Just recently, I was invited to give an interview on the radio regarding the differences between men and women when it comes to exercise. Before I put forth my own opinion, I opened up the discussion to my teachers and colleagues and was surprised to find that most of them had the same thought.My question was whether they taught men and women differently or whether they taught to the individual client. Everyone, without fail said they taught to the individual client. This is great and I also do the same. BUT I do believe we should also be taking into consideration the differences between a man’s anatomy and physiology and that of a woman’s.
Obviously, women have a different skeleton and muscle structure than men. Plus we have more body fat and less muscle mass. We are also more sociable then men and gravitate more towards a group setting then private sessions. (which is why there is so much chatting between my female private clients during sessions).The list goes on.What I was really looking for was whether anyone else thought that we should be designing fitness programs specifically for women from an anatomical, energetic and hormonal point of view or to just use the existing programs out there (Pilates included).
One reason why I am so adamant about paying attention to this issue is because I feel that if we start with programs designed specifically for women,then when we get to the different stages of her life such as pregnancy, postpartum and menopause, we do not have to stop, do a 360 degree turnaround and change our mindset before embarking on a “special population” program and then reverting back to the “normal” program afterwards. Shouldn’t it just be a natural transition from one stage to the next?
This is the number one reason I have trained only women for the past 18 years. At The Center as I have stated many times before, our mission statement is
“The Center for Women’s Fitness is committed to educating women about their choices in life and one of these is how they exercise. We look at the feminine body from the anatomy, physiology, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies and “allow” our clients to be female. That means- voluptuous, crazy, over emotional, intuitive, sad, happy, old, young or new. We allow boobs, tummies (including “muffin tops”) cellulite, jodphur thighs, flabby knees and sagging butts. We understand that you wake up every morning with a different body and we design your session to accommodate that. We handle your mood swings and water retention ,your cravings for chocolate and wine and agree that this is a normal part of being a woman.And we won’t even make you wear tight pants and a bra top to workout in.”