Who says women are the weaker sex? That’s a lie of the century. The strength of women have been revealed and women are proven to have more stamina and greater muscular endurance than men. Women beat men in accuracy, flexibility and endurance. Oh, are you surprised? Perhaps, you are used to the general myth that men are physically stronger.
Yes, because she’s probably smaller and looks portable, you could become consciously or unconsciously biased and think that she’s very weak. She’s not! She’s 100 times physically stronger than you think. Looks might be deceiving. Hahaha. The popular belief that women are weak is a myth as women have proven over and over how strong they are.
Rebecca Rusch, the World Champion endurance athlete said the guys always start the race so fast and they always ask her ‘Why do you start so slowly?’ and her response to them is, ‘Why do you finish so slowly?’ Lol.
What is the yardstick to measure strength?
Men are considered to be stronger. This is because men are bigger, have a larger skeletal size, and bone mass than women. However, the fact that men have more muscle than women doesn’t mean that women are weak or that men are stronger.
The question is: what is the yardstick to measure strength?
The dictionary definition of strength is the quality or state of being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance.
There you have it. The state of being strong could be through your capacity for exertion or your capacity for endurance. Men have the capacity for exertion while women have the capacity for endurance. How do I mean? Let me explain further.
Study shows that women have greater muscle endurance than men. Women have more slow-twitch muscle fibres, which makes women better at longer-lasting tasks. Women also have more body fat which metabolizes more slowly than carbohydrates. Also maybe better at burning fat as energy.
What does this mean?
Men are faster, muscular and powerful therefore men have the capacity for exertion (muscular activity). Women have more lasting power and can withstand pressure, therefore, they have the capacity for endurance (greater physical stamina). This means both sexes (men and women) are strong in their own uniqueness.
How this plays out in sports
Men always lead women in sports activities that require speed and power because of their biological muscular power advantage.
Let’s see the world records of some sports.
|Florence Griffith-Joyner (Women)||Usain Bolt (Men)|
|Marita Koch (Women)||Wayde van Niekerk (Men)|
|Brigid Kosgei (Women)||Eliud Kipchoge (Men)|
You can see clearly that men speed (muscular power) pays off as they beat women.
Now let’s take a look at ultra-endurance sports. Let’s consider transcontinental race, ultra marathon, fell running, sport climbing, long-distance open-water swimming. These are extremely long and dangerous sports in the world.
Fiona Kolbinger won the transcontinental race in 2019, one of the world’s toughest cycling races. She won in a time of 10 days 2 hours and 48 minutes and beats the second closest, Ben Davies with an advance of almost six hours. And the remarkable thing is that it was her first time to officially participate in the transcontinental race.
Ann Trason, an ultramarathon runner has broken twenty world records during her career, beating men in ultra-endurance marathons.
Courtney Dauwalter finished the Moab 240 race in 2 days, 9 hours, and 59 minutes, faster than any of the men in the pack and beating the second-place finisher by more than 10 hours.
Camille Herron is the first ultramarathon runner to win all of the IAU Ultra World Championships.
Rebecca Rusch, the world Champion endurance athlete, owns seven World Championship titles. In 2015, Rusch became the first person to pedal the entire length of the 1,800 km (1,200 mi) Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Lael Wilcox, an ultra-endurance bicycle racer won the Trans Am Bike Race, the route is about 4,200 miles (6,800km). She also set the overall course record with her time on the Baja Divide route.
Jasmin Karina Paris is a fell running champion. In June 2016, Paris ran the Ramsay Round at a time of 16:13. This was not only a new women’s record but an overall fastest known time record for the route until 2019 when Es Tresidder ran the Round a minute quicker.
In January 2019, Paris set a new race record for the Spine Race, finishing the 268 miles (431.3km) in a time of 83 hours 12 minutes. This is one of the toughest running races there is, and she won the event overall while breastfeeding her baby. She smashed the previous record of 95 hours 17 minutes set by Eoin Keith in 2016, by 12 hours.
When it comes to long-distance swimming, women are taking the lead. Women have been winning the global marathon swimming award.
Sarah Thomas holds the world record of the longest known nonstop, solo, unassisted, current-neutral swim in any body of water. She swam 129 km (80-miles) in 2016. She swam 168.3 km (104.6 miles) in 2017.
As of 2019, she became the first swimmer in the world to swim four consecutive crossings of the English channel, a record-breaking 215km in just 54 hours 10 minutes. Sarah pushed the boundary of endurance beyond the normal limit.
In the 28.5-mile Catalina Channel swim, women were faster than men. Analysis shows that the fastest woman ever to compete in long-distance open water was 22 min faster than the fastest man ever.
Ashima Shiraishi, at 14 years old was crowned world champion. She became the youngest person, male or female to complete 5.14c (8c+) a route of this difficulty at only age 11. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Ashima won the IFSC World Youth Championships.
The longer the distance, the more arduous the sport, the better the chance women have in beating men. For example, in the marathon race, the fastest man ever has the record of 2:01:39 while the fastest woman ever has the record of 2:14:04 which means that the fastest man ever is 13 min faster than the fastest woman ever. But extending the marathon distance (ultramarathon), you can see that women didn’t just meet up with men, they won men.
Let’s compare the women result in extremely long-distance sports with that of men. 22min record difference by women in long-distance swimming is almost double that of 13min record difference by men in the marathon race.
Transcontinental race winner, Fiona beats 224 men and 40 women. She beats the second closest with almost 6 hours difference. Look at Courtney, she won with more than 10 hours difference. Paris won with over 12 hours difference. Obviously, women outlast men by a wide margin.
Women are leading men in sports known for being particularly brutal. You will agree that to win the toughest sports in the world, it means you have to be the toughest and the strongest person. If truly women are physically weaker, they would not even be able to participate in ultra-endurance events ever, not to talk about competing against men and winning the events.
Women have been excelling in the toughest sports in the world. The strength of a woman is in her toughness, in her ability to withstand and endure pain. So, do you think women are weak? That must be the joke of the century.
The strength of women revealed in everyday life
Ok, shifting our gaze from sport, let’s look at everyday life. Have you ever wondered how your wife or mother still has the strength to do something after everyone is tired like hell?
I remembered going to night vigils with my mum. By the time we get home around 3:00-4:00 am, everyone in the family would have been so tired. We will just go and crash on the bed. However, my mum wouldn’t sleep. She would go to the kitchen to cook and clean everywhere. I’m always like, is this woman made of steel because I use to wonder where that energy comes from.
A man said, “My wife drove us to a wedding party and she was one of the organizers. I sat down at the wedding party, taking pity on my wife as I watch her go to and fro to ensure everything is in order. She drove us back home and even though I didn’t do anything outside the ordinary, I was so tired. I went to take a shower and called on my wife to join me in the shower so that we could both rest afterwards. But I was shocked when I saw her scrubbing the sink. I was like, “Babe, you can do that later. Aren’t you tired?” Her response was “Honey, I have to clean this now.” Women are amazingly strong and so focused when they are determined to do something.”
I’m sure you can also relate to the man’s story. The strength of women is adorable. She’s like the superhero disguised in a smaller physical body. Her superpower is her determination to finish whatever she has started.
Should we also talk about childbirth?
20 men were interviewed after taking part in the childbirth simulator experience; a machine that let them experience what it feels like during childbirth labour.
The men said they always thought that women just exaggerate the process of labour. But having gone through the experience themselves, they could clearly see that women should be praised for undergoing such pain and endurance.
One of the participants said, “it felt like I was being stabbed by a sharp knife repeatedly.” Another said “I now have a new level of respect for all women. It felt like I was pierced with a million pins and my heart was been ripped out. At some point, I thought my lungs were about to give out. It’s a horrible pain. I wonder why women love their baby after going through such unspeakable pain.”
Another said “Now I understand why my wife held my hand so tight during the birth of our child. God, I can’t believe I screamed more than my wife did during labour. My wife is stronger than me. Oh, we underestimate labour pain.”
No one can comprehend the strength of women to endure pain; it’s like a mystery to mankind.
What about during sex?
For those who believe that men are physically stronger than women, how can you explain what happens during sex? A 6 ft tall, thick and muscularly built man lays all his weight on a 5ft tall and slim woman during sex in the missionary position. And the woman carries all his weight without being tired. She’s even like, let’s go another round. Lol.
The strength of women via endurance
Over time, little researches have been conducted to measure women physical strength. This is because the century myth has always been that women are the weaker sex.
Everyone assumes that she’s physically weak because of her appearance. Sadly, women also underestimate their physical strength because they also believe in the myth that they are weak.
Due to the outstanding performances of women in ultra-endurance events, it has awakened researchers to pick up interest to discover the strength of women. Yes, science is revealing that women may be the more powerful sex when it comes to physical prowess.
The research found that women are usually less fatigable than men for similar intensity isometric fatiguing contractions. Fatigability report reveals that the whole muscles of men are usually stronger and more powerful than that of women. However, by task termination, females exhibited fewer reductions in power and similar changes in the rate of neuromuscular activation than males. Therefore, indicating females were less fatigable than males.
It has been proven that women are faster to recover from exertion than men. Also, it’s reported that female runners pace 18.6 per cent better than males throughout a race.
Another Research carried out to examine gender differences in physical strengths reported that girls beat boys. The test was done on a treadmill and girls kept going, sustaining their physical pressure and lasted doing it. According to the research, girls have more endurance, accuracy and flexibility than boys.
The strength of a woman is not measured
Researchers admit that the strength of a woman is not measured because women are still far from expressing their full physical strength due to cultural bias and social conditioning. Sports coaches also believe that it is only a matter of time, as women will soon catch up with men as they improve at a much faster rate than men because women have started to realize their potential.
Who is stronger: women or men?
Ok, now that you know the truth about the strength of women, you might be wondering in your mind: so who is stronger? The reality is that women have more stamina and better endurance. And men have more power and force.
You might have noticed that I didn’t use the word “strength” to describe any particular gender. This is because both genders have physical strength (though different but of equal characteristics).
I disagree when they say “men are physically stronger than women.” In my opinion, the right word should be “men have more muscular power than women.” And of course, “women have more muscular endurance than men.” It’s a win-win situation for both sexes.
Yes, ‘power’ is the right word to describe men physical ability. Power is the ability to move an object from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Power is a combination of speed and strength. And we all can agree that men can move an object as quickly as possible.
To be strong means to be capable of producing great physical force. And force can be simply defined as a push or pull. Therefore, I could say to be strong means to be capable of producing a great push or a great pull.
Men are capable of producing a great pull or push through exertion. And women are capable of producing a great pull or push through endurance. Definitely, endurance requires a great measure of pull or push (force) to keep going. Therefore, both genders are equally physically strong.
Men are not physically stronger than women. They have more muscular power.
Muscular endurance vs. muscular power
Now you know that women have more muscular endurance. And men have more muscular power. Again, you might ask: which one is better: The strength of a woman (muscular endurance) or the strength of a man (muscular power)?
Imagine two people fighting. One has muscular power and the other has muscular endurance. No doubt someone with muscular power is faster and more powerful (Note that I used the word ‘powerful’, not stronger). Therefore he will hit the one with muscular endurance very hard and will hurt badly. However, the one with muscular endurance will keep enduring the pain. Gradually, the more powerful one will begin to exhaust his energy. He will become more fatigued while the one with muscular endurance is still standing (though might be injured).
Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer uses more muscular endurance techniques to fight in the ring. He will let his opponent exhaust all his power and energy by being in a defensive posture. Ali boxing fighting style is called the rope-a-dope tactic.
Only someone with great physical stamina (muscular endurance) uses this tactic. Muhammad has a great ability to withstand punishment from his opponent and to withstand the punches.
Muhammad knew that his opponent, George Foreman has superior punching power (muscular power). So, he decided to provoke Foreman to attack him. Ali put his muscular endurance into action. When Foreman became tired from the punches he was delivering, Ali took advantage and won the match.
I love watching wrestling. Bobby Lashley has more muscular power. He uses his muscular power to win. Though he’s very powerful, I won’t bet on him because I really don’t think he’s as stubborn (has more muscular endurance) as John Cena, Shawn Micheal or Roman Reigns in the ring.
What’s your choice?
So back to the question: which one is better: muscular endurance or muscular power? It depends on you. Both have their advantage and disadvantage. It depends on what you prefer and what is working for you.
But Ayobami, you just said women have more muscular endurance and men have more muscular power therefore, my sex won’t let me chose what I prefer. You will notice that I used Mohammed Ali for muscular endurance explanation, despite him being a man. This is because we all have the ability to choose what we want. We have the freedom to choose what to develop regardless of our biology.
Believe me; you get to chose what you want for yourself regardless of your sex. All you have to do is only work on improving yourself. The truth is that passion always surpasses talent (innate ability). So, it doesn’t matter what you are naturally blessed with, what matters is what you are passionate about enough to develop.
It’s all about your passion
If you are passionate about developing your muscular endurance, go for it. And if it is your muscular power, go for it. You can also decide to develop both your muscular power and muscular endurance. Trust me, that’s the best (best of both worlds).
Being able to be strong and tough requires both mental and physical toughness. Men lean more towards the physical (power) and women lean more towards the mental (endurance). If you want to be tough and strong, don’t hesitate to hit the gym, participate in vigorous exercises to push your endurance, lift weights, etc regardless of your sex.
You will agree that some women have more muscular power than men even though science has proven that men have more muscular power. These women won’t let their sex limit their potential. These are women in the military, women in sports, etc. Amazing women lifting weights, women like Dana Linn Bailey, Yuliya Yudina, Gracyanne Barbosa, Alicia Rancier, and Eva Andressa.
Also, some men have more muscular endurance than women even though science has proven that women have more muscular endurance. So in my honest opinion, the determining factor is all about what you want. It’s your choice, not your sex.
Society underestimate the strength of women
There is a popular myth that women are weak. What might have triggered the belief that women are weak? Let’s talk about the genesis of the myth about women being weak.
This myth about women began due to social needs. In the olden days, hard physical labour was required for survival. They realize that men could do hard physical labour to a far greater degree than women. So men fought in wars, erected buildings, hunted beasts etc. And because women couldn’t do much at the same equal speed and level, they concluded that women are weak.
They underestimated the strength of women. They couldn’t discover the strength of a woman in endurance, accuracy and flexibility, which is at a far greater degree than that of men and is also required for survival.
Society expects men and boys to lift heavy things in the community and within the household. For example, men are to carry the generator, carry bags of rice, push the car, plough the field etc. A man who appears weak is mocked in society. Also, the society expects women and girls to appear weak even when she’s stronger than a man. They will give her a bad name if she chooses to express her strength. They would say it is not lady-like to do anything that requires muscular power, like heavy lifting, building a house, driving a tractor etc.
Society discourages women from developing their muscular power even though they have the potentials. That’s why we have few women involved in male-dominated industries like engineering, military etc. To act like a lady, they tell women to appear weak and fragile because according to them, that’s what makes her sexy. This is a lie formulated by some men to take advantage, and physically abuse women (domestic violence, gender-based violence, rape).
The true definition of ‘act like a lady’ means to be strong and express confidence. Being strong is sexy as hell, trust me. Women who are confident, strong and independent attract real men because that’s the new definition of sexy.
I founded an organization YGEM, where we teach women self-defence training. We teach them to be strong, confident and independent. The strength of women has been underestimated for a long time, but times are changing now.
The strength of women: why the future is female.
Today, technology has modified our society. We now have hydraulics and robotics for heavy lifting. We are now in the digital age and the digital age doesn’t rely on upper body strength but more on mental toughness and intellect.
If you take a critical look at the traditional society and modern society, you will realize that whatever they value is based on their social need.
Like I said earlier, the traditional age needed hard physical labour for survival, so they valued it. The traditional society valued the traits of power, muscle and speed. Fortunately for men (and unfortunately for women), these traits relate more to men so the traditional society was male, so to speak.
Considering modern society, mental toughness is needed for survival, so we value it. For us to have arrived at innovation and technology, we needed people who have great endurance, accuracy and flexibility; those who kept going and didn’t give up until they achieve a performance outcome or objective.
The fact that we are looking forward to a future where technology and innovation rule, makes us tend to value the traits of endurance, accuracy and flexibility. Fortunately for women (and unfortunately for men), these traits relate more to women. So, modern society and its future are now female, so to speak.
Technology has made the historically male-dominated traits divert to women-dominated traits. Technology is now relying on intellect, hand-eye coordination, and accuracy instead of the upper body strength, which was gold in the olden days.
Individual physical power is most valued in the olden days. Then, if you are a good hard-working labourer, you will be wealthy. But today, you and I know better. Today, hard-working labourers are the poorest people living below the poverty line. The billionaires are those using their intellect, and mental toughness.
But like I already said, your sex is never a limitation or a determination of who you are. It doesn’t matter if a trait is female-dominated or male-dominated. If you work towards improving yourself and using your brain effectively, then you will achieve anything you set your mind to achieve.
The discovery of the strength of women is redefining the perspective of womanhood. However, it is unfortunate that many women are yet to discover their strengths. This is because they believe in the myth that women are the weaker sex.
I am hopeful that women across the globe will start to embrace their strength, without apologizing for being themselves because the myth has been busted. It has been proven that women have greater endurance, accuracy and flexibility.
Men have more muscular power than women. And women have more muscular endurance than men. Both sexes have their differences in order to complement each other and no one is greater or lesser than the other.
No sex is weak! Women and Men are equally physically strong, therefore both sex should work together to positively influence our world.
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Copyright by Ayobami Abiodun