Train Like a Girl

by / Thursday, 04 September 2014 / Published in Fat Loss, Lifestyle

Sporty sexy woman in gym

And the confusion sets in. What the fuck do they even mean?

The men are wondering…

“are they telling me to to do aerobics? Or train with light weights and high reps? Or stick to cardio? Are they making fun of me?” 

The women might be wondering if this means they’ve been doing it right all along. Or more likely wondering 


“what the bloody hell does ‘train like a girl’ mean?”

We’re annoyed.

No, this isn’t going to be a rant on gender inequality, but it’s true. There’s plenty of it to go around.

Trainers and amateurs alike, (we’ve been guilty) use phrases like Girl Push-Ups. And reference heavy, and less conventional movements as Guy Workouts.

And let’s be honest, if we had titled this article, “Train Like a Guy”, there would be far less confusion. Most would have the same image in their mind, of what it means. And that’s really part of the problem.

We’ve been taught that men train harder. And women are supposed to be fragile and weak, and train as such. Now don’t get me wrong. Words are words. They only mean what we allow them to mean.

But to that end, we have the power to shift the meaning of words and phrases, and thus shift the thinking of the masses. And we believe, as professionals and leaders, we have the responsibility to do just that. If we educate properly, we clear up misconceptions. And can even help people empower themselves.

First, let’s get out of the way that what is true is the hormonal profile of men and women is quite different. Especially with respect to testosterone and estrogen production. But what else, really? Not much. 

Let’s talk about the training differences between men and women.

Look in any women’s magazine, you’ll find plenty of aerobic workouts, and light weight circuits touting their benefits to get rid of the flab, and get you in shape. (And please, don’t misunderstand us. We are not throwing this type of training under the bus entirely.)

For that matter, look in any Men’s magazine. You will likely be able to find your fair share of similar, though slightly modified workouts.

But wait, I thought men train more seriously? More hardcore?

What we do know, is that most people, men and women alike, aren’t getting the most out of their time spent in the gym. It’s ok. We’ve all been lied to.

Women, at a high rate, are told they must train differently. For fear of getting “bulky” or because women and men are just different.

The fact is, for strength, metabolism, and aesthetics, heavy weight training is by far the most beneficial thing both sexes can do.

According to Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore in their best-selling book, “Practical Programming for Strength Training”,

“…there are differences in the physical characteristics of the two sexes, but they still are trained the same way. The Mechanisms of progress and development, while constrained at different levels by the hormonal milieu, operate the same way. Tissues adapt to stress by getting stronger, and the response to the stress is a function of the stress, not the sex of the organism to which the tissue belongs.”

Men and women will adapt and grow at a different pace. Muscle building comes a tad slower for women, who have 10 to 30% less of the hormones like Testosterone, which are responsible for muscle growth.

What this also means is women, you don’t have to worry about getting that “bulky” look many often fear. You’ll just always end up looking toned as fuck, and amazing!

[Tweet “Women, don’t worry about getting that “bulky” look. You’ll just look toned as fuck!”]

So, from here on out, we don’t want to hear that from any of our readers. ;-P

We’ve got someone we want to introduce you all to.

She’s very special to us. Without her, we wouldn’t be here.

Like we literally would not be here.

Ta-da it’s our mommy, Patsy.   patsy

She was always busy, especially having to deal with us. Going from different sporting and school events.

 She was active. But she never exercised.

And for that matter, she would even admit that we didn’t eat very well growing up. And we were definitely products of that. 

Matt here: 

Let’s be honest. For me that’s a fucking understatement 😉

I got into the fitness industry almost 6 years ago. That’s when I opened my first gym in Howell, MI.

I was so proud of it. And you couldn’t ask for more supportive parents.

Quick note: Can’t leave out my dad. He was the one in the family who had a strict exercise regimen. He was always active. When he travels he rents bikes, and hikes, etc.. But this isn’t about him.

So my mom being so supportive, would come in and help out. She’d give tours, help members with machines, and cleaned like a boss. Very thankful for all of that.

But you may have guessed it. The one thing she didn’t do in the gym, even though she was there often, and had a free membership, was exercise… Never.

It was pulling teeth for her to walk on the treadmill a bit.

I tried my best. Making wise cracks like, “what do I have to do, start charging you for a membership to get you to use it?”

I guess I learned my own lesson there. You can’t help someone who isn’t ready to be helped. And simply put, she wasn’t ready.

Matt and Phil:

But about a year and a half ago, she came to us and said, I’m ready to do it.


As you can see, she’s a beast.

She lifts heavy. She trains like a girl.

And in the process of lifting heavy, and getting stronger, she just so happened to lose over 50 pounds.

This story is not to impress you, but to impress upon you the benefit and importance of the right kind of training.

Heavy training helped us get stronger. Matt dropped 100 pounds of fat. Phil added 25 pounds of lean muscle. And it’s how our mom got strong, and lost 50 pounds.

As a reminder, Mark and Lon emphasize the importance of lifting heavy, as stress placed on the body, is what brings growth.

 So if you aren’t challenging your body enough, by loading increasingly heavier weights, your body will never truly change, physiologically.

You may do enough training to see weight loss, and maybe even some muscle gain. But you will largely find at the end, you aren’t fully satisfied with the way you look.

On top of that, if you lose weight using primarily cardio style training, as soon as you get burnt out, or decrease your activity levels, the pounds will pile up quickly. (think yo-yo)

Here’s why heavy lifting is the best.


And finally, this is the point where you start shedding fat like gang busters.

So what we’re saying is MEN, get the fuck over yourselves! Now that you know you should be training heavier and harder than you are now. So go train like a girl.

And LADIES, empower yourselves! If our mom can do it, so can you!

Let us say this clearly. This is a message for all people. All genders, races, creeds, and religions.

Heavy Weights will make you look the way you want, faster than any other type of training.

Our real goal with this is to encourage all of you who have been on the fence about weight training. Or paralyzed by the confusion of everything out there, to jump in and give lifting heavy a try. It will be well worth it.

Your progress will spike, which will make you happier, which will make every other aspect of your life better!

Keep your training regimen mostly the same. After all, you know we are proponents of lasting change.

Add in at least one day of heavier lifting per week.

Stick in the 3-12 rep range for multiple sets, and try to increase your weight each and every week when possible. Be sure to include the big lifts at the front end, such as deadlifts, and squats.

Beginners should stick to the high end of the range. Think 8-12 reps. This will allow your bodies muscles and nervous system to adapt to heavier lifting. It will also allow your body to ingrain the movement patterns and proper form.

The simpler the better.

This time, the ladies win. So, the next time you see one of those ego heavy bros in the gym, ask him if he train’s like a girl… Well, then be prepared to run or fight.. Ok, so maybe don’t do that, to be on the safe side.. umm anyway.

Alright, well we better wrap up. We have a “train like a girl” session in about a half hour

Whether you’re just getting started and are overwhelmed, or have been working at it for a while and are frustrated and confused.

We’ve been in your shoes before and know how it feels. That’s why we put our heads together, hunkered down, and wrote an ebook to get you on track.


Ebook button


  • Great article VeganBros! What are your thoughts on high intensity training, à-la Mike Mentzer?

    • We’re big fans of high intensity training for sure. We use it for ourselves and have used it successfully with many clients.

  • Pingback: 28 Vegan Athletes and Fitness Experts Reveal Their #1 Fat Loss Tips - Vegan Bros()

  • Pingback: Squat Like You're Taking A Shit In the Woods - Vegan Bros()

  • Nancy nice

    Okay, heavy lifting…does it mean to lift as much as possible and still do the reps and sets? I mean, I can probably bench press about 80 pounds but not 3-12. So do you mean 50 pounds that I can finish all reps and sets with? Thanks guys! Love the videos by the way!!

  • Kimmy

    This is AWESOME. Great job. Hate it when I’m seen as weak just because I’m a woman. I really appreciate you guys writing this. Thank you!! <3
    Just one thing though, consider saying "Train like a woman." It's more respectful to refer to a grown woman as such rather than calling her a girl. But that's just a little thing. This is a wonderful post.

  • Dana Rhodes

    I absolutely love this. Being a woman, and an army veteran, I absolutely loathe when people say shit comparing women to weakness. And it’s everywhere in our culture. Now don’t get me wrong, I have told a few men in my life to “get the sand out of their vagina” or to “change their tampon” when they were being whiney bitches. But unfortunately there is a deeply ingrained prejudice against women in our culture that we don’t even recognize, it’s actually almost like carnism if you think about it. But I’m gonna step off the soap box now. Love you guys, u are the absolute shit, keep on the good fight. Cant wait to eventually join your program after I finish nursing school and have the time. Peace and love