BULK POWDERS™ investigates: Why are women doing cardio while men build muscle?
Our UnFit Brit research revealed that there is a bit of a difference in the way that men and women approach exercise. Men were more likely to be found building and strengthening their muscles, while women hit the gym and headed straight to the treadmill to concentrate solely on cardio. Although there has been a recent rise in ‘strong being the new skinny’, it still seems that the men outnumber the women when it comes to strength and training, meaning that most women are therefore missing out on the benefits, such as joint care and posture, that muscle building offers.
With our survey revealing that intensive cardio was most likely to be performed by women aged 25-34 from Liverpool, and muscle strengthening exercises were most likely to be performed by men aged 25 to 34 who live in London, we decided to dig a little deeper… Why is it that men avoid the treadmill and women dodge the squat rack? We took the headlines from popular mens health and fitness magazines and created a word cloud. As seen below, the male titles push that being big, strong and muscular is the way to achieve peak physical fitness and attractiveness.
For women, the titles were slightly different – ‘flat’ and ‘stomach’ were the most commonly used words – telling women that they need to lose weight, stay in shape and most importantly, have a flat stomach.
However, promoting these sort of ideals for men and women in the media means that most people fall outside the NHS recommendations of activity. Even though exercise is important for all BULK POWDERS™ customers, the workouts promoted to you are not necessarily hitting all your exercise requirements, and this made it easy to find two BULK POWDERS™ customers who play into these media stereotypes perfectly!
Ant, a 28 year old graphic designer from Essex
The first is Ant, a 28 year old graphic designer from Essex. Ant has been lifting since his teens and visits the gym four to five times a week where he spends a couple of hours at a time performing various weight exercises. Ant is in control of his macros and puts a lot of effort into his diet – plus he consumes a lot of INFORMED WHEY™ along with health products such as Complete Greens™ and Complete Multivitamin Complex™. Ant looks in shape, he eats clean, spends a lot of time at the gym and feels great. But according to the NHS, Ant is not as active as he should be. With a focus on lifting and no time spent on cardio, he falls into the 20% of the UK who are hitting their muscle strengthening targets but neglecting their cardiovascular health. We tackled Ant about how he feels to be below the NHS Guidelines:
I know I should be doing cardio for longer term health prospects, but the way I look at it is that I’m active, fit and healthy – and keeping myself not only in good shape but also keeping my joints and bone density in great condition, which is important to me as a lifter. I control my weight by keeping a close eye on my diet and if I need to lose weight I’d rather adjust my macros than hit the treadmill. However, if I splurge over a weekend then I will add in some cardio over the following week, just to keep my calories in/out ratio stable. As for not doing any cardio – I’d like to think that although I have a sedentary job, running around after my kids is quite a workout! So hopefully just being an active dad is keeping my heart and lungs in check.
Alex, a 30 year old account manager from Suffolk
Our second customer is Alex, a 30 year old account manager from Suffolk. Alex started running when she was at university and has since completed several marathons. Running because she enjoys it – not just to keep in shape, like Ant she is also very much in control of her macros and her dislike of many ‘treat foods’ sees her hit a perfect calories in/out ratio. Alex has been taking products such as Pure Whey Protein™, BULK POWDERS™ Spinach Powder and CLA Softgels for the past six months and has recently starting adding muscle strengthening exercises to her gym routine. Alex now falls perfectly into the top 16% of the UK who fulfil their NHS recommended activity quota, but she wasn’t always that way.
She said “When I first started running I never bothered with any muscle strengthening exercises – it seemed to me that I was doing plenty of exercise and I felt much healthier giving my heart and lungs a workout a couple of times a week. But when I joined a new gym a few months ago I was advised that as a runner especially, I would benefit from strength training. Running puts strain on the lower back, so strengthening posterior muscles as well as core will actually make me run better. I was initially concerned that a combination of whey protein and weights would see me bulk up, but instead I’ve achieved a better physique in the past few months than I did over years of just running alone.”
What do you think?
Do men and womens fitness magazine titles influence the way that you workout, or the physique that you want to achieve? Whether you are in the same position as Ant, or wanting to change up your routine like Alex, we’d love to hear from you via Facebook or Twitter on what you consider to be the perfect combination of workout exercises.