T Nation

Lower Body Strength and Gender?


I came to think; the squat would seem like the exercise with the smallest performance gap between men and women due to importance of lower body strength, yet squats are also big on lower back and ab strength which does not seem like lower body strength to me.

Do you think erector and ab strength is an important factor holding women back from squatting closer to men of similar weight or is it really not that important?

I believe the studies regarding women having some 70-72% of men's were pretty much entirely based on isolation exercises rather than squats. So should women be expected to squat significantly less than 70% of men's max?



at the heaviest category(90kg+), the women's record is 142,5kg.at the mens heaviest(125kg+), it is 410kg. In the mens 90 and 100kg category it is 340 and 352.5. So based on this numbers, if you take into concideration the weight classes, women squat about 35% of what men do. It you take into account the actual weight of the athlete ( I guess that the category is 90+, she easily could have weighted in at 100 kg), then the women squat about 40% of what men can. Either way, the percentage is way below 50%.

I believe that those studies you said used normal people, not athletes. I believe a man has much better potential at increasing his strength than a woman.What I mean is that even though a woman has 70% of a mans strength without either of them working out, if they both start working out, that 70% can easily be turned into a les than 50%, since man grows much more muscle, when a woman need to rely mostly upon CNS.


and to answer you other question, I dont think it is a factor of abs or erectors, it is a factor of not working out and taking full advantage of your muscle potential.


You picked a pretty random class to compare, juniors 198+. I've seen multiple women raw squat over 150kg at meets in lower weight classes. There have been 132s that squat over 300. April Mathis hit 611 raw at SHW. I think she falls somewhere between 242 and 275, the equivalent US mens raw record at those classes are 853 and 869. So that's around 70%. Men can also carry much more lean body mass, which helps in these comparisons at the same weight. Anyone know what Becca Swanson could raw squat at her peak?


that states she broke 800lbs in a squat.

from her website:

Squat â?? 854 lbs (387.5 kg)

Bench Press â?? 600 lbs (272.5 kg)

Deadlift â?? 683 lbs (310 kg)

Total (in one meet) â?? 2050 lbs (930 kg)


he requested raw numbers


Also, drug free or not is another parameter he should take into account I think...


Why? If both the man are woman are using or not then why it would make a difference? It wouldn't make sense to compare an assisted sample from one sex to an unassisted one from the other in this context.


If both of them are using drugs, int't it possible for the woman to reach the same T levels as the man?


Either way, I think powerlifting should have height classes instead of weight classes. Taller lifters have to do more work for the same result and also end up in a higher, tougher weight class just by weighing more due to their height. Lifting something big at a low weight usually does not mean much because it's a near midget doing it but proportionally they have the same muscular development as a person of average or tall height.

People of similar height tend to have similar bone structure resulting in some amount of convergence in their muscular development when pushed.

Most of the hotter female lifters seem to be a fair bit below average male height which makes it harder to compare their numbers to those of male lifters but ultimately favours the male lifters. The strongest women, at least in terms of upper body strength, feature mostly in shot put as opposed to powerlifting where just about all exhibit great height and big benches at the same time. I would like to know how much the 6'5-6'6 Valerie Vili of NZ (Beijing shot put gold medalist) lifts.


Huh? This is so ridiculously not true. At 5'4", I compete in the 114s but am usually the same height as women in much heavier weight classes. You can find people with every possible kind of build at any given height.


I can't believe you even responded to this nonsense. You must be having a slow day :slight_smile:


That's not really valid in that there is a natural difference between men and women regarding testosterone. In order to make a legitimate comparison between assisted men and women, the proportions would have to remain the same, i.e. the assisted man would still have 10x the amount of testosterone as the assisted female. Otherwise, it's no longer representative of the inherent difference between the genders.


That's what I was saying.


Actually I'm busier than shit these days. I'm just slumming.