After working with both men and women over the years, I’ve noticed that women are usually pretty different from men. It’s true.
While men tend to overestimate their capabilities (“no, I don’t need to read the map,” “I can lift it,” etc…), women often underestimate what they can do. Men just take off, confident they can handle, solve, or fix anything. Women tend to want to talk about it first—then they’ll do some research—then they’ll talk about it some more.
Men starting a workout program will often overdo it and get really sore, and ultimately quit. But many women starting a workout program will underdo it, get little or no results, and then quit too!
For both groups, the trick is to help them get a better start. With guys, I often try to slow them down a bit and help them avoid overtraining and injuries.
But women often need an extra push to help them “speed” things up. Just a couple days ago, I worked with a woman who’d been walking four miles a day but not losing as much weight as she’d like.
After a warm-up, I asked her if she’d ever gone uphill before. She told me she had “a little bit, on 1% and 2%.” I cranked the grade all the way up to 10% and had her walk ¼ mile. Now that was a hill!
She handled it well, so I asked her if she’d ever done any running or jogging. She said no, but she’d been wanting to. After a little while to recover, I increased the speed to 4.0 mph (about the slowest speed you can go, and still be running).
I kept her running for 100 yards (the length of a football field), and it took a little more than a minute.
She got to the end and said “Wow, I didn’t know I could do that!”
I told her she hadn’t seen anything yet, and after walking another 100 yards, had her do it again, but at 4.2 mph. After another walk break, she did another interval at 4.5 mph, and then one at 5.0 and 5.5 mph!
She’d been disciplined enough to walk four miles a day, but never tried to run—not even a little bit. When we got done, I told her that now she knew she could do it, she should start working in some big hills, and walking/running intervals.
We’ve had lots of women work up to running a 5K (3.1 mi), half marathons (13.1 mi) and a couple even did a full marathon (26.2 mi). Several of our “Wood Street Warriors” recently took on not one, but two “Century” bike rides (100 mi)!
You never know what you can do unless you try, so go ahead and talk about it, do some research, but then, jump right in—I’ll just bet you can do it!
If you have any questions about working out, feel free to contact me on Facebook at “Tom’s Fitness.”