Metabolic Rates and Strength
©Arlene Taylor PhD
Typically, females have a lower metabolic rate and a slightly lower average body temperature, although it peaks at midday the same as for males. With a greater fat to muscle ratio, females find it harder to lose weight (e.g., fat burns fewer calories per pound). Interestingly, rich women tend to be thinner than poor women.
The increased percentage of body fat in the female not only helps to create curves, it also provides insulation. Sweat glands tend to be distributed more evenly over the body, so females tend to perspire more efficiently, and cool off faster. In addition, the thicker layer of fat provides females with an extra energy reserve.
When a female runs out of glycogen (carbohydrates stored in muscle tissue), her body can switch over to fat reserves. Her female sex hormones can help her muscles utilize bar more easily than male muscles can. And, weight for weight, fat yields more than twice as much energy as glycogen.
Males, on the other hand, have a metabolic rate of 6-7% higher. They tend to burn 3.7 calories per square foot of skin surface per hour (while females burn only 3.5 calories per hour). Thus, males expend more energy just because they are male. Does this contribute to males burning out at a slightly earlier age? Perhaps so, but it may also contribute to their having an easier time of it if they want to lose weight!
With their higher muscle to fat ratio, males tend to lose weight faster (e.g., muscle tissue burns 5 more calories per pound as compared to fat). Generally, rich men tend to be fatter than poor men.
• Females average 50% of their total body weight in strength.
• They generally have one-third the upper body strength and only half the lower body strength of the comparable male.
• The abdominal muscles are equal in strength to those of a comparable male but tend to be more elastic and flexible to accommodate pregnancy.
• Males average 90% of their total body weight in strength.
• They generally have 3 times the upper body strength and twice the lower body strength of the comparable female.
• The abdominal muscles are equal in strength to those of a comparable female.