(by Arnaud van der Veere, Netherlands)

A big difference between men and women is the approach of training. Men in general like to be taken serious. A women wants to have fun, she wants to enjoy a good training. A man wants fast results, he says that he is willing to suffer pain and heartship but often it turns out that it is a bridge to far. Woman on the other hand do not mind to train hard but wants to enjoy what they do, training is a relax or escape for them. Results comes overtime.

As I mentioned in other articles women want to train in a group on an individual basis. When undergoing the training it is strongly recommended that the instructor use counting for instructions. It is proven that women get mre stimulation from up and down countings when put upon them than when given a certain number as a “do it yourself”. Counting is a strong way to increase or decrease the tempo of lesson.

During a lesson the trainer is concentrated on the flow of techniques. The lesson must run smooth. Most attention goes to the variation in exercises, the number of repetitions and how heavy the group can go. Less attention is paid to the way each technique is exercised. The correct posture and application of the propper exercise does not receive enough attention.

In general women do not have a heavy physical job. The muscles are not under heavy strain during the day and the tonus (muscle tention) is relatively low. A good trainer will pay attention to increase muscle tention first. During warming up tension around knees, elbows, ankles and wrist must reach a high level. Strenghtening these parts will prevent from injuries.

Women will pay attention to there own posture when pointed to it. The posture of women is strongly dictated by cultural background. In many cultures children, when in adolesence, will be warned not to show the breasts. Embarrasment, not wanting to provoke or teasing also can be the case. The ones suffering of this will create a shoulder up forward posture (in my daily practise I call it a Chat position, as I encounter it more and more in children who sit in front of computers all day) a position that places a lot of tension on the neck and takes away tension on the back of shoulder and houlder blades.

My first training is with weights to promote a better posture. After this I always try to teach them boxing skills to let go frustrations and build tension in the back, shoulders and arms. Boxing is a very good way to improve posture, tension, concentration and most of all self esteme. Over the years I found more and more female got attrackted to the sport. The gradual increase has gone from few per year (in the 80’s) to thousands. Women enjoy the sport for recreational but also competition.

Soon after introducing boxing to a daily exercise programming the ladies requested more stomach / belly exercises as they had seen this in movies. I introduced two forms for ladies ; static tension improvement and dynamic training.

Static tension is a form of exercise used in body building to build up lean clean muscle parts for the so called “six pack”. With each move up a tension of 3 counts is taken. After this back no a near release and than back again in high tension mode. This is done in series with not more than 10 – 15 repetitions. Stomach muscles are normal muscle groups and must be treated likewise when wishing to have a flat belly. This implies a maximum of 3 trainings a week, but when doing it the concnentration must be ONLY to that group.

Boxing training for the stomach / belly muscles when done often create a “fatty” image. A boxer does not need clean visuable but effective muscles to react on punches. Bxers train the stomach muscles everyday, this is in fact overtraining. Overtraining stimulates the uptake of fluids and gives a bit of a fatty view. For women this is exactly what they do NOT want. It is advised to train the stomach intensively but not more then 3 times a week.