Men Must Workout Twice As Hard To See Same Results As Women, Study Reveals

The 'Gender Gains Gap'.

Men Must Workout Twice As Hard To See Same Results As Women, Study Reveals

Image: M&F/Dmarge

It’s been another week of hard pills to swallow for the team at DMARGE who have spent years covering all aspects of wellness, helping blokes work on their fitnessmental healthrelationships and always boasted a particular soft spot for the ancient art of bodybuilding and building muscle.

None have hit quite so hard as this one, however: a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals that women may have a significant edge over men when it comes to the health benefits of exercise, especially in reagrd to the ‘bang for their buck‘ women can expect for each minute spent in the gym…

WATCH: David Goggins’ “Nickels & Dimes” Calisthenic Workout

The research, conducted by an international team from across the U.S. and China, suggests that women who engage in regular physical exercise enjoy a significantly lower risk of early death and fatal cardiovascular events (aka ‘heart attacks’) than their male counterparts, even if they put less effort and less time into said physical activity.

Analysing the exercise habits of over 400,000 U.S. adults — so still your “small sample size” cries, doubters — the team of researchers found that regular exercise reduced women’s mortality risk by an impressive 24%, compared to a smaller but no less welcome 15% reduction for men. The risk of a fatal stroke or heart attack was 36% lower for women while only 14% lower for active men.

Physical Activity Guidelines in the US recommend at least 150–300 minutes (2.5-5 hours) of moderate aerobic exercise plus two days of muscle-strengthening activities per week for all adults, regardless of gender identity. However, Dr. Martha Gulati, one of the study’s co-authors, questions whether these guidelines should be the same for both sexes:

“Why would it be the same for women versus men? We know women are not small men; we know that there are physiologic differences. Is the same dose of exercise actually required?”

Dr. Martha Gulati

The study also highlighted a gap in the amount of physical activity undertaken between the sexes, with 43% of male participants engaging in regular aerobic activity compared to only 33% of females. And yet — this is the bit that will get men’s backs up — the findings suggest that women may enjoy significantly greater benefits regardless…

When it comes to weekly moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity, the reduced mortality risk plateaued for both sexes. However, men had to exercise more than twice as long as women to achieve the same results. It took about 300 minutes (5 whole hours) per week for men to reach a maximum 18% lower mortality risk, whereas women only needed 140 minutes (2 hours and 20 minutes) to enjoy the same benefit.

The researchers suggest that anatomical differences could be behind this, with proportionately larger hearts, wider lung airways, greater lung diffusion capacity, larger muscle fibres, and 38% more lean body mass in men, explaining why the same exercise places different physiological demands on the female body.

While doctors are suggesting that these results show why much more precise personalisation of medicine and fitness advice is needed moving forward, all I’ll be doing is using it for is bragging rights with the missus…