes. Relevant to this experiment the supplement will at some point be used for athletic performance.

          There are problems that the female athlete faces in terms of nutrition. Young women according to Disilverso have micro-deficiencies in nutrients. This will effect cell function during exercise. This means women’s full potential in terms of performance is being reduced due to the lack of such nutrients for the cell. The cells are the building blocks of the human body, so if they do not function properly this could result in major health issues. Young women in particular face these nutrient based deficiencies.


A nutrient is by definition a substance required for growth and the maintenance of life. Fatty acids and amino acids would be classified as micro-nutrients. The essential nutrients of the body are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, protein, water,  and minerals. This can be acquired through the consumption of food or supplements. Another problem is that women tend to consume less meat than men, even when doing high amounts of physical activity. Meat can be an important source of protein and women need that just like any other athlete. Food is fuel for the human body. If women eat less they are not getting enough fuel. Consumption should be adjusted relative to considerations of endocrinology. Women would metabolize food into fat stores due to higher production of estrogen and progesterone. However, building muscle has the ability to burn fat. Eating enough of the right foods and having the correct amount of physical activity can make a difference in athletic performance.

There is also the consideration of how mensuration can have a role in mineral loss. This effects women differently ranging from severe cases to moderate levels of mineral loss. Mineral loss during mensuration can be countered with the consumption of vitamins A, C, E, and B. Vitamin A is essential to diet due to the fact it promotes growth of skeletal tissue. Bone health is essential for any person, especially an athlete doing an immense amount of physical activity. Once these issues are addressed women can have improvements in their run times. Designing supplements and training programs to women’s physiology and biology will make them more efficient athletes.

          The experiment’s conclusions revealed fascinating discoveries. The subjects did three mile runs and saw their run average drop from 26.5 minutes to 25.6 minutes. That calculates to a difference of 0.9 minutes. Stationary bikes were also utilized in the study. The distance covered was from 6.5 miles to 6 at the start of this study. There was also a step test that was done. the results from that part of the experiment showed women increased from about 44 to 40. These changes were not present in the placebo group, indicating this supplement could be effective. The first experiment only used 28 women and the following one used 36. A lower does of nutrients was used  and resulted in a 41 second average decrease in run times. The women used in these experiments were described as recreational athletes between the ages of 18 to 30 years old. They either done some form of aerobic exercise a least three hours a week for a minimum of six months. The reason for not using moderately in shape  women was that according to Professor  DiSilvestro “we wanted people who could already run three miles without it being a terrible burden.” The problem with this is precision. If this supplement is truly effective, the best way to see so is to test it on non-athletic women. The athletically trained women would gain from this, but they have already reach a fitness level in which it does not appear to be a dramatic change.

A more precise experiment would be to train women of lower physical fitness levels. This would take longer, but if their performance is significantly higher than their starting point it can be assumed that the supplement is highly effective.  The same process should be used. The subjects first ran three miles, biked, and the ended with the step test. The reason the stationary bike was used was to see if such a supplement could be used for more than just running. This could only be done if women in the study reach a high point of physical activity.

Men who are vegetarians may struggle with a nutrient deficiency. Protein is one of those nutrients that is harder for the vegetarian to get.Other methods of getting dietary requirements would have to used instead of consuming meat for the vegetarian  Although nutrient deficiencies are less common in men, they are not completely imperious to it. Supplements may not be a substitute for eating food with them in it, but can help people who have such issues in deficiencies. There also is another factor that may skew the data. This experiment was only done for 30 days and that may be too early to say that it very effective. At minimum a month would have been better. There is also the possible problem of side effects. So far, there appear to be none. Professor     DiSilvestro only added minimal amounts of nutrients when it was produced in capsule form. If measured correctly and the right dose is given this new supplement can be safe. The supplement will need further testing for safety and effectiveness. There are many supplements that claim to improve performance. These pronouncements are not always scientifically confirmed. This new supplement seems to be effective, yet must be able to produce the same results in accordance with the scientific method. These first experiments may only give approximations, rather than precise measures of effectiveness.


Women Run Faster After Taking Newly Developed Supplement

Sports Medicine Weekly : Strength Training

Strength Training

Sports Medicine Weekly is a radio program and website associated with ESPN  presented by Dr. Brian Cole with Dr. Steve Kashul. They expose readers and listeners to topics regarding sports performance, training, and exercise physiology. The topic discussed in this presentation is strength training and its benefits to performance. It was once thought that strength training would hinder performance, but science proved that notion incorrect. The fear of unnecessary bulk was more of a myth than anything else. This does not stop an athlete from performing a skilled movement of the body. When the term strength training is used there is the assumption is that it is just lifting heavy weights. There is more science and method to training regimens such as these. Sports Medicine Weekly provides a simple explanation about the elements of such training. The strength training program can be describe by five elements : muscular hypertrophy, maximal strength, explosive power, strength endurance, and periodization. If these elements are followed an athlete can increase their physical fitness capacity.

        When the muscle goes through a training regimen it will experience hypertrophy. Muscular hypertrophy only constitutes one aspect of sports specific strength training. This should be done for a specific group of athletes. Football and rugby players need it because their sport is contact. Bodybuilders want hypertrophy to shape the body’s muscles in a particular way.

The significant mass that these athlete acquire acts as a protection from aggressive body contact. The text states that too bulk can be a hindrance to most athletes. This is not true in certain cases, however it depends on what sport an athlete is competing in. Muscle mass would not be helpful curling or race car driving. Extra mass would be useful in wrestling, but that depends on which weight class the athlete is aiming to compete in. Muscle mass can contribute to force generation. Muscular hypertrophy can happen in both men and women. The difference in total mass gained is related to body composition and endocrinology. Muscles do get bigger from a strength training routine through adaptation. What causes growth includes the increase in actin and myosin  which are contractile proteins. There is also an increase in enzymes and stored nutrients. Myofibrils and connective tissue increases. Muscular hypertrophy can either be chronic or transient. Chronic muscular hypertrophy is the long term increase in the size of the muscles. Transient hypertrophy is experienced during exercise.

Protein synthesis stimulates muscle growth. During recovery periods from exercise protein synthesis increases. It is at low levels during exercise. More muscle does not mean more strength. It is related to the fiber type. Type II muscle fiber has more power while type I muscle fiber is more endurance based.A weightlifter would have more type II fast twitch fibers compared to a marathon runner. Athletes train their bodies specifically for a particular physical task. Strength is no solely about the size of the muscle, but the nervous system response to stimulus. Studies have suggested that motor neuron function and its efficiency also aid strength.



It should also be understood that type II muscle fibers have two classifications. Type IIA fibers are fatigue resistant, oxidative,  and fast. Type IIAB are notably glycolytic, oxidative  and are still fast but have an intermediate fatigue level. Type IIB is the most powerful having more force and more energy. There is a price for power in regards to endurance. Recovery is slow in type IIB muscle fiber. It is a possibility athletes could have a blend of both type I and type II muscle fiber. Hormones and    cytokines are essential contributors to muscular hypertrophy.

         The second element to strength training programs is the accumulation of maximal strength. Maximal strength ( sometimes called absolute strength) is the total force an athlete can generate from their body. The importance of this strength training element is based on the specific tasks of the sport. The more natural strength an athlete has the more potential to expand it further. Natural strength is the force than can be generated with no training at all. Through training natural strength can be converted into endurance or explosive power.  The peculiar aspect of maximal strength training is that it may not produce the same level of muscular hypertrophy. This may explain why a thinner person who trains in this manner may become stronger than a person who trains for the sake of aesthetics.

 This does not mean that hypertrophy would not happen to individuals who do maximal strength training. It is possible through genetics. The MTSN gene dictates the instructions for the production of myostatin. This protein regulates the growth of the musculoskeletal tissues. If an individual has low levels of myostatin this makes their potential of muscular hypertrophy greater. People do not use their total strength for simple tasks. Lifting a book would take less effort than lifting a weight. Even athletes when in competition may not use 100% of their maximal strength. There is an obvious reason based on body structure.

The muscles and skeleton when put under intense pressure and strain can be subject to injury. Muscle tears occur when the tissue is pushed far beyond its limit. Athletes may reach a maximal strength level, but they have not tapped into the total reserve of strength. Besides maximal strength, the body contains relative strength. This measures the force produced from a cross sectional area of muscle mass.Maximal strength can be translated into explosive power.

        Explosive power requires more than one action. Powerlifting requires one instance of explosive power to move weights. Other sports have to incorporate skilled movements  that are rapid and need the high power output. Physical power under a strength training program must be designed specifically for the functions of the sport. If this is not done, then maximal strength training will not be as effective in the long term. The basic foundation is the potential to add more strength, which can therefore be converted into explosive power. Power training although related to strength training has a major difference. The goal is to produce the largest amount of maximal strength in the shortest period of time. A person or athlete may have immense strength, but may not generate full power potential. The muscles must contract at a fast rate to improve power out put. This can be reversed by plyometrics.

Plyometrics is a method and system of training attempting to make muscular contraction more efficient by moving from muscle extension to rapidly producing power.  Other athletes such as martial artists, long jumpers, and sprinters have found this method to be the most useful for their performance. There are few guidelines for optimum training methods relative to plyometrics. Athletes who did this training have seen improvement. A quality strength program incorporates the methods of plyomentrics and power training. Strength has to be combined with skilled motor movements of the body. There is also another critical factor that is a part of strength training. Endurance has to be part of the general calculus.

      The other two elements of a strength training program include strength endurance and periodization.   Strength endurance refers to how long a person can last under strenuous activity. The amount of maximal strength also effects strength endurance. The larger amount means more left in terms of reserves. The goal is to maintain strength for a prolonged period. There is a point in which the body will fatigue and cannot to anymore. Athletes that focus on strength endurance include cyclists, swimmers, long distance runners, and rowers. The intent is to have a longer duration of activity.

This explains why circuit training is another method combined with a strength training program. Circuit training uses low weights and high repetitions. The problem is that many of these programs in circuit training  do not condition the nervous system adequately enough. A set of 15 to 20 repetitions would not produce the results an endurance athlete would desire. Circuit training does have benefits. That regimen has the ability to improve flexibility and coordination. The last element of strength training is periodization. A training program must be divided into phases. Doing this allows strength to peak at the right period, producing the desired outcome. Proceeding this way, it will allow for the reduction in possible over training. While it is important to be consistent with a regimen, rest must be valued as well. A period of recovery is required for the body to repair itself and allow muscle fibers to grow. Progression does not occur in  a week by week basis. When the program is broken into periods this allows for variations in exercise volume and intensity. This enables performance enhancements for a certain time.

There is a science to strength that involves cytology, biology, endocrinology, biomechanics,  and nervous system function. What ultimately is the best training method depends on what specific sports an individual is involved in. Explosive power for a marathon runner would not be as important as endurance. Pure strength will not be helpful unless fine motor skills are emphasized. What sports medicine and exercise physiology has done is allowed for a scientifically based method of training, rather than simple trial and error attempts.  Such topics can be complex when examining it from the physiological dimensions. Sports Medicine Weekly provided a lucid explanation for the general reader not familiar with the science of strength.

Sports Medicine Weekly : Strength Training

Black Power : A Celebration of Black History Month through Photographs of Athletes

Femuscleblog wants to celebrate women of color who represent various sports and fitness fields through photography. These photo collections feature women throughout the African Diaspora. Femuscleblog wants to thank the women who represent their sports and the motherland.

Black Power : A Celebration of Black History Month through Photographs of Athletes

Dayana Cadeau

Dayana Cadeau is a personal trainer and former female bodybuilder who competed from the 1990s to the early 2010s. She was born in Haiti in 1966 and at the age of seven moved to Quebec Canada. Cadeau is fluent in French, English, and Creole. The strange aspect about her was at first she did not find the bodybuilding physique attractive. Dayana has stated ” I didn’t like bodybuilding physiques before I started competing.” She had the common closed minded view of most of the public explaining ” I didn’t find them attractive or pretty.” However, her mind was changed when she attended a bodybuilding show with a person she knew at a gym. Dayana then revealed that ” when I saw those women I was surprise to see they could be pretty, even with big muscles” She even had the ludicrous notion that ” being pretty and having large muscles was unattainable before watching those girls.” Dayana Cadeau proved that big muscles can suit the female frame if you train the right way. Her inspirations were Corey Everson and Lenda Murray. Dayana has said that ” when I saw Corey Everson I found her very beautiful not too big , but a nice figure.” Dayana Cadeau also has immense respect and admiration for Lenda Murray. She has even admitted that she wanted to follow her example. Her philosophy about bodybuilding is she articulated “having muscles and staying pretty was my goal.” She advocated the Corey Everson model of physique compared to the larger size that was ushered in the mid to late 1990s. Her strategy was to balance the larger size with a shapely figure. This allowed her to be a successful lightweight Ms.Olympia winner. She remains one of the most successful Canadian bodybuilders to date.

Dayana puts an emphasis on aesthetics. Expounding further : “since I’ve been competing I have never changed my image.” Her goal was to bring back the Corey Everson version of physique . When she competed bodybuilding for women was under going a transition in judging standards. This was also the era of stiff competition. Iris Kyle and Lenda Murray were still active on IFBB stages. Dayana at first competed as a heavy weight, but then competed as a lightweight when weight classes were introduced in the year 2000. She may have competed as a lightweight, but that body was monument of muscle. Standing at 5ft  4.5 in she competed at mighty 150 lbs. Her first bodybuilding contest was in 1992 in which she won the Quebec Metropolitan. This was followed by another victory in 1993 at the IFBB Quebec Provincial. From 1992 to 2012 she would be on stage. Dayana became a pro in 1997 winning the IFBB Canada Cup. Her best wins would include the Ms.International in 2001, the Jan Tana Classic in 2003, and the Ms.Olympia in 2004 under the lightweight division. When physique became a class in the early 2010s Dayana switched to that division in 2012. The previous year she retired from the bodybuilding class. Dayana was presenting another type of physique that was along her ideal Cory Everson model.

Her competitive longevity was remarkable and her ability to an impressive physique was just as stunning. Photographer Bill Dobbins described her physique best writing in 2006 : ” Lately, I’ve been more impressed with  Dayana …. she has the most voluptuous and sensuous physiques in bodybuilding.” This look she created between voluptuous fullness and powerful muscle made her popular in female bodybuilding publications. She appeared in issues of Women’s Physique World and did modeling. She also did videos in which she tested her wrestling skills against male challengers and fellow athletes for Premier Productions.

Although Dayana was fitness modeling, mainstream fitness publications according to Bill dobbins did not want to buy his photos of her. There still was a prejudice against the hypermuscular woman. Thankfully, the internet was a means to by pass the corporate gatekeepers, who still hold traditional views about women involved in the fitness industry. Through her personal website and association with online publications she was able to do modeling and promote her bodybuilding career. Besides just being a competitor, she started her own contest known as the NPC Dayana Cadeau classic. It features bodybuilding, fitness, figure, and bikini. She was involved in this contest’s development from 2009 to 2013. Dayana continues to serve as a NPC judge. Dayana once revealed that her best features of her physique were her legs and that her biceps as well as abs were her weak points. Training her upper body she claimed was the biggest challenge.

Dayana’s Twitter Page

Dayana also is a promoter and owner of her own company. She is the founder and CEO of Bodygift Fit which operates in Miami, Florida where she resides. Her athletic achievements make her one of the most successful Haitian bodybuilders.  Dayana’s training philosophy as she articulated ” Every time I’m training I’m not thinking about gaining more muscles.” She expressed it as she was only targeting weak areas and by doing so, she could improve balance of her physique. Dayana admitted staying a lightweight was difficult due to her genetics, because she put on muscle easily. Expressed in an interview : “the thing is for me I can be a lightweight, middleweight, or heavyweight .”  Around 2005 there were judging changes. Weight classes were dissolved so this altered the situation. Dayana had to compete against Iris Kyle and Yaxeni Oriquen . These were some of the best competitors on stage. She placed in the top three, but could not beat them. Considering, she did very well when seeing a stage of tough and experienced competitors. Her desire was to replace Lenda Murray and show that muscles on women can be beautiful. Dayana’s advice to competitors is to train hard and treat your body like an art form. The development of muscle on the female form should follow a specific aesthetic paradigm.

 Dayana believed that the sport had changed radically compared to when she first started in 1992. Her opinion was expressed in a Bodybuilding. com interview : ” These girls have changed from years back- all they think about is being bigger and more muscular, but that’s not the beauty of the sport.” A balanced physique is what makes the competitor. Symmetry, conditioning, and definition must be given proper emphasis. Size is not the only factor in building a physique. Dayana also has many hobbies when she is not involved in her personal training business or a practicing aesthetician. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and doing yoga in her spare time. At one time Dayana was pursuing a career in acting and was contemplating moving to California. She was on record that she would continue to compete until she gets busy with her acting. This did not come to fruition and instead from 2009 onward continued to be seen on IFBB contests. The interesting aspect of her training is that she would do cardio first, followed by a rest then train with weights. Dayana’s last competition was in the physique division in the 2012 Tampa Pro. She has no plans to return to stage, but left an impressive competitive career.


Dayana Cadeau

Why Women Can’t Do Pull-Ups


The need for scientific  literacy is important. The mains reason is to discredit information that is either false or erroneous. This article in the New York Times  claims that women cannot do pull-ups. The irony is that the article was written by a woman. It seems that there is still strong belief in the frailty myth in regards to women’s bodies. This does not negate the fact there are physiological differences in regards to the sexes. The difference or disparity could be the result in training methods. Also there is the difference and upper body volume. The article questions whether or not pull-ups are an accurate measure of  fitness. The statement women cannot do pull-ups is false. The article based the statement on an experiment from the University of Dayton. A total of seventeen were given weight training  and aerobic exercise. To practice they were using an incline to see how this would effect their results. This was done over a period of three months. The subjects trained only three times a week. Only four of the seventeen women were able to do pull-ups. This reveals several aspects about the experiment. It is possible that training just three times a week was not enough. The training method may have to be adjusted to accommodate women’s anatomical and physiological differences. One part of this study did not state is what was the physical fitness condition of women prior to testing. Having experience can make a difference in physical tasks.

          It must be realized that early on girls and women are discouraged from learning physical skills. More boys are active, while girls are encourage not to be. If girls are not taught basic exercises, it is rare that they will develop them in adulthood. If so, it will take some time to catch up in the physical skills they did not learn. The relation between women and fitness is either based on weight loss or achieving a thin body type. Becoming thinner is not raising physical fitness capacity. The majority of exercise or fitness related to women is either about fad diets or simply reducing fat. This does not increase strength, stamina, endurance,  or speed.  The study had women do aerobic exercise, but this would not be useful to building strength. It reduced their fat levels by 2 %. They were losing fat, but that does not mean it was being replaced by muscle. If they did this without weight training to their regimen there would have been no change in physical strength.

The article even acknowledges there is a difference in physical standards in the government’s physical fitness tests for children. Boys who are 14 get the highest award for doing ten pull-ups, while girls only have to do two. This seems ridiculous, because at this stage of youth the physiological differences induced by puberty are just beginning to develop.The male strength spurt begins at 13 and gradually boys’ bodies with gain more muscle mass. Bones , ligaments, and tendons are also effected during the change. Boys grow slower than women. Eventually with the increase in androgens boys will increase in height and weight.

 It is pointless to have different standards, when girls and boys have the same physical fitness capacity. There is a bias against girls and women in regards to fitness, sports, and exercise. While it is acceptable for men to demonstrate physical prowess, for women it remains taboo. Gradually this has changed with girls the rise of the modern female athlete. There is some acceptance to a degree, but prejudice remains. Girls have more role models in sports that can change attitudes relative to women being physically active. Women are scrutinized for their appearance and body image pressure seems to effect them more.

A young girls looks at a statue of the Williams Sisters. A positive image may inspire her to follow in their footsteps.

 The will effect how women feel about exercise. Many physical education and fitness related programs still function on the notion that the female body is biologically inferior or naturally weak. Myths that were born from 19th century Victorian Age medicine still persist. Exercise physiology over the past decades has begun to examine women’s physical performance seriously. Prior to this, mots studies were conducted on male athletes. This can contribute to creating programs that are best tailored to women’s physiological, biological, and anatomical attributes. If there is to be a change in performance, women must learn physical skills just like boys.

           There is the claim that even fit women cannot do pull-ups. The problem with this statement is that it failures to recognize physical fitness markers. These markers include muscular strength, aerobic capacity, and endurance. The women is the study may be in shape, but they have not developed their physical fitness marker of muscular strength. If one is attempting to improve total fitness levels all of these markers should be given attention in a training regimen. There is a tendency to focus on one of these markers for some gym goers. This may also explain why the subjects in the study were unable to do more. They did focus on exercise that strengthened the biceps and latissimus  dorsi. It would seem pointless to add aerobic training if the goal was to increase upper body strength. Athletes for example tailor their training to their sport.It would make no sense for a gymnast to  focus on swimming or a weightlifter to do mostly cardio vascular exercise. Relevant to those instances they emphasize the physical fitness marker they will best assist them in their sport.

Aerobic activity just reduces fat levels, it does not build strength. The University of  Dayton study could have removed that from the regimen. Reducing fat does have a benefit. It does not contribute to physical strength. Excess fat only increases mass, which does not generate force like particular muscle fibers. The main reason for the gap in physical strength in equally trained men and women is the result of endocrinology and body composition. The most muscular women or the thinnest women will still retain higher body fat percentages. Estrogen and progesterone create this difference in fat to muscle ratio in women.

Physical fitness markers are important to measuring progress. While women saw a 36% increase in strength it would be interesting to see what the result would have been if they continued. The fact that four women able to do them indicates that it is not a physical impossibility that women can do pull-ups. It seems that it is an exercise and a physical fitness marker they need to focus on. The last statement of the article seems somewhat comedic in its scientific assessments: ” I look at a volleyball player I so not expect her to be able  do a pull-up , but I know she is fit.” This assumption is wrong for several reasons. Fitness cannot be estimated by merely looking at a person. There are indications that come from appearance what type of training a person does. A volleyball player may not do pull-ups simply because the exercise may not help with their performance. Flexibility and adroit movements seem more critical in such a competition.

Training method is just as important as the physical condition of the subject. There is difference between the sexes, but also individuals. This is why training must be designed specifically.

        Sexual dimorphism does play a role in fitness performance. Men have more type II fast twitch muscle fibers. These fibers are not have as much endurance, but allow for more explosive power. Men have a large concentration in their upper bodies. This would aid in the men having an advantage in pull-ups. Women have 40% less muscle mass than men. This means their upper bodies can only be 60% as strong as a man’s. These are rough estimates if the height and weight are the same. Broader shoulders allow more muscle to be housed on the male body. The skeletal system does contribute to strength. The bones act as a support for the muscle tissue. The clavicle, rib cage, sternum, scapula,  and spine form the upper body skeletal structure. Pull -ups do not just use the latissimus dorsi and biceps, but the rhomboid, pectoralis major, minor, teres major ,  subscapularis, and coracobrachialis. and triceps. The study siad they conducted exercise that focused on two muscle groups prior to the pull-up test. The problem is that other muscle groups needed to be worked for the test to be successful. Lifting weights and not doing the practicing the pull-ups may have altered this data.

A common myth is that women have stronger legs than men. This is not true, female lower body strength is only 90% of men’s. There is no difference between male and female muscle at the cellular level. As a result men and women can respond to weight training. Contrary to popular belief, women can build strength. The increase in strength was demonstrated by the subjects.If  the female subjects were  lifting heavy and using progressive overload then results should have been better. The study did not reveal whether or not they use light or heavy weight for their exercise regimen. The most efficient method is to train to the threshold limit, which will increase strength. The process challenges the muscle and induces microtrauama  to the fiber. After rest this will allow for muscular hypertrophy. Lifting smaller weights may not be as effective, because it does not cause microtrauma at the same rate.

 The average man has more natural strength compared to the average woman. However, if a woman exercises she can see improvements to her strength levels. If done consistently women can see improvements. Although training does not negate the total physical fitness capacity difference. Examining the records of elite male and female athletes shows their is a 10% difference in performance in sporting  events.  Considering the biological and physiological differences this seems to be small. One would suspect it to be much bigger. This means a woman and even an elite female athlete would have to train harder in comparison to a man. It is possible that there could be overlap, however it is rare that an elite female and match the performance of an elite male athlete.

Hand grip strength comparison of men and women. This included elite female athletes. These were mostly handballers. A more precise measure would be to examine weightlifting records.  

Women’s tendons may not respond the same way to training. This also explains why there is a disparity in injuries. Thicker tendons can contribute to strength. The women used in the study were university age and could have been at various fitness level prior to the experiment. One factor that was acknowledged. Simply being tall and having longer arms can effect pull up performance. A person with shorter arms would have an easier time lifting themselves above the bar.

           It should be apparent given known facts that women can do pull-ups if instructed properly. When women were allowed to apply for combat units in the United States, there was controversy over the pull-up requirement. Most of the women in the US Marines failed to reach the three pull-up minimum. While conservatives claimed that this was evidence that women were not suitable for such military occupational specialties, there was another reason for their failure. Women were allowed to do the flexed arm hang as a substitute fitness requirement. This exercise does not seem effective at building upper body strength. When the requirement changed and women did not receive the correct instruction it resulted in test failure.

 When the fitness standards were changed and women trained the right way there was improvement. Exercise physiology has shown women are not physical inferior; they are different. That is why training must be designed to accommodate such biological and physiological sex based differences. To say women cannot do pull-ups is false. The experiment conducted did not produce an accurate assessment. What one could assume without analysis is that all men by default should be able to do pull-ups. That is erroneous, because there are men who are either out of shape or have a weight problem.

This woman can do pull-ups. 

The only logical conclusion is that women will have a harder time mastering pull-ups. The difference in upper body mass contributes to this. While women are closer to men in the lower body, this makes exercises like squats and luges easier in comparison. Tara Parker-Pope wrote this article in 2012 for New York Times Magazine. The article does not only recycle dated concepts of the frailty myth, it is scientifically inaccurate. If there was to be a full assessment of women’s physical capabilities, the sample size would have to be larger. I would be fascinating to see a comparison between a sample of athletic women compared to average women. The same could be done for a group of men to get a better understanding. If they are given the same instruction then this would be more than an approximation. Men may still do more pull-ups in total compared to women. Yet, women’s performance could improve. Doing this exercise is more than just about biology. Women at a young age are discouraged from the use of their bodies and as adults are less physically active. Physical strength, power, and prowess are still perceived as male only attributes. This can be changed. If the University of Dayton study is correct it should be able to survive the test of the scientific method. Meaning if this were to be done again the same results would have to be replicated from the experiment. It is dubious that it could reproduced even with a larger sample size.

Why Women Can’t Do Pull-Ups