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Men vs. Women: The Differences in Body Composition


Several important factors impact your body's natural ability to build lean muscle mass, but one uncontrollable element of staying in shape might surprise you. Biological variations in body composition are significantly relative to your gender, which influences your body's total mass of fat, and where fatty tissues are naturally stored. Although independent differences exist within all individuals, understanding how gender affects your workout regimen can help you strategize for future success.

Fat differences

It might not be easily noticeable at the gym, but women typically have higher body fat percentages than men. According to, normal body fat content registers at 25 percent for women, but just 15 percent for men. This is partly because of natural hormone processes. For example, female sex hormone (estrogen) increases the body's capacity to store fat, although it also aids the body's process of naturally converting fat to fuel. Scientific studies tout the most effective method for decreasing fat gain is simply to exercise.

Body fat distribution

At a glance, it might seem as though men as more prone to fat gain than women, specifically because of where most males naturally pocket fatty tissues. According to Marc Perry, a fitness expert and creator of Built Lean, women may hold little fat in their stomach region, but much more in their thighs and triceps. This differs from men, who have a higher genetic tendency to store fat on their abs. It's important to realize that fat cannot be burned in a specific segment of the body. If your goal is to lose flabby belly fat, you need to decrease your body's overall fat content. This can typically be achieved by increasing cardiovascular activity and decreasing calorie consumption. Consult your personal trainer or a fitness expert if you need help constructing an effective fat loss exercise program.

Climatic differences

Body compositions of men and women vary depending on certain environmental factors, such as climate. According to Human Kinetics, women who live in naturally warm climates, like Africa, centralize body fat content in the buttocks, whereas Mediterranean natives localize fatty tissues in the hips, and certain Asians in the navel region. The body's methods of distributing fat are more balanced in colder climates, which serve the purpose of helping maintain a regulated internal body temperature during harsh winter weather.

Functionality of fat

You might sometimes wonder, "What's the point?" when looking at unappealing pockets of fat on your body in the mirror. Even if you feel like rigorous workouts aren't worth the daily strife, it's important to remember that exercise is more vital to your overall well-being than it is to your body's composition. It's also important to realize that fat serves basic human function. Fat historically provides an internal safety net for times of food scarcity, and also helps women function during times of birth. All healthy individuals naturally store fat to help aid the body's normal processes. Fat is actually a good thing. Exercise is the tool in which we use to prevent too much fat from accumulating throughout our bodies.


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John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.

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