As I noted in a past article in Applied Metabolics, when it comes to exercise, there aren't many differences between men and women. What that means is that women can do the same exercises as men, but in most cases, some minor adjustments must be made, such as in how much weight is used in the exercises. The average woman is not as strong as the average man because of bone structure and muscle mass differences. However, recent studies show that women respond to exercise exactly the same as men, and can make similar lean mass gains. Prior to that new research, women were thought to be the "weaker sex" due to a comparative lack of testosterone compared to men. And while it's true that women do produce about a tenth as much testosterone as men, this apparently has no effect on their rate of muscle gains. But most women have different goals than men. Most men want to gain a lot of muscle, although not as much as a typical Mr.Olympia competitor. Of course, most men couldn't look like an Olympia competitor no matter how much or how hard they trained and it isn't only because of anabolic drugs. To reach the pinnacle of bodybuilding represented by an Olympia competitor requires a certain amount of genetic gifts that cannot be developed. Most women today want to look athletic, with well-toned muscularity, but not necessarily the look of a hard-core female bodybuilder.
Based on my observations, I think most women begin weight training to shape their bodies and lose fat in places that are stubborn for them, such as the hips, upper thighs, and buttocks. In earlier years, women preferred to achieve their physical goals by focusing on aerobic exercise, rather than resistance training. The big fear was that lifting weights would build too much muscle and make them look like men. We've all heard that the reason why women cannot develop muscles at a level comparable to men is because of the relative lack of testosterone in women compared to men. But the truth is, for a woman to develop muscles comparable to men involves going out of her way to do so. Most hard-core female bodybuilders use anabolic drugs, such as anabolic steroids and others to attain the extreme degree of muscularity that they show. For the average woman, no amount of training would produce the same results. Instead, judicious resistance training will shape her body and make her look extremely feminine. Indeed, this was the major problem with doing just aerobics. While aerobics was great for promoting fat loss, it did little or nothing to shape women's bodies. I've seen women who do only aerobics and stretching who show slim but flabby-appearing bodies. They are not fat but lack muscle tone and definition. That can only be achieved through weight training. This explains why most top actresses . . .