5 tips for better workouts
Men and women approach workouts differently. Here are examples of what each does and what they could do:
Him: Makes a mad dash and sprints midrun
Her: Takes it slow and steady for an hour
Consider: There’s a place for aerobic training in every regimen. If you’re new to exercise or just coming back from a long layoff, start building your aerobic base for its physiological and psychological enhancing benefits.
Him: Beefs up only what he can see from the waist up
Her: Is a leg curl away from fitting into her skinny jeans
Consider: Most men stick with familiar exercises, such as bench press, chest fly, back row, lateral pull down. Women are a bit more adventurous and willing to try new things or ask for help in the gym.
Him: Will try to break his personal record if it’s the last thing he does.
Her: Considers it a win if she’s on time to Pilates class.
Consider: This is the difference between outcome-based and behavior-based goals. A behavior-based goal, like telling yourself you’ll make it to Pilates on time this week, is more motivating and easier to control. Whereas an outcome-based goal can take a long time to accomplish and be dependent on many variables. Set behavior-based goals to stay motivated and stay on track.
At the gym
Him: Hits the weight room to pump iron.
Her: Pedals on the elliptical like there’s no tomorrow.
Consider: Some guys actually live in the weight room of the gym. I see them when I get there, and they’re still walking around when I leave. Women, on the other hand, come to the gym to do work and get out ASAP. They hop on their favorite cardio machine as soon as they walk through the doors. I’ve seen women put in more effort in an hour of cardio than most guys would sustain for five minutes.
Her: Is never sitting on her bum, let alone have time to tone it.
Consider: People don’t take into account all the nonexercise activity they do throughout the day. It’s called NEAT, and it stands for nonexercise activity thermogenesis. If you blow off your to-do list for a three-mile jog but spend the rest of the day on the couch eating a bag of chips, you’re just taking one step forward and two steps back. It may have actually been better to be up and moving all day running from one errand to another, in terms of total energy expenditure. Think all-day movement, not just blocks of exercise.