T Nation

Men and Women Difference in Training Approach


So there's a recurring trend I see both on these forums and in real life regardless of the training level of the individual involved.

Female: will seek out a trainer or pre-made program and follow it to a T, and only really ask form related questions, but never why things are programmed a certain way. They trust the coach and complete the program as written and move on to the next thing they are given once they are done.

Male: spends weeks before starting a new split drawing inspiration from a few different programs, and if they do not tweak it to start, they will inevitably tweak it to include alternate movements, sets/reps schemes, extra days, etc.

Many times when I ask women who train seriously why they are eating or training a certain way, the best I get is "my coach told me to" or I'm just following the XYZ program from Joe Schmo.

Even the few beginners I've had a chance to casually train in the gym, I notice the exact same thing. For the women, it's always "ok coach" while guys inevitably want to change days, the exercises, etc. and continuously question why things were done a certain way.

I'm just curious what everyone's experience with this is and would like to discuss the reasons and implications. I have to think it's in the same realm of the stereotype of the man who never asks for directions and occasionally gets lost while the woman is like "just ask someone already so we can arrive on time please."


Maybe some women tend to trust the coach more because they tend to be less self-confident in the gym? Not to get deep into gender politics, but that also hits on some personality differences and stereotypes about women being more comfortable letting others take the lead? Men as a group tend to be more experienced with strength training. That might lead to them being more adventurous in terms of tweaking things. Talking in generalities here.

I'm probably the exception to this because weight training/ nutrition/ fitness is a huge passion. I have intellectual curiosity about the "how" and "why" of it. And I'm mostly self-taught and write my own programs.

That doesn't extend to things I'm not interested in. For example, I just want my computer and electronic devices to work. I really don't want to be bothered with the "how" and "why". I'd rather focus my mental energy elsewhere. It's not always a good thing, but I'm more than happy to leave that up to my hubs who has WAY more skill and intellectual curiosity about technology.


I think it just comes down to passion. If your constantly reading about something to gain knowledge why would you seek a trainer to tell you everything to do and ignore what you spent info all your time on. If can just have someone tell you what to do why go through the trouble of learning yourself?


I am one of those people that prefer to follow a program.

When I first started out I followed them strictly and did not change anything ever, but I think thats because it was drilled into my head to NOT CHANGE THE PROGRAM if you want it to work lol. I also learned everything I know today from the internet so there is that.

Now that I have a some experience under my belt, have a bit more confidence, and know whats works best for me, I will tweak programs to suit my needs but for the most part I just search for a programs that fit.

I have worked with coaches here and there and there has only ever been ONE that I followed his stuff to a T. The others were classes and things like that, and I didnt really like their style so I would quit and go back to doing things on my own.

For me, its not that I am not passionate about training/health and fitness, I just feel good when I follow a program. I am like that with other areas of my life as well.

That being said there are many programs I wont do because I dont agree with them, or think they have to much ridiculousness in them :smiley:

So I guess that makes me a picky follower!