There is a misconception that weight lifting is drastically different for men and women.
The media has put forth the image of ladies on steppers and guys performing countless bicep curls in the mirror.
This is so far from reality. Lifting weights is the same for both sexes — the major difference is the disparity of levels of testosterone.
Since males have more testosterone, they can lift heavy weights and gain more muscle when training at the same intensity levels.
Convincing female athletes of this can be difficult at first, but they can perform the same lifts as the guys. Media and perceptions of weight lifting cause this separation of the sexes.
This is changing thanks to the revitalization of methods like kettle bells and Reebox’s marketing of CrossFit.
Kettle bells have become popular with fit females and this can be seen on numerous YouTube clips.
Interval training programs like CrossFit, boot camps and exercise videos like Insanity have also become popular with females while incorporating weights. A
Anecdotally this seems to be due to more females who grew up with sports and want something that is still physically challenging.
At more elite levels, hormonal differences could affect when certain lifts are performed.
Some trainers use hormonal cycles to attempt to estimate when a hormone named relaxin could be more prevalent.
This hormone makes ligaments more pliable so certain exercises that could stress the pelvis might be avoided or altered such as wider stance in a dead lift to stabilize the pelvic girdle.
Aside from these minor differences, females can and should perform the same exercises as males.