Physiological training adaptations

With resistance training and/or endurance training, both males and females can decrease fat mass, decrease body fat percentage, and increase muscle mass. There does not seem to be much sex specific differences in these adaptations, with energy balance and the training performed being the pertinent factors in adaptation magnitude.

Examining strength adaptations following training, females have a similar potential to gain strength as males. As muscle mass is a key factor in strength, women are at a disadvantage compared to men as males have a much more favourable frame and hormonal environment for building muscle. Females, however, can still experience hypertrophy and thus achieve strength gains with resistance training. Neurologically, (the other key factor in strength expression along with hypertrophy) females have just as much potential as males to adapt the nervous system and improve strength. In general, the magnitude of strength changes in males and females is similar following resistance training.

Endurance based training adaptations, such as improving maximal oxygen uptake, do not seem to be heavily influenced by sex. Women will experience similar cardiovascular and respiratory adaptations to males, allowing them to increase their endurance performance at a similar magnitude to males following training. In general, most of a female player’s physical training should be like that of a male with some minor adjustments to account for body shape, size, and composition.