Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics

  title={Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics},
  author={A. E. J. Miller and J. Duncan Macdougall and Mark Andrew Tarnopolsky and Digby G. Sale},
  journal={European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology},
Key MethodSummaryStrength and muscle characteristics were examined in biceps brachii and vastus lateralis of eight men and eight women. Measurements included motor unit number, size and activation and voluntary strength of the elbow flexors and knee extensors. Fiber areas and type were determined from needle biopsies and muscle areas by computerized tomographical scanning. The women were approximately 52% and 66% as strong as the men in the upper and lower body respectively. The men were also stronger…
Changes in muscle thickness of gastrocnemius and soleus associated with age and sex
Results confirm that gastrocnemius starts to deteriorate earlier and atrophies at a faster pace than soleus, and a significant sex difference was found only in the onsetAge-related changes in muscle thickness of these two muscles are investigated.
Differences in elbow extensor muscle characteristics between resistance-trained men and women
Sex differences in isometric elbow extensors isometric strength are eliminated when expressed relative to muscle volume, with muscle size having the largest correlations.
Strength and cross-sectional area of knee extensor muscles in children
The results indicate that the ability to produce strength proportional to muscle size is lower in children than in young adults, regardless of gender, and lower in women than in men within the same generation.
Muscle fatigue and electromyographic changes are not different in women and men matched for strength
The similarity of agonist and antagonist muscle activation during a sustained submaximal contraction in both men and women suggests that the differences in fatigability between the two genders are diminished when the absolute force production is similar.
Muscle volume compared to cross-sectional area is more appropriate for evaluating muscle strength in young and elderly individuals.
For elbow flexors, MV compared to ACSA is appropriate for evaluating the size-strength relationship and the existence of age-related difference in muscle strength per size.
Muscle activation strategies of the vastus lateralis according to sex
Men and women have similar vastus lateralis MU number estimates, yet women recruit smaller MUs with higher FR than men at normalised contraction levels, and increases in force are achieved via similar trajectories of MU recruitment and MU FR in men and women.
Variability in muscle size and strength gain after unilateral resistance training.
Men and women exhibit wide ranges of response to resistance training, with some subjects showing little to no gain, and others showing profound changes, increasing size by over 10 cm and doubling their strength.
Sex Differences in Central and Peripheral Factors of Skeletal Muscle Fatigue
Sex differences in muscle fatigue between male and female athletes matched for muscle mass were examined and there were no significant differences within matched pairs for time to fatigue, rate of fatigue, or percent of initial strength.
Muscle strength and its relationship with skeletal muscle mass indices as determined by segmental bio-impedance analysis
BIA-estimated segmental skeletal muscle mass of upper extremity and torso was highly correlated withupper extremity (shoulder) strength independent of gender, suggesting SMM may be useful for the normalisation of muscle strength allowing size-independent comparisons of Muscle strength in individuals with diverse physical characteristics.
Sex differences in mechanomyographic responses to voluntary isometric contractions.
The results suggest that the sex differences in MMG responses and motor unit (MU) activation strategy result from the predominant activity of the MU with slow-twitch fibers and an effective fused tetanus in females.


Muscle fiber number in biceps brachii in bodybuilders and control subjects.
It is concluded that in humans, heavy resistance training directed toward achieving maximum size in skeletal muscle does not result in an increase in fiber numbers.
Contrasts in muscle and myofibers of elite male and female bodybuilders.
Biceps CSA was positively correlated to fiber CSA and fiber number, suggesting that adaptations to resistance training may be complex and involve fiber hypertrophy and Fiber number (e.g., proliferation).
Voluntary strength and muscle characteristics in untrained men and women and male bodybuilders.
Flexor CSA correlated negatively with the ratio of IT, PT, and W to CSA, and Muscle fiber composition failed to correlate with any measure of strength.
Muscle fibre type distribution, muscle cross-sectional area and maximal voluntary strength in humans.
The relationship between maximum voluntary concentric strength, muscle fibre type distribution and muscle cross-sectional areas were examined and Maximal tension developed per unit of muscleCross-sectional area did not correlate significantly with per cent type I fibre area and did not differ between the female and male students or bodybuilders.
Gender Differences in Strength
Results of the MANOVA revealed that the overall strength of men was significantly greater than that of women, and high levels of SF and KE strength were associated with a high lean body weight and a large amount of subcutaneous fat.
Changes in strength and cross sectional area of the elbow flexors as a result of isometric strength training
The arrangement of fibres in the biceps is nearly parallel to the action of the muscle and it is argued that the increase in force per unit cross-sectional area is unlikely to be due to changes in the pennation of the Muscle fibres as has been suggested for other muscles.
The size and strength of the quadriceps muscles of old and young men.
The quadriceps strength of some young men is greater than would be expected from the size of the muscle, and the principal axis of the relationship between Quadriceps size and strength in the old men was very similar to those previously reported for both old and young women.
Voluntary and electrically evoked strength characteristics of obese and nonobese preadolescent boys.
There is no difference in the intrinsic strength or contractile properties of the elbow flexor and knee extensor muscles between obese and nonobese pre-adolescent boys and that other factors, such as the handicapping effect of excess fat mass, probably account for the reduced motor performance of the obese child.
The influence of variations in muscle fibre composition on muscle strength and cross‐sectional area in untrained males.
There is no difference in the force per unit area which can be generated by the different muscle fibre types present in human skeletal muscle, and variations in muscle fibre composition between individuals cannot, therefore, account for the large variations observed in the ratio of strength to muscle cross‐sectional area.
Skeletal muscle fibre characteristics in young women.
  • E. Nygaard
  • Biology, Medicine
    Acta physiologica Scandinavica
  • 1981
The morphological and biochemical differences between female and male skeletal muscle are found in sedentary and trained subjects, and may be due both to the influence of sex hormones, and to differences in the daily activity pattern.