Sex Roles

, Volume 74, Issue 7–8, pp 323–334 | Cite as

Strength Training in Males and Females – Motives, Training Habits, Knowledge, and Stereotypic Perceptions

  • Sima ZachEmail author
  • Tal Adiv
Original Article


Despite scientific evidence regarding the benefits of strength training, participation rates in the general population, particularly among females, remain low. Physical education student teachers are a subset of the population whose aim is to educate the public about the paramount importance of physical activity, including the importance of strength training. This study aimed to explore physical education student teachers’ motives for participation in, knowledge of, and stereotypic perceptions regarding strength training, as well as their strength training habits. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 204 male and female physical education student teachers from a physical education teachers college located in central Israel. Findings regarding training habits from the sample show that about 80 % of the females participating in strength training used light-moderately light resistance in their routine, while about half of the strength training males used light-moderately light resistance and half used heavier resistance. Regarding motives, muscular development was rated as the strongest motive among participants who did light-moderately light weights compared with participants who exercised with heavier weights. No significant gender differences were demonstrated. Strength training participants received higher scores in knowledge of strength training compared to non-strength training participants. The most promising result of this study is that more knowledge was associated with perceptions favoring strength training for both females and males. Still, physical education student teachers, especially males, as well as non-strength training females, held stereotypic perceptions regarding strength training and gender role expectations. Therefore, increased knowledge about strength training may prove to be helpful in decreasing these stereotypic perceptions.


Motives Training habits Strength training Resistance training Stereotypic perception 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study received the permission of the IRB, it was not funded, there is no potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), and informed consent was part of the procedure.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport SciencesWingate InstituteNetanyaIsrael

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