what is the expected strength differential between a male and female of equal size (ie roughly similar, height weight and build), assuming that both led equally sedentary lives.
i was told that a female is about 60% as strong as a male in the upper body and abouit 80% as strong in the lower body.
i assume that part of the reason is because
1)a typical male has half as much body fat as a female and hence at the same size carries more muscle overall than a female
2) a male has reltively bigger arms and is more muscular in the upper body than a female while a female has relatively heavier legs than a male and hence has relatively bulkier leg muscles
3) male muscles are naturally stronger than female muscles at the same size. (this is the bit that is most intriguing to me. while i have always assumed that male muscles are naturally stronger than female, i have come across quite a few people who have disputed this view, stating that the difference is only marginal at best and that male and female muscles are equally strong) - and this is proven by for eg female olympic swimmers swim faster than males from only a few decades ago; the same is true for other disciplines like sprinting (if you compare that typical female athlete of today she would be be out 6' and roughly the same size and weight as a male athlete from the 60s ie one generation ago.
what do people think?
Last edited by blackbeard; 10-13-2007 at 04:47 PM.
I think it's heavily reliant on genetics, weight, size, and training. Of course the testosterone gap comes into play, but I know several women that can bench their weight (not on steroids) and several men that cannot. The muscle tissue itself isn't different, but the hormonal regulation is, so it is easier for men to increase mass specifically and strength generally.
I don't think I've ever heard of a specific, scientific formula for the strength differences between men and women/ upper and lower body. Too many variables.
Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins
I did n't realise that ladies could be so strong till i first met my girlfriend. we've been exercising together for over 15 months now and i still can't handle the same amount of weights that she can. i'm about 185lbs and 5'10" while my gilrfriend is 5'11" and 226 lbs with a firm but plump build and no obvious muscularity.
when i first met my girlfriend, i was only a sporadic exerciser while she has been a regular ever since she was 18 and could outlift me in every exercise by a wide margin. I thought that with regular practice the "testosterone advantage" would soon over come the weight gap between us. although the difference has narrowed and except for lat pull downs, i can lift almost as much for upper body exercises (but for fewer reps), there is still an easy 20% gap as far as lower body exercises are concerned-leg press, leg extensions and leg curls and i dont think that this will narrow as i have more or less plateaued (with the amount of gym work that i can put in at present) as well as due to the fact that i've always had relatively skinny legs for my build while my girl friend has huge massive legs which are disproportionately big even for her weight.