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Beyond the physiological discrepancies among the genders, men seem to be very savvy at the gym to achieve their goals.

In my last article, I reviewed the “men’s diet”: tips that give them an edge when losing weight. From having a beer to not eating emotionally, there was plenty to learn from the opposite sex, but what about exercise? They seem to spend less time in the gym and obtain faster results. Is it just a physiological advantage or is there something else behind this?

Mark H. Anshel, Ph.D., Professor Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Health and Human Performance, sorts out the good in the way men work out:

  • Give it all: The first thing is that a guy wants to see observable outcomes. They don’t just go through the motions. Guys are prepared to have an intense workout. He wants to give 100% effort and fully focus on the task. Men are motivated to see results. Women want to as well but they are less intense about the mission. Muscles need to be exerted at an uncomfortable level for you to see differences. Training like an athlete will help you see a difference.
  • Challenge your nature: Women genetically have less body mass and more body fat. Thinking they want to lose fat, they adhere more to aerobic workouts, which are great to develop cardiovascular benefits. But they need to lift more weights. Workout hard and avoid the old erroneous way of thinking that you’ll get bulky by lifting weights. You’ll get leaner and toned instead. On the other hand, men have naturally the muscle mindset but they procrastinate on the aerobic workouts, which are important as well.
  • Balance your mind/body workouts: Women outnumber men 15 to 1 when it comes to Pilates or yoga. Incorporating these workouts to focus on flexibility and some degree of strength is great but generally, men think that with the time limited that they have, they rather workout to increase muscle and burn fat, and they don’t want to spread themselves too thin with too many options.
  • Get your PB!: Women are more aware of how they look in comparison to other women. This can backfire since you can move away from your own very unique goals and characteristics. Men tend to be a little bit more competitive with themelves.  They know more about their previous “bests” and are less likely to compare themselves with other men. This makes them more focused and efficient on working on their own objectives.
  • Tough mind: Men have been viewed as more competitive than women. That’s genetic. They are more likely to persevere over fitness challenges. Women are more likely to drop out (not elite athletes though). A lot of people drop out of exercise. But men are a little less likely to drop out. Women have to get past the hump of low self-confidence. They need to have a mindset where they have to think like a guy. They have to work hard and push themselves and take no prisoners!
  • Likewise, adult men put themselves back into the mindset of their youthful athletic days and train like an athlete. Oftentimes, women have fewer of those experiences. They don’t know how to deal with the obstacles that are put in front of them. If you are mentally tough, you can get the job done no matter what your gender is.
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